I arrive just in time to be checked in before the counters close. Cousin Jeff, my voyaging partner, had already arrived and since I had our ‘PNR Code’, having been the one who made the reservations, he had to wait for me to arrive before he could be processed. In no time, we are done. Boarding soon commences and I am delighted to have a window seat.
We are traveling on the 9:30am Passion Air flight direct to Wa from Accra.
So far, everything is smooth sailing, and in an hour as promised, we land safely in Wa. Frankly, I sleep soon after take off. I keep feeling Jeff nudging me each time my very rhythmic snoring begins to reverberate. Jeff is depriving our fellow passengers of all that beautiful snorting! Jeff is not a nice person.
We have reservations at the new resort located in Jirapa, a town about an hour’s drive away. They have just fitted a world-class Wildlife Ranch with white lions, hippopotamusus, zebras, a variety of antelopes, all migrated from elsewhere across Africa, and now settled in.
Most curious to experience it, we make it out there to see the spectacle for ourselves. Jeff is a fashion designer, and having recently outdoored his Neno Safari collection, there is no better photo opportunity for him than on this trip.
I am keen to find out what is so special about this place that I keep hearing about. Jeff gets the info on the progress of the ranch as it is being populated, knowing the owners, and shares. He had photos of the animals as they arrived and collected from the airport in world standard transportation and shipped by road again all the way up north!
Handled by an experienced South African ranger, the animals get first-class treatment in transit as well as in their new location as immigrants, or shall we call them “expats”.
Old Aziz is our driver, and he helps pack our bags into the waiting van. He is already here when we arrive, making things so smooth, so sweet!
The journey from the airport is, quite frankly, exciting, as, when you are alien to the various cultural nuances of the Sahel north and its environs, like women cycling in their long gowns, donkeys pulling load, the rural settings of mud houses and the savannah vegetation, you feel as if you are in another country. By the time you decide you are tired from its repetition, you arrive at Jirapa and find that, indeed, it is a very rural town, in relation to where we have just come from.
Sprawling, nevertheless, Jirapa has some very interesting history on the development of religion, particularly, the Catholic faith in this part of Ghana.
Now, I am keen to see the hotel, and soon enough we arrive at its gates. This is paradise, any which way you look at it, considering the savannah bush within which it has just emerged.
It is the most modern architectural edifice in town. All the houses we had seen so far are made of local mud blocks. Here is a block solid complex on manicured grounds, even if most is pavement concrete! And there is the pretty swimming pool, boutique with glass windows and wooden deck bar, and very large grounds, car park, perhaps! Who comes here, I imagine!
Royal Cosy Hills Resort is a sparkle, especially when the lights came on in the evening. No wonder the locals have nicknamed the place “Jirapa Dubai”!
I admit, the ambiance of the hotel – a 4-star facility, no less, as it checks all the boxes to be so designated, – has exceeded my expectations. I am conflicted. Accra boy in rural Jirapa, and yet I couldn’t flex. Everything here is on point, even the customer service!
Next, I’ll tell you about my safari experience, and encounter with the White Lion! Fascinating!