I spent March 15 in Kwame Danso, the district capitol of Sene, in Brong Ahafo. I wouldn't recommend it as a tourist destination. It's about a 1.5 hour motorcycle ride off the paved road, assuming you've got a decent bike and a decent amount of experience riding on sand.
Once you are there, the town has one paved road (it's not clear what for), one filling station, and about 6 guesthouse rooms. My survey team had maxed out the rooms, so I ended up crashing on the cement floor.
After meeting with my team, I was glad to be on my way to Tamale the next morning. I left with the sunrise, and was in Yeiji to make a bank transaction by 10am.
From Yeiji, the moto and I had to cross the Volta River to get to Tamale. We waited for a couple hours for a boat. When it landed, people poured out, running up slope from the water and shouting for joy. I'll admit this made me a little nervous. The boat was essentially a very large canoe. There is a proper ferry, that can take cars and lorries, but it goes less frequently.
I paid 10 GHC for me, my moto, and my bags. Five men loaded the bike with apparent ease, lifting it over the side of the boat. They refused any dash for loading. The people were loaded less gracefully. We waded into the possibly bilharzial water, then climbed what must have been an old pool ladder to get into the boat. In the boat, passengers sat on cross bars, their feet dangling above a pair of small boys using buckets to bail water out of the bottom of the boat.
The ride across the Volta took a little over an hour. Or, it would have, if the motor had not stopped in the middle of the lake. We drifted for about 20 minutes. I was seriously contemplating going for a swim when the engine was coaxed back to life. We corrected our course, weaving through fish nets tied to floating soft drink bottles.
After arriving back on shore, it was back to the dusty road. It took about an hour to get to Salaga, and 2.5 hours to go from Salaga to Tamale. The road was in better condition than I have ever seen it-- which isn't saying much.
On the way, I came across a broken-down motorking with a cow in the back. I stopped to ask the group of men walking near it if they needed help. They declined and told me I shouldn't stop for people on the road. I laughed and asked them what robbers would be doing with a cow and a spoiled motorking.
Coming in to Tamale was a relief. I had sun-burned my hands the day before, and the hot wind on them felt like taking a hot shower after a bad burn. I was in for one more adventure, though-- a shake down from the friendly Tamale neighborhood police. Details in my next post.
I have worked in economic policy and research in Washington, D.C. and Ghana. My husband and I recently moved to Guyana, where I am working for the Ministry of Finance. I like riding motorcycle, outdoor sports, foreign currencies, capybaras, and having opinions.