Ghana successes…

Posted on December 26th, 2010 in MAPA expeditions by Administrator

After a very difficult few months of late and heavy rains in West Africa, MAPA volunteers are finally getting the chance to show what they are made of.

This is what internationally renowned journalist, Mark Eveleigh has been sending into over the last couple of weeks.   Mark is travelling with his father Mike, who lived for many years in Ghana.  They’ve been keen to spend a bit of time revisiting old memories of the Gold Coast (OK, Mike isn’t that old but it sounded good) and this seemed like a good opportunity.

MAPA Blog 01
17-Dec 2010
It had been more years than I cared to count since I was last in Ghana. I was five years old when we moved away from my dad’s work here in search of ‘greener pastures’ in Nigeria. As we drove out of Accra on our first leg towards the north I had the feeling that the Ghanaian capital might not quite have lived up to all its promises either!
We had been told that the road north to Kumasi and even onwards, almost up to the Burkina Faso border were perfectly tarmac-ed highways these days and that it would take us just four hours to reach Kumasi. I had been slightly disappointed by these promises: you don’t come to Africa and then set off in an expedition prepared Landcruiser to drive smooth highways. It seemed that London’s M25 during a brisk winter would offer more challenges.
Ghana did not let us down however. Within an hour of leaving Accra the last of the tarmac finally crumbled away and we drove for the next couple of hours in second and third gear in a dense cloud of bulldust. This was more like it!
We stopped briefly to eat some of the delicious yogurt that seems to be available everywhere here and to buy a couple of last minute supplies (a length of tube to resurrect the thus-far useless water tank, a machete and a stack of firewood). The tarmac reappeared eventually but in the end the drive up the ‘highway’ almost to Kumasi took seven hours of fairly fast driving.
We turned off onto another section of laterite, feeling now that we were making headway into what was beginning to feel like bush-country as kites wheeled above us and a mongoose flitted across the track.
Our first stop, Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, turned out to be a very small park where only a single walking tour could be organized. The headquarters were well maintained and staffed by typically friendly Ghanaians and we left there feeling that it would have been a wonderful spot to camp for the night. However, there was still time enough to drive on for a couple more hours to make it to Boupom Wildlife Sanctuary. Complications in finding the entrance to Boupom were exacerbated by the fact that the park seems to be entirely erroneously named on all the maps we have. In fact the head ranger James Porodomi has been working here for ten years and had never heard the name Boupom. In fact this is Bomfobiri Wildlife Reserve.
We are now camped next to a ranger station inside the reserve and within a hour – after all the data is uploaded – we intend to have a couple of hefty pork chops sizzling on the fire and a bacardi and coke frosting our camping mugs.

MAPA Blog 01

17-Dec 2010

It had been more years than I cared to count since I was last in Ghana. I was five years old when we moved away from my dad’s work here in search of ‘greener pastures’ in Nigeria. As we drove out of Accra on our first leg towards the north I had the feeling that the Ghanaian capital might not quite have lived up to all its promises either!

We had been told that the road north to Kumasi and even onwards, almost up to the Burkina Faso border were perfectly tarmac-ed highways these days and that it would take us just four hours to reach Kumasi. I had been slightly disappointed by these promises: you don’t come to Africa and then set off in an expedition prepared Landcruiser to drive smooth highways. It seemed that London’s M25 during a brisk winter would offer more challenges.

Ghana did not let us down however. Within an hour of leaving Accra the last of the tarmac finally crumbled away and we drove for the next couple of hours in second and third gear in a dense cloud of bulldust. This was more like it!

We stopped briefly to eat some of the delicious yogurt that seems to be available everywhere here and to buy a couple of last minute supplies (a length of tube to resurrect the thus-far useless water tank, a machete and a stack of firewood). The tarmac reappeared eventually but in the end the drive up the ‘highway’ almost to Kumasi took seven hours of fairly fast driving.

We turned off onto another section of laterite, feeling now that we were making headway into what was beginning to feel like bush-country as kites wheeled above us and a mongoose flitted across the track.

Our first stop, Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, turned out to be a very small park where only a single walking tour could be organized. The headquarters were well maintained and staffed by typically friendly Ghanaians and we left there feeling that it would have been a wonderful spot to camp for the night. However, there was still time enough to drive on for a couple more hours to make it to Boupom Wildlife Sanctuary. Complications in finding the entrance to Boupom were exacerbated by the fact that the park seems to be entirely erroneously named on all the maps we have. In fact the head ranger James Porodomi has been working here for ten years and had never heard the name Boupom. In fact this is Bomfobiri Wildlife Reserve.

We are now camped next to a ranger station inside the reserve and within a hour – after all the data is uploaded – we intend to have a couple of hefty pork chops sizzling on the fire and a bacardi and coke frosting our camping mugs.

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