In the past three months, I have been to Accra twice. The first by air and then by road. I would be giving a comparison between these two methods of travel from Lagos to Accra in terms of costs and experience.
There is no need saying that the faster and stress free means of transportation from Lagos to Accra is by Air. Several airlines operate the Lagos to Accra route from the Muritala International Airport. I went with Arik Air and the return trip costed me a little over 83,000Naira, other airlines that fly this route includes; Air Namibia , Air Peace, ASKY, AWA etc. If you are looking for affordable flights, make your bookings here.
My trip with Arik Air from Lagos to Accra took a little over one hour. The flight was on time and I got to Accra at almost the same time I left Lagos. We departed lagos at about 7:30am and landed in Accra 7:30am. I am guessing you know why this was possible. Anyways just in case you do not, Nigeria is one hour ahead of Ghana. On getting to the Kotoka International airport, I was stamped in effortlessly, the only query being how long I intended to stay.
On my second trip to Ghana, I decided to go by road, partly because I was trying to save cost and also because I wanted the road experience. After lurking about a few transportation companies, I decided to go from Lagos to Accra with ABC Transport. I made my booking at the Ajah terminal, I paid the sum of 16,950 Naira for a one-way trip. I also paid an extra 2,000 Naira for stamping. This was because it was my first time by road. Rip off if you ask me. This is actually not by the Transportation Company. Land border immigration in West African countries are as corrupt as hell. You have to pay to have your passport stamped.
Anyways I was expected to get to the Ajah Terminal by 5:00am but guess what, I was there late, I actually thought I would be waited for but Nah. The bus left without me. I rescheduled my bus ticket for the following day, surprisingly for free. I must also commend the terminal manager at the ABC Transport Ajah Terminal. The customer service was topnotch, he answered all my questions at every point and was really nice to my cranky self after missing my bus.
The next day, I was at the station early and a bus conveyed myself and the other passenger to Festac in Amuwo Odofin where we waited at the terminal for about 1 hour for our bus to Ghana. Formalities were done, our passports, receipts and bags were checked and loaded on the bus. Prayers were said, the driver gave warnings about contraband items and drugs, he also gave us an immigration pep talk and we were on our way.
We had quite a number of stops on our about 12 hours journey from Lagos to Ghana and had to alight from the bus on few occasions during the stops. We had to at the Currency Declaration point, on our way out of Nigeria, the Benin-Togo border and at the Togo-Ghana border where we walked through the borders to meet our bus on the other side. Border formalities were pretty smooth and swift, the driver sorted it out, he had handlers who would receive our passports and go stamp them for a token. Passports are kept with the driver through out the journey.
During our voyage, we were sometimes asked for our Yellow Card to be sure we had been vaccinated. Those who did not have, either bribed the officials or got one for 2,000naira with or without being vaccinated at the port health authority. As the port health official was going through the cards, she mentioned something like my yellow card was fake or that my vaccination was incomplete trying to show me what a completely vaccinated individual’s card looked like. I simply pointed out to her that the person had been given a meningitis vaccination which I did not require for travel to Ghana. I am guessing she thought I would be be harassed and try to sort myself out by greasing her palms. I wasn’t having any of that and when she realized this, she backed off.
Surprisingly, It was still daylight when we crossed the Ghanaian Border and sunset when I alighted at my stop in Accra, which was contrary to what I had heard. I had been told that the trip from Lagos to Accra took about 24hours. One advantage the Land Travel has over Air Travel is you do not need an International Passport, for an extra fee payable to the bus company, you can travel with an I.D.
The trip from Lagos to Accra by bus was pretty OK. I was under no stress whatever. I went with the ABC Sprinter bus and I don’t remember being uncomfortable. It was a 15 seater bus however if you are one who loves to catch some sleep on the bus, I am not sure you will find it very comfortable. I tried to sleep but it was pretty difficult so I was up all through. Plus I was having quite an engaging conversation with my fellow passenger who had gone from Lagos to Morocco by bus without a visa.
Have you ever traveled from Lagos to Accra by Bus? How did you find it? What bus company did you use? Have you also traveled from Lagos to any other country by Bus? I would love to know.