Archive | May, 2010

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That Ghanaian Giant!

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Amateurs

It’s Africa’s G Spot – It’s Ghana and it’s calling you.

Can you hear that? No, it’s not actually your name – it’s that massive bass line! If you can, it’s probably coming from downtown Accra or anywhere else along the Ghanaian coast. It’s not only the bass pumping from mountains of stacked speakers, it’s the music itself and it’s the lifeblood running through the veins of this chilled out land nestled on the coast of West Africa. Here it’s one thing – Loud and proud.

Ghana’s got it going on and you’ll find yourself bashing on bongos one minute and baking on the beach the next. Although, it’s pretty steamy in the sun so perhaps a cocktail or a beer at any beach side bar might be more your style. If you’re on a budget we’d recommend the fresh milk from a half cut coconut – just add a straw.

Along the coast you find beach resorts each vibin’ with a variety of volunteers from around the world each with a story and each bathing in Ghana’s glory. Any night of the week you can find an amped atmosphere to mix with the locals and party goers alike. Back in the city and you’ll feast on the street stall smorgasboards and soak up the rhythm of reggae. Follow the footsteps in the sand a little further and you’ll find football fever on Lombadi Beach and down every alley on the way there.

To get you in the mood why not feel the beat under your feet – Ghana as we filmed it.

Of course, you can’t go to Ghana without spending time to understand the slave trade and the history that goes with. The coastline is littered with reminders, none more prominent then Cape Coast and Elmina Castles – the two major players for West Africa’s involvement.

What else will we say? Let your limbs loose and dance baby, dance.

Of course if you’re interested you can also drink with the Ashanti King in Kumasi, go on one of the cheapest Safaris in the World up north and we never mentioned that Ghana’s home to some of the cheapest food and drink in the world. How cheap you ask? You can easily get a meal for under a Euro and as for a drink, well – we found shots for about 15 cents.

We could go on forever about the places and the faces, so we did. Here’s all the details you’ll need to see Ghana for yourself!

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Following the Fever – Keta Sandlanders FC.

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Amateurs

We’ve followed the Football fever for over 12,000km through West Africa but at one small football club in Ghana we saw first hand the importance of football and its influence on young lives.

Across Africa and in particular Ghana, football is ingrained into the lives of almost every individual from an early age. Using this affinity, as a football club, Keta are bringing the wider community together through working on a number of local projects.

Sandlanders FC has implemented a program which ensures every player in the team has a skill or a trade to use off field generating life skills off the pitch to support the skills on it.

We visited Keta to get a feel for the club ourselves.

We can’t talk about a football club without mentioning scores. After a warm up of song and dance like no other come half time it was all tied up at 0-0 with Keta being hosted away at Action Rangers. The second half heated up and we saw grassroots football at its best in Africa.

In front of close to a thousand fans, Keta took the lead early in the second half and celebrated in emphatic fashion, cartwheeling to all corners and providing a polished dance routine. In the nervous nineties deep into injury time Rangers levelled amongst controversy equivalent to France’s Thierry Henry v Ireland with a handball featuring to see the game finish as a 1 all draw as the crowd swarmed the pitch from all sides.

That aside, Keta Sandlanders FC might have only finished second in division two of the Ghanaian Football League but they are certainly on top of the table when it comes to preparing players for a live off field. The club already facilitates a share house for the players and has implemented an off season on the job training schedule for skills work in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

If you’re in the area, have some skills in either coaching or teaching a trade there are plenty of opportunities and you can get involved with the guys yourself via the Keta FC website

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Ghana – the Glory and the full story

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Amateurs

Bash away on bongos, swing in hammocks, rave the nights with reggae, bake on the beaches, suss out the slave trade centres and feel the football fever – Ghana’s got it all.

See for yourself – Ghana as we saw it.

Capital: Accra
Population: 23.3 million
Economy: GDP- $35 Billion (95th), GDP Per Capita $1.551 (151st)
Human Development Index: .526 (152nd)
Currency: 1 Euro: 1.88 Cedi (CD)
Sporting Trivia: We can’t go past talking about the Black Stars, the Ghanaian football team. The Black Stars are one of Australia’s opponents at the World Cup. We haven’t missed a chance to talk football with Ghanaians, and of course throw in a bit of friendly banter. We’ll be seeing them when we go to the game on June 19th.

