30.03.2015 alina musatoiu
Maybe the most fascinating aspect of Ghana is its tropical nature. Nothing is as you'd expect by your Google searches, starting with the greenhouse-like air, warm and extremely damp, that hits you the moment you descend from the plane, to the snakes or the scorpios you sometimes see amongst the plants.

From the window of the car, the palm trees are the first thing you distinguish in a jungle that covers the hills and the open fields of Ghana. Then you notice the women wearing basins full of coconuts, bananas, guavas, ginger or pineapple, fruits that they are selling. You see all new sorts of plants and colorful flowers, of which you will later learn smell amazing, that some of them are eaten and others are used as treatment for different ailments.

After a few days you start to get used to the animals. The lizards are everywhere! They crawl through the rooms, the join you in the shower, they scatter in all directions as you walk down the road. Whether big, small, colorful or the color of sand, you eventually befriend them. Then there's goats which you can find at any corner, just like stray dogs in Romania. Everybody has goats, but no one keeps them shut. That is why you can see them in busses - in the arms of their owners, on trucks, high-up on piles of garbage, chewing along or entering kitchens and steeling banana and pineapple skins. Chickens, just as adapted to the environment, eat the pieces of coconut that they find lying around.

These animals are the ones that you had expected to find. But what you didn't are the termites and their red heaps, bulky and huge (some over two meter high), the admirable-sized spiders, the scorpios, the centipedes, the small green snakes that you see crossing the road only a few meters in front of you, the big colorful butterflies, the eagles that await near the meat markets, just in case. Beware of the soldier-ants, known for their size and aggressiveness. They make their way through the red dirt by building special roads with borders and tunnels and they rapidly march along these two-way highways. They are extremely organized and very aggressive (we had our own taste of it) so watch your step so that you do not disturb one of their highways, especially if you happen to be in sandals or flip-flops.

Bigger animals (elephants, baboons, antilopes and crocodiles) can be seen in national parks. Huge baobabs, tropical butterflies and a roaring, impressive waterfall in the forest of Wli waterfall, Africa's tallest, at a peaking height of 143 meters. It is certainly an image worth keeping in mind for later as the red sun goes down over the palm tree leaves and the darkness slowly engulfs the jungle.

English version Alice Stoicescu




alina musatoiugraduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (University of Bucharest). She has worked as a translator, copywriter and editor for various television stations (Money Channel, ProCinema), magazines (Zile şi Nopţi) and websites (HotNews.ro)
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