The wonderful diversity of natural attractions, historical heritage and the vibrant cultural identity offers visitors of Ghana a microcosmic taste of Africa. Known for the hospitality and friendliness of the people, Ghana is an obvious first port of call for especially first time travelers to the African continent and is a pleasant destination for travelers with children. Ghana is one of the few English speaking countries in the region.
People and Culture
- Experience rural life and enjoy the friendliness and hospitality of the local people during your visit to one of the many interesting eco-tourism projects in Ghana.
- Discover the various architectural styles of local houses and the distinctive way of living in the sub-Saharan northern part of the country.
- Visit the flamboyant festivals celebrated throughout the year and learn about culture and traditions of the various tribes in Ghana. Be amazed by the vibrant parades surrounding the traditional chiefs in their colorful dresses and the rhythmic beat of local drumming.
- Visit the traditional weaving villages of Kpotoe, Daboya or Bonwire and explore other craft making villages like the pottery and art village Sirigu and wood carving section of Aburi or Kpando.
- Learn about the colonial period and the way to independency during your visit to the Nkrumah Mausoleum and the national museum in Accra. Combine this with a stroll through the colonial neighborhoods and fishing communities James and Usher town and the cultural center.
- Explore the string of coastal forts including Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle; a thought-provoking memorial to the slave trade.
- Discover the Saharan style built mosques and the Islamic history of Ghana in the regions in the north.
- Enjoy the panoramic scenery after climbing to the top of Mount Afadjatoe, Mount Gemi or the Breast Mountains in Kyabobo Natural park; the highest peaks in the Volta Region. Take a refreshing shower under one of the surrounding waterfalls, like the Tagbo falls at Liati Wote, Wli falls or Ote falls.
- Spot Mona monkeys living in harmony with the local people in the villages Tafi Atome monkey sanctuary and the Baobeng Fiema monkey sanctuary.
- Watch elephants, crocodiles and antelopes during a foot safari in Mole National Park. Spot other species of wildlife during an adventurous drive further into the park.
- Paddle a pirogue on the Black Volta River and look for hippos.
- Take a canoe trip at the Amansuri Lagoon and visit the extra-ordinary stilt village Nzulezo. Highly interesting for bird watchers, like the Xavi Bird Watching Sanctuary!
- Enjoy the shadow of the giant Baobab trees during your hike through the rock formation around the village Bongo or climb to the sacred caves of Tano.
- Enjoy the green rolling hills around the banks of the Volta Lake during a two day ferry trip up north.
- Go for club hopping in Accra or Kumasi!
- Browse at Kejetia Market, one of the biggest West African open-air markets, and visit the cultural center and Menhya palace in the Ashanti capital of Kumasi.
Relaxing and Beach Life
- Taking respite from the Ghanaian heat and relax along the exotic beaches around Busua, Elmina or Ada. Relaxation is guaranteed at Ko-Sa Beach Resort, Green Turtle Lodge, Ellis Hideout and others.
- Enjoy the serene atmosphere and the gorgeous taste of grilled tilapia in the lovely hide-outs at the bank of river or Lake Volta. Relaxation guaranteed at Aloy's Bay, Xofa village, Rainbow Gardens at Lake Bosumtwi and others.
- Sleep in the open-air under a bright sky full of stars! The best places are Sirigu pottery village where you sleep at the flat roof of the decorated compound houses, or Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary where you spend the night on a wooden sleeping platform in top of the giant silk cotton tree.
A popular feature of Ghana is the great festivals held around the country, for the most joyous affairs when locals dress up in their finest traditional attire and tourists are welcome to join in. Some of the more important of perhaps 100 local festivals have become special tourism events.
A Description of a few of the major festivals in Ghana
DIPO (Puberty Rites)
A puberty festival to initiate young girls into womanhood with a parade in attire close to nudity.
Place: Held in Krobo land, 50 miles east of Accra.