>>> The Traveller Scene
Want to spend a few weeks in a chilled out country? Then Ghana is a good place to recharge the batteries, speak some English and experience the big G. Whether it’s getting a better understanding of the dark history of slavery at one of the many castles along the coast, downing a cocktail at a beachside bar or walking with the wildlife of Mole National Park or feeling the beat beneath your feet, there is something for everyone in Ghana.

Parlez-Vous Francais? 90% – most locals have a good command of English. Although as is often the case, this is heavily reliant on level of education and in many instances a gender disparity is evident.

Visa/Entry Requirements: You must get your Visa in advance. We arranged ours in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), it took 24 hours and cost 17500CFA (25 Euro). It was a pretty pain free process, just bring along 4 passport photos. At the border you’ll probably also be asked to show your yellow vaccination card.

< >>> @ Kumasi
Home of the Ashanti Kingdom, Kumasi, rich in history and culture has a bit to offer, but you’ll find it hard to find. We were only there for half a day and we were keen to move on. Kumasi boasts the Kejetia Market- West Africa’s largest, and also the Manhyia Palace Musuem, home of the still influential Ashanti King. It’s well known you can even meet him if you take a bottle of liquor up to the palace.

Where did we stay? Guestline Hostel – It’s right near the STC bus station so it’s pretty handy in that regard, the net was down when we were there and a bed in the dorm room will set you back 8CD (4 Euro) a night.

How did we get there? From Ouagadougou we jumped aboard the TCV Sunday morning service to Kumasi 10000CFA (15 Euro). The best thing is probably the free brekky roll on boarding, but you’ll feel left out missing most of the jokes on the TV in the bus if your French skills are as non-existent as ours. Overall, it’s a pretty smooth 13 hour journey.

Getting a feed: Our first day in Ghana so we couldn’t go past the egg sandwichs street side – 1Cedi (50 euro cents), straight away the conversion from the baguette to the trusty toasties was evident.

Difficulties: We struggled across town to the Manhyia Palace Museum, but no cameras are allowed which makes it hard when you are trying to run a website with videos and pictures, albeit with shoddy equipment.

Learn from us: We’d recommend just heading to STC Bus station to get to Accra, things are much more orderly then the chaos at the ‘luxury’ bus station. Although, we still took off an hour and a half after scheduled, but that’s Ghana and ‘Africa Time’.

>>> @ Accra
The Ghanaian capital, bustling with traffic and hawkers and brimming with beaches, bars and reggae. It’s hard not to have a soft spot for Accra. There’s an abundance of watering holes, Independence monuments, streed food stalls and volunteers and it’s an ideal spot to take care of any administrative tasks.

How did we get there: We came into Accra twice. On the first occasion it was an STC bus from Kumasi which takes about 5 hours 7C (3.50 Euro) – although it took off about 2 hours late. Coming back to the city again was from Kokrobite where we shared a taxi with some Germans for 25C (13 Euro).

Where did we stay: Awet Hotel – Osu, a nice, professionally run hotel at the end of Oxford Street in the Osu district in Accra. Awet Hotel was good enough to support us during our stay, so if you want to kick back for a few days in luxury then Awet is a good bet. You can also get a room at the Salvation Army, also in Osu for 6C (3 Euro) which is extremely basic and with a curfew they didn’t particularly appreciate us coming back at 2am.

The Traveller Scene: There are a fair few tourists all around Accra, some people just on holidays but the biggest groups are one of the many volunteers who are on short breaks. You’ll find a number of bars full of expats, also there is a sizeable foreign student population studying here so you can find them at any of the cheap bars around town during the week.

Getting a feed: Accra comes armed with street food of all descriptions. So just head out for a walk and let your senses guide you. We found probably our favourite place on our last night in Accra which you can get a full plate of salad, some pasta and meat for 3C (1.50 Euro).

Out on the Town: There are plenty of places around Accra. We spent most of our time in the district of Osu, where you can find plenty of spots, including Ryan’s and Duplex. If you are up for some drinks on the beach head to the eastern end of Accra to Lombadi Beach where you kick back and on a Wednesday and feel the reggae rhythm.

What takes the cake for us though here in Accra is the street side bars, Lissie’s to be precise along Oxford Street. Here you can grab local gin in a 50ml satchel for 30pesewas (15 Euro cents) along with whatever mixers take your fancy. Maybe, the cheapest alcohol we’ve ever come across.

