So close but too far – night on the border of Ghana

So close but too far – night on the border of Ghana

As much as I enjoied the car trip through the desert, I also enjoyed the idea of finally arriving. Finally not being on road, finally not camping and finally not being in hurry. Having crossed all borders during the trip with less time than one hour, we could net expect that just when we think we have reached we actually have to spend whole night on the border.

We reached to Paga – the border point between Burkina Faso and Ghana on Friday evening. Got our passports stamped with ease and were ready to enter Ghana.

“Wait you have to sign your car too to Ghana” an immiration worker stopped us.

“Alright, how do we do that?” we were confused, cos none of the countries we passed in Africa we needed to do any procedures with car.

“Tomorrow, the customs office is closed for today” an offier replied.

So it happened that we were allowed to enter Ghana but our car was not.

So  we left the car to customs parking lot and walked to Ghana side – cos our documents were ok. Only car had to stay behind.

We found one nice bar at Paga near the border and sat down. After passing through all those islamic countries the bar which actually sold some booze was quite nice for an exchange.

We took some beers from bar and some super spicy kebab sticks from street Vendor and waited for the night while listening some local Hip Hop that was played in the bar way too loud.

This night we set our camp to the customs parking lot on the border area. Somehow I felt that spending night on the border was much safer option than setting up the tent in the Jungle that was now by the roadside instead of the lonely desert.

The Bureaucracy

The next day we could not leave too early. Came out that this particular officer who knew how to make custom papers for European Car did not work on Saturdays. Well obviously we were not ready to wait till Monday. Already our friend missed the Estonian-Ghanaian cos of the delay. But two extra days camping at the border area was still out of our plans. So we gave some pressure and by Saturday afternoon the custom procedures were done. Some kind officer from Accra assisted his Paga colleagues by phone.

As we did not want to pay the import tax for the car we registered it as drive through whic gave us permit to drive in Accra for 90 days. Which means next 1.5 years while the car was still there we drove to the border of Togo (closer from Accra) after each 90 days and re-entered to the Ghana with car. Funny thing was that although our car went to Togo in each 90 days – we never left Ghana  😁

After settling things at the border we drove off to Cape Coast with stop to overnight in Kintampo.

Cape Coast is lovely city by the sea and this was our home for next two weeks before we moved to Accra with plans to find some job or open a Video and Photo Studio.




  1. This must have been an unforgettable experience, Ethel. Thanks for sharing your experience and writing it into an enjoyable piece of writing!

  2. Sounds like quite an adventure! As travellers I think we grow accustomed to the bureacracy and invonvenience after a while, ey! I’m glad it all worked out in the end. I’ve just found that there are direct flights from Las Palmas (where I live) to Ghana and I’m interested in planning a trip! Any top tips for about 5 days in Ghana?

    1. mm

      Ok. If you are from Las Palmas then “great beach” is not much of the excitement… in that case I would check out some Elephants in Mole National Park (north ghana) or Nzulezu stilt village close to Ivory Coast border – but as they are completely opposite edges of Ghana you would need to use internal flights to both. But if you are more into exploring by road then I would take Destination Nzulezu and stop at the Forts on the rosf side – Like Elmina Fort and famois Slave trade Fort the Cape Coast castle.

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