Cape Coast castle
HISTORY - The first timber construction on the site was erected in 1653 for the Swedish Africa Company and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden. It was later on rebuilt in stone. In April 1663 the whole Swedish Gold Coast was seized by the Danes and integrated in the Danes Gold Coast. In 1664 the Castle was conquered by the British and was extensively rebuilt by the Committee of Merchants (whose Governors administered the entire British colony) in the late 18th century. In 1844, it became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold Coast. The Castle was built for the trade in timber and gold, later it was used in the trans- Atlantic slave trade where Africans were sold and shipped to the Americans and the Caribbean. The “door of no return” was the stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. At the time slaves were a valuable commodity in the Americans and elsewhere, and slaves became the principal item traded in Cape Coast. Due to this, many changes were made to Cape Coast Castle. One of the alterations was the addition of large underground dungeons that could hold as many as a thousand slaves awaiting export. Many European nations flocked to Cape Coast in order to get a foothold in the slave trade. Business was very competitive and this led to conflict. This is the reason why the castle at Cape Coast changed hands many times during the course of its commercial history.
Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine) Castle, also known simply as Mina in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast). It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, and took over all the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of the British Empire.
Hans cottage botel spells one of the most exciting and tourist oriented sites in the hotel industry. The hotel offers some spellbound and fascinating facilities to the delight of the visitors. The environment itself is carved out of the woods or a dense forest. In the botel is a lake with crocodiles. The lake offers sailing, fishing and boat riding to the amusement of guest. More astounding and fascinating are crocodiles; Do not panic! – These are friendly crocodiles and they mean you no harm. Guests enjoy the wildlife of this place and also take pictures with the live crocodile that are super friendly.
Kakum National Forest
Kakum National Park is on coast of southern Ghana, in West Africa. It protects an area of rainforest, home to endangered mammals such as forest elephants, bongo antelopes and primates like the Diana monkey. The park is rich in butterflies and birds, including African grey parrots and hornbills. In the forest is a Canopy Walkway, suspended 40 meters above the ground; Tourists walk on this suspending bridge and have a treetop view of the forest. Kakum National Park is a home for nature lovers. Trained guides are on hand to explain the economic, cultural, and medicinal values of plants and farming.
Assin Manso Slave River (Heritage Site)
Assin Manso Heritage Site is located about 40km north of Cape Coast. Assin Manso is renowned for the inhuman activity meted out to people during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade era. Slaves brought from the interior parts of the country were rested, bathed, sorted out and re- sold, before transported via the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles to waiting ships bound for the Americas. The Slave River or “Nnonkonsuo” happens to be the major feature of the Assin Manso Slave Market Site. While at this Site, visitors can visit the tombs of two slaves, Samuel Carson and Crystal whose skeletal remains were returned from the United States of America and Jamaica respectively in 1998 for re- internment in Ghana. Other land marks include a Prayer Hall and grassy Meditation lawn. The banks of the Slave River are shaded by tall bamboo trees with rest benches available for visitors to relax and reflect on the tribulation of the slave trade.
FORT ST. JAGO
The present location of the fort used to be a small Portuguese Chapel. By the 1660s, the Dutch had constructed a permanent fort to provide military protection to the castle and also serve as disciplinary institution for European convicts, unlike other forts that were used for trading activities. Strategically located within a walking distance from the Elmina Castle, it provided the Dutch the opportunity to launch successful land attacks on the Elmina Castle. After 1872, its English owners added some alterations such as a second floor to the main building allowing the fort to be put to some civilian uses. Recently, it was earmarked to be used as a prison, hospital and rest house. Its location on a hill affords one an excellent view of Elmina Township and the Castle. The 19th Century Dutch Cemetery is located in the centre of Elmina near the “Posuban” Shrine (one will notice it by the life –size statues and high decorated façade). As the name suggests, it was built in the 19th Century and it contains the graves of many former residents of the Castle. It also harbours the graves of individuals who were important to the local citizenry. A mausoleum at the centre of the cemetery was reserved for the tombs of the Castle’s Governors.
