Go-Kart Racing, Pizza or both???

When we (Mary, Afia, Regina and Shika) saw the Go-Kart place (L’AfriKlub) on our way home last week, we knew we had to check it out before leaving Lome. With Shika leaving this Thursday, the plan was to go go-karting on either Monday night or Tuesday night as our Wednesday night was taken – barbecue party for Kailend Volunteers and team. So on Tuesday night, we arranged to go go-karting and then have pizza as we have not yet had anything outside the delicious homecook meals by Sylvina. We set off from the Kailend Volunteer House / Headquarters at Togo Deux Mille to Afrik Klub which was a 7 minute drive.

At L’AfriKlub, we saw a couple of people on the raceway. One racer had taken the racing pretty seriously as he kept going on and on at top speed. This sort of got those of us who do not know how to drive a little scared but we were determined to give it a shot. However we lost the excitement when we were informed of the charges (6000 CFA equivalent 44 Cedis) which was very affordable but we had to choose between pizza and go-karting. We finally settled on satisfying our rumbling stomach.

We went up the stairs to the rooftop and ordered a 30cm pizza (5000 CFA  equivalent 36.50) with different toppings. We got the margherita, quart-fromage, cannibale and exotique (Hawaiian). We waited for our pizza over some coke, ice and lemon. Between 15 to 20 minutes, our pizza was served. You should have seen the excitement on our faces as the pizza smelled so good and the quart fromage which was served first looked so right with the thin crust. After saying grace, we dived into the quart fromage and each bite somewhat tasted better than the previous. Within 15 minutes, all four pizzas were gone.

And though we were not able to do what we wanted to do at L’AfriKlub, we have no regrets as the pizza made up for it. Kudos to the chef for making something so heavenly.

Au revoir Ghana, Bonjour Togo

When I resigned from my job last year, the plan was to work with Kailend for a month as an intern. This was to give me the opportunity to help make a difference in my community, learn a new language as Kailend is in a French speaking country – Togo, spend some time with Ellen who will be moving to Cape town soon, connect with other volunteers around the world, gain more experience in my skill and well, indulge in my love for traveling. However things don’t always go as planned so I had to put this on hold till this year. 

As I planned towards my trip, I informed a couple of friends with similar goals who decided to join me on my trip. So on Sunday – 16th April 2017, we made the 2-3 hour journey from Tema Motorway Roundabout to Lomé, Togo. The girls (Mary, Afia, Reggie) and I got a hired car (4 passenger) which charged 50 cedis per person and took us right to the border. This was so great as we had many luggages​ and weren’t prepared for the walk from the main station to the border as the trotro (bus) wouldn’t have brought us that close to the border. We however had to wait for the SASA Group who wanted to spend their Easter Sunday and Monday with Kailend to make an impact and learn more about the social enterprise. 

Since the girls and I got to the border earlier, we had to wait for the others for nearly an hour as their bus stopped several times for passengers. While we waited however we got our passports stamped at a fee, made some enquiries and got in touch with the driver who had to pick us up. When the others finally got to the border, we assisted them with the formalities and then left for Sammy’s (executive director of Kailend) family house for a talk. Over there, we introduced ourselves and met Shika – a volunteer from UK who plans on assisting the social enterprise for the next two weeks.

After some laughter and familiarisation, we left for the volunteer house which is around the Airport / Trade Fair area in Lomé. At the house, we were met by the lovely Sylvina who is the housekeeper and chef. Then Sammy explained to us the mission and vision of Kailend and we made plans for the next day. But before sleeping, the girls and I decided to channel in our energy by playing some drums and dancing at the sitting room.

On Easter Monday, we woke up to delicious omelettes, tomato sauce and baguettes then had a little freestyling singing and dancing before setting off for the day’s job. We took a drive through town, and visited some of Kailend’s projects in Lomè starting with the Mama Charity Orphanage where we learnt the importance of not only looking out for ourselves but also for those who aren’t as privileged as us, assisting, encouraging, and praying with / for them. 

Afterwards we went on a drive to the University of Lomè where Albert showed us around. Afterwards, we went back home to have a yummilicious meal then headed right back out to the Artisan market where we breathtaking paintings, carvings, bags, jewellery, clothes and souvenirs that depict the history, creativity and modernization of Togo and Africa. We were then sent to Sammy’s family house where we were privileged to watch a choreography, sing and dance, listen to a motivational speaker – Marie Ange and just chill. At that moment, the girls and I realised Togo is exactly where we should be at the moment. After a couple of hours, we had to leave for the volunteer house.

