Having lived in Ghana for seven months now, I am slowly but surely exploring more and more of this proud and welcoming West African country which lies between Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo. I have already visited the coast and the countryside, but until recently hadn’t really begun exploring the area in and around the capital city of Accra where I live and work. So with summer season upon us, I thought it was high time to get out and take a little look around!

Living in Accra can be exhausting at times, due in part to the crazy traffic but also the constant heat and humidity, which is why I was delighted to hear rumours of a little oasis of calm called Aburi, where apparently those in the know head to escape from the chaos of city living. Aburi is just a 45 minute drive from Accra and sits on top of a hill, making it a little cooler than down-town Accra. The main attractions in this small town are the craft village and the Botanical Garden. The garden covers 64 hectares and was opened in 1891 by the British. What is it with the Brits always opening Botanical Gardens everywhere by the way? 🙂 Anyway, that aside the gardens provide a very pleasant opportunity to walk around tropical gardens with very few other visitors around, making for a very peaceful and relaxing experience.

flower botanical garden aburi

termites botanical garden aburi

A termites’ nest

The gardens lack a little love and attention in places, but that said there are some very grand and impressive palm-lined paths which you can stroll down, as well as the opportunity to see a beautiful giant Kapok-tree and the wonderfully named “Sky Gods Tree”, the literal translation of the name in the local language Twi.

botanical garden aburi sign

One of the areas that could do with a little love

botanical garden aburi

life in ghana botanical garden

A local artist chiselled this beautiful carving into one of the tree trunks as a tribute to all of the slaves who died during the slave trade

tree sign botanical garden aburi

There is also an old, somewhat random, helicopter in the middle of the gardens which is quite unexpected but being a fan of surprises, I quite liked the novelty value. The helicopter was apparently left behind by the British and is now used as a playground for local children, and Chris.

helicoper botanical garden aburi

life in ghana helicopter

chris on helicopter botanical garden aburi

Chris having fun on the playground

If you are expecting a perfectly-manicured Botanical Garden with lots of beautifully displayed flowers from around the world, then Aburi is perhaps not the place for you. If, however, you are looking for some peace and quiet as well as a pleasantly cooler climate, the Botanical Garden in Aburi makes for a very pleasant day trip from Accra and so is definitely somewhere I’d recommend.

Useful tips:

  • Getting there: We drove by car which took 45 minutes. You can also take local minivans called tro tro’s for very little money, but a taxi is probably faster and more comfortable.
  • Entrance fees: 15 Cedis

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

33 Thoughts on “Getting away from Accra’s hustle and bustle in Aburi

  1. What a nice post! I can easily imagine the heat of Africa and how hard it is to live there. Especially when somebody is not used to it, like me. I’m from the north and I find it very difficult to deal with the heat. This oasis you’ve described must be a paradise in this African heat!
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    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:30 am said:

      I have been living in many tropical countries, but my body still doesn’t like the heat. Sometimes I have to take ice water bottles to bed with me at night to stay cool. 🙂

  2. This has to be one of the most unique botanical gardens I’ve ever heard of – and I love it! It’s quirky, it’s different and it’s most certainly unique – I’m always fascinated by the amazing talent of artists who can carve such intricate detail into wood; love the tree carvings – such a stunning tribute.

    And which kid hasn’t wanted to play around in their own helicopter! Why not right!
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  3. The Botanical Garden in Aburi looks wonderful. I like that it’s not perfectly manicured. It gives the garden a more natural and relaxed feel. The tree carving is impressive! It’s such a beautiful tribute to those that lost their lives.
    Dana recently posted…LEGOLAND Deutschland Resort in Germany {Tips & Adventures for LEGO Fun}My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:36 am said:

      I think you are right. We were able to walk around everywhere, even on the lawn and the local children loved having a green space to play in too.

  4. I spent a very brief time in Ghana and all I can remember is the heat and humidity, it was such a vivid memory. West Africa can be really tough, you must be very much looking forward to the green spot on the photos! Aburi does look like a nice getaway
    Mar Pages recently posted…Gaya Island Resort, a weekend amidst turtles and beach blissMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:39 am said:

      That heat is something, isn’t it? It certainly isn’t an easy part of Africa to be travelling in, but I guess that makes it more interesting too.

