You’ll have to forgive how late this post is, especially the staff and management of Zaina Lodge.
Not because I’ve been paid to say anything(trust me I wasn’t) but because after my experience there and warm reception I feel like I’ve done them a disservice by not shouting it on top of a roof earlier.
First of all I have to be honest, getting me to go there was tough. I mean I had heard about the awful journey from Tamale to the Mole National Park and just how terrible the road was.
And as much as the thought frightened me, it was the unknown that scared me the most.
See I’m all for an adventure, I don’t mind a few bad turns on my road to paradise, it adds to the excitement actually. Hustling to get to a place and then finally getting there and it being absolutely worth it is very inviting.
But on several occasions, kind of like when you order food at a restaurant and the food looks nothing like the pictures advertised, a lot of Hotels, Resorts etc were exactly like that.
It didn’t help that the pictures on their website looks like something out of this world, and their Safari pictures looked liked something that had been picked of another website, probably one more authentic.
Hey don’t blame me for my thoughts, like I said I’ve had more than my fair share of disappointing resorts and I was a proud Skeptic.
But boy/ girl( just so we have some gender balance) was I wrong.
Ok so I was picked up from Tamale Airport, and as the driver lead us to the car I had psyched myself up for the type of car and long dusty road ahead.
The car, well the picture says it all, and the road left me thinking maybe we should give the government some credit.
The residents told me they road had never been done in the nearly 50 years (not so sure) the national park had existed.
I couldn’t believe it.
Because I couldn’t imagine how there couldn’t have been a road to one of Ghana’s popular tourist attractions.
My anxiety over the trip was slowly fading away and being replaced by admiration. Thanks to the smooth road I was able to take in the beauty of the North and just how much of it I wish I’d known about or seen earlier.
After nearly 2 hours, I began to get restless. “Are we almost there yet?” I continuously asked our driver , poor guy’s ears must have been irritated.
I was still a little anxious but from how good the trip was going so far I couldn’t wait to get to the lodge and see if it was everything it claimed to be.
And from the minute we drove to the entrance of Zaina Lodge as the staff and management waved and welcome me I knew this wasn’t going to be just another Lodge.
From the beautiful architecture, which reflected on the culture of its town and people, to the earthy yet comfortable rooms and the breathtaking view ; Zaina Lodge had in that instance captured my heart.
The pictures online didn’t do the place justice , because the feeling I got as I sat on my balcony and watched the animals drinking from the pond right in front of me was something no amount of pictures could truly capture.
Food! Oh the food, I don’t even know where to begin with that. I can still almost taste the tomato soup I had on my first day(Still waiting on the recipe Chef). The BEST tomato soup I’d ever had.
I can’t even talk about the desserts and how every minute it seemed the chef was on a mission to constantly impress me. At some point my mouth couldn’t keep up. I wanted it all and yet still wanted the savor the taste of each item they placed in front of me.
Like OLIVER TWIST I want more! No I Needed more. How was I going to get back to my kenkey eating reality after this?
The SAFARI! If anyone had told me, “Lydia you’re going to get close enough to take a selfie with an elephant someday” I’d probably think they were on crack. But as it turned out , not only did I get my selfie( can’t post the picture because the look on my face though) I got to walk close enough to look them in the eye.
“Are we really still in Ghana?” I kept asking myself from time to time. And how would anyone believe what I was experiencing?
From having breakfast in the middle of the park surrounded by animals, to going on a canoe safari and seeing birds I’d only ever seen on TV and books, and meeting a man who’d survived a lion attack and lived to tell it. I had experienced more in two days on this trip that I had in all my years of traveling. And that’s saying something because you all know my arse never sits in one place for too long.Me and my Elephant family. 🙂
As I waved the staff and management good bye, I was filled with pride, that this is in Ghana, my GHANA.
Zaina Lodge has set a standard that I don’t know if anyone else can duplicate and if they do, will need to be very hardworking to keep up.
I thought initially that I was special, well I am after all Lydia Forson right? So maybe they were being extra attentive and nice to me. I mean what manager had the time to talk at length with a guest, and how was the chef able to make specialized food for me each day? Even eggless pastries for my friend who didn’t eat eggs? How were there able to remember nearly everything about me and what I needed ?
Until I realized other guest were there and each felt and was treated good as I was.
If you want to disappear into a world of perfection and live like you’re walking on the moon for a while, this is for you.
Thanks Zaina Lodge for your warm reception and for pushing Ghana Tourism this far. I do hope this continues and hopefully you can maintain the high standard you’ve set.
And yes I’m most definitely coming back soon.