>>> @ Cape Coast
Cape Coast sits about 3 hrs drive from Accra. This is one of those towns that still retains the colonial feel in its architecture and atmosphere. Cape Coast moves at a slower pace than Accra, but its definitely not a place to speed past. Historically, the Cape Coast Castle one the scene of unimaginable suffering for millions of slaves before they were sent off as part of a thriving slave trade that once existed but will never be forgotten.

How did we get here: We came back from Akiwidaa Beach we shared a taxi, again with some Germans, back to Takoradi for 30C (15 Euro). From Takoradi a tro tro to Cape Coast, about an hour journey will cost 2C (1 Euro).

Where did we stay: Sammo’s Guesthouse – A bit expensive by Ghanaian standards, we got the only room left with TV and ensuite. 12.50C (7 Euro) a night, but it did the trick. One thing that stands out here are the staff. We could tell the lady is a bundle of fun, we’d just never want to play hide and seek with her. If she hides as well as she hides a smile – the game would go on forever.

Getting a feed: Our favourite place had to be School boy’s, which sells rice, fried chicken and the ‘School boy special sauce’. We know, it might sound suss but it’s seriously good. A few pieces of chicken with a bit of rice will set you back 2-3C (1-1.50 Euro).

Out on the Town: The best place in town would have to be the beachside bar at Oasis Resort. As the night goes on head towards town to find a lot of places. Our night was cut short by a power outage so we can’t comment too much on how big the party gets.

Learn from us: We struggled to find a good net connection here for a couple of days. We stumbled across Jet Internet café and it was by far the best in town despite the competition at Oceanview stating otherwise.

>>> @ Akwidaa Beach
A spectacular spot right on a secluded beach, it’s a place to soak up a few rays of sun with people from all over the world. The waves are pretty decent, so for us it felt like being back on an Australian beach. Head into the sun but don’t forget to slip, slop, slap, or find a spot in the shade and laze the day away in this special part of Ghana.

Getting There – From Accra we jumped on an STC bus to Takoradi 4 hours away. From there you can get on a Tro-tro (shared mini-bus) to Agona junction, change and get one to Akwidaa village, which will only cost you a few C for each leg.

If you’re like us, there will be a taxi driving at Takoradi asking to take us. So if there is a group of you it’s probably worth it to save 2 changes on the Tro Tro. This will cost between than 20-30C, although it takes longer than expected 45 minutes or so along some pretty terrible roads.

Where did we stay: Great Turtle Beach Lodge – This place has a big rap with anybody you talk to and it’s definitely justified. Set on an absolutely idyllic beach, kilometres away from the next village. There are private rooms, dorms, and the option we decided on, camping for 5C (2.50 Euro) a night.

Getting a feed: Finding cheap food is a bit of a dilemna here as the village is a good 20-30 min walk if you want to avoid paying at the restaurant. The feeds at the restaurant are of a pretty good size for 10C (5 Euro). In the village the food is cheap, the options limited, plenty of fresh fish and of course fufu. If you have no skills like us – don’t forget to take a fork. Eating hot fufu with your fingers is tough although it’ll break the ice with locals who’ll gather round for a laugh.

Out on the Town: As the sun comes down its time to put the feet up. Happy Hour from 5pm-7pm is all the encouragement you need to make an early start on some reduced priced cocktails. The rest of the night a steady stream of Star beer will keep you going – large 2.50C (1.25 Euro).

Difficulties: We wouldn’t recommend a walk to the village in the middle of the day. It’s when totally baked on the half hour walk and we were sweaty messes trying to eat the local Fufu.

Learn from us: You have to set up a tab and just pay everything at the end. Just keep a track of what you’re having to make sure it matches what you had. Particularly about what you bought during happy hour. They definately ripped us hard – happy hour wasn’t so happy afterall.

Ok, so there’s a lot to do in Ghana and this article is long. Why not break it up and check out the video we filmed on a day trip to Keta.

>>> @ Kokrobite
If you’re in Accra and need a quick beachside break then Kokrobite is for you. Kokrobite beach is full of fishing ships and the waves littered with plastic bags, but it’s still a place where you can go for a quick dip.

