Archive for the ‘Africa Travels’ Category

Happy Chocolate Day

14 Feb


Ask people whom they think makes great chocolate, and most would name Belgium, Switzerland, and Britain.  Understandably, until people have experienced Ghanaian chocolate, Ghana would not make their list of countries that produce great chocolate.

In the 1960s Ghana was responsible for more than a third of the total world output of cocoa used in making chocolate.  However, today Ghana and the Ivory Coast together are responsible for roughly fifty percent of the world production of cocoa.  Additionally, chocolatiers are in total agreement about the fact that the finest cocoa beans come from Ghana, hence the reason they pay extra for these beans.

You might be thinking, how do you go from cocoa to chocolate?  First the ripe cocoa pods are harvested.  Then the pods are cracked open and the beans taken out and fermented between banana leaves.  The fermentation process increases the sugar content.  The next step is to allow the cocoa beans to dry completely under the warm African sun.  The farmer then hand sorts the beans while only keeping the premium quality cocoa beans.  Quality control has helped maintain a premium product in this industry.

Cocoa pod from Ghana

At this point, most of the cocoa beans are shipped overseas and processed   into chocolate.  Unfortunately, the beans lose flavor during the six-week voyage.

Omanhene Cocoa on the other hand, makes the chocolate in Ghana, only a short distance from the farm.  You only need to open a box of Omanhene chocolate and you will experience the aroma of pure chocolate.

Omanhene means paramount king or chief. It is a royal title in Ghana. Omanhene chocolate is named appropriately as it lives up to it’s name.

Just as there’s a right way to taste wine, there’s also a right way to taste chocolate.  Steve Wallace of Omanhene Cocoa provides step-by-step directions on chocolate tasting.  First, you should be able to pronounce every ingredient:  the cocoa liquor which gives the aroma and taste; cocoa butter which gives you the mouth feel; and sugar, lecithin and milk.

Hold the chocolate bar between your thump and finger, and then snap it.  You should hear a nice clean break not, a crumble.  Then smell along the fault line.  It should smell like chocolate.  It should also melt in your hand at room temperature.  Push the chocolate against the roof of your mouth and chew.  You should experience a fruity after-taste.

After reading this if you’re in the mood for some quality chocolate, you’re in luck.  Omanhene has extended a discount to my clients.  Scroll down for information on how to order your chocolate.  With that, have a happy chocolate day.

Premium made in Ghana chocolate


The Chocolatier is offering a 20% discount to African Travel Seminars’ clients through March 31, 2012. Visit the website below to shop

The discount code is “ATS”

Happy Valentine’s Day,



Photo Op with Crocodiles

13 Jan

This image could be the result of photo shop or the result of an amazing African Travel Seminars experience. In this case it is the later.

As the founder and president of African Travel Seminars, I always want to experience our programs before an excursion is organized or recommended for our clients. I probably took this philosophy too literally during a visit to Gambia, which is located in West Africa. Here, I am in the town of Bakau, located outside of the nation’s capital of Banjul, in the midst of hundreds of crocodiles. Read the rest of this entry »


Largest Manmade Lake in the World

06 Jan

Where can you experience lush green vegetation, mountains, and the largest manmade lake in the world all in the same location? If your answer is Akosombo, Ghana, you are right.

I have always enjoyed sitting on the terrace at the Volta Hotel that is perched on the top of a hill, so that I could sip my soda while taking in the surroundings. 

Lately the water level has been very high thereby enhancing the scenery as water splashes high up in the air forming mists. If you’re in town on Sunday, take the cruise on the Volta Lake to Dodi Island. You’ll get a closer view of the Dam and also enjoy the calm ride with jazz music, food, and good company. Though Akosombo is truly a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of life in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, sadly, few visitors venture to this part of the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Ghana