The West African Tour
These upcoming reports map my summer 2019 trip to and from the African continent. As this year is the 'Year of Return', Ghana is welcoming all persons of African descent back to the shores of the nation. It is a year long event marking 400 years since the first slave ship left Africa for the Americas. Ghana has been on my list for ages and I could not have chosen a better time to go.
This report covers London Heathrow to Accra route. Ghana is one of BA's cash crop routes on the African continent, the others being CPT, JNB and LOS. These flights operate from T3 and shares gates with AA.
Booking was done with BA Avios reward points. I redeemed 104,000 miles for 2 persons round trip which was a great deal where taxes were about $510USD. By the time we booked however, economy was only available and we could not alter our dates much so we took what we got.
T3 and the long passage way to get to our gate.
Aircraft: Boeing 747-436
Age: 21.9 years
Layout: F14 C52 W36 Y235
Gate 35 for Accra. The waiting area was absolutely crowded and disorganized. Everyone was rushing to board so I stood back until it got less crowded.
Once onboard, the other passengers took almost an hour to get seated. The aircraft had just come from maintenance and was not cooled down. A/C was only available once the aircraft's engines were on so it was quite the experience sitting idly waiting for people to organize themselves.
Legroom was better than on BA's 789. The IFE were old but I wasn't too worried about that.
While sitting at the gate, PK rolled in from Islamabad.
After sometime we pushed back and gladly the a/c cooled down. Flaps were set.
JJ 77W from GRU had just arrived as two BA 747s prepared for JFK and MIA.
BA's Landor 744 .
BA A388 to SFO on takeoff.
The JFK departure pushed back and preparing for taxi.
During taxi a few heavies were spotted like ET A350, UA 772 and CA a332. That soon ended as rain showers came and made it impossible to clearly spot any a/c.
Upwind RWY 27R.
Banking south toward Accra.
Skies cleared up around cruise, but it was difficult to see mainland Europe below.
The sun beamed through my window as lunch was served. Compared to the catering out of YYZ, this was FAR BETTER. I got the chicken and rice option. It seem as if there were two types of chicken and rice as others got Jollof Rice and chicken as their meal. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.
Passing over Spain
Palma de Mallorca
The major highlight of this flight was flying over the Sahara. The views were amazing for the most part. Even as the views disappeared beyond the dust it was still a sight to see. Here are some images from Algeria, Mali and Niger.
The sun began to set and dust settled in
This image does absolutely no justice.
The old IFE map was pretty interesting. It gave a nostalgic look to our flight. At this point we were right over the Sahara and and hour and some away from ACC.
Flying over Niamey, Niger before crossing the border into Burkina Faso.
The pre-arrival snack was a disappointment compared to lunch. It was fine as I knew I had amazing food waiting when we landed.
Below is Niamey, the capital of Niger.
Descent in Kokota airport (ACC) was swift. Skies were overcast, limiting the view from the night lights. Our landing was pretty hard however but I reached safety, more than 24 hours later.
Arrival. DL's 763 to JFk can be seen at the terminal.
The billboard titles of the airport in Accra.
Despite our travel time being almost 90 minutes over, the flight was enjoyable. BA's food on this flight was better than the first. The crew on this flight seemed somewhat stressed as passengers took their time while boarding and even got up before the seatbelt sign was off (I've seen this happen multiple times in the states/Caribbean so this isn't a biased observation).
The views were amazing as we flew over the African Sahel down into the Gold Coast. I hadn't tried out the entertainment as my eyes were either glued to the natural views or the map during the the flight. Arrival in Kokota Airport was a breeze. Customs took about 10 minutes maximum and there was no extensive queue for arrival. The new terminal is impressive and does operate as effectively as expected.