Green fields, hills, and huge trees turn to low sand-colored houses and to wonderful palm trees. Behind the tin roofs, long and narrow boats float on the turquoise sea. I begin to see old, white houses full of old stories appear alongside the hilly roads. I have arrived to Cape Coast.
Cape Coast is one of Ghana's oldest cities. It was the largest center of the slave trade in West Africa in the 1500s and 1800s and is known as Gold Coast from that time. The area has been dominated by the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Danes as well as the Swedes until the independence of Ghana in 1957. This can be seen in the architecture of Ghana as well as the notorious slave trade route.
The atmosphere of the city is quite unique. There is something very sad and plaintive, on the other hand, the town is mysterious and so beautiful. The damp, hot wind blowing from the Guinean Bay whispers in the ear the impulses of freedom. The history and the powerful sea with its great waves always strongly affect me.
There are bars and inns at the beach made out of bamboo, hay roofed sunshades and clay-like materials. There is a lot of tourists and their needs have been met. From the beach, you can order pizzas, drinks, and healthy smoothies while reading a book or watching the infinity of the sea and fishermen who rhythmically shout together while pulling the nets out of the sea. The beach is bordered on the left by the Cape Coast slave castle and by the fishermen's boats on the right on the right.
Oasis Beach Resort's service is efficient and friendly. The atmosphere is international although the environment mimics primitive Africa. Mirko, who has spent eight years running this resort, is sitting next to me on my African print beach blanket and drinking black Nescafe. He is much more lively than last evening when new customers were still coming in late at night.
Mirko tells he loves the sea. Even though he has to buy a new printer every six months because the metal parts get so rusty in the salty and damp air. Sometimes the beach and the inn seem lonely in the middle of all the hustle, but here he is free unlike in his home country Germany.
The gardener of Oasis just started planting new flowers behind us and Mirko seems to be happy with it. We chat and suddenly Mirko raises his hand up smiling: "Dolphins!" He gets up and runs to the sea. Among the heaviest waves, I can now also see a group of dolphins jumping playfully in the waves and then disappearing again into the wild sea.
I order some breakfast from the Oasis kitchen. Mirko will leave tomorrow to the capital city, Accra for more food stuffs. Continental food is popular here, and the entire weekend is booked out again.
Oasis has rooms for every kind of traveler; round double huts, air-conditioned and private mini-apartments overlooking the sea and affordable rooms for groups. Rooms are booked by phone or online preferably three, four days prior to arrival especially if the arrival time falls on the weekend. During the high season; Christmas, New Years, Easter, and August-September, reservations should be made early in advance.
Oasis is doing great and for quite a reason. The atmosphere is relaxed and cheerful, the service works fast and kindly. On weekends one can experience entertaining dance shows, evening bonfires, even foam parties. Such programs draw many guests from Accra and the surrounding areas here.
I ask Mirko what he would recommend for the visitors in addition to the city's most famous sights. He mentions Monkey Forest Resort run by his friend, located near one of the most famous tourist destinations in Cape Coast, Kakum National Park.
Such a wonderful carefree day with easy-going, happy people! In Oasis, there is always somebody to talk to but if you so wish, you can also have your time alone (this is not all that common in Ghana..). More of Cape Coast's ambiances and people (not so pleasant ones though) in the next post!
Sunny & beachy greetings