Getting There: We came from Cape Coast on a tro tro, just get one for Accra 4CD (2 Euro), but jump off at the Kokrobite intersection off the highway. It’s right before a toll booth, it’s about 20km from Accra. From the intersection we secured a taxi for 5CD (2.50 Euro) the 10km or so to Milly’s.

Where did we stay: Big Milly’s Backyard- A pretty cool place right on the beach under an hour from Accra. The place has a beach bar, there’s plenty of Rasta’s around and reasonable waves. We stayed in the shared lofts for 5CD (2.50 Euro) a night which are equipped with mosquito nets and lockers for your gear.

The main problem here? You’ll see her around, it’s Milly herself. She’s running a tight ship and is on patrol all day. She’ll wave and smile but behind doors she’s ruining the party. Our advice is save this place for a Friday or Saturday night when the locals from Accra arrive to get the party started.

Getting a feed: There is a restaurant with plenty of options for all your meals, but for any value it’s only a 5 minute stroll into the village where you can find the normal street options for 1 or 2C. It’s also worthwhile making the journey up to the village to grab some pure water rather than buying the bottles.

Out on the Town: Milly’s has a pretty cool spot right in the middle of it with a bar. Although, you get the impression from the prices and lack of alcohol in stock that they don’t really want you to be up late. The only real value is local gin 50 pesewas (25 Euro cents) and whatever soft drinks you want to add 1.20CD (60 Euro cents). You’ll know what we mean if you make it there.

Learn from us: There are plenty of rastas around looking for a chat who’ll eventually ask if you want to buy any African musical instruments off them. They are generally good blokes so have a talk and see if you do want to take some drum lessons. Although at the pink house down the beach you can get proper classes.

>>> The Amateur Low Down

Come on – It’s Ghana, you’ve got to go. To feel the beat of the street check out our video!

Highlight: For the most important things, the highlight for us was probably the smooth process in getting a new Australian passport. Ghana as a total package was pretty impressive. The chance to catch a few waves in the Gulf of Guinea along golden beaches and just chilling out a bit more in Accra all added up to a great time for us.

Biggest Surprise: On the walk back from Cape Coast Castle, we came across a crowd of a few hundred people watching what we though was a game of basketball. We were startled when we got a glimpse ourselves to see a game of wheelchair basketball in full flight. The skills, the jerseys and the atmosphere was great.

Seeing well supported, organised sport for physically impaired people happening in West Africa, was one of the best shocks we’ve had this trip and was a demonstration of the sort of potential that people here possess and the steps being taken in breaking down some of the social stigmas surrounding disabilities.

One thing you can do to break down a barrier:
Keta Sandlanders FC – You’ve got to check out these guys in Ghana and we even filmed them in action!

Break down a barrier and support Keta Sandlanders Football club. This isn’t just a football club, it’s a progressive organisation with established programs ensuring all the players are training in various trades and skills. At Keta, they’re giving football hopefuls a chance to play the game they love on the field whilst giving them the skills they need to make a decent living into the future off it.

In keeping with sport, if you’re interested in Rugby and in the area, head to the beach behind Oasis at Cape coast and catch up with the guys below at Blessed Rugby Union Academy – they’re always looking for helpers.

To see all that we snapped head to our Ghanaian gallery.

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Africa’s G Spot – Ghana

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Amateurs

We finally found Africa’s G spot. Yep – It’s Ghana in all its glory – from bashing bongos, to raging reggae, feeling the football fever, baking on its beaches and sussing out its slave trade past – Ghana’s got it all.

Roll the tape!

If Ghana sounds like your kind of scene then check out the full story of everything we encountered here.

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3 Reasons to be in Burkina

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

You mightn’t have ever heard of it, you mightn’t expect much of it, but if you dig a little deeper into Burkina and like us you might be a little more than surprised.

We were only there a few days so we’ll only give you a few reasons you should go.

1) None of your friends have ever been there.

2) It’s home to the epically named capital city – Ouagadougou

3) Almost anything is possible in Burkina – such as Super Saturday.

What’s Super Saturday?
It’s pretty much what ever you want it to be in Burkina and ours went a little bit like this.

Ever hand fed a crocodile or better still ever sat on one? Head 30 minutes out of Ouaga to Bazoule and that’s how we started our Saturday in Burkina – Sitting on Crocodiles. Don’t believe us? Well we knew you wouldn’t so we filmed it.