Upon getting back home, we had dinner and a meeting to encourage each other to be concerned about those around us and to help make a difference in our community. As the SASA group were living the next day, we had a little party at the Terrace where we all chilled, spoke about our dreams. This went on deep into the night. Friendships were made; minds were filled with new ideas and implementations; a family was created and love was shared.

As I plan on staying for the next two months, I am looking forward to the adventure ahead of me; the friends I will make along the way; the possible business opportunities; the joy of learning a new language; indulging in my love for travel and most importantly living a mark in the world by making a difference in the life of a person in need.

I believe moving to Togo for a while is a really good best decision and intend on utilising this opportunity to the fullest.

Storytime – Cosmos goes to Abuja

Recently, due to certain reasons, I had to make my way to Abuja. Due to the current state of the Abuja Airport, I must admit I was somewhat reluctant to make the journey but nevertheless the trip was necessary and off I went.

The beginning of my journey was not the most auspicious. I had purchased a ticket to fly directly to Kaduna where there was free transportation to Abuja. There seemed to be an issue with the flight, not surprising considering that I was flying ArikAir, but due to the fact the only people going on said flight was me and one other gentleman we were instead placed on a flight to Lagos and I gained a travel companion. Upon arriving, with a little difficulty, our airline provided a bus which shuttled us to the Local Departures. There awaited us a two hour long wait and some rather unimpressive coffee, then the flight was delayed and we had to wait another hour. Finally, the two of us as well as other passengers heading out from Lagos boarded the flight.

Upon arriving in Kaduna, we were quickly able to claim our luggage and we were all quickly directed to the bus. The whole process was impressively quick as with-in 15 to 20 minutes of arrival, we were leaving Kaduna Airport to make way to Abuja Airport. The journey itself was not quick, we were all on that bus for 4 hours before we arrived in Abuja Airport. Luckily someone had managed to arrange a car to send me to my hotel. La’Don hotel may not be a 5-star but they offer clean rooms at extremely reasonable rates.

Due to my reason for coming, as well as the short time I spent there, I wasn’t able to see much of the city. I was able to visit Southern Fried Chicken for lunch however and I have to say they are far more modernized than their counterparts in Tema. I also visited a nearby mall and I have to say they keep security pretty tight there. On a side note, the cheapest place to buy a bottle of water seems to be Shoprite where a 750ml bottle of Eva goes for 65 naira. EVERYBODY drinks Eva in Nigeria. I have to say that my most memorable experience was riding a ‘Keke’, if I got the name wrong my apologies and please correct me, they are more common and far cheaper than taxis.

My return trip was rather uneventful, the only thing worth noting is that on the flight is that beside me there was only one other passenger on the flight. That certain made for an interesting trip.

Cosmos out

21 Jobs for People who Love to Travel

Are you a wanderlust at heart but cannot afford to travel the world? Are you dreaming of quitting that boring job and doing something exciting but cannot afford to not work? Well, what if I told you there are jobs you can do that can guarantee you a tour around the world and put some money in your bank account? So that means after a year or two of satiating your wanderlust heart, you will still have enough money to keep you going. Yes! There are jobs out there that can make you indulge in what you love while making some money. These jobs include;

1. International Aid Worker 

If you want to help make a difference and impact lives while satiating your wanderlust heart, then consider working with a humanitarian organisation. With this job, you can visit struggling countries and make an impact in through education, agriculture, social work, health services etc. 

2. English Teacher

The English language is a sought-after skill in the world and if you are fluent in this language, then work as an English teacher in a foreign land. You get to make an impact in the lives of others while exploring a new land, culture, cuisine etc.

PS: You should love teaching and have the skill. You will have to learn the language of the country you will be teaching at.

3. Tour Guide

How does this sound to you? Move to a new country. Study all about it. Then show travellers what you have learnt? Or become a tour guide in your own country. This means you get to explore each part of your motherland and share with others. Charity begins at home, remember? 

PS: You must be the outgoing, friendly and chatty type. You may have to learn a new language.

4. Flight Attendant

This job can be exhausting but also very rewarding. With the many sights and places, you will visit, you will even forget about the fact that you are never home, that it entails working crazy hours and lifestyle, and that passenger with the bad attitude. Also as a flight attendant, you will be offered discounts on flights for you and your family. Wouldn’t that be fun?

