Begin your journey with our family
Escape to West Africa for 8 days as a guest in our home in the Volta Region of Ghana on the border with Togo. Forge friendships in the company of fellow students and alumni from top schools. Immerse yourself in the cultures, history, economy and natural splendor of this region rich in resources, culture, and possibility.
Unlike traditional tours of Africa, this intimate escape is built on personal relationships and authentic experiences. Join our family as we take you off the beaten track for deeper explorations as you witness the region's inspiring people, opportunities, and landscapes - not as part of a typical tour, but as part of our community.
Immerse yourself in West African life
Enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences
We believe your journey is richer through authentic interactions, not a pre-packaged tour. We don't have a fixed itinerary, rather we facilitate relationships that will give you a true taste of life in the region as you enjoy experiences such as:
Hiking across the border into a different country
Creating local crafts taught by local artisans
Bearing witness to the horrors of the history of Ghana's slave castles
Dining with African business and community leaders
Dancing and drumming with West African musicians
Feeling the power of West Africa's tallest waterfall at Wli
Harvesting, cooking, and feasting upon local delicacies
Experiencing the traditional stories of the local people around our campfire
Discovering the colors, aromas, and sounds of the local markets
Rejuvenating among new friends while enjoying local snacks and drinks
“A life highlight”
— MIT Sloan ‘16
Your travels will unfold into an unforgettable escape
Every day you'll enjoy special experiences even though we don't have a preset itinerary. You will start the day with breakfast prepared from the freshest ingredients harvested by our neighbors. After breakfast we'll embark on an adventure together and in the afternoon you'll get to choose whether you wish to relax on a hammock in our gardens, sit by the waterfall, or choose another adventure with one of our local guides.
Life in West Africa cannot be captured in a fixed itinerary, but we know it's important you have a sense of what you might experience as part of your escape. Here's a taste of what you can enjoy:
Friday Night: Fly into Accra and experience the capital's nightlife
Saturday: Travel to Cape Coast, tour the slave fort, and walk through the rain forest canopy 100 feet in the air
Sunday: Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Accra's neighborhoods, learn about the nation's founding father at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, enjoy lunch in the capital, and spend the night along the Volta River
Monday: Canoe along the Volta River and learn to weave fishing traps in a local village. Visit Tafi Atome as you feed the mona monkeys in the sanctuary. Arrive at our home in Wli for dinner as the sun sets and sit under the stars around the campfire enjoying the tales of a local storyteller
Tuesday: Hike to the upper falls and then into Togo where you'll learn to prepare a traditional dish for lunch with a local family before returning to our home to relax or choose your own afternoon adventure such as exploring the nearby towns or city or practicing pottery with local guides
Wednesday: Drum and dance with community members in the morning and select your own afternoon agenda whether at our home or with a community guide for activities like caving or learning about local medicinal herbs
Thursday: Spend the morning learning a craft like soap making with a local artisan and embark on your own experience after lunch, whether at our home or in the community
Friday: Farm with a local expert during the cool morning and harvest cassava, plantain, cocoa, brown rice, or more. Make a local snack with what you bring from the farm and enjoy the rest of the day as you please, with the opportunity to teach crafts to local students
Saturday: Depart our quiet village and enjoy lunch along the Volta River followed by a tour of Akosombo Dam, a symbol of Ghana's development and history. We'll return to Accra for a farewell dinner and your chance to share your reflections before you return to the airport
You'll focus on knowing our community and we'll take care of all your activities, food, and accommodations on the ground here. When at our home, you'll stay in one of our two-person bedrooms and enjoy freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches, and dinners around our dining table, followed by drinks and conversations in the evenings.
Escape with us and avoid the tourist masses
Reserve your place early to get the best price and ensure your date works with your schedule. We only offer this experience in spring and summer so we have time to offer educational programs for the local community the rest of the year.
We want to make West Africa accessible to you. Our price covers all your on-the-ground expenses: accommodation (two guests per room), food, drink (including options such as local beer, palm wine and tropical mixed drinks), activities, ground transportation, and everything you'll need from the moment you arrive at the airport to the moment your escape ends in Accra. You'll be a special guest in our sustainable home (designed to stay cool without AC) and the nights while we explore other parts of the region we have your accommodations covered. We want you to forget your worries and focus not on on funds but fun.
We'll handle the hard work. You take care of your flight, visa, and getting the mandatory yellow fever vaccine, travel insurance, and any other travel medicine your doctor recommends. We'll get you the details you need for your flights, visa, and packing.
