Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Only 2 hours out of Accra are the hills of Aburi. The hills have been a retreat for Ghanaians for many years now, and the Aburi Botanical Gardens attract local and foreign visitors alike. As a child I remember spending some Sundays there with the family and even public holidays having huge picnics there with the whole Indian community of Accra, which was not too large at the time. There were numerous flowers, plants, and enormous old trees. Not to mention a rusty old helicopter that we kids loved playing on. We played cricket, football, and amore while our parents got pissed drunk and blasted very loud Hindi music. Those were the days.

When I was in Ghana last week I went up to Aburi to check out some properties. Over the years, foreigners and wealthy industrialists have realized the value of having a weekend getaway in the cool hills. With a new road being built, Aburi is now even closer to Accra. And once the road is built it will be easier to transport building equipment to the sites. The red dirt track in the picture is actually going to be a 4 lane highway. One day.

So in Aburi, the land is still pretty cheap. Actually it is very cheap. But it is really hard to come by a good plot and when you do it is not very simple to insure that you are actually buying the plot you are looking at or any land at all for that matter. It is hard to know who the actual owners of the plots are and most times they are just simple farmers. You have to have a good connection in the government office to be sure any land you want to purchase is legit. This is a common problem in third world countries and I even know people who have been duped like this in Bali. We trekked through some pretty thick bushes to find some hill side properties.

At some points we even had to get out and move on by foot.

But the views were pretty spectacular and the weather was not too hot. There was one place where we could see over the small town in Aburi.

The piece of cleared land with the big tree in the middle is apparently Rita Marley’s property. This is where she has set up a recording studio. I think this seems like a pretty wikid place to record a reggae album. And I am sure that she could grow da kine ganj in that weather.

We came across this house that I really loved. Apparently it has been under construction now for some 10 years. This is not uncommon in Ghana. Many times you will see halve complete projects, abandoned. Some people are willed properties and proceed to build on them one brick at a time. And other times children spend decades fighting over who the property was willed to. This one in particular seemed ideal to me. The garden was huge and there is a steep drop in front of the house insuring that no one could build directly in front of you. I could totally picture an awesome infinity pool right on that edge.

The view from this hill was fabulous as well. It looks right over the city so the lights at night would create a captivating picture. Even in the day time the shadows of the clouds as mesmerizing.

There were numerous houses coming up around the area but all of them pretty well scattered. This one in particular caught my eye. I am not sure if you can see it clearly in the picture but it has a pool as well as tennis court at the highest point of the house. Also there is a small path from the house leading to a circular structure that would be an ideal entertainment center.

After spending the day at Aburi we stopped in at another local chop bar. Many of you would probably be very familiar with place. In fact we had one in Hawaii as well. I wonder if they would have an issue with the copyrights of this name.

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