After lunch, head to Zogona in the burbs of Ouaga and search around for some spare donkey carts and their drivers. There’s nothing better when you’re travelling than checking out the local bars and what better way to do it on a Saturday afternoon then in a donkey cart. That’s right, you can do a donkey cart pub crawl through the bars of Ouagadoudou. It’s basically the most fun you can have when it’s 40 odd degrees outside. Think it’s too unbelievable? Of course, we filmed it as well.

How do you top off one of the already most unforgettable days in your life in West Africa? Oh naturally, you head to a restaurant where your entertained by local performers who serve you meals on a restaurant and congo line around during intermission. We didn’t think we could do this justice with a video, so you’ll have to go and see it for yourself.

That’s Burkina Faso as we saw it and we can’t do anything but recommend it.

We’re going to add an all important 4th reason.

4) Burkina is base for many NGO’s operating in West Africa which means if you’re interested there’s plenty of opportunities to get hands on and involved with projects. We did and just like rest of this story – seeing is believing so check out the sort of project you can help with.

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The Donkey Pub Crawl

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

Every now and then you stumble across something that sounds too ridiculous to be true. When that happens to us we’ll almost always do what ever it takes to find out for ourselves.

When we heard about a pub crawl with a twist in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – we had no choice, we weren’t leaving until we’d been on a donkey cart pub crawl.

Enough already – roll the tape.

Donkey Cart Pub Crawl from Amateurs in Africa on Vimeo.

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Burkina Faso

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

The Amateur Overview
It’s a country that you barely here about, but for us a country that gave us some of our most enjoyable and enriching experiences so far. Make Burkina Faso a stop on your West Africa itinerary, its a good place to see Hippos, soak up the culture down in Bobo-Dioulossi and transition between the dust of the Sahel and the coastal strip to the south.

Depending on your tastes you can also do some of the most incredible/random things imaginable which you could only do in this part of the World.

Burkina Faso
Capital: Ouagadougou
Population: 16 mill.
Economy: GDP (PPP) $17.7 Billion (122nd)- Per capita- $1161 (149th)
Exchange rate: 1 Euro: 656 CFA
Human Development Index: .389 (177th)
Sporting Trivia: Burkina Faso hosts an annual international cycling event, the Tour Du Faso. It may not have as many steep climbs as the Tour De France, but plus 40 degree temperatures combined with the duststorms and terrible road would make each stage a real challenge. Last year’s champion was Moroccan Abdelatif Saadoune.

>>> Travel Info In and around the capital centre is pretty hectic and in the heat it’s a bit much but on the outskirts of Ouagadougou anything is possible. Where else can you experience a day where in the morning you’re feeding crocodiles, after lunch you’re touring the bars of Zogona by donkey cart and at night you’re being served food by local performers on rollerskates?

>>>Visa Requirements
If you’re a Westerner it’s a pleasantly painless and surprisingly quick process at the Malian/Burkina border crossing for 10000CFA (15 Euro) along with 2 passport photos. We can’t say the same for locals though, our driver was slugged heavily coming out of Mali and re-entering Burkina.

Parlez-Vous Anglais? 30% – some French is pretty handy here. Although we hung out with the expat crowd most the time so that smoothed the ride for us when we were out and about.

@ Ouagadougou
We became pretty fond of the area around Zogana market away from the intensity of downtown. This was probably also due to the searing heat – mid summer. Ouaga, as it’s affectionately known is a cool city to check out for a few days and a gateway to many other sights that Burkina Faso has to offer.

How did we get there: We took 6 hrs to get 130km, got downright dirty speeding on unsealed roads and then hitchhiked at night the rest of the trip. No seriously, thats how we did it. You might want to stick to the bus companies that operate along the route to Ouagadougou – driving at night in Africa is dangerous.

From Mopti (Mali) we tried to grab a sept-place to Koro, but instead we were greeted by a van 3500CFA (6 Euro),which generally mean longer waiting times, slower driving and just generally more frustration. We paid a bit extra to jump in the front, which looking back was a good decision considering our state of mind and that the average speed to Koro was 22km/h. That’s right it took 6 hours to drive about 130km.

