From the land of windmills to the West Coast of Africa
  • July 7, 2015
  • Portside News

From the land of windmills to the West Coast of Africa


As Group Director at Portside, my family and I recently decided to relocate from the Netherlands to Ghana so I could manage Portside on the ground at our Port Tema location. It’s a big deal to move your family to the other side of the world and it’s been an interesting time as we find our feet in beautiful Ghana.

I thought I’d share a little about the relocation experience with our valued Portside customers and partners.

Before making the official move, my wife and I visited Ghana (for her, the first time). We enlisted the help of Angela from Ghana Relocation Services to help us find our new home. Angela must have shown us at least 20 houses in the Accra area, before we finally decided on a house within a compound in Accra.

We then returned home to pack up our old life and start anew in Ghana.

After sorting out the administration, I flew to Ghana a week before my family were due to sort out the house. Our container full of furniture was expected to be cleared in a week, but unfortunately it took a bit longer. As I was sleeping on a couch (essentially camping in my new house) throughout this period, my family decided to delay their arrival until I had set up house. Thankfully, a few days later the container arrived and I devoted two full days to just building IKEA furniture – by the end I’d really had enough of IKEA!

My family finally arrived. We soon found out that there are lots of children on the compound and it seems my boys can easily get acquainted quicker then we can!

There is a small world of expats here in Accra, but before I knew it I was added to a Whatsapp group with playdates for my kids. While my wife and I were making the final touches to our house, our boys were busy playing with our neighbour’s toys and even went swimming together.

The only downside to this move is that I have to sit in traffic from Tema to Accra, which can be as long as two hours! Fortunately in this country we can afford a driver, so I now also have a mobile office! 


Bas’ long and dangerous journey from Accra to Tema each day – take care Bas!

It has been a hell of a month but we are quickly getting settled here. My family has already made lots of new friends and I’m looking forward to being able to work closely with the team at Portside in Tema.

Below are my new contact details as I continue my work in Ghana:

Mob: +233 (0) 207997661



Bas de Vaal