One downside of living in Accra is the lack of open space: few parks or gardens for pottering, and the seafront is either built up or used as a rubbish dump. In contrast, one of the best things about the city is that a short drive from the centre, you can be on a tropical beach.
Labadi is the most popular city beach but this is essentially a sandy nightclub, more geared to drinking and dancing than a lazy day. A much better option is Bojo Beach on the western edge of Accra.
This thin strip of sand sits across an estuary and boats ferry visitors across the water. It looks shallow enough for wading across, but the people who live nearby use boats; it’s always good to follow the local example.
There is a 6 cedi entrance fee to this private beach but it’s a fair price to pay if they manage to keep it unspoilt. The beach was near-deserted, remarkable even for a Sunday morning when most people are at church: a city of 3 million people, and less than 30 of them were at the beach.
Small wooden shelters were dotted along the sand and a waiter quickly found us “the best one”, carried our bags across, then came back to take our drinks order. Good service by Ghanaian standards.
And so began a typical beach day: order beer; drink beer; order food; explain that ‘veggie’ means no fish, not even in the sauce; read book; head for a swim; realise after two minutes that Ghana’s sea is a fickle beast that will quickly toss you about like an unloved toy; rush out; restart cycle with the next bottle of beer.
As the sun set, we piled back on to the passenger boat across to where our taxi driver was waiting. The boat was busier than when we had arrived, the beach filling up during the day, but it had not lost its peaceful charm. In a country with an increasingly well-marked tourist trail, Bojo still counts as a hidden gem.