Kpando is a small town in eastern Ghana, about three hours from Accra. Kpando (the “K” is silent) is rarely visited by tourists, and is home to rolling hills and lush farmlands.
Kpando is dominated by the Ewe tribe. The town is part of the Volta Region which is bordered to the west by Lake Volta and by neighboring country Togo in the east. Kpando is a welcome change from the bustle and traffic of large urban centers like Accra and Kumasi. The pace of life is slow, the locals are extremely friendly, and you’ll have the opportunity to truly become part of the local community.
Our local Ghana Coordinator will accompany you from Accra to Kpando. It takes about three hours, depending on the traffic leaving Accra. You will take public transport, either on a government bus or a “trotro” which is a minivan that carries about 12 people. If you are not used to road travel in Africa, the ride can seem harrowing, with buses, cars, and trotros passing each other at breakneck speed on two-lane highways that have their share of potholes and dust.
Ewe is the main language in Kpando. However as in the rest of Ghana, English is widely spoken, along with Twi.
Volunteers in Kpando stay with a local Ghanaian host family. They will provide you with your own room, all meals, include you in family activities, and generally help you adjust to and learn about their culture and country. Our families can host more than one volunteer at a time, so you can stay in the same house with your friend(s) or partner. You can also stay in separate host families that are very near to each other. Orphanage volunteers also have the option of living at the orphanage itself. One advantage of the orphanage accommodations is that there is Internet access available if you have your latop with you. As with the accommodations throughout Ghana, there is rarely hot water, and we recommend sleeping with a mosquito net.
The staple of Ghanaian meals is a doughy ball made from mashed corn, casava, or yam. It’s starchy and tasteless but fills you up. The different varieties are called banku, fufu, and kenke. It’s accompanied by palm nut soup with meat or fish. They’ll usually forgo utensils and eat it with their hand (right hand only). Your host family will appreciate your trying it by hand at least once. Vegetarians are easily accommodated by our host families, with rice, fruit, and a wide variety of beans available. The more popular local fruits include plantains, pineapples, and oranges.
Mobile phones are widely available in Kpando. You can buy and activate a mobile phone for about 40 USD from one of the many mobile phone shops in town. You can also bring your mobile phone from home and buy a local SIM chip to get a local Ghana number. However, keep in mind that this will not work with American phones which are “locked” by the carriers so that they will not work abroad. For Internet, there are a couple of Internet shops in Kpando for both Internet access and international phone calls. As mentioned above, one of the orphanages has Internet access for volunteers who bring their laptop from home. Your host family will also have a phone that you can use to receive international calls from family and friends.
While you are in Kpando, you will likely be within walking distance to the place where you will volunteer. However you can take a taxi which will cost you less than $1 USD for a round-trip ride. We recommend that volunteers buy an inexpensive bicycle ($30 USD) to both commute and visit nearby towns.
Health & Safety
Kpando is extremely safe in terms of personal safety as well as health. The most common ailment is an upset stomach as you adjust to the food and water. You cannot drink tap water — Only drink bottled/boiled water. You must also avoid mosquito bites in order to prevent malaria which can be fatal if untreated. Fortunately, there is a large regional hospital in Kpando that can treat serious illnesses.
Kpando is hot and dry. Daytime temperatures range from 26-35 C (78-95 F) throughout the year.
Sightseeing & Activities
There is not much in the way of sightseeing in Kpando and the surrounding areas. There are very few tourists who even visit Kpando. While you’re in town, there is a lively outdoor market that is a lot of fun to see. Outside of Kpando, it is worth visiting the outdoor Catholic grotto in the nearby town of Agbenohoe, about 15 minutes by taxi (you’ll probably get asked to make a small donation). The grotto has a huge statue of Mary set in the mountain. There is also a modest pottery factory in the town of Fesi that is worth a Saturday visit. Also, take a 15-minute taxi to see Lake Volta to the west of town, where you will see locals making their living from the lake in various ways like collecting driftwood and selling goods to the ferry passengers. There are also several waterfalls in the area such as Wli and Tagbo Falls.
- 1 Week: $995
- 2 Weeks: $1,150
- 3 Weeks: $1,300
- 4 Weeks: $1,450
- (After 4th week, add $150 per extra week)
- Volunteer Placement
- Meals & Accommodations
- Airport Pickup & Drop-Off
- 24-hour Support
- Orientation in Ghana
- Handbook for Ghana
- Pre-trip Guidance & Support
- Assistance with Visa Process
- Drop-off at Program Site
- Introduction to Host Family
- Guidance with Extra Sightseeing
- Cosmic Volunteers T-shirt
- Certificate of Participation
- An experience that will last a lifetime!
(Not Included: Flights, Insurance, Visas)