6 months in West Africa: my detailed itinerary

It has indeed been 6 months, wow! I’m grateful for so many reasons beyond comprehension. So much has happened, and I’m honestly so thankful for it all! The good, the bad, the ugly, the everything!

ALSO..

Have you watched my short TRAVEL FILM recapping the past six months? Click here! So much fun doing it!

So let’s get started.. in this detailed itinerary I will include details of flights, accommodation, and my favourite spots and recommendations.. feel free to comment below any further questions! Let’s go:

GHANA

Flight: with Egypt air. They did lose my luggage for 2 days. So definitely won’t book with them again. British Airways and KLM also fly to Accra from the UK. Price of flight – one way from London to Accra with stopover in Egypt = £420.

Accommodation: Alisa Hotel (my sis-in-law works in hotels, hello freebies!) and then friend’s spare room in Villagio. Both super central parts of Accra too. Price: Free!

Duration: 17 days

Spending money: £300

My Ghana recommendations:

SIERRA LEONE

Flight: with Africa World Airlines. Love flying with them! Direct flight. Price: £186

Accommodation: friend’s beautiful family home! Price: free!

Duration: 25 days.

Spending money: approx £403

My Freetown, Sierra Leone recommendations:

GAMBIA

Flight: ASKY airlines. Great flight. Direct. Price: £190

Accommodation: self catering apartment. Price for first 10 days = £115. Rest of time stayed with friend = free.

Duration: 26 days.

Spending money: approx £410

My Gambia recommendations:

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No turning back and not throwing in the towel just yet! I’m surviving. Thriving. In much better control of my finances and truly appreciating the value of money. Thinking about how grateful I am for this life. Grateful for my growth. Feeling unstoppable. Throwing fear out of the window. But sometimes you have to wear yourself on your sleeve. Certain opportunities would not come unless I decided to really step out, and Gambia taught me so, so much about that. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Below is my review of Glorious Gambia! 🇬🇲⁣ ⁣ Accommodation🏨: this is where so many blessings and beauties really come to play. I booked an apartment through a friend living in Gambia, with the intention to stay throughout my trip. Water and electricity issues persisted and after 9 nights, it was time to find a new place! I literally made friends with a lovely fellow Nigerian guy who had TWO spare rooms in his house, offered me a free stay for my remaining 2 weeks, and honestly added to a big highlight of a trip. That house truly felt like home. ❤️🙏🏾⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Food🍴: yummy and a bit of everything! Everywhere is halal so imagine all the great halal foods. #Dahin is the first Gambian dish I tried. So yummy moist and delicious! And also #Benechin is soooo good that I had it twice in the same day!⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Exploration📸: just spend time with the locals! It’s not about what you see in Gambia, it’s about who you meet. They’ll introduce you to so many beautiful and hidden gems. Parts of Gambia are also very walker friendly too. I would walk almost everyday and come across some really great spots. My recommendations: Kunte Kinteh beach/island, Ngala Lodge, Coco Ocean, Kotu Beach, Bakau beach, Brufut beach, Bijilo area and Fajara (loads of restaurants, nightlife, war cemetery), and definitely worth seeing The National Museum of The Gambia too.⁣ ⁣ Transport🚕: taxis, shared and unshared, shared buses, and walking by foot! 🦶🏾 Honestly this is the first West African country I’ve walked around the most. Loved it. ⁣ ⁣ Weather☀️: SO SO SO SO SO HOT. 🥵⁣ ⁣

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SENEGAL

BUS!: From BTSC Bus station – direct from Gambia to Senegal – 9 hours – lots of pit stops. Price: £20! Saved over £100 if I paid for a flight.

Accommodation: air bnb mania. Stayed in 3 different ones in total, stress! Price in total: £111.69.

Duration: 15 days.

Spending money: approx £250

My recommendations:

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Happy I didn’t save any destination for a friend. Bae. Year. Anything! I just went. Senegal you were an underlying blessing and taught me so much more about myself as a traveller. Merci/jerre jeff🧡 Senegal travel tips BELOW 👇🏾⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Accommodation🏨: this is where the drama began lol. I stayed in 3 different ones (first had a dodgy host/landlord, second had a broken door leaving my belongings vulnerable, and finally the third felt like HOME!) I highly recommend staying in the following areas: Ngor, Grand Yoff/Yoff, or Ouakam. Crazy close to beaches/supermarkets/restaurants etc. Walking distance close. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Food🍴: I can count how many times I ate out, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed! The achieke was delicious, as well as the infamous jollof rice. 😋 I cooked mostly at home thanks to the amazing kitchen my third air bnb came with 🙌🏾⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Exploration📸: of course you must visit the gorgeous African Renaissance Monument, Plage des mamelles, Ngor beach and island, Goree Island, and Massalikoul Djinâne mosque. There’s so many hidden gems throughout which I lived close by to in Ouakam too and really loved!⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Transport🚕: I loved walking in my area, it’s really walker friendly. And of course taxis are great and quite cheap too. You can get a shared one or a private one, and the buses are always fun to experience.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Weather☀️: warm sunny and gorgeous! Just right. 🙌🏾

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NIGERIA

I arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, just a few days before lockdown restrictions began to tighten due to COVID-19.

Nigeria is a second home to me so thankfully I have been ridiculously well looked after, maintaining social distancing, carrying out my job as a journalist, and mostly working from home.

With the lockdown easing, it did enable me to enjoy more of Lagos in a safe way, like rent out a gorgeous pool house! Hard to make an itinerary during a pandemic during so much uncertainty. But honestly, I’m very blessed and happy to be ‘locked down’ in my motherland.

Flight: From Dakar to Lagos via Air Senegal. Delayed but smooth journey. £198 direct.

Accommodation: with family, so free!

Duration: 4 months

Spending money: Average monthly spend has been under £200. This pandemic has made me save loads!

My Lagos recommendations, pre covid:

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Lovely time spent in the motherland as always and I can’t help but continuously become more fascinated and in love at the fact that my work organisation now presents news in my mother tongue Yoruba😵👏🏾 better start finessing it, never know if I relocate here for a bit one day😉! I’ve provided quite a few tips in the past (if ya scroll down previous posts) of what to do when in Naij but it’s so refreshing to see how each trip comes with a newer discovery and experience ✨🇳🇬 _______ Accommodation🏨: stayed in #Ikeja (mainland) hosted by a friend in a clean, spacious and comfortable guest house. Pro: crazy close to the airport – with no traffic 15 minutes. Con: LOTS of the meetings and outings I went to on this trip were on the island. I’m back in Nigeria later this year and know for sure to stay on the island next time. #Ikoyi preferably. _________ Food🍴: I could eat my way through this place as much as I could but trying a new restaurant spot is always a plus. I visited and ate at @theharvestlagos and loved it – check previous posts for my review on it! And of course #suya never fails, #indomie being another big fave, and #amala 😍🥣 _________ Exploration📸: the lekki conversation centre was a brilliant first experience with so much wildlife and nature in general, definitely a must visit when in Lagos. The #OmenkaArtGallery is also a lovely spot that comes with a gorgeous restaurant located and nestled on hilltop overlooking the river. Views! _________ Transport🚕: @ubernigeria is my go to as usual. Always cheap and reliable but I learned to call my uber ahead of time knowing that I wasn’t located in the most central location of where I was heading to. I’m hearing @taxify is quite good too which I’ll check out next time. __________ Weather☀️: HAAATTTTTTT like pepper sauce!

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And don’t forget, you can follow more of my travel experiences on Instagram: @ajalatravels.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on my short film too! (Link above)

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