It was an exceptionally amazing experience to head to Tamale Market place, and I would highly recommend it to those who have only been to the South. The journey up from Accra or Cape Coast can be long, but I would recommend getting the Metro bus as locals told us it was safer as a traveller to be amongst other locals where non-AC conditions would...more
East from the National Cultural Centre, and west from the Police Headquarters, you will find a huge open space in Tamale. This open space is called the Police Park. Around it you will see a lot of buildings that are the accommodations of the police officers, and the park is completely surrounded by walls with only a few entrances.The Police Park is...more
Another must-see in Tamale is the central market, in the heart of town. In the streets around it you will see the bigger things being sold, from bicycles to furniture, and from fridges to coffins. Inside the market you don't see anything like that. There it is all about food. Smelly dried fish, big bags of rice, pigheads, cowlegs, but also fresh...more
At lunchtimes, we used to stop at a bar/café/restaurant where they had adequate facilities. We were unable to find somewhere like that in Tamale, but Noah managed to arrange for us to use the toilets in the Technical College across the road from the restaurant. I don’t know whether the restaurant didn’t actually have toilets, or whether Noah didn’t...more
Titi's Inn is a very new restaurant in Tamale, and is unique in town. The owner is a Lebanese (he named the place after his daughter) and he wanted to promote the Lebanese cuisine in Ghana. The result is a great menu with shawarma, khebab and falafel, some typically Middle Eastern dishes. A very nice way to try something different for once.Also...more
In the little canteen at the terrain of the STC Station in Tamale, you can get very good, and very cheap Ghanaian meals. From fufu and banku to more well-known dishes like jollof or plain rice. The environment is not very inspiring and rather noisy, and the service is not suburb either, but the food is very good in both quality and quantity, and it...more
The Relax Lodge mainly is a luxurious place to sleep, compared to the average level in Tamale at least. But it's also a very nice place to eat if you don't stay there. The Relax Lodge it situated about 1,5 kilometres east from the centre of town, following Dagomba Road. From there you can follow the clearly visible signs at the roadside.The menu is...more
Giddipass Bar & Restaurant is also named Crest Restaurant and it is located in the heart of town. To enter the bar, you should enter the little square behind the building, by entering the little road right from the Crest Restaurant. There you will easily find the stairs to the terrace on the first floor where the bar is.The terrace of Giddipass is...more
Sparkles Restaurant is the favourite hang-out of a lot of volunteers working in Tamale, mostly Dutchmen, Belgians and Germans. It is situated in the building of the National Cultural Centre, and borders the "Police Park" football-field, next to the Police Headquarters.You can have good dinners at Sparkles, but the place is much more popular during...more
Another way of transportation by bus is Metro Mass. This is a bus company with less luxurious busses then the STC, with cheaper rates and with routes that, unlike STC, also cross bad, bumpy roads. The Metro-Mass busses in Tamale depart from the Tro-Tro-station, but in other places they sometimes have their own station. All the busses are easy to...more
The most important way of transportation in Ghana is the Tro-Tro. A Tro-Tro is every vehicle that is bigger then a normal car and smaller then a bus. It can be anything: vans, pick-ups, small busses...Every trip in a Tro-Tro is an adventure. The vehicles always are at least 20 years old, they are extremely uncomfortable, and very, very packed. An a...more
Because shared taxi's only have fixed routes, you might need a drop-taxi once in a while. A drop taxi will bring you from anywhere to everywhere. You can ask any taxi out on the streets to be your "drop-taxi" because the driver can ask much more money for a drop. Everybody is willing to do that.But: a drop taxi does not have fixed prices like a...more
If you are staying in Tamale for a longer period -and a lot of foreigners that come to the city do- it is very advisible to buy yourself a bicycle. Bikes are the main way of transportation in Tamale, because cars are too expensive and the streets in the centre are too narrow and busy to drive one anyway.
It is possible to rent a bike for a period of a week or a month, but especially when you stay for a longer period buying one will be much cheaper. A normal price for a bike -don't pay more then that!- is 500.000 cedi's, about $50,-. And once you leave you can sell it again for about 300.000 cedi's.