5. Retail Buyer

This job is for the fashionistas with a wanderlust heart. As a retail buyer, you will deal with retail purchasing, monitoring in-store inventory, identifying industry and consumer trends, attending vendor meeting, conferences and trade shows across the country and even the world depending on where the company sources its products. This job is not only in fashion/clothing stores though, most large retail companies also do same.

6. Sailor 

If you are into marine engineering and love traveling, then become a sailor. You will get the chance to visit so many places and make large sums of money. You will however be away from home at least 3 – 9 months a year. If you are fine with that, then why not?

7. Cruise line worker

This is not for those of us living in Ghana but for those of you with such opportunities in your country, why not work on a cruise ship? You get to meet new people, network, get free accommodation and food while visiting many different places.

8. Work for an international hotel chain

Traveling around the world begins from home and working with an international hotel means having the opportunity to visit its branches within the country. And the opportunity to be transferred to another country within the company. Though it may seem like a long process, it would be totally worth it.

9. Work for the Government

Getting a job in the government sector is not easy especially at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry. But if you are lucky enough to get a job over there, then you will be able to travel the world for business as positions in this ministry offers you wide travel opportunities. However, you will likely be posted to a place you may not want but we must make the best of every situation, right?

10. Travel Agent

This job requires you booking flights and holiday spots for other people while getting heavy discounts on your own travels. There are also times where you will have to visit a holiday spot first before you can send clients and the company pays for it. How cool is that? Then there are those amazing families who would like you so much they will invite you on their trips, for free.

11. Travel Writer / Blogger

There are so many tourist agencies and hotels who need people like you to tell the world about them. So, if you start off writing, sharing your experiences and great spots, you will become a reference point to many travellers and that is when you get paid. From the beginning, you will have to work for free and spend your savings on traveling but after a while with good marketing strategies and consistency, you will attract the right people who will pay you to travel, stay at their hotels or just promote their tourist sites – and you can’t promote something you haven’t seen, right???. 

12. Travel Photographer

If you are a great photographer, you can travel, take photos and sell them. This will require an initial investment but in time, you will be able to make the money you deserve and travel. There are also travel agencies who take photographers on their trips, why not apply to such companies?

13. Archaeologist

Do you love history? Are you curious about ancient sites and artifacts? Do you want to recover missing ancient culture and items? Why don’t you become an archaeologist? This job offers you trips around the world to research projects often in remote regions around the world. 

14. Athletic Recruiter

I doubt there is this job opportunity in Ghana but this job entails being employed by professional sports organizations and colleges to travel the world recruiting upcoming talents. You must know the games / sports inside out and specific skills an athlete will need for certain positions on the team. This would be easy for you if you are an avid sport fan.

15. Au Pair

If you love children, know a second language and would not mind living with a host family, then this job is for you. You will be like a nanny who stays with a family babysitting, assisting with schoolwork and housework while receiving a small salary, accommodation and food. You will however get the chance to explore a different culture and make an impact in the lives of the children.

16. Construction Manager

Construction Managers do not only make good money but also get to do lots of traveling. When employed for a job, a construction manager will relocate to the location for several months to oversee the project. If you do not have the qualifications for this job, you can still apply to a construction company as they usually need support staff to relocate with the construction manager.

17. Project Manager

If you are lucky enough to be the project manager for an international company or a local company affiliated to an international one, then that means you will be doing a lot of traveling. These traveling may not always be to the exotic places you may yearn for but will totally be worth it. For the local companies, just imagine exploring your own country? How cool is that?

18. Destination Wedding Photographer

You must be really good and talented at this and build a clientele with the couples you shoot, also their friends to help you gain more clients. Every wedding needs someone to capture the moment and with destination wedding being a “thing” now, you are in luck. Most destination weddings are to really cool exotic places and though you would be mostly shooting the ceremony, that does not mean you cannot explore the place.

19. Event Coordinator

Though this job often centres around local parties, wedding etc., you can work on some largescale events like festivals and trade shows where you get to travel to event location and also network.

20. Executive Assistant

This job can be annoying especially as you will usually be at the beck and call of your boss but it can be very rewarding if you work for a high corporate executive who travels around the world. This means all-expense paid trips and seeing new places.

21. Traveling Nurse

Traveling nurses are moved around the world to places where they are needed the most. Accommodation, travel expenses will be covered for. You will also earn a salary. This is however for nurses who will love to travel and work temporarily at different locations.