  5. Wow the art that was chiseled into the bark was really nice. I would be wondering where the helicopter came from as well. Seemed a bit out of place, but entertaining none the less. I would have checked it out as well.
    Holly recently posted…Yolk in Chicago, ILMy Profile

  6. The brits do love a good garden! And you’re right, this one doesn’t look very well maintained, but bearing in mind the environment surrounding it, still feels an interesting place to visit.

    Really like the picture with the helicopter and the boys.
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    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:41 am said:

      It was very interesting indeed. Although it wasn’t perfect it felt like there was something interesting to spot around every corner.

  7. Carol Colborn on September 5, 2015 at 5:43 pm said:

    What a charming post! I just love that chiseled tree! And the old helicopter exudes history. I am glad you have such a place to go to from the busyness of work in a crowded city!

    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:42 am said:

      The helicopter was something out of an Indiana Jones movie, and it looked really cool being taken over and absorbed by nature.

  8. What an fascinating place to visit! I loved the wood chiselled tree trunk as tribute to the slaves, very touching…and the abandoned helicoptor, how random! Thanks for sharing, always love reading about unusual places 🙂
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    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:44 am said:

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I thought that the carved tree trunk was a wonderful tribute too. The slave trade was a horrible reality for many Ghanaians.

  9. Very interesting! I would love to visit Ghana! This tree artwork looks amazing and moving!
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  10. Ghana seems like an interesting place. You don’t run across too many articles about the country. The day trip from Accra looks like the perfect place to cool down and relax. I also love the helicopter!

    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:45 am said:

      Before I moved to Ghana, I didn’t come across too many articles either, so I made it my mission to change that. 🙂

  11. Judging from your photos, I can see it actually looks like some place in the tropics and also looks refreshingly cooler. That helicopter was indeed a surprise. I agree, they can improve on the maintenance and upkeep of the garden, but it is definitely worth a visit.
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    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:47 am said:

      I think they would get many more tourists if they put a bit more love and care into the park, but on the other hand it is also very nice that there are not that many tourists around.

  12. The carved tree trunk is genius! I know what you mean about Brits and Botanical gardens (there is probably a blog post in there somewhere lol). In major cities, i always find them to be a wonderful tranquil oasis of calm 🙂
    Dave from Daves Travel Pages recently posted…10 Ancient And Weirdly Mysterious Places I Have VisitedMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 7, 2015 at 4:48 am said:

      Ha ha, I can see a collaborative post coming up about British botanical gardens around the world. It would be a very long post I think. 🙂

  13. It’s amazing how nature reclaims what’s hers and doesn’t care too much for orderly and manicured. That makes the “gone back to the wild” botanical gardens even more beautiful. It reminds us what nature and life really is all about. Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos!
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    • Tammyonthemove on September 9, 2015 at 11:15 am said:

      Thank you Jolanta. It is true, everything is a matter of perspective and what it attractive to some is unnatural to others. I quite liked the fact that it was a bit rough on the edges.

  14. Very happy to have found your blog and this post. Ghana is one place in the world I haven’t read much about. I like that the gardens aren’t perfectly manicured; it seems to characteristic of local life.
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted…Summer family hometown travel in ChicagoMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on September 9, 2015 at 11:17 am said:

      Thank you very much Francesca and welcome to our little blog. Ghana is popular for people wanting to do voluntary work, but you don’t get many travelers coming here, so that’s probably why you haven’t read much about it yet. I hope to be able to give people a little glimpse into what Ghana is about through this blog. 🙂

  15. Hank Vlietstra on September 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm said:

    Cool!

  16. This is such a cool place to hang out with especially with a very humid weather.. thanks to those Brits who are eager to create better playgrounds for everyone! hahaha! 😀

  17. This place looks amazing. The rusty helicopter, though… haha. Brilliant. 😀
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