Once in Koro, apparently the taxi’s were finished so we paid another 3500CFA each to jump in a random guy’s car across the border to Ouahigouya, at first we were pleased to be hitting the track at 90km an hour but a solid covering of dust changing this outlook. We arrived in Ouahigouya at 7pm, after the final departure for Ouaga.

Sense would have said stay here and take off early in the morning but we were determined to get to Ouaga. Initial efforts to hitchhike from the petrol station were unsuccessful but, an hour of Champions League and finally a verbal confrontation between hotel touts later, we found a guy who was ready to take us. Our first successful African hitchhike, we set off for 5000CFA (8 Euro) each to Ouagadougou. After 2 hours, 130km/h, rumours of bandits operating along the track and a near near collision with a massive donkey – we survived and made it to town by 11pm.

Where Did We Stay: On a couch in Zogona, an area full of expats, mostly working with NGOs. Electricity outtages are still a major issue in this part of town. We would recommend Zogona over central Ouaga, it’s only a euro or two taxi ride away but it’s a world away from the hussle and bussle.

Difficulties: We struggled to find a good internet connection around town in Ouaga, and resorted to using the connection at a local NGO. If you find a decent connection here let us know.

Learn from us: Don’t travel at night in Africa. We were almost involved in a very serious car accident. Roads are in poor condition, there’s poor visibility, animals stray across the road frequently and there are no lines, reflectors or any of the road safety instruments you’ll find in any western country.

Around town – a reminder that as soon as you dont worry about agreeing to a price beforehand it’s difficult to work out of it after the event. We scored a ride across town to pick up our bus tickets for 1000CFA (1.50 Euro) and upon arrival asked the driver to wait under 5 minutes. The return journey and the wait cost us 2000CFA apparently, so make it clear the deal beforehand. Locals get in a shared taxi for about 250-500CFA so definitely don’t pay more than 1000CFA getting around town.

The traveller scene: There was a jazz festival in town so the French Cultural Centre was packed with travellers for that and you’ll find most travellers battling with internet in the scattered cafes.

Getting a feed: Travelling through countries where Pork is nigh impossible to come across? Well, if you’re in town on a Saturday morning and have a craving, it has to be roadside grilled pork on the menu. You purchase chunks of meat it in lots of 500CFA along with a local seasoning and mustard. It’s highly recommended if you need to get momentarily back on the pork bandwagon.

Out on the town: Three words – Donkey Pub Crawl. We got a group together and commandered 2 donkeys, 2 drivers and 2 carts for 6000CFA (9.20 Euro) for 4 hours per cart to have a pub crawl with a twist.

If donkeys aren’t your thing then Ouaga has plenty of street side bars all around town. You should be able to get large beers for 600CFA (90 euro cents). Brakina beer is pretty high on the list of beers we’ve come across so far so enjoy.

To see Burkina in pictures head to our Burkinabe gallery.

>>>The Amateur Low Down

Highlight- For fun you can’t go past the donkey pub crawl but for meaning and the reminder about why we’re in Africa it’s the granite mine in Ouagadougou.

On first mention by a friend about a story of a mysterious donkey pub crawl we were sold. That was Ouaga and it had to happen. Our first African pub crawl and with an animal twist. Fortunately, we we were able to arrange it all with some locals who admirably didn’t undercut each other on price during negotiations.

We did it in the Zogona/International School of Ouagadougou district where there are an array of drinking holes, but you can do it anywhere there is a donkey and in this part of Africa that’s in most places.

Biggest Surprise – Ever felt the need to sit on a crocodile? No, we didn’t either until we arrived in Bazoule, 35km from Ouagadougou. It’s here you stroll down into a dry lagoon, pay 1000CFA for a chicken, 1000CFA for entry, add the lagoon’s crocodiles and you can work out the rest.

It’s pretty unbelievable, the guides seem to genuinely enjoy holding the chicken’s on the end of the stick and swinging them around to get the crocs attention. What would be surreal would be loosening the wallet and buying up big and seeing the carnage. Once 10 Crocodiles converge its time for a bit of a tease, a few moments of terror for the chickens, a few cheesy video grabs and it’s feeding time. For the locals the Crocodiles are thought to be sacred, so the best time of year to check it out is in October for the festival.