We want you to join us with fresh eyes, an open mind, and no expectations or preconceived notions of "Africa" so you return home with your own authentic stories of the region's peoples, cultures, and opportunities.
If you support us with $100 or more today:
We will apply your gift of $100 or more towards a future visit by your or anyone you designate
We will offer you or your designee early choice of dates for available trips in 2019 or beyond
We will lock in your introductory price of $1,950 for a future trip in 2019 or beyond
We will update you on the progress of construction of our sustainable retreat and education center
Don't miss this limited-time opportunity to get involved with this inspiring opportunity to support local communities while getting the chance to experience where culture meets adventure.
What is my host's experience leading these experience?
You will be hosted by Charles Goli, a Ghanaian from the Volta Region, where you will spend most of your time. He has worked with students and alumni from MIT, Harvard, and Dartmouth for over a decade.
Some trips you will be joined by Ben Schwartz, an MIT Sloan MBA '17, Harvard Kennedy School MPA '17, and Dartmouth '06. He serves as Charles's mentor on this project and has run cross-cultural education programs in Ghana since 2005.
How do you take care of my safety?
Let your worries fade away when you're with us. Ghana is known as a safe country and you should use the same thoughtfulness as you do when traveling to any new place. Where you will be staying for most of your escape is safer than many towns in the US because it is such a close knit community which hosts visitors to the waterfall regularly. Everywhere else we visit is quite safe and hosts tourists regularly.
Guests who use common sense and show respect for the local community are unlikely to face any safety issues.
How is this more meaningful than a safari?
While you are almost guaranteed to see incredible animals during your stay, from armadillos, baboons, monkeys, butterflies, and tropical birds, to even big cats in the surrounding area, your intimate escape is more than a safari. It's an authentically immersive experience of the cultural richness and natural splendor around you.
Every day you will be an integral participant in activities in the community, and not simply toured around searching for wildlife.
What health precautions are in place?
Our staff work to provide a clean and healthy living environment and our cook takes healthy meals and food preparation very seriously. The biggest risk international travelers face in the region is road safety, which our team strives to ensure vehicles and drivers are well prepared to keep you safe.
You should consult your doctor about your personal travel health assessment. To enter the country you will need a Yellow Fever vaccination. Many guests take preventative medicine for malaria, which is readily treatable, especially in the region where medical staff are familiar with it. We have designed our home to keep out mosquitoes and your bed will have a mosquito net for you to sleep under. We have relationships with top doctors and health facilities in Ghana in case issues arise.
What happens to my deposit if plans change?
Deposits are non-refundable but we will gladly apply your deposit to a future trip if your schedule changes. If we do not have enough people to run the escape, we will transfer your deposit to any available date of your choice.
Once I've paid my deposit, what's next?
Book your flight when you're ready. We only require that you arrive Friday night local time so you're rested and ready to set off of on your adventure Saturday morning. Once you have your tickets, please share your details with us so we can provide the necessary letter of invitation for your Ghana visa.
What visas do I need?
You only need a Ghana visa, which is required to board your flight to Accra. We will provide you with the details to complete your Ghana visa application once you email us your flight and passport details so we can prepare your letter of invitation.
You do not need to get a Togo visa before your trip.
What should I pack?
Comfortable clothes to be active for 8 days with summer days up to the mid 80s and summer nights in the low 70s (spring days get into the 90s, with nights in the 70s)
Comfortable shoes for lots of walking
Hiking boots with good grip
Clothes for hiking through trees and grass (we can make you a hiking stick if you need)
Extra clothes (especially socks) as you will get wet at the waterfall and possibly also during other activities
Toiletries (we will provide bath towels and soap)
Any medications you require
Insect repellent (if you normally use it when outdoors)
A good book to read (or share)
You are welcome to bring a camera, though we hope you'll be fully immersed in the experience rather than focused on capturing fleeting moments for later. We encourage you to bring a journal to better reflect on the experience. Bring your cell phone for emergencies, but we cannot promise good internet in the area. We discourage you from bringing laptops or additional electronics in hopes you can disconnect from technology (and not be constantly thinking about them) and reconnect with community.
How else can I prepare?
For now, get excited and learn more about the region you will be visiting!
Once you're packed and have everything in order, set aside all your expectations and be ready to be inspired by the scenes that surround you, a way of life that will teach you about living, and the new friends you'll make from West Africa and beyond.
How do I ask about other questions or concerns?
Email our team at email@example.com.
We're here to help people like you have an amazing experience in West Africa.