Akwaaba: This is Africa!

My first night in Accra ended up being quite stressful. I was extremely exhausted but I could not sleep. Don’t you hate that feeling? I remember dwelling on that fact but then I was suddenly overcome with the strong desire to immediately locate my passport. To my dismay, it was discovered to be missing (after completely tearing my hotel room apart of course). Cue panic attack, a few hours of reflective meditation, rhythmic breathing exercises, and finally sleep was bestowed upon me.

Accra, Ghana

Akwaaba! Morning light always brings new beginnings! So, after an initial freak out… the passport was located in my friend’s car. *sigh of relief* Ok, time to start the day.

Accra is a busy city. There are many people bustling about with their various activities trying to accomplish their goals for the day before the afternoon heat blankets the city. Within the urban chaos wildlife can still be found. Nothing too exciting, but I have seen a few bird species, including ravens, doves, and some other magical blue bird with bright red eyes (note: I am not a birder, but I can certainly appreciate their beauty). There are these beautiful Agama lizards with brilliant coloration that hop from palm tree to palm tree. I may have even heard a toad last night… Wildlife for the win!

Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa

I was met in the morning by an incredibly dedicated volunteer and active member of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana.  He showed me around town, helped me run a few errands, and took me to the Accra Zoo. The Accra Zoo is a small facility but it is also a breeding center for critically endangered primates that are only found in West Africa.

Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa

They also have itty, bitty antelopes that like to lick salt from your fingers. Painfully adorable.

Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa, Warthog

They have many African animals, like the warthog, but they also have a few non-native species like emus, peacocks, and an incredibly miserable raccoon that does not appreciate Accra’s 35+ degree centigrade days.

ball python, Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa

This is a Royal Python, Python regius. This small python species is actually one of the most commonly kept pet snakes in the United States. The irony of seeing this snake in Africa is that this species is incredibly over-harvested for the pet trade and are becoming more and more threatened in the wild. On a positive note,  the zoo guide informed me that Black cobras are also quite common in the area. They can spit neurotoxic venom at targets more than 6 feet away. I look forward to meeting one soon! Please note, that is not sarcasm… I freaking love venomous snakes!

Emu and Ostirich Eggs, Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa

With both emus and ostriches kept on the property, they get lots of eggs and hatchlings. For some reason I did not feel the need to photograph the baby ostriches we saw. I am regretting that decision right now.

Accra, Ghana, Accra Zoo, Wildlife Conservation, African Wildlife, Africa

I was pleasantly surprised by this little zoo as they take good care of their animals, engage in you important captive breeding efforts, and promote environmental stewardship within their community. When you leave, you take home this message. Make your decision today!

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SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, Save The Frogs, Africa, Amphibian Conservation, Ghana

www.savethefrogs.com/donate

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