One thing you can do to break down a barrier. Don’t think children growing up in an open cut granite mine is a good idea? Then you can do something about it and support the work Association des Enfants et Jeunes Travailleurs de Burkina (Association of Child and Young Workers in Burkina) in getting more kids away from the dangers of the mine and into schools. This group is ably supported by Save The Children Canada. You can see our detailed video and information on this here.

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Support along the way

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

We weren’t joking when we said we needed help to get to the World Cup and back. Thankfully, we’ve had a bit of help along the way.

Want to help us out? We’re in need of everything from cameras to equipment to accommodation to a decent lunch! If you can help us out or know a business that might want to get involved with us – let us know at and we’ll be happy to get in touch and add to our list.

>>> Accommodation
AWET Hotel – In the heart of Accra, where the cool kids hang out Ozu, you’ll find a pretty sweet hotel. The guys at AWET were the first organisation to support us on the road and they offered us a free room for our entire stay – how could we refuse and it proved it’s no problem to find luxury in Ghana. After 6 weeks of sleeping here, there and everywhere, AWET was basically a West African oasis.

It might be hard to believe but we’ve never stayed in classy hotels so this was a first for us and in this part of the world if you find a place with air conditioning, cable TV, a refrigerator and wi-fi what more could you want? Mass breakfasts are of course included and as for the staff, well, they were incredible.

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Other Amateur work

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

Seeing we’re pretty much the only two guys backpacking West Africa to the World Cup – some people have actually asked us to write for them. Here some of the websites that you’ll find more tales of our travel exploits and plenty of other great African and travel related stories.

>>> African Photography
@Africa Lens – Telling the story of Africa today through pictures, the guys at Africa Lens asked us to get on board – So we did – check out our stories in pictures.

>>> Travel Websites
@Travel Dudes – One of the biggest travel sites in europe, these guys recruit travellers from all around the world to share their stories. It travel by travellers for travellers and when it comes to Africa – they asked us.

@Runaway Jane – She’s an epic travel writer from Edinborough and with a eye for adventure Jane asked us for tips on the most epic train ride in the world.

@Top backpacking destinations – Covering the world with backpacks, these guys know no limits to travel. A site such as this wouldn’t be complete without some of the best from the West!

@Travel with a mate – These guys know travel. They spend their days tracking down travellers from across the globe for their stories. We’d were only to happy to jump on board with our thoughts on Africa.

@Landlopers – Running with travel news, tips and reviews covering the travel world. As African border crossings have become our specialty we passed on our thoughts.

@Cumi & Ciki – Covering food across the globe these guys know a thing or two about fine cuisine. Naturally we shared some of the treats of Africa.

@Ytravel Blog – Scouering the globe for over a decade here’s a couple dedicated to everything travel. They asked for a few toughts on Africa – naturally we obliged.

@ One Travel – These guys not only specialise in travel Deals, but they run a travel blog as well, one in which they asked us to write.

>>> World Cup stories – Specialising in cheap tickets for air travel, these guys were after some World Cup stories. Enter the Amateurs on the long road there and back.

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Mentions in the Media

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Amateurs

From time to time we’ve been lucky enough to get a mention in the media.

>>> Australian Radio

We hit the jackpot in July when we took a call from the guys at Triple J while we were in Malawi. This is our interview on Australia’s best radio station on their World Cup Safari show. Listen in here!

We were interviewed on ABC Radio Brisbane on the 10th of June. Here’s the full stream.

We were also mentioned on Adelaide’s Fresh FM in early May.

>>> Australian Newspapers

The Toowoomba Chronicle – The first paper to report on the Amateurs and we made page 4. Check out the full article.

The South East Advertiser – The local Brisbane based paper featured a piece on our trial to the World Cup on the 12th May 2010. Here’s the full article online.

The Northern Daily Leader – The regional New South Wales paper published a featured story on our travels 18 May 2010.

>>> Online Spiels

CBC Canada – We were interviewed by Anjali Nayar, a Canadian based reporter covering the African continent, she featured us and our journey to the World Cup . – All the way from Germany, Berliners are talking about us and one of the coolest blogs from Berlin featured a story about us on the road to Timbuktu.

Travel with a mate – These guys search high and low interviewing global nomads to share their experiences. They asked us about Africa and here’s the featured interview!

We’ve also been featured by some of the leading online travel blogs in the world like Suzy Guese and Adventurous Kate and received mentions by travel experts such as lonely planet via social media.

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