The town of Wa, in north-western Ghana, was a fairly pleasant surprise for me. I was really expecting just another bland city stuck in the heart of the sandy north of the country. However, it was more vibrant than I expected. Both the palace and the mosque were more impressive than I thought it would be. And although my trip to Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary was a bit of a disappointment, I’m glad I made the journey up here.
Time Needed: 1 Full Day
Backpacker’s Budget: 50USD per day
Things to Do and See in Wa
- The Mosque: The mosque in Wa is very impressive. One of the best parts about it too is that if you get permission from the right people in town you can go in, and even climb up the spire. It’s well worth the fee they’ll definitely charge you.
- The Palace: Wa Na Palace is really interesting. If you go, I recommend paying the small fee for a guide there to explain everything to you. There is some really cool history to this region.
- The Market: This is less chaotic than the markets you’ll find in Kumasi or even Tamale, which makes it easier to enjoy.
- Wechiau: It’s possible to day-trip out to Wechiau and back. Just be sure it’s all organized properly, since it so rarely is.
Where to Eat in Wa
The local grub in Wa is very good if you are into spicy foods. T-Zed is the local favourite and is a bit like fufu although slightly different. If you’re just passing through, all the hotels will also have little restaurants for you to grab some dinner in.
- Green Beam: Outside of my hotel and the food stalls, I also went to a place called Green Beam which had some decent eats and turns into a bit of drinking spot later in the night.
Where to Stay in Wa
I didn’t have any sort of plan coming into Wa. I basically picked the first hotel sign that looked nice and headed that way. It took me to a great place to crash.
- Upland Hotel: It’s not right downtown which means you’ll have to taxi into the city, but if you’re on your way to Wechiau the location is perfect. The hotel is nice, rooms come with bathrooms, tv, and hot water. There is also a good restaurant on site. A room will cost you about $25.
- Destiny Guesthouse: If you’re looking for a budget option, this one is ok. A room will cost you about $10 a night.
- Couch surfing: There are lots of expats in Wa, and loads of them are on couch surfing. It’s worth a look.
Getting out of Town
Wa is connected to the rest of Ghana. You can catch direct buses to Tamale, and Accra quite easily. There are usually daily buses to Kumasi and Mole National Park as well. If you’re driving, the road south from Wa to the coast is paved the whole way and is pretty decent.
You can also get up to Burkina Faso, although there isn’t often a set schedule from here.