With just one day to explore the city of Tamale, I hit the ground running to see as much as I could in Ghana’s third-largest city! Join me on a mind-blowing West African adventure as I try some northern Ghana street food and go on a local tannery and market tour of Tamale, Ghana!
My afternoon began at a local tannery, where I could see leather drying on a clothesline. It’s made from sheep and goat skin and goes through a fascinating process. They soak it in a solution that makes it easy to remove the hair.
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Then, they use different plants as dyes to make red, brown, and black leather. Dying takes one day. Then, another man stretches it and they let it continue drying. They can make 100 pieces of leather per day. The whole process takes about a week!
I wanted to get some leather goods! This was only the second tannery I’ve ever visited. Isaac and I headed over to the shop, where they make belts, sandals, wallets, and more. The soles of the sandals are made of car tires. The sandals cost 30 cedis, or about $6 USD. I also bought a snakeskin wallet for 20 cedis and two pillows!
Next, we headed to the central market of Tamale. We passed through the city, past mosques, food vendors, seamstresses, and more.
The market had farming equipment, yams, and more. We saw some porcupine quills, giant African snails, giant shells, hornbill heads, crocodile heads, and more unique items there. They’re used as medicine to fight illness.
The market is very spread-out and quite different from the markets in Accra and Kumasi in terms of layout. I found a vendor selling traditional hats. They came in a variety of beautiful colors. I tried a few on and bought one for 20 cedis.
Then, we found another vendor selling more unique medicines and ritual items including warthog tusks, animal claws, and crocodile heads. They died of natural causes and aren’t hunted.
Next, I came across the tailors, or designers, who sew textiles into hats, smocks, and other clothing items. Further on, I saw beans, rice, fruit, as well as chickens, ducks, turkeys, and guinea fowl.
The butcher shop contained ten butchers. I could see beef, lamb, and goat. The smell was intense, but I love seeing it all, including the organs!
There were less crowds here, which I liked. I visited a shea butter factory and rubbed some on my arm. Then, I met a woman selling some. She has been making it since she was a child!
Isaac bought a huge ball of shea butter for 30 cedis/$6 USD for his aunt in Accra. Then, we came across seven women pounding fufu at once, as well as organ soup. Next, I found a vendor selling fruit and giant bars of soap!
My fufu came with chicken thighs, a chicken drumstick, and peanut soup. I washed my hands beforehand since I would be eating with my hands.
The peanut soup was sweet and oily and so incredibly tasty! Isaac told me that the peanut soup also goes well with rice balls!
Fufu is pounded cassava mixed with plantains or cocoyam. It goes with every type of soup. It was so tasty and paired so well with the chicken!
Where have you been?
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My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 13 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,200 destinations in 82 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.
I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.
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