PS: For those of you with free time on your hand, you can volunteer with an NGO abroad and explore the country while giving back to society. Kailend – an NGO located in Lome, Togo is seeking volunteers for their new project and that is where I am going. I will be sharing with you reasons why you should volunteer abroad next Wednesday.

Be Bold for Change – IWD 2017

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein

International Women’s Year ( IWY ) was the name given to 1975 by the United Nations. Since that year March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day. This day celebrates the achievements of women around the world while promoting gender equality. This celebration comes with an accompanying theme and for the year 2017, the theme is “Be Bold For Change”. As today is IWD and I am a travelblogger, I will be sharing travel quotes by women and hope this will ginger more women to not only travel but also to pursue their dreams.

Here we go;

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” – Agnes Repplier

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”- Anais Nin

“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angelis

“I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.”- Daphne du Maurier

“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.” – Cheryl Strayed

“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart

“Surely, of all the wonders of the world, the horizon is the greatest.” – Freya Stark

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

“Traveling’s not something you’re good at. It’s something you do. Like breathing.”- Gayle Foreman

“Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.” – Hannah Arendt

“Adventure should be part of everyone’s life. It is the whole difference between being fully alive and just existing.” – Holly Morris

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

“Traveling solo does not always mean you’re alone. Most often, you meet marvelous people along the way and make connections that last a lifetime.” – Jacqueline Boone

“Travel is as much a passion as ambition or love.” – Letitia Elizabeth Landon

“Travel opens your mind as few other things do. It is its own form of hypnotism, and I am forever under its spell.” – Libba Bray

“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.”- Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

“It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into the world and to be brave, and to want, to need, to hunger for adventures. To embrace the chance and risk so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free.” – Mae Chevrette

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

“An adventure may be worn as a muddy spot or it may be worn as a proud insignia. It is the woman wearing it who makes it the one thing or the other.” – Norma Shearer

“To me, travel is more valuable than any stupid piece of bling money can buy.” – Raquel Cepeda

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

“When you’re traveling with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it.” – Shauna Niequist

“The more I travelled the more I realised that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends” – Shirley MacLaine

“You must go on adventures to find out where you belong.” – Sue Fitzmaurice

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf

I hope these quotes will get you off your oars to go see the world.

Happy Women’s Day to all women out there. You’re awesome! You keep our world in balance! Thank you!

11 Visa Free North American Countries for Ghanaian Citizens

When we say North America, people only think about Canada, USA and Mexico, many never see that this continent has more countries than these three. However for Ghanaian Citizens, here is the good news, you can visit the below countries visa free. It is not the USA, Canada or Mexico you so badly want to visit but for the record, these are in the same continent and hold unique stories.

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Barbados – this is home of the singer and songwriter Rihanna, this country is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Though it is known for its beautiful beaches, this country sure knows how to party. During the Crop Over Festival (July – August) which celebrates the ending of the local Sugar Cane Harvest, the Island’s culture is displayed in an exhibition of colour, calypso, cuisine, costumes, arts, competitions and ends with a spectacular Carnival/Kadooment parade. The island also provides activities like;

  • A family friendly Atlantis Submarines Adventure
  • Horse races at the historic Garrison Savannah
  • Meet, mingle and dance into the night to talented steel pan artists, the beautiful Carnival ladies and synergy of rhythm under the stars
  • Do a walking tour of Bridgetown
  • Visit the home of sporting heritage
  • Experience a “lime” (party) at Oistins Fish Fry which is held every Friday and Saturday
  • Visit the Queen’s Park and see the magnificent Baobab Tree
  • Soak up the Plantation history at the Sunbury Plantation House in the tranquil St. Philip countryside
  • Visit charming Arlington House at Speightstown and interact with the locals
  • Enjoy the surfer’s heaven at East Coast Waves
  • Water sports and more water sports

 

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Belize – when people think of visiting North America, Belize is not on top of their list that is if it even makes it to the list but why not give it a chance? This country in Central America has a unique mixture of Caribbean crystal clear blue waters, best diving and snorkeling on the second largest barrier reef in the world. This country was also home to a couple of different ancient Mayan cities and cultures. This means you will get the chance to see the Mayan ruins, caves and tropical jungles. Before I forget, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is an official language, due to British influence so you wouldn’t have to struggle with Spanish and try sign languages to make your request known. In Belize, you can also;

