Towns

Accra

The capital city of Ghanais the commercial and cultural motor of the country and is an excellent place to buy native Ghanaian art and craftwork. Visitors here can find practically anything: sculptures, game-skin drums, exotic beads, and superb examples of the colorfully expressive Kente cloth. The Makola Market, also abundant in goods and bargains, is a fine place to experience a true West African bazaar.

Kumasi  

Kumasi was the capital of the Ashanti Empire, and it continues to serve as the cultural center of the Ashanti people. Although the historic city was destroyed almost a century ago, modern Kumasi contains a good cultural center and museum as well as the modern palace of the Asantehene.

 

building - Ghana

house Ghana

bridge in jungle

Ghana beach scene

festival in ghanaman in boat on lake

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What to See

Culture

Ghana has a truly rich culture. There are many different tribes in Ghana, each with their own culture, norms and traditions. Major events in Ghana’s cultural calendar are the spectacular festivals and durbars held when the individual tribes celebrate with chiefs riding in palanquins, adorned with gold.

Festivals
Ghanaian festivals are colourful and vibrant part of the culture. Every year, festivals and durbars are held in various parts of the country to celebrate the amazing heritage of the people. It is a strong believe that these festivals help forge close bondage with their ancestors. These celebrations also serve as seasons of purifying the entire state for the new year. Festivals reflect the very rich culture of the different ethnic groups in Ghana. It is however amazing to note that Ghana has over 100 festival celebrations each year.

Castles
More than 60 castles and forts were built on the coastline of Ghana by the Europeans in the 15th to 18th century. These castles played an important role in the history of Ghana and Africa, similar to the medieval castles in Europe. Castles were built to protect their occupants from hostile European rivals and African enemies, and to facilitate trade in various forms.  St. Jorge Castle in Elmina was the first. This medieval castle was built in 1482 by the Portuguese.  Before the advent of the slave trade in the 17th century, most castles were built to trade gold, mahogany or ivory with the local chiefs, in return for guns, beads, alcohol and other goods. Slave trade became the most important activity. Captives of warfare and raids were sold as slaves to the Europeans by the local chiefs. From the castles they were transported to the Americas to work as laborers.  

Ghana's role as a focus of the gold, ivory, and slave trade resulted in the construction of an entire string of colonial forts along its coastline, and many remain as picturesque legacies of that era. The forts at Dixcove, Elmina, Cape Cove, and Apam are all open to tourists, and some even offer accommodation and meals. While the forts are reason enough to tour the coast, the areas outstanding beaches are an equally compelling attraction.

Craft Villages
In the region surrounding Kumasi are four settlements known as the craft villages. They are the towns of Ahwiaa, Ntonso, Krofrom , and Bonwire, and their inhabitants have been the royal artisans for the Asantehene for generations. Each craft village has a particular claim to artistic fame. Bonwire is the capital of the Kente cloth, while Ntonso boasts the Adinkra cloth. Ahwiaa produces outstanding carved figures, including Ghana's traditional fertility doll, and Kurofuforum specializes in the casting of brass.


Nature

Wildlife
Ghana offers some great opportunities for wildlife viewing, with a wide variety of large mammals like elephants and antelopes, and primate species as baboons, Mona monkeys and chimpanzees. The Black Volta River has a resident population of hippos and Nile crocodiles can be seen in various parts of the country. The Volta estuary and coastal areas west of Accra are important turtle-nesting sites for green, leather-back and Olive Ridley turtles. Ghana also has a lot to offer for bird-watchers. In forested areas, birds such as hornbills, turacos, African grey and Senegal parrots can be seen. The coastal wetlands around the Volta estuary and coastal lagoons are important resting and feeding grounds for some 70 species of indigenous and migratory water birds.


National Parks and Reserves

Bobiri
Forest Reserve
This near pristine forest is situated some 30 km from Kumasi and supports a rich fauna, mostly butterflies, of which nearly 400 different species have been recorded. It is also one of the best sites to watch forest birds and a small amount  of monkeys are also present. Bobiri is a serene and beautiful place to relax. Guided walks are available or you can hike unaccompanied on some of the trails. There is a fine guesthouse at the sanctuary.

Kakum National Park
Located just 20 kilometers from Cape Coast, the Kakum National Park is home to elephants, monkeys and elusive bongo antelopes which roam among over 800 rare species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. But beside its vast natural endowment of plant and animal species, the presence at Kakum Park of world class receptive facilities for visitors such as the 333 meter long tree-top walkway and a multi-purpose visitor centre, have accounted for the park's status as an irresistible destination for eco-tourism. Africa's only canopy walkway is suspended 100 feet above the ground, offers you what is truly a bird's eye view of the rainforest.
The walkway starts at ground level, and as you walk along, the land below you slopes into a valley, and you find yourself twelve stories up in the forest canopy. The horseshoe-like pattern of bridges — made of steel cable, netting, and narrow wooden planks — are connected by tree platforms that serve as observation points for viewing the rainforest.  

Mole National Park
The Mole National Park, about 140 km southwest of Tamale, is the largest and most developed wildlife sanctuary in Ghana. You can see large animals such as antelopes, monkeys and elephants  here. Mole National Park, which extends over 500 sq. km., is a fairly basic but inexpensive destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The game population is abundant, and includes elephants, various species of antelope, an abundant and diverse bird population, monkeys and crocodiles. Unlike many other wildlife reserves in Africa, Mole offers visitors the opportunity to drive or walk throughout the park at very reasonable costs. You can stay at the park hotel, which offers excellent views out over the surrounding parkland. There is also some budget accommodation available in the surrounding villages.


Other Nature Highlights


Nzulezo stilt village

One of Ghana’s highlights lies on the fresh-water Lake Amansuri in the Western part of Ghana.  Nzulezo is entirely built on stilts and platforms over water. Nzulezo can only be reached by dugout canou and the one-hour ride there is as rewarding as the village itself, passing through the Amansuri wetland. You will also be able to see plenty of birds. You can stay overnight at Nzulezo in a tranquil room over the water.

Lake Bosumtwi
Lake Bosumtwi, situated 38km from Kumasi, is the country’s largest and deepest natural crater lake. The lake ringed by lush green hills in which you can hike and visit some of the surrounding small villages.


The Coast
Stretching 500km from Ivory Coast to Togo, the coastline is Ghana’s premier attraction. It’s dotted with wonderful palm lined beaches and the imposing remains of European coastal forts that once served the gold and later the slave trade. Luxury hotels, beach resorts and guest houses cater for the wishes of every traveler. The beaches are generally safe for swimming. From the different beaches you can visit many places of interest, like the towns of Cape Coast and Elmina.