Surf Ghana's Founder Sandy Alibo's Insider Guide to Accra, Ghana

Teeming with frenetic energy, Ghana’s coastal capital is a honeypot for a new breed of clued-up creatives, entrepreneurs and surfers. In partnership with Corona, our #ThisIsLiving guide to Accra takes you from barefoot beach hotels to secret street-food havens, plus for a stroll in a botanical garden smack-bang in the middle of the city.

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Creative, fiery and full of vitality, Ghana's buzzy capital may not win any prizes for its looks, but what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with a whole lot of soul. Nestled on the country's southern coast, with tendrils that poke out into the Southern Atlantic, Accra attracts an eclectic crowd of visitors year-round for its cerulean-blue coastline, booming live music and up-and-coming street-food scene.

Fast gaining traction as the next big surfing destination, Accra's waves have been gaining the attention of a cool crowd of surfers in recent years - the swells at popular Kokrobite Beach are only a 45-minute drive from the city centre. It's a picture-perfect scene for wave-riders: think rolling surf, very few tourists and a bevy of beach shacks serving up fresh-out-of-the-ocean seafood and ice-cold Corona on tap. In short, this is world-class surfing without the crowds. This is living.

No stranger to the bounty of Accra's coastal offering is Sandy Alibo, the founder of Surf Ghana, a youth surfing collective and social enterprise that teaches surfing and skateboarding to young people in Ghana, driving diversity, social inclusion and youth empowerment.

Having grown up in France with parents from Martinique, Sandy had always had a yearning to learn more about her ancestry by travelling to Africa. When she finally arrived in Accra, she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. Befriending a handful of local surfers and skaters on her first trip, Sandy quickly realised the galvanising power of these extreme sports to connect communities and took it upon herself to create an initiative that would take this one step further.

Making use of the contacts she had made while working in brand marketing in Europe, Sandy founded a not-for-profit organisation that would create a counter-culture platform for the city's youth surfers and skaters. Fast-forward to 2021, and Surf Ghana is now jointly responsible for the creation of Accra's first state-of-the-art skate ramp and cultural exchange centre.

In celebration of the city's electric surfing scene, and of our partnership with Corona, we sat down with Sandy to talk through her favourite places to sleep, eat, and drink a beer in Accra.


Marantha Beach Camp

Straddling the junction between the river and sea, Maranatha Beach Camp is found on the Volta estuary, within the small fishing hamlet of Kewunor, just two hours’ east of Accra. Made up of 30 palm-roofed beach huts that dot the white-sanded shoreline, the rustic beach hotel was set up by a local driven by a desire to bring educational and economic opportunities to his community. Now also home to a school run by volunteers, the beach camp is the kind of homely spot where you’ll find yourself dancing around a bonfire barefoot on Saturday nights.


Ada Foah, Ghana


Olma Colonial Suites Boutique Hotel

Set within a grand colonial-era house, this boutique hotel offers a handful of smart bedrooms within easy reach of Osu, the capital’s central district. Secreted away from the thrum of busy streets by a quiet side road, interiors are flooded with natural light and furnished with sleek wooden flooring and furniture, creating an impression of laid-back elegance. Blessed with a palm-fringed pool that provides a cooling oasis from the heat of the sun, the hotel makes a blissfully relaxing base. Unknot tired limbs with a massage at the well-appointed spa, sip fresh fruit cocktails while enjoying the Jacuzzi or bask on the sun-trap terrace.


Dadebu Road, Accra


Skate House

Surf Collective’s very own accommodation, situated just moments from the beach, this charming bedroom is part of founder Sandy’s residential house, with access to a pristine private garden, complete with skate ramp and swing. The decor is delightfully simple yet homely, with rattan wall hangings and bold African prints and objets d’art bringing pops of colour and warmth to the space.