Referred to as the Gateway of Africa, Ghana is home to gorgeous mountain and seascapes, an array of different animal species and interesting places. The beautiful beaches and intriguing historical sites make it an absolute must for adventure-hungry tourists and history-hounds alike.
The capital city Accra is a great place to start your Ghanaian adventure. The main entertainment centre of the city is the Makola Market, a vibrant hub of trading, food and pretty much anything you can think of.
If you are in the mood to really relax, Accra’s beaches are of Ghana’s most popular – Labadi Beach, Coco Beach and Bojo Beach to name a few. If you are up for a drive, there are beautiful beaches a few miles from Accra, like Kokrobite Beach. A main attraction here, attracting drummers and dancers from all over the world, is the Academy of African Music and Art (AAMA), founded by master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy. Stay over at Big Milly’s Backyard and chill out at the bar or restaurant with backpackers, volunteers and Ghanaian Rastafarians.
Ghana’s Atlantic Coast is lined with old forts (castles) built by various European powers during the 17th Century; some designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like Elmina Castle. The Cape Coast Castle was built for the slave-trade and is one of the most impressive of Ghana’s old forts. It was built by the Dutch in 1637, expanded by the Swedes; finally the British took control of it in 1664 and turned it into their colonial headquarters. In 1877, the headquarters moved to Accra. Jamestown, one of Accra’s suburbs, is home to James Fort; once monument of European slavery and currently used to house prisoners.
The Christianborg Castle is quite unique as it has been in use on and off as a government building since the 19th century.
Ghanaians are known for their openness and broad, welcoming smiles, but they are also an extremely passionate group of people, especially when it comes to soccer. Seeing a Black Stars game is one of the must-see attractions in Ghana if you truly want to witness their exuberance and zeal.
When travelling on the Central- Western road, make time to visit Cape Three Points. It is a small peninsula in the Western Region of Akanland, West Africa. Forming the southernmost tip of Akanland, it is located between the coastal towns of Dixcove and Princess Town. Cape Three Points is known as the “land nearest nowhere” because it is the land closest to the location in the ocean at 0 latitude, 0 longitude and 0 altitude (the distance is about 570 km).
Ghana also has the world’s largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Volta. A passenger boat, the Yapei Queen runs the entire length of the lake between Akosombo in the South to Yeji in the North.
Ghana’s second largest city Kumasi is the former capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Kingdom in southern-central Ghana. The Ashanti are famous artisans, their gold jewellery and trinkets are famous throughout the world, as is their Kente cloth and wood-carved stools. You can learn more about how they lived at the Manhyia Palace Museum. You can meet the current Ashanti king here; he makes an appearance to greet the public every 42 days.
Mole is the largest of the Ghanaian National Parks and visitors to the park can expect to see a variety of wildlife up close and personal, like buffalo, roam antelope, elephants, warthogs, hyenas, leopard and even lions who have only recently been reintroduced to the area.
If you want to get around Ghanaian-style, try the Tro-Tro, a type of minivan usually crammed with passengers. Although jam-packed and uncomfortable, it is a cost-effective way of getting around major areas. If you want to travel a bit more comfortably, you can catch a “hurry car”, private cars that go to set destinations, usually found at transport hubs. Shared taxis operate along the same principles as the “hurry cars”, but their pricing structure is set up by government. Its ‘shared’ feature, however, implies that the taxi must wait until it is full before departing.
A trip to Ghana is wonderfully exciting and taking in the local culture, learning local traditions and sampling local delicacies is an absolute must. “Kwanso brɛbrɛ!”(‘Safe travels’ in Akan (Twi), the official language in Ghana)