Guide to Travelers from Ghana to Nigeria by Road
If you’ve been travelling from Ghana to Nigeria or from Nigeria to Ghana by air, you’ve missed a lot. It is true that it’s faster by air but it’s merrier by road for individuals and groups travelling for excursion. Ghana is a West African country that is bordered in the east by Togo, west by Cote D’Ivoire, north by Burkina Faso and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Nigeria is another West African country bordered in the east by Cameroon, north east by Chad, north by Niger, west by Benin Republic and south by the Atlantic Ocean. Both countries were British Colonies and so speak English as their national Language. If you are travelling from Ghana to Nigeria by road, it means you are going through two French speaking countries (Togo and Benin Republic) before entering Nigeria. The whole journey will take about nine hours considering the documentations at the different border posts along the road.
Transportation:There are different kinds of vehicles applying the rout. There are the conventional cars used for transportation in West African countries; most of them apply from Accra straight to Lagos in Nigeria, while some apply Accra to Lome or Accra to Cotonou both are cities in Togo and Benin Republic respectively. Their charges from Accra to Lagos fall between five and six thousand Naira or fifty and sixty Ghana Cedis which is equivalent to about forty US Dollars.There are also the popular executive air conditioned buses that apply from Accra to Lagos and Lagos to Accra. These are very comfortable buses that could compete with its counterparts anywhere in the world with qualified and experienced international Drivers. The charges for these buses fall between six and eight thousand Naira or sixty and eighty Ghana Cedis which is equivalent to between fifty and sixty US Dollars.
Documentation: You must travel with your travelling documents. If you are from an ECOWAS country, you must possess either your country’s International passport or your ECOWAS travelling document; and if you are a non ECOWAS member, get your travelling documents ready at each border post. If you are travelling with the executive buses, the transportation company will do all you border documentations until you get to Lagos but incase you want to do it yourself, you can. The French borders are friendly as long as you can follow their instructions and maybe some tips to the officers mounted at their borders, but if you can speak French, that’ll be a plus. If you are travelling the route for the first time, keep some money (about six thousand Naira or sixty Ghana Cedis which is equivalent to forty US Dollars) aside for border expenses because you will have to pay some money to the Immigrations of the four Countries on the route including Ghana and Nigeria. This payment is made once, while subsequent travels will be free.
Attractions:The four countries on the route: Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Nigeria are all along the Atlantic coast and the road through these countries ran almost parallel with the coast. The numerous serene beaches with its beautiful sights by the side of the road are breath taking. There are exquisite and beautiful hotels and resorts along the Atlantic coast that if you are travelling on a private car, you could decide to pass a night in one of those inviting hotels. At the border between Togo and Benin Republic is a town called Hillacounji where different kinds of African kebab are displayed; gizzard, chicken, beef and pork kebabs etc with fried yam and potatoes are displayed along the border town. Different kinds of fruits and African foods are also sold there. Finally, the cool breeze from the coast will always make you feel like stopping to have a picnic.
In conclusion, travelling by road will give you the opportunity to get the feel of both the English speaking West African culture and their French counterpart. You will be opportune to shop for all kinds of African arts, dresses and see the people living in these countries. A trial will convince you.
The flag of Ghana is drawn by me
Godwill A. Paul is a Clergy and Authour based in Lagos.