  • Tour downtown Belize City on a locally made minivan
  • Visit the Maya Ruins and Temples
  • Take a hike: biking through the rainforest
  • Visit Dangriga (Belize’s culture capital – birth place of the world-famous Punta Rock music genre) and Hopkins Village (marvellous beach and a way laid back village style atmosphere)
  • Visit the Jaguar Preserve (Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary) and the Belize Zoo.
  • Visit the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave at Caves Branch
  • Dive the Great Blue Hole of Belize
  • Learn about the Belizean history at Museum of Belize
  • Dive or snorkel with Whale Sharks
  • As Belize has over 200 islands, you can go island hopping and enjoy their fine gourmet restaurants, wines, clubbing and the finer things in life. The biggest island where you can find these are Ambergis Caye, Caye Caulker and the Placenia Peninsula in the south.
  • Learn how to make delicious Belizeans Tamales
  • Go on a Kayaking trip
  • Beaches, beaches and more beaches.

 

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Dominica – discover the nature island of the Caribbean with its unspoiled paradise for divers, hikers and naturalists. This country is the largest of the Windward and known for its dramatic volcanic landscapes with the highest mountains in the Eastern Caribbean, lush rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, gorges, rivers, steamy hot springs and a rugged coastline with rocky black-sand beaches which are good for snorkeling or diving. Dominica is a fusion of British, French and West Indian cultures – this means experiencing diverse food, art, languages and customs. As you have 6 months visa free in this country, you can start with;

  • the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which consists of mountainous interior, a rainforest park, thick jungle, boiling lake, Victoria Waterfall, Trafalgar Waterfall etc.
  • the Cabrits National Park with its lush rainforest, swampland, black-sand beaches and thriving coral reefs.
  • enjoy an amazing meal at the breath-taking view of Pagua Bar & Grill.
  • a tour of the lush peaks of Roseau – capital city of Dominica with its colourful jumble of West Indian cottages, modern buildings and busy market stalls with a cool Rastafarian vibe.
  • a silent and slow boat trip on the shady mangrove-lined river of the Indian River.
  • the Papillote Tropical Gardens; which is a haven for botanists, photographers and artists.
  • the beautiful Champagne reef which is a famous dive and snorkel site.
  • Visit the Carib Territory; the largest remaining tribe of Carib Indians called the Kalinago people.
  • enjoy Dominica’s festivals which celebrates the nation’s music, heritage and ties to the sea.

 

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Grenada – this country which is the jewel of the Caribbean consists of a hilly main island also called Grenada which is home to numerous nutmeg plantations and smaller surrounding islands. This country possesses a lot of activities that you can spend a year there without getting bored and with its official language being English, it is easier to communicate. While in Grenada you can visit some of their biggest cities which are interestingly names of Saints.

  • At St. George, you get to visit the Grenada National Museum; the St. George’s Market Square; Fort George; Christ of the Deep; The Priory; Underwater Sculpture Park; Fort Frederick; the Carenage; St. George’s Anglican Church; House of Chocolate; La Luna; go sailing and enjoy a carnival; Deep Sea Fishing; Prickly Bay Marina; Grande Anse Beach; Dragon Bay; Cycle Tour; golfing at Grenada Golf and Country Club.
  • At St. John, you can go for Fish Friday in Gouyave; Concord Falls; Mount Moritz; Saturday Morning Market; Black Bay Beach with Amerindian markings; Dougaldston Spice Estate; Mango Bay Restaurant.
  • At St. Andrew, you get to visit the Grand Etang National; Mount Qua Qua; Grenville Bay; Mahot Beach; Royal Mt. Carmel Waterfalls.
  • At St. Mark, visit Bay Cottage bar; Mount St. Catherine.
  • At St. David, visit La Sagesse Beach; Whisper Cove Marina; Hog Island; Morne Gazo Forest Reserve; Bacolet Bay; Petit Bacolet Beach; Laura’s Spice Garden;Ronda’s Ice Cream; St. David’s Point; Kayak Tour; Blowhole at Fort Jeudy; Le Phare Bleu.
  • At St. Patrick, visit Belmont Estate; River Antoine Rum Distillery; Levera Beach; Carib’s Leap; Levera National Park and Bathway Beach; Lake Antoine.

You can always drive around the island. Though you might get lost many times, getting wonderfully lost should be definitely on your list.

