Just like every other big city such as Lagos, Abidjan and Dakar, traffic situations can be unbearable for tourists, businessmen and even local inhabitants. For local people who are used to such situations, finding a way around shouldn’t be difficult. However, if you are new to a city like Accra, getting through traffic to make it to an appointment on time or even escaping the stress and hustle of immovable traffic jams may be a bit difficult for you. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading travel website lists a few quick ways beat traffic in Accra.

1.Plan – Accra roads are packed on weekdays especially early in the mornings (‘’rush hour’’) between 6:30 and 9:30 am where almost everyone is rushing to work. The roads are choked with little or no flow of movement on many of the major roads. The trick here is to plan your daily movements ahead of time. Clearly map out your route and set the agenda right before you move. Make sure you have alternatives ready just in case your preferred route is blocked or too choked and you may run late. Knowing where you are going and where you go next from there gives you an idea of where to pass in order to avoid the stress of having to sit in traffic for hours.

2.Avoid ‘’shortcuts’’ – The old adage ‘’shortcuts are dangerous‘’ may apply sometimes if you are a tourist or first time visitor to Accra. Apart from the danger of falling into the hands of criminals and other street deviants who will find the pleasure of extorting or robbing you, you run the risk of falling into more traffic. Sometimes the best way to beat traffic is to stay on the main roads. It may be slow but it will flow. Everyone may want to escape the traffic and may want to use the shortcut. This will make even the ‘’shortcut’’ a bit packed as well.

3.Time your movements – Make enquiries. Ask people who have been in the system for long for the times when traffic is hefty and times when traffic is free for movement. You will also need to know which days have less traffic at which time. This helps in the planning and helps you to avoid falling into serious traffic. The best time to move around in Accra is mainly the ‘’non-rush hour’’ time. Move either very early in the morning before 7:00 am, when many people are still getting ready to leave for work, school or other activities. You can also step out after 10:00am when many people are at work already and the roads are free. In the afternoons, you can also move just before the ‘’rush hour’’ at about 3:30pm or after 8:00pm in the evening when the roads are very free and almost everyone is home.

4. Use other transportation means – These days almost everyone has a car. Be it their own personal cars or company cars. Public transportation like Buses, ’’trotro’s’’ and taxi’s are also found everywhere. This makes our roads very choked and there is no free flow of vehicular traffic. Why not try other means if you can? Take a motorcycle popularly known as ‘’bike’’ or ‘’okada’’, take a tricycle, use a bicycle if the distance is not that far and you don’t have a lot of stuff to carry. Moving between short distances doesn’t have to be stressful. A bicycle can do it faster than having to stay in a vehicle for hours.

5. Find an endurance mechanism – People say that ‘’there is always a way out’’. However, sometimes accepting that you are at a crossroad helps you to figure out an endurance mechanism to adjust or cope with the situation. In times where you cannot do anything about traffic, you can either listen to some very good music. Set the tone depending on your mood or time of day. Create a playlist and name it ‘’Traffic’’ which you can fall on anytime you are stuck. Another way to endure a grievous traffic situation is by calling a friend or family to have a good conversation while you wait for time to pass and for the traffic to move. You can tell them about your experiences so far in the country while you have a laugh or two. It really helps to kill time and not feel the boredom and stress that comes with traffic. You may also think about a unique way to endure as well such as reading a book.

Traffic in Accra can be very serious sometimes and as a tourist or business person with limited time, it may be very frustrating to deal with such things. Hope this helps you to enjoy your stay in Ghana without stress.

Bennet Otoo