Bikes normally have a basket on the front: easy to take anything you need, and a light at the front.
There are several places where you can buy the bikes. If you see ten bikes in a row anywhere in the marketarea, you can be sure that this is a bicycleshop. Just walk in and ask if you can try a couple of bikes.
Almost everywhere in Ghana you have to be very careful with taking pictures of the local people. Tamale is one of the places where it is not appreciated at all when you take a spontaneous picture of somebody.
Taking pictures (or "snapping", like all Ghanaians call it) of children normally is no problem at all. They normally love it to be in front of the camera, especially when you can show them the picture with a digital camera. If you want to "snap" an adult though, you should at least ask it before you do so, and even then you should be prepared on receiving a "no" as an answer. Sometimes they ask you "why" so they give you a chance to explain that you just want to show the people back home what you have experienced in Ghana, and how beautiful the country is. And sometimes they ask you money for a picture. In both cases you are lucky, because just as often it happens that you simply won't allow you. If you do "snap" them, you take the risk of being attacked, or at least your camera being attacked.
Where does this fear for a picture comes from? There are two explanations for that. the first is that a lot of Ghanaians think that "white people" will use those pictures back home to show how poor and unmannered the Africans are. When they look at magazines and TV-programs about Africa, they often so only negative publicity. The result is a feeling of shame, and a fear of a picture.
The second reason has more to do with the religious background of a lot of Ghanaians. In a lot of regions in the country the people still believe in "voodoo" and a picture can be something to practise voodoo on. Most of the times that is not the reason why they don't want a white person to "snap" them, because they know that white people don't do voodoo. But towards other Ghanaians that can be an important reason to say "no" to a picture.
Just as we were finished our lunch, there was a bit of commotion outside the walls of the restaurant, with a crowd gathering and throwing stoned at the ground just by the wall. Being curious creatures, we went to investigate, and found that it was a snake! The locals had managed to kill it (although it was still wriggling) by the time we got there (thankfully) and we never did find out whether it was poisonous or not (again thankfully). A bit of excitement for the day though.
If you are in Ghana, or basically anywhere in West-Africa, you should at least once go to a church on a Sunday to see the service, or better: the celebration. When I was in Tamale I visited the church with the great name "Maranatha Charismatic Centre", in the east of the city.The visit started around 10:00 with an hour of bible study. I never go to...more
In Ghana they have a very different system of local government. They don't know a system with mayors or anything. Instead they have local Chiefs. A chief is someone who is chosen as a leader of a particular community, mostly coming from one family for generations in a row. The national government has to communicate with this Chief when they want to...more
If you want to have some relaxation during the weekends and a nice way to get some refreshment, a very nice place to go to is the swimming pool at the VRA Clubhouse.The VRA stands for Volta River Authority, the electricity company of Ghana. Their terrain in Tamale has some nice bungalows for the personnel and a nice clubhouse and the swimming pool....more
At the southside of the Tamale citycentre, a Chinese company is currently building a great new football (soccer) stadium. This Tamale Stadium is to be opened in 2008, when it will be used for the 26th African Nations Cup, that will be held in Ghana. The stadium will become the homebase of the local footballclub Real Tamale United, or RTU. It will...more
The Haj Adams' Clinic is a small hospital in the west of the city centre. It is meant for the poorest people of the city, who cannot afford to go to a "real" hospital. The prices in this clinic are very low: the only thing the patients have to pay are the materials.The current clinic is based in a group of clay huts, and the facilities are very,...more
Very close to "my" computerschool was this primary school. A lot of the children I have been teaching were attenting this school. The original building of "Zion's" was heavily damaged during a storm in 2005, when the roof was blown of. Ever since the children are being taught under an improvised roof of currugated iron and wooden poles. The...more
During my stay in Tamale I worked at a small computerschool called Buzz Computer Center. This center was started by an American volunteer that stayed in Tamale until August 2006. The school teaches basic computerskills to Primary School children, from 4 schools in the direct surroundings of the center. Children from 9 years old to the age of about...more