ABOAKYIR (Deer Hunting)
A hunting expedition by two Asafo groups to catch live antelope. The first group to present its catch to the Chief at a colorful durbar is declared winner and is highly regarded for bravery.
Place: Winneba, 17 miles west of Accra.
BAKATUE (Fish Harvesting)
A royal procession of chiefs and stool holders riding in palanquins through principal streets to a sacred shrine where chiefs pour libation and sprinkle sacred food. Pouring of mashed yam and eggs into the Bake (lagoon), followed by
scooping with a net, after which permission is given to fishermen to open the fishing season, after a ban. Festival culminates in a regatta.
Place: Edina/Elmina, 99 miles west of Accra.
FETU AFAHYE (Harvest commemorating first contact with whites)
A colorful procession of chiefs, amid drumming, dancing and firing of musketry. There is a uniqueness in the attire. Sacrifice of a cow to the seventy-seven (77) gods of Oguaa.
Place: Cape Coast (Oguaa), 90 miles west of Accra.
Ceremonies for this festival include a procession of chiefs through principal streets with all twins in the area dressed purposely for the occasion. All this is done amidst the sprinkling of festive food kpokpoi to the gods and ancestors of
Place:Accra/Ga Traditional Area.
This festival dramatizes the tradition myths and legends of the people, and commemorates a period of remembrance and thanksgiving to the gods for their mercies in the past year, and renewal of family and societies. A durbar of chiefs crowns the celebration amidst drumming and dancing.
Place: Akropong Traditional Area, 90 miles north of Accra.
Originally linked with the birth of Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah. This festival has assumed a traditional character A two-day festival full of pageantry, showmanship and horse riding.
Place: Tamale/Yendi, 425 miles north of Accra.
Symbolizes the migration of Anlos from the tyrannical ruler of Notsie in older day Togoland to their present homeland in Ghana. There is a re-enactment of this migration, which involved walking backwards, performed by women, children, the old and the young alike.
Place: Anlo Traditional Area, 88 miles east of Accra.
FIOK (War Festival)
A war festival to re-enact ancient historic exploits of the Busa people. There is a durbar, as well as drumming, dancing, and thanksgiving to the gods.
ADAE (Festival of Purifying of the Ashantis' Ancestral Stools)
Festival of the Asante. Celebrated every 40th day. Especially magnificent when it falls on a Sunday.
Place: Kumasi, 168 miles (272 kilometers) north of Accra.
Drumming and Dancing
Learn Authentic African Drumming and Dancing Come and experience African drumming and dancing at its finest; a classroom on the beach with Ghana’s only female master drummer.
Cape Coast hosts an array of talented musicians, and you can take a class with one of the best! Learn some West African songs, their history and their dances. Africa is well-known for their music, and the dancing that accompanies it. You can participate in these wonderful arts that have been performed for centuries. Learn how villages use “talking drums” to communicate within the village and between different villages—a technique that is still in use today. Learn a traditional song and dance that is performed at funerals and weddings.
The fascinating stilted village of Nzulezo, founded some 500 years ago above the jungle-bound Lake Amansuri, centerpiece of a community-based wetland reserve that supports a dazzling assemblage of rare brids.
The haunting crvaceuos adobe architecture of northern Ghana, exemp- lified by the medieval Larabanga Mosque nears the entrance of Mole National Park, and the century-old Wa-a’sPalace in the remote town of Wa.
The Posuban shrines of Elmina, Anomabu and Mankessim, outsized and mildly surreal military storehouse whose fusion of indigenous and exotic iconography attests to five centuries of interaction with European traders and settlers.
Abosomfie "Fetish Shrines"
The ten ancient Abosomfie ‘fetish shrines’ that dot the lush countryside of Asante, many of which remain in active use, and which were collectively proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
The National Museum in Accra is the largest and oldest of the six museums under the administration of of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The museum building was opened on 5th March, 1957 as part of Ghana’s independent celebration. The official opening was performed by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Kent, the Late Princess Marina.