Friday, 15 April 2016

Canopy Walkway and The Cape Coast Castle

     Students on study tour. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.

Walking on the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park is one thrilling experience I will never forget in a hurry. A 330-meters-long series of hanging bridges made of ropes all connected together by the trees, all some 40 meters off the ground. I was so scared to go all the way but took courage when I saw some young school children going all the way. I decided to put on a brave face and walk over the tropical rainforest.

  Kakum National Park is a rainforest located in the central region of Ghana, about 20 kilometers North of Cape Coast. The entire area is covered with tropical rainforest.  If you are into hiking and a bit of thrill seeker, Kakum National Park is the place to be.

Kakum National rainforest. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.
From Kakum National park we went to The Cape Coast Castle, an historic building with lots of scary stories about what went down there and how the blacks were treated, turned to slaves in their own land controlled by the Portuguese and Dutch before the British took over.  
Cape Coast Castle. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.
The tour around the castle will give you goosebumps with the horrifying history of slave trading and the brutality of slave traders.  You can actually feel their presence when you are there in the Condemned Room where rebellious slaves were punished and The Door of No Return from where they were taken onboard ships that would take them to the Unknown World.

You just cannot help but wonder that this beautiful magnificent castle in the heart of a little town overlooking the sea and the coconut tress dancing to the wild that blows has been hell on earth for most people and a black page in global history. It’s a definite must-see.
Cape Coast town. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.

 Getting there

You can get a Bus from Accra's main station on the Ring Road to Cape Coast, costing around GH¢11, and around GH¢14 in an airconditioned bus. The journey takes between two and three hours. From Cape Coast take a taxi to Kakum National Park. The taxi will need to wait for you, if not you will not get a taxi back. The same taxi will take you to Cape Coast Castle and any other places you want to go around Cape Costa. The taxi will cost about GH¢5.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Akwaaba! Welcome!

Kwame Nkrumah Park Accra. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.
During our last visit to Africa, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Ghana. Normally we would look up a place before we embarked on a trip, but for Ghana we did not: we felt Ghana was one of the most organized countries in West Africa. 

It was the gateway to West Africa, as it was said, with a lot of tourists here and there. So we expected to get a map and a list of tourist attractions from the hotel or tourist center. We were so wrong!
The trip down was good but we encountered a little problem at the airport in filling  out some immigration forms: that took more time than we thought necessary and we missed our hotel pick up from the airport. We tried taking out money from the airport ATM and were shocked that the machine only accepted a Visa Card. Our Master Card was useless there. To get an ATM that accepted a Master Card, we had to walk outside the airport to one nearby that fortunately accepted both card types.

Dept of African Studies. University of Accra. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.
It took us sometime but we sorted ourselves out and found our way to the hotel. Coming to the hotel our stress and anger simply evaporated, for the hotel was so cozy and welcoming.

The next morning, with our cameras and ready to hit the town, we went to the hotel reception to ask for maps and a list of fun places we could visit, and the following dialogue ensue

Us: Good morning, please could we get a map of the city?

Hotel reception: Sorry, we don't have maps

Us: Okay. Could you tell us what to see or places to go to?

Hotel reception: You  will need to buy the book on Ghana attractions from the book shop

Can you beat that! The hotel reception cannot point us to any direction, just for us to buy a book not even at the hotel but at a bookstore. It dawned on us that we made a mistake not to have looked up Ghana’s tourist attractions before visiting. The little things we take for granted!

We went out to the street to ask questions, and we were on our way to different attractions in Ghana. I must admit Ghanaians are very warm and welcoming people.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Mount Patti

Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
Coming down Mount Patti in the mornings after my night shift was always exciting for me. The breath taking sight of the town from above is always a sight to behold. Its sharp bends was always nerve racking. For four years I went every day up and down Mount Patti yet I did not get past my phobia for heights.
Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
After 3years away from Mount Patti I began to miss the little things I took for granted while there. My recent visit back helped me to caption those little things I carved for while away. The sunset in the morning was one of the things I missed most with its mirror reflection on river Benue and river Niger. Nigeria’s longest river. 
Shot from Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
What about the bamboo tree standing tall and strong ready at all times to shade you from the scourging sun. Its fruit enrich with vitamin C always give me strength when I am hungry and no car to go down the hills to get something to eat .The historic Lord Lugard rest house from the Colonial time. Masts of different telecommunication and three media houses. One of them happened to be where I spent most of my four years. 

Walking down Mount Patti was always refreshing in the mornings with the sounds of different birds singing, monkeys jumping from trees to trees and the breath of morning dew was and will always be priceless to me.
Foot of Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
Mount Patti is a hill in the center of a town called Lokoja in central Nigeria. A town where the river Benue and the longest river in Nigeria, River Niger, meet and both flow as one. It’s about 3hours drive to Abuja Nigeria’s capital. It’s about 20minutes drive from the city center and about 10minutes drive from the mount foot with a lot of sharp, twists and turns along the road. Mount Patti has a fantastic height of about 458.3metres above sea-level with about 15 square kilometers in land mass. The sight from the top of Mount Patti is a must see for every visitor. It gives a unique and aerial view of the town, the confluences of the river Niger and Benue and of course the sunrise if you are an early bird if not the sunset. Who knows you may be lucky to see some monkeys.
River Niger and River Benue.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
 To the people of Lokoja, Mount Patti means different things to them. Some don't see it as any thing, while to some it reminds them of how it protected their forefathers during the days of inter-tribal war. Many of them flee from their houses to the hill for safety.  Others see Mount Patti as a mystery considering its natural spring scattered round the hills, the thick forest, wild life and the land mark which many have turned into their farm lands and hunting ground for hunters to hunt for animals.
Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
According to Constance Nnuekwu station Manager CTV Lokoja
Mount Patti is special, the name its self is special and historical. It became popular during the region of Lord Lugard in 1914 especially after he built his rest house. The then mistress of Lord Lugard, Flora Shaw who later became his wife was a Reuter’s correspondent at that time. Coined the name  Nigeria from Mount Patti. This has place Mount Patti in history”

Lord Lugard was the 1st Governor General of the colony and protectorate of Nigeria. The rest house is still standing till date. The house was recently renovated but it still maintains its original bricks. The rest house is one of the historical relics that will be show cased at the celebration of Nigeria’s 100years coming up in January 2014.
Lord Lugard’s rest house Mount Patti. Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.
 Mount Patti is also home to the Baobab tree. The Baobab tree can grow up to 6000 thousand years. It can be found in many savanna regions all over Africa. The baobab tree at Mount Patti is one of the oldest in Kogi state. The tree is also called tree of life. The tree saves as a platform for visitors or tourist to endorse their presence by writing their names on the tree and year of visit.
When next you pay a visit to Mount Patti don’t forget to endorse your name and date on the Baobab tree.
Baobab tree Mount Patti.Photography.Agatha Fältström's Blog.Copyright.