Meet the man behind Ghana’s new 25 million dollar eco-resort described as Africa’s “Disneyland”
Samuel Afari Dartey is no longer in charge of Ghana’s forestry commission, he is now a fully-fledged environmentalist on a mission.
As forestry Commission boss he led the charge on World Earth Day every year, with the objective of making people think twice about the way they treat the earth.
In 2015, he decided to take the plunge and invest in the hospitality sector out of which came Acqua Safari, a tourist resort set to be ground-breaking in the environmental movement at the time.
Today he is out with yet another breath-taker. The Safari Valley resort which is currently operating phase one and receiving only day visits has set tongues wagging. So I leaned forward and with curiosity flaring in my eyes Paakwesiasare.biz reached out to him. This is what he said
“A friend of mine invited me to visit his farm and encouraged me to get into the same enterprise .We acquired a few acres and started to develop some rubber plantations but anytime I visited, I thought the place was unique and I knew I had to come up with some idea, an idea that could optimize the use of this beautiful renewable natural resource”. He tells me
Nearly hundreds of tourists visit Aburi each weekend, to stay in cottages and luxury hotels alike. But Afari Dartey’s eco-resort could mark a revolutionary change to tourism in the area, as visitors would come for a “restorative experience” on their sustainable stay.
“I started one business in the hospitality industry already, Aqua safari resort, which was doing extremely well, one of its kind in the country so it wasn’t difficult to conceptualize something that will relate”. CEO of the Aqua Safari Group, Afari Dartey tells me.
Unlike Aqua Safari, the Safari Valley Resort focuses more on forest resources, wildlife resources, theatre, Arts and more importantly culture while giving you the ocean and marine environment. With unrivalled sunset views, Safari Valley is being described as Africa’s Disneyland. The facility boasts of caves, lakes and tree houses that tell the story of Kwaku Ananse
Sheltered in the colorful mountains of the eastern region of Ghana and a few minutes’ drive from the Aburi botanical gardens you’ll find the sprawling Safari Valley resort.
This eco-resort is making a name for itself by creating a truly unique chance for guests to fully engage with nature while concentrating on health and wellness. Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s a chance to put aside our phones and leave the worries of this life behind.
The 500 acre Eco-resort is carving out a new way of life for people to enjoy the farm life while still being treated with modern comforts. Yes, you will find wildlife wandering freely and birds chirping, but you can also enjoy luxury accommodations, spa services and a one of a kind golf experience before capping the day with a freshly prepared, organic meal. You might not ever want to leave!
”Because it is an Eco-lodge, we’re planning to put into consideration that we won’t destroy the environment, such that where a tree has to be taken out, we will make sure that four trees replace that particular tree”. Says Afari Dartey.
The mission at Safari Valley resort is simple “bringing you closer to nature, livestock, friends and families.” They do this while aiming to set a standard for the best ecological practices both for this generation and those to come.
Safari Valley is home to dozens of species of wildflowers and wildlife with local and exotic animals such as antelopes, zebra’s, giraffes. It incorporates natural elements like plants, earth and water.
“One important thing when you are in this environment is your ability to engage with the animals without any form of fear you learn from them and most importantly you show them love”. Says Afari Dartey
Safari Valley eco-resort also features a hotel and vacation homes. The first phase consisting of 102 rooms in total, with details such as lighting and solar panels so that each home is energy efficient. Outdoor and indoor experiences will be merged with open-air buildings surrounded by palm trees, lush, green landscapes and infinity pools. Residences that can accommodate an entire family
The Safari drive– drive through the well fenced and secured park “the safari drive when done will be an area where we will have a preview of wild animals, like lions, a few hyenas and a few ostriches and others”
Conference center- The facility has been designed for smaller, medium to large corporations to come take strategic decisions relating to their business
Relax and Rejuvenate at Full-Service Spa
Don’t let the rural setting at Safari Valley Ranch fool you — world-class facilities are still available in abundance. “Opening a spa is something you just don’t see every day on a real farm
At the Spa there are many ways to merge health and wellness into your getaway. The facility utilizes all-natural products and guests can take advantage of services such as massages, facials and nail treatments . Half an hour in the fitness room, pool or scaling the climbing wall can burn off some stress and calories too.
Manmade water canal– This is meant for micro-climate regulation and during the day will teach people how to fish and canoes where couples or friends can sit in
Farm– which provides 90 percent of food and a live restaurant while you enjoy the great view of animals walking past while you eat. The restaurant can house 1200 guest with a walkway as a viewing platform where you have a flamingo. Only wake up early and watch the sunrise from one of Safari’s’ lakeside one or two-bedroom log cabins, which come complete with king-sized beds, rain showers, stone floors, stocked in-room coolers and private hot tubs on the patio.
Other activities include Zipline, state of the art shooting range that will provide licensed gun owners and a place to practice, helicopter services from the resort to other sites around safari valley and all over Ghana
The natural resource economist is hoping government will pay more attention to investors in the hospitality industry and support them.
“We want government to provide support Industries that seek to employ a large section of our people because when it comes to hospitality the cascading effects is extremely enormous”.
Safari Resort is not only providing an environmental experience but also fun. Beyond the spa, golf and world class dining, you will also find plenty of western adventures at Safari Valley with horseback riding, mountain biking, shooting, sports arena, full soccer pitch, basketball course, long tennis, well equipped gym and a walking trail for hikers with butterfly sanctuary and other amenities., to name a few, the activities are nearly endless.
All accommodations feature rain showers, stocked mini-bars, leather furniture and large flat-screen televisions.
Afari Dartey has plans to replicate this in every region of Ghana with Safari Palm Lands in the western region and Safari royal gardens soon to hit the Ashanti region. Each region will be designed based on the peculiarity of the people. His greatest joy is to turn this into an economic potential and create massive jobs for the youth. Aqua Safari is today creating livelihoods for nearly thousands of Ghanaian youth.
So, are you ready for a break from the daily grind and looking to feel the eastern wilderness in a unique, eco-conscious way? You may find the restorative wellness your mind and body require with a visit to Safari Valley farm, where you will put down the mobile phone and look up to see all that nature has to offer. Watch below what Mr Afari Dartey sent me