 

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Haiti – this is a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispanoila with the Dominican Republic to its east. Though the country is recovering from the 2010 earthquake, many of Haiti’s landmarks remain intact. These include Citadelle la Ferriere, a mountaintop fortress and the nearby ruins of Sans-Souci Palace, the baroque former royal home of King Henry I. Since you get 3 months visa free as a Ghanaian citizen, you can also see these tourist sights – Labadee, Musee du Pantheon National Haitien, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Etang Saumatre, National Museum of Haiti, Bassin Bleu, Auberge du Picolet, Grande Riviere de Jacmel, Beach La Co New York, Valou Beach, Saut-Mathurine, Chuttes de Saut d’Eau, Pic la Delle, Fort Jacques, Rival Beach, La Guinguette, Pic Macaya, Source-a-bete, Parc de Basketball de Tennis, Anse Blanche etc.

 

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Jamaica – we all know that Jamaica is the ideal vacation spot at the Caribbean. This country has beautiful music and culture that every wanderlust wants to have a feel of. Also, its lush vision of crumpled verdant mountains dropping to slick blue seas is a naturalist and water lover’s paradise. However in order to enjoy this island to the fullest, you will have to know where to go. Here is a list of things to do in Jamaica.

  • Indulge at Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon, a Rock Resort
  • Go high at Lime tree Farm
  • Swim at Frenchman’s Cove
  • Feast on river crayfish at Soldier Camp Bar and Grill
  • Get your glow on at Glistening Waters
  • Listen to the Jolly Boys perform mento music
  • Soak in a hot tub high over Port Antonio at Geejam
  • Snorkel the cliffs along the Rockhouse
  • Have a lobster feast at Booby Cay Island
  • Taste farm-to-fork eats near Negril

Other things you can do in Jamaica is to go sightseeing / touring at Bob Marley Museum; Dolphin Cove Jamaica; James Bond Beach; National Gallery of Jamaica; White Witch of Rose Hall; Rio Grande; Doctor’s Cave Beach Club; Green Grotto Caves; Hellshire Beach; Bob Marley Mausoleum; Navy Island; Rose Hall, Montego Bay; Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain; Couples Tower Isle; Kool Runnings Waterpark; The Turtle River Falls and Gardens; Martha Brae Rafting Village; Aqua Sol Theme Park etc.

 

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Montserrat – this is a mountainous Caribbean island, part of the Lesser Antilles chain and a British Overseas Territory. Its Soufriere Hills volcano erupted in the 1990’s causing significant damage to the south of the island and leading the creation of an exclusion zone. The north of the island is largely unaffected and has black-sand beaches, coral reefs, cliffs and shoreline caves. This country was known as the Emerald isle of the Caribbean until the disaster which almost had the country being closed down but the support from the British government and investments by some private entities has helped sustain the island. The population is now healthy and the new Capital in Little Bay is in Development. Montserrat is popular for its interest in ecotourism, volcano tourism, hiking, bird watching, scuba diving and snorkeling. The island also has a strong appeal for those who want to experience the Caribbean the way it used to be.

 

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Saint Kitts and Nevis – from climbing a volcano to zooming through the rainforest canopy on the Caribbean’s largest zipline, St. Kitts offers something for everyone. It has an irresistible collection of tourist attractions and it is very easy to indulge in the activities the island provides. Here are a few to keep you interested.

  • Visit the fortress on Brimstone Hill
  • Climb a volcano
  • Hike to the top of Mount Liamuiga
  • See the seascapes and enjoy the classic Caribbean beaches
  • Shell out to watch turtles
  • Find pure luxury on Oualie Beach
  • Dine at the Bananas Restaurant which has a torchlit walkway leading to the enchanting hideaway.
  • Gasp at the Black Rocks; which is a visible remnants of the historic eruptions that once spewed from the huge crater atop Mount Liamuiga
  • Ride the sugar train
  • Just relax, swim and tour the island

 

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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – why don’t you take a month of your busy schedule to enjoy this beautiful Caribbean island? On this island, you will find Fort Duvernette perched atop a large volcanic rock offshore from Villa, this eerie fort was constructed to defend the town of Calliaqua and affords a fantastic 360 degree views of the southern shoreline. Also there is the Saltwhistle Bay – a double crescent of beautiful beaches split by a narrow palm-tree-fringes isthmus. Then the Princess Margaret Beach which is simply divine – a lovely stretch of sand backed by a lush vegetation. Eat, drink and socialize at the famous Basil’s with its delightful open-air thatch and bamboo restaurant that extends out into Britannia Bay. Tucked away at the end of a rough road at the top of the valley above Mesopotamia is the Montreal Gardens. There are more places like the Sugar Reef Café, Fig tree, L’Auberge des Grenadines, Fort Charlotte, Chatham Bay, Bequia, La Soufriere, Canouan, Tobago Cays, Old Hegg Turtle Sancturay, Macaroni Beach, RAWACOU etc.

