"Welcome to Aburi, Ghana's Hilltop Haven." This weekend our destination was the beautiful Aburi Gardens, one of 1600 worldwide Bontanic Gardens. Our drive took us one hour due north of Accra and we were not disappointed with what we found. Although the drive was only one hour after we got out of Accra, it did take us on additional hour to get through the Saturday morning markets that spring up on the roads leading out of town.
The Aburi Botanic Gardens were established in 1889 by the British. The site is on the ridge of the Akwapim hills where a sanitorium had been built for convalescing British Government Officials stationed in Ghana. The gardens were a scientific venture by the British. The goals included saving endangered plants, introducing new plants and trees and growing plants for medicinal purposes. Driving up the side of these hills which overlook the city of Accra lends a magnificent view (on a clear day). We ascended from sea level to 400 meters or about 1300 feet. It feels like the top of the world up here.
As we entered the gardens, we drove down the magnificent central avenue lined on both sides with very tall palm trees. For us, the best part was strolling amongst the beautiful trees and flowers. We discovered cocoa trees, papaya trees. We even found cactus here! There is nothing else to compare with standing at the base of a huge kapok tree. Gregg's comment was "I feel like I'm on a golf course again!" Much different than some of the surrounding jungle.
It was fun to discover a giant termint hill that was taller than Gregg!