Prampram: an oasis of alluring beachfront resorts and good people
In Prampram, the town conjures images of fishermen mending torn nets; canoes splash with inscriptions, mostly offering hope in the flames of despair; fetish priest performing rituals a block away from a church; a mother taking selfie in the company of the daughter; and goats loitering freely as if they aren’t afraid of a well sharpened cutlass.
Located in the Ningo-Prampram district of the Greater Accra Region, it is about 15kilometre east of Tema and nearly 40kilometre from Accra. It is bounded in the north by Shai-Osudoku district, south by the Gulf of Guinea, in the east by the Ada East district and to the west by Kpone-Katamanso district.
The district’s proximity to Tema and Accra makes it easy for community members to have access to many social facilities and infrastructure, such as, good roads, water, hospitals and electricity. The district also houses the Central University College at Miotso and endless plush buildings dotted across the city. There are others too from outside the country, mostly African Americans whose presence, from history, dates back
There is a growing population of an African American community in the district, which has been part of the bigger returnee story from the United States. There are others from the Caribbean like Rita Marley, wife of reggae legend Bob Marley, whose beachfront house remains a shrine for tourists visiting Prampram.
Truth be told, there are few places in this country as naturally alluring as Prampram, and by extension Ningo. The town is bathed in the glorious sunlight of fresh air and slurped by the melodious chirping of birds, especially in the morning.
The residents are friendly; children willingly hold your hand and take you to your destination without demanding “nokofio” or trying to rob you of your property. It is a small town so each person is known to the other, and integrity is paramount to the town’s own self-preservation. The music from fishermen mending their nets is a delicious blend of Ga, Dangbe, broken English and Twi, with occasional whistling pounding through the lyrics.
And the pool of regular holidaymakers who often end up buying fresh fish will bear witness to this, a memory that is not only preserved in the mind but in pictures and texts.
Want to be transported around?
Trotros (minibuses) and taxis are the primary means of getting around the town, though most people have their own cars. There are also fleets of the famous “Buzanga Volvo” bicycles, which remain a great way of getting around the town as a tourist. There is also the “arrow glass” or wooden passenger buses which carry mourners to funerals on the weekends.
The town offers a perfect haven for holiday makers hoping to get away from the noise. The population is mostly made up of fishermen and traders who operate side by side each other, offering the basic needs residents need to make life worth living. It is therefore not difficult to find fresh or smoked fish, tubers of cassava, tomatoes, salt, garden eggs, goat meat or even assorted fruits, selling within the same space, or a meter away from each other.
There’s a fresh fruit selling joint at the junction once you turn into the road leading to the town. That is information for unrepentant lovers of fresh fruits who may be wondering where they can get their favorites. The main town also has quite a good number of them, especially on the road leading to both new and old Ningo, another vibrant town with strong tourism presence, including a beachfront resort and affable folks.
The beauty of beachfront resorts
In the shade of roaring sounds from private cars, tourists arrive in their droves to the various beachfront resorts dotted across all the way to Ningo; unpacking bags containing clothes, cameras and other related items for the weekend. Married couples, single men and women, ordinary friends, students and random persons form part of large convoys streaming into these resorts on daily or weekly basis, to spend time away from the city’s marauding noise.
Apart from Golden Beach, which was the only resort at the time, the number of resorts and guesthouses has increased astronomically. It has a huge parking space and accommodation is reasonable.
Today in Prampram and Ningo combined, there are more than thirty resorts providing decent accommodation and meals for guests. They include Signature at the Beach, a 10-acre beautifully landscaped estate with direct access to the beach, catering for the needs of business travelers, adventurers and couples.
Cora Beach, Comm C, Pram Beach (which is now up for sale), Legacy Tribe Beach Resort, Ocean Green Beach Villa, Royal Dede, Coba Cabana, and the Palms, the latest addition, offering an exquisite blend of antebellum and modern era architecture.
Information on their website describes the place as an “intimate, private resort” which guarantees visitors a large swimming pool, relaxing spa, luxury lounge, piano bar, a children’s play area and a nicely landscaped lawn overlooking the ocean. It has a spacious parking lot for their cars. Guests are likely to walk into the warm embrace of a well behaved staff and their infectious smiles. And the smiles are equally reflected at the various resorts one is likely to visit.
There are also hotels like Sealane and City Escape equally offering near perfect services for guests. Companies and individuals hoping to hold conferences away from their work places should look to these two or any other hotels in the town, and there will be value for money.
To taste or not to taste, the unique Prampram cuisine
There are also a good number of pubs and restaurants (and chopbars) splash across every corner of the town, meeting the pocket needs of those with a low budget. Ocean View Restaurant on the way to Ningo, after the main cemetery, offers a combined service of continental and local dishes. Guests also have a perfect view of the water and the greenery surroundings from the rooftop bar.
While at it, say hello to the Almighty
Beyond the resorts and hotels, religion is an important part of the lives of residents. There are places of worship for Christians, Moslems and Traditionalists. Mosques, churches and traditional shrines co-exist peacefully without the jot of any blood, apart from those of goats and fowls used for rituals.
It has been like that for many years and growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, I witnessed a good number of such rituals during the Homowo festivals. Prampram and Ningo celebrate the festival. Other celebrations for traditional festivals take place yearly after the Easter celebration. The chiefs and the ‘Asafoatsemei’ also observe yam festivals for their traditional stools every year. Funeral rites for the departed relations are also observed yearly by the various clans, a tradition tourists cannot afford to miss during their visits.
A new life, a new name via the Prampram way
Prampram is also known for its rich child naming ceremony and other festivals. Puberty rites are performed for boys and girls. The boys undergo circumcision in their infancy. When they reach manhood, their fathers buy guns for them and engage wives for them. They are also given land to cultivate or fishing gear to fish.
The girls undertake the ‘Dipo’ rite, which originally, was a home craft course lasting for three years. During this period, they are taught personal cleanliness, housekeeping and cookery, laundry, sewing with thread and needle, weaving of basket, childcare and decent manners. Today, the period for the ‘Dipo’ initiation rites has been reduced considerably to one month or less. Gifts are often showered at them during the parade through the town.
Let’s spare a few words for the iconic law and order monument
Another important site worth mentioning and of significance is the police station in the town. It is the oldest and was built by the Danes in 1814. Sadly it has not seen much improvement and the facility housing the officers needs a makeover, something I believe will boast their morale. The officers tell me the crime rate in the town is very low, and I believe it’s an incentive to attracting people to the town.
Artsy boats catching fish
The place has some even cheaper barefoot chic options, only if you are willing to sacrifice a bit of your time and walk around; there is more one can see and take in. For those desperate to know how canoes are shaped from mere wood to what they finally become, the town offers that. Gifted artisans in both Ningo and Prampram have in the past availed themselves to be interviewed and filmed by tourists seeking information about their work.
No town talks not about football, and Prampram is not left out
The English premiership is less than a month away and for league addicts like myself, Pram City is the venue to watch your favorite teams: Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, the two Manchester clubs and the rest. City is directly opposite E.T. Mensah’s house from across the street after the police makeshift barrier.
Prampram is the potpourri of everything and for those looking for venues to tie the knots or engage their partners; the adorable beachfront resorts are more than enough to help host you. This is Prampram. Often, and probably rightly, described as a tourist haven, it is home of good people. Come share in our wealth.