This is the second of this series that focus on showcasing beautiful attractions in several African countries. Our first stop was Nigeria – we explored ten vacation destinations that tourists would enjoy visiting while in Nigeria.
Our next stop is Ghana. If you are planning a trip to Ghana, either business or pleasure, in not particular order, here are ten of the MUST SEE places in the country.
1. Lake Volta (Volta Lake)
Lake Volta is the largest is the largest man-made lake in the world. The Volta Region, dominated by the Lake Volta, is one of Ghana’s most beautiful areas. The imposing Akosombo Dam splits the lake, its huge turbines generating electricity for the country.
The lake is navigable from Akosombo through Yeji in the middle of the country; a twenty-four-meter pontoon was commissioned in 1989 to link the Afram Plains to the west of the lake with the lower Volta region to the east. Hydroelectricity generated from Akosombo supplies Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
2. Cape Coast Castle
Ghana’s Atlantic Coast is lined with old forts (castles) built by various European powers during the 17th Century. The Cape Coast Castle was built for the slave-trade and is one of the most impressive of Ghana’s old forts. It was originally built by the Dutch in 1637, later expanded by the Swedes, finally the British took control of it in 1664 and turned it into their colonial headquarters. It stayed that way for the next 200 years until they moved the capital to Accra in 1877.
The Cape Coast Castle is now an excellent museum with information about the history of Ghana, the slave-trade and local culture. Guided tours are a “must” and will take you through the dungeons and the “door of no return”. Cultural and theatrical performances are often staged as well. Prominent among these are the re-enactment of the horrors of the slave trade as well as a solemn, touching portrayal of the final journey of the Africans as they walked through the hellish dungeons into the awaiting ships that transported them to the Americas.
3. Elmina and St George’s Castle
Elmina is a scenic fishing town along Ghana’s coast, not far from Cape Coast. It is home to one of Ghana’s biggest attractions, St George’s Castle.
St George’s Castle is the earliest known European structure in the tropics. Built in 1482 by the Portuguese during early world exploration, the castle was taken over by the Dutch in 1637, who retained control for 274 years. Located inside the vast fortification is the first Catholic church in Sub-Sahara Africa. The Castle’s damp, unlit dungeons served as horrific holding areas for the human cargo of the infamous slave trade.
The Castle houses a small museum and guided tours are available.
Kumasi is the ancient capital of the Ashanti kingdom in southern-central Ghana, a very important and historical center for Ghana.It is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa’s largest cultural center, the palace of the Ashanti king. To add to the appeal, it’s surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast central market as vibrant as any in Africa.
The Ashanti are famous artisans, their gold jewelry and trinkets are famous throughout the world, as is their Kente cloth and wood-carved stools. You can see examples at the National Culture Center as well as various craft villages on the outskirts of Kumasi.
5. Accra, Ghana’s Capital
Accra, Ghana’s capital, is a lively, safe and extremely vibrant city with about 2 million residents. With good beaches, excellent nightlife, colorful markets, and inspirational art galleries there is plenty to see and do to suit everyone’s tastes.
Accra has a mixture of modern buildings, shanty towns, occasional castle and lively markets. The central hub is around the Makola Market, just south of the market is the Atlantic ocean.
The main attractions in Accra include:
- Beaches – Labadi beach, Bojo beach, and Coco beach
- Makola market
- National Museum
6. Mole National Park
Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest national park. It is located in the heart of the pristine Guinea Savannah Woodland ecosystem with low hills and escarpments. The scenic drive to Mole, though rough, will leave you, an adventurous visitor, nothing but an experience to always cherish and remember.
In Mole you can expect to see buffalo, roam antelope, elephants, warthogs, hyenas and if you’re very lucky, leopard. Lions have recently been re-introduced to the park as well. There are also more than 250 species of birds to enjoy. You can opt for a walking safari or a traditional game drive accompanied by an armed guard.
The best time to spot wildlife is during the dry season from January to March as animals congregate around the water sources.
Very close to the park, is Larabanga Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ghana.
7. Kakum National Park
Kakum is one of the most famous national parks in Ghana. Located in southern Ghana, it is made up of mostly undisturbed virgin rain forest. The forest is home to over 40 species of larger mammals including forest elephants, forest buffalo, Mona-meerkats and civets. The bird life is fantastic as well with over 250 species living in the forest.
Located in Kakum National Park in the West African country of Ghana, Africa’s only canopy walkway is suspended 100 feet above the ground, offering you what is truly a bird’s eye view of the rainforest. At this height, you don’t have to be an expert to identify the colorful patterns of tropical birds as they glide through the forest below you.
Trained guides are on hand to take you on a tour and provide detailed insight into the medicinal uses of the forest plants.
There’s also a basic campsite for those who wish to camp overnight.
8. Busua Beach
Busua is one of Ghana’s best beaches and offers the visitor a chance to relax, paddle around in the Atlantic and enjoy some lobster.
The beauty of Busua lies in its long sandy beach, its compact size, its popularity with tourists, and its distinctive hotels. It is a small and quaint town, and it has a different feel from the other towns and villages of Ghana West Coast. Busua is very touristic – and the town has been so for a long time. Compared to the rest of Ghana West Coast, it is quite well-developed for a community its size.
There are several hotels along the beach front ranging from luxurious to simple. The Busua Beach Resort is a modern, large hotel with dining facilities, pool and beach chalets. The more intimate Busua Inn is run by a French couple. The bar/restaurant on the beach serves excellent French food. The African Rainbow resort is a small family run hotel with 12 rooms, reasonable rates include breakfast.
9. Kokrobite Beach
Kokrobite is a small fishing village, about 20 miles west of Accra. It is located on a long stretch of beach on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and is a popular destination for tourists seeking sandy beaches. Its proximity to Accra makes it an ideal getaway for city dwellers.
One of the main attractions here is the excellent Academy of African Music and Art (AAMA) founded by master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy. The Academy attracts drummers and dancers from all over the world.
Kokrobite beach can be dangerous at night, so tourists are advised to beware of pickpockets and petty thieves. Fortunately, since the recent building of the local police station, these problems have considerably diminished. During the day the beach and surrounding villages are generally safe, friendly, and used to visitors.
10. Boti Falls
Boti Falls is situated in a village called Boti in the Manya Krobo district in the Eastern Region. This spectacular waterfalls is situated in the Eastern Region of Ghana, embedded at the heart of the forest reserve at huhunya, which is about 11 miles North-East of Koforidua, the regional capital.
It is seasonal, with cascades in the immediate surrounding areas. The falls is at its best from June to August.
These are some of the beautiful places to visit in Ghana. InfoNubia will explore more African countries and continue to spotlight fascinating places that tourists would enjoy visiting. Meanwhile, check out some of the the best safari destinations