 

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Trinidad and Tobago – these two gorgeous islands are full of vigour and vibrancy. Whether you are looking to reenergize yourself with a good party or get in touch with the pulse of the natural world around you, Trinidad and Tobago offer something that’s sure to jolt your system.

  • Enjoy Lime Fete in Trinidad which is a pre-carnival concert which hosts Caribbean’s biggest names in club music as well as unlimited food, drinks and entertainment then a carnival.
  • Enjoy Hindu Festivals celebrated all year round
  • Enjoy the world-famous Calypso and soca at Trinidad
  • Join the island party boat ride
  • Spend the day out on the water in Tobago
  • Sup at Pigeon Point Tobago
  • Tour the Cocoa Estate in Tobago
  • Visit Argyle Waterfalls in Tobago for a swim
  • Visit the Nylon Pool set in Tobago’s Buccoo Reef: an utterly clear, calm water, sandy and shallow stretch in the middle of the coral is like a natural swimming pool half a mile out at sea.
  • Taste Doubles – a local culinary specialty and common street food of curried chick peas between pieces of fried flat bread known as “bara”.
  • Visit Caroni Bird Sanctuary and Wetlands Tour
  • Witness Sea Turtle Hatchlings
  • Visit the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port of Spain
  • See Robinson Crusoe’s shipwreck at Tobago’s island called Crusoe’s Island

There is just so much to do at Trinidad and Tobago.

 

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Turks and Caicos Islands – no matter what your vacation idea is, this country has something for you. The diversity of available activities makes this country a great destination for large groups who can split up during the day for activities and comes together at night to enjoy recounting their adventures. This country is a great destination for children and families. From the historical ruins to exquisite areas of natural beauty, your 30 visa free days in Turks and Caicos would be needed to explore all the beautiful sights this country has to offer. You can go diving at the world’s best scuba diving spots; snorkeling tours; stand up paddle boarding or kayaking through the Mangroves; visit Chalk Sound National Park; hit the waves; get wonderfully lost; kiteboarding lessons; conch cruise; tour the only conch farm in the world; hang out with iguanas at Little Water Cay (Iguana Island); sunbathing on Grace Bay’s White Sand Beach; Horseback Riding in the water; enjoy island fish fry; conch bar caves or middle Caicos Caves; deep sea fishing; visit Parrot Cay; visit the Turks and Caicos National Museum; watersports and more watersports.

3 Visa Free Australia and Oceania Countries for Ghanaian Citizens

From my previous post on visa free travel opportunities for Ghanaian citizens, here are the countries in Australia and Oceania where Ghanaians can visit visa free.

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Fiji – Fiji is the ideal place for any type of vacation especially family as Fijians see children as pure joy and not an obligation or infringement. The minute the Fijians realise you are a family, you are given a preferential treatment right from the get-go. It may sound bias but well, it is their country and their beliefs. So back to what you can do in Fiji. Depending on the purpose of your visit, you can either choose to just chill-out in your resort or go out on a cruise to explore the beautiful island. You can start with a charter boat where you can pay for a full day or multi day trip to discover the real Fiji which is made up of 300 islands and a water so warm and inviting you can laze around in it for hours. You can explore the remote villages and islands where you get to experience first-hand the rich culture of the Fijians. You can try the following activities;

  • Go diving on Beqa Island where you will see the soft coral of Fiji made up of ghost pipefish, seahorses, blue ribbon eels, pelagics and many more. Other than the underwater sightseeing, you can also visit the Sawau tribe where you can witness a fire-walking ceremony – warriors treading over burning embers from an earth oven.
  • Hike the Falls of Taveuni which is located at Taveuni Island (Fiji’s Garden of Eden). This place hosts rare orchids, prehistoric tree ferns, tumbling waterfall and natural water slides. Also there is the Tavoro waterfalls, a 60 foot horsetail of white water that cascades into an emerald pool.
  • Take a trip to forested foothills of Sabeto Range where late actor Raymond Burr (of Perry Mason fame) created the Garden of the Sleeping Giant; a botanical sanctuary of vanilla scented orchids and zen-like lily ponds. You can also stay in one of their Fijian-style bungalow called bures which is made up of glass walls and tent-like roofs. The feeling there is blissfully remote but only 15 minutes away from downtown Nadi (a city in Fiji’s mainland).
  • Sample the culture in Nadi: go on an open-air souvenir market then explore the country’s indian legacy at Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple. Finish up your tour with an Indo-Fijian feast of fresh fish curry spiced roti at Curry House.
  • Take a helicopter tour from Nadi International Airport and flyover Mamancua Islands.
  • Go for a night or two stay at Likuliku Lagoon Resort, home to Fiji’s only overwater huts. Take a bath, brush your teeth or read a book over water.
  • Discover world’s unique pearls in the pristine waters of Savusavu Bay.
  • Drink kava on the island of Vanua Levu: this island is Fiji’s second largest and has a more rural atmosphere with beautiful beaches and resorts. It is also a great place to see traditional village life. With a tour of Nukubaluvu Village, you will take part in a gift-giving ceremony, followed by kava drinking then a wild traditional dance.
  • You can also go fishing; get lost on Matangi Island; indulge in all watersports; hunt Lairo crab on Qamea; couple up on Turtle Island etc.

There is just so much you can do at Fiji and having a 4-month visa free permit is just what you will need.

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Micronesia – this country is now one of the most favoured paces to visit in Australia and Oceania. Travellers from all over the world come here for the beautiful beaches, remarkable dive sites and the island cultures. Each of the country’s four states has its own unique identity and the small islands also offers some amazing natural wonders in the world like tropical rainforests, mountains, Turk Lagoon’s dive spots and stunning water cascades on the largest island of Pohnpei. In Micronesia, you can go for scuba diving; explore wrecks in the Turk Lagoon; shark diving for the adrenaline seekers; reef diving; eco adventures in Kosrae; off-road excursions and canoeing; mountain biking, hiking and cycling; water-based activities like fishing, kayaking and kite surfing; island hopping and exploring old villages; bathing beneath Pohnpei’s magnificent waterfalls; see mythical creatures at Pwudoi Sanctuary; settle down in your own shoreline paradise at the tree-hemmed shores around Kosrae; stay the night at Black Coral Island which is untouched by the modern hand; strike out with a baseball game; tour the states’ historical sites; visit the remains of Micronesia’s colonial past; visit the Venice of Micronesia called Nan Madol etc.

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Vanuatu – it could be because these country is also in Oceania as the activities undertaken in Micronesia are similar to those of Vanuatu. This country is scattered with 90 plus island archipelago where you can hike up a crater to stare down into a magma-filled active volcano then ashboard backdown; snorkel in a blue hole and drink kava with the local village chief in one day. Though the country was slammed by Cyclone Pam in 2015, they people of Vanuatu are still laidback and take life in smiling strides. In Vanuatu you can;

  • Drive a dune buggy on an off-road tour where you get to follow a leader in a convoy as you power along a black sand beach through forest tracks by way of some local villages.
  • Gasp at Naghol – a land dive ceremony which involves men diving from 100m high towers with only vines tied around their ankles. The Naghol is the celebration of the yam festival and is a fertility rite for men.
  • Seek out Hideaway Island Marine Sanctuary where they provide excellent offshore snorkelling, a fine restaurant and the underwater post office as well as their snorkel safari and scuba dives.
  • Wreck diving at Espiritu Santo Island. Snorkelling is the best for Vanuatu’s scenic islands.
  • Spot dolphins from your sailboat: set sail in search of dolphins aboard the Coongoola which also takes passengers to the turtle sanctuary on Tranquility Island (Moso) for a beach barbecue and snorkelling.
  • Haul a catch with deep-sea fishing in the South Pacific for tuna, swordfish, marlin and wahoo. For smaller catches reef fishing, boats depart from Port Villa Harbour.
  • Try the national dish at the Mama’s Market; understand local traditions at Ekasup Cultural Village; unearth history at the Secret Garden; view Vanuatu from a helicopter above etc.

It takes a little time, effort and a healthy sense of adventure to explore Vanuatu’s islands but it is definitely worth every bit of it. and since you have 30 visa free days, you can take your sweet sweet time exploring every inch of Vanuatu.

So here are the 3 visa free countries in Australia and Oceania. Next Wednesday, I will be sharing with you visa free countries in North America.