EASTERN REGION TOURIST SITES
Dodi Island Dodi is an island in Ghana, located 5 kilometers off the shore of Lake Volta. It is a tourist destination and a land place for the cruise ship, Dodi Princess. The Dodi Princess ferries revelers from an embarkation point in Akosombo and cruises to the Dodi Island amidst musical funfair of life band on board, food and drinks. It has a swimming pool on board for both kids and adults. Akosombo Dam Also known as the Akosombo Hydroelectric Project is a hydroelectric dam on the Volta River in southeastern Ghana in the Akosombo gorge and part of the Volta River. Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area. It covers 8,502 square kilometers (3,283 sq. mi), which is 3.6% of Ghana’s land area. The Dam over the years has been a major destination for educational tourism especially for students. Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm – Mampong Akwapim The first cocoa farm established in the Country from seeds first brought from Fernando Po Island by the Legendary Tetteh Quarshie. From this small beginning grew our major cocoa industry. It is believed that a few of the original first trees planted by Tetteh Quarshie can still be found on the farm. Aburi Botanic Gardens – Aburi The Aburi Botanic Garden is one of the most beautiful peaceful and fascinating places in the Eastern Region. The gardens is both an educational and aesthetic experience, research purpose with beautiful palm lined lanes and a wide variety of traditional, medicinal plants, including a silk cotton tree (Ceiba pentrandra) that is the sole survivor of the original forest that once covered the Aburi hills. Tini Waterfalls – Adasawasi Tini Waterfall is located in a lush ever green forest about 6km from Adasawase, a small farming community of about 6km from Anyinam off the Accra-Kumasi highway in the Atiwa District of the Eastern region. The attraction consists of spectacular cascading waterfalls over a giant rock formation and an ancient cave. Adjeikrom Cocoa Trail Begoro as they say has a fascinating side of the town aside it being the largest village in West Africa, it has a lot of tourist attractions that makes the town unique than other neighbouring towns. Adjeikrom (the town was named after the founder Samuel Adjei) is located on the main Osiem-Begoro road, off the Koforidua-Kumasi highway in the Fanteakwa District. Tourists do go to Adjeikrom Cocoa Trail prominently for Cocoa Farm Tour, Village Tour and Mountain Hiking. Adjeikrom Cocoa Trail also plays a role in the production of cocoa in the Agricultural Industry. Bruku Shrine Bruku Shrine which is located in Kwahu Tafo is a reserve deity among the people of Kwahu. In the olden days, most of the people where traditional worshippers who made pilgrimages to the shrine to pay homage. There is a monument of a horse on top of the mountain which is created as a result of the activities of a compressing pressure on faults of bedrocks. Cocoa Research Institute Of Ghana Established in 1938 at Tafo, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana investigates problems of diseases and pests which affect not only cocoa but other crops such as coffee and sheanut. It also has a club house with recreational facilities, top of which is a standard eighteen (18) hole golf course. Boti Falls Boti falls which is a twin water fall which is embedded at the heart of the Huhunya forest reserve. The fall is situated about 17km North-East of Koforidua. The falling of the water is seasonal in nature because of Climate change. The fall is usually at its best from March to August which is the rainy seasons. Bunso Arboretum & Canopy Walkway The Bunso Aboretum is home to different species of trees, butterflies and birds. This makes it lovely for visitors to have nature’s walk. Mobile swimming pool and bouncy castle are also available in the park during holidays and special programmes. The canopy walkway which is the latest addition of adventure walkway to the parks is connected to six (6) trees including devil’s tree and Dahoma tree with five (5) platforms that reach the height of 35m and length of 210m. Big Tree This is biggest and accessible tree in West Africa. It is located at Asantemanso near Akim Oda in Esen – Epam Forest Reserve. An artificial forest has been planted to differentiate it from the existing natural forest.
VOLTA REGION TOURIST SITES
Wli/Agumatsa Waterfalls One of the most important tourist attractions of the Region are the Wli Waterfalls. These waterfalls are said to be the highest and most spectacular in West Africa. The Wli Falls are located a twenty-minute drive away from Hohoe at the edge of the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary. The water falls from a height of about 1,600 feet, into a plunge pool where swimming is permitted. The Volta Lake Lake Volta and, to a lesser extent, the Volta River dominate the Region. It is an area of great scenic beauty, with river and ocean beaches and picnic spots shaded by palm trees. Overwhelming views fascinate visitors. The attractive small town Kpando has the Region’s most important River port. Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary This Sanctuary is one of the most successful examples of community based tourism development in the Region. The sanctuary has a large number of Mona Monkeys which are considered sacred. During guided nature walks through the reserved forest, you will be able to meet the monkeys and feed them as well. Mount Afadza Afadzato (Tallest Mountain in Ghana) Is the highest peak in the country (885m above sea level). It hosts a remarkable variety of butterflies, relic populations of mammals and bird species. The tour to the top will take you on the average 2 hours depending on your speed and strength and you will be rewarded with great scenic views. The close Tagbo Falls are also worth a visit.
WESTERN REGION TOURIST SITES
The village on Stilts of Nzulezu An amazing village where life goes on in the centre of Lake Tadane, just 90km west of Takoradi. The houses are built on stilts, and traditional village life adapts to the watery conditions. The excursion from Beyin involves a walk through the reeds at the lake’s edge, and a trip in a dugout canoe to the village. The village welcomes visitors every day except Thursday, which is a sacred day.
ASHANTI REGION TOURIST SITES
THE MANHYIA PALACE MUSEUM/OKOMFO ANOKYE SWORD The seat of the Ashanti King which houses a Royal Museum stocked with unique paraphernalia and life-size statues of notable Ashanti Kings and Queens, as well as a Gift Shop and Art Gallery. The Manhyia Palace Museum was created within the Old Residence of Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh I and Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, the thirteenth and fourteenth Kings of Ashