Get Going to Ghana
The West African country of Ghana is one of the friendliest places on earth. A magical place full of history, culture, and music, there is plenty to entertain the traveller here. There are plentiful National Parks for nature, beaches for soaking up the sun, and markets for shopping. Here is a list of what not to miss.
The best for history: Cape Coast Castle
The Atlantic Coast of Ghana is filled with 17th century forts, built by various European powers. Many were built for the slave-trade, including the Cape Coast castle, which is one of the most impressive. It was built by the Dutch in 1637, then the Swedes enlarged it, then the British took over in 1664. It was the colonial headquarters of the British for 200 years until they moved the capital to Accra in 1877.
The castle now has an excellent museum about colonial history and the slave-trade. The guided tours will take you through the dungeons and the ‘’door of no return’’.
The best city: Accra
The capital city of Accra is a mix of modern buildings, shanty towns, markets, and castles. Makola market is the central hub, and the city sprawls out around it, with the ocean to the south. This huge city of 2 million people is one of the safer capitals in Africa.
The main attractions include the National Museum, about Ghana’s culture, history of the slave trade, and the Ashanti Kingdom. Makola market is where you can buy anything you need, and gives a lively taste of local life. In and around Accra are great beaches, including Labadi Beach, Coco Beach and Bojo Beach.
The best for nature: Kakum National Park
A dense tropical rainforest in the south of Ghana, Kakum is home to over 40 species of large mammals and 250 species of bird. Visitors may chance across forest elephants, buffalo, Mona-meerkats and civets.
There is a Canopy Walkway that is 30 metres above the ground, with several bridges and 1000 feet (350m) of walkway crisscrossing above the forest. It’s perfect for viewing wildlife and the unique forest plants. Visitors can take guided tours, where you can learn about the medicinal uses of the plants.
The best beach: Kokrobite Beach
The most popular beach is Kokrobite, a 20 mile ride away from Accra. The beach is beautiful, there are bars and restaurants to chill and enjoy the laid back atmosphere.
The main attraction is the Academy of African Music and Art (AAMA), founded by drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy, which attracts drummers and dancers from all over the world. It is possible to get accommodation at the AAMA, or at Big Milly’s Backyard, frequented by backpackers and Rastafarians.
The best for local life: Nzulezo
This tiny village is built on stilts in Amansuri Lagoon. The fishing village is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Ghana. It can only be reached by renting a canoe from the village of Beyin, a 2 hour drive from Axim.
The hours’ canoe trip will take you into the fishing village, where you can mingle with the locals, try the day’s catch, and sleep in a stilt hut. Contact the Ghana Wildlife Society to help plan your journey.