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Tema (Accra),

From a modest fishing port to the biggest in Ghana, Tema’s industrial activity has all but tarnished the charming, postcard scenery of the region. The neighbouring white-sanded beaches remain immaculate, still serving as a testimony of the rich variety of fishing birds that can be found in the area.

In the way Mother Nature intended it, gannets, boobies and kingfishers amongst other species fish in and around the cerulean waters of the coast. A light breeze tickles the inflamed, iron-filled soil of the mainland on which the railway linking Tema to Accra lures hundreds of visitors each day.

On board one of the carriages to Accra, distinctively noticeable by their painted coats of red, yellow and green that echo Ghana’s national flag, a peek out of the window will offer scenic views of the harbour and coast, as well as the large fields that separate Tema from the capital by 15 miles/25 kilometres of open space.

Accra’s ambiance contrasts with the peaceful setting of Tema, but nevertheless has its own charm to be enjoyed. Through rich, contemporary monuments which recall Ghana’s 1957 independence, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is an architectural jewel which also narrates the life and exploits of the eponymous president who fought for his country’s freedom.

A more casual but perhaps interesting approach to the City’s culture and history is the visit to an artisanal studio, where primary materials such as wood and metal are transformed into stunning carvings of all sorts, illustrating a traditional African belief of a new life beyond death.  And for a relaxing yet enriching experience, the hospitable restaurants are always eager to share their Banku, a local dish made out of corn and served with fish or stew.

Craft markets are also worth a detour and are great for cherry-picking souvenirs. Demonstrating other fine Ghanaian traditions such as leather crafting and weaving, a popular favourite is the country’s hand-made Black Soap, which is renowned for its soothing virtues.
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