Accra Weizo: Let’s Go Cruising!

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By Justina Okpanku

 

Remember the cruise on the fascinating Volta Dam in Ghana christened ‘Dodi Princess?’ It is the only cruise ship in Ghana that traverses Lake Volta. It was a hit as tourists and honeymooners absorbed the name that predates the famous relationship between the peoples’ princess, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. The cruise organised by the gorgeous Royal Senchi  Hotel and one of the hotels overlooking Volta Lake used tobe fun.

The Royal Senchi, Akosombo.

Reports say the ship was built at the Tema Shipyard in 1977 and originally intended to haul cargo and was later converted into a passenger ship in 1991. Just like the type of ships you find on Thames, Dodi Princess boasts a cocktail, an area for barbecuing and even a sick bay. Tourists relax in the three decks with the lower one air conditioned, and are able to have photo-worthy views from the shores of Lake Volta.  In the course of the 5 km cruise with live music in the background, you get your popular stop, Dodi Island and the enjoyment  begins.

Not-too-long ago, Dodi Princess’ cruise was popular among tourists from Nigeria, thanks to tour companies like Tropical Paradise Tours and Cruises. JUSTOURS learnt that Dodi Princess is no longer available. However, a hotel in Akosombo is said to be finalizing its plan to bring back the dream cruise package.

Participants of the just-concluded Accra Weizo 2018 learnt it will be as hot akara (bean cake). We had looked with nostalgia since the famous Akosombo was listed as part of our itinerary.

Some of representatives of the over 50 buyer companies that participated at the 4thAccra Weizo were from Nigeria and have shown their preparedness to begin to explore the world in their backyard.

Interestingly, this is the first time tour operators, the travel journalists and the entire trade have been attracted to Ghana with broad range of destinations to offer. There was a lineup of sessions to help the operator become strategic, focused and profitable.

We need to enjoy Ghana, the beautiful enclave. Indeed, we enjoyed. No doubt, some of us were reluctant to let go as we explored the luxurious side of Akosombo, a small town in the southeastern Ghana. It is the same feeling you get from Ho as you traversed the length and breadth of the eastern region. This is a place where you want to put back the clock to suit your ever increasing leisure activity in the surrounding areas. It is teeming with wildlife.

We also enjoyed a 5-Star lunch (local and Continental) at The Royal Senchi, an award-winning hotel, overlooking the Volta Dam.  After the supposed business of the day we rose to go but not with hurried steps. It’s not possible, nobody seems to be in a hurry. Most of us were lounging around the restaurant and other public areas to enjoy the offerings of the therapeutic natural environment. It is deeply rooted in nature.

The Royal Senchi Hotel, situated on the bend in the river, offers opulent buffet, spa among other amenities. We were pampered. Earlier we had visited Volta Dam also known as the Akosombo Dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Volta River, it is easily the largest man-made lake by surface area in the world.  Once at the hydroelectric dam, we were greeted by a staff of the Volta Dam who took time to give some of us from Nigeria lessons on conservation.

It is said to be generating 105 megawatts and doing very well. The beauty of it is that the authorities (workforce is said comprise of Ghanaians only) said they conserve the water coming from three sources, including river Senegal for Ghana and for mankind. Tours are usually organised to experience first-hand the mighty installation. Some of us were comparing notes between Ghana and Nigeria and the inability of the latter to have 24/7 electricity. We needed to explore the lake. You were told that we will be retiring to our hotel to rest.

Soon, there was a relief.  Announcement came that the hotel has made available three boats for the team to take a look at the lake. “Oya, let’s go cruising,” we hailed as the roar from the dam rent the air. We need to feel the roar.

We set sailed. The cruise, suffused with music and dance, was classy. After a while we were served refreshment by the staff of the Royal Senchi, our host.  We sipped on delicious drinks as we took in spectacular views from our boat. It is amazing to spend a day on the peaceful lake.  It is rewarding and relaxing.

Not a few said the Akosombo trip made their day. Indeed, it’s a memorable experience for me. Its two hours from Accra, Ghana’s capital. It is gathered that the best time to visit Akosombo Dam is during the rainy season when the water levels are high. Remember, it can be scorching hot, so take your sunglasses.

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