Senya Beraku - Ghanaian Coast Romantic
Even if the chapter in this book is quite late, the place Senya Beraku was actually the first of many of these coastal towns that I visited on my trips to Ghana. On our first tour from Accra to Cape Coast we made a stopover here, which I can only recommend to everyone.
Like many of Ghana's coastal towns, Senya Beraku is home to an old fort, which in this case was built in 1702 by the Dutch and christened "Goede Hoop", in English "Good Hope". The special thing about this fort, which is wonderfully preserved, is that it is now used as a guest house. We made use of it and I have to say it was one of the best accommodations I have ever had. The view from the fort to the small town with its almost clichéd fishing and coastal romance is wonderful and while we waited for our breakfast in the morning we could observe the lively activity on the beach around the returning fishing boats. Here we actually took a lot of time during our stay and took the opportunity to come down and relax after weeks in the big city. Situated a little off the main road between Cape and Accra, There is hardly any transit traffic in Senya Beraku and the people here also seemed relaxed and some interesting conversations developed.
For all the beauty and relaxation that this place and the fort, which today seems almost romantic, one should not forget the atrocities that people were attracted to in the course of the slave trade, which also ran through the fort of good hope. This is how the dark side of European-African history can be seen here, too.
The small town of Apam with its just over 15,000 inhabitants is located quite exactly in the middle between the two big cities Cape and Accra. Here, too, there is a fort built by the Dutch called Patience (or in the Dutch name Leydsamheit), which, however, is not of the greatest importance due to its rather small size and comparatively poor conservation status. It is now used as an overnight accommodation, but is more suitable for the hard-boiled travellers in this function. At least in the opinion of the beds we preferred a small cozy guesthouse nearby.
Just as we get lost due to the relative proximity to the big cities, some tourists get lost time and again in the tranquil place, which is located a little off the big coastal road, which generates small revenues. Salt cultivation has also acquired a certain importance in the surrounding area, but in Apam one industry still outperforms all the others by length and that is, of course, fishing. Countless of the colourfully painted boats are located here on the long coastal strip of the village and the beach is accordingly lively. Since it is now quite obvious here, our plan after arriving at the guesthouse was a beach walk to explore the surroundings and in the absence of suitable footwear I wanted to take this barefoot. However, the pension mother insisted that I resort to borrowed flip-flops and arrived at the "port" it became clear pretty quickly why. In addition to some garbage, which of course offers dangers for the feet, all fishing boats are moored at the palm trees of the beach and accordingly one encounters a sea of ropes that hold the boats on the water. In order to avoid nasty surprises, it is highly advisable not to take a big step over the ropes, but always to step on them with one foot – barefoot a rather unpleasant undertaking.
After leaving the harbour area behind, the majority of the group settled on the beach to relax. However, I was drawn further into the suddenly deserted area, which revealed a beautiful coastal landscape with its flora and fauna as well as exciting small rock formations. Here on this trip there was for me one of the rare occasions simply to take the environment in complete peace and to switch off something. So long that I actually only arrived at the pension after dark and what was I happy about not having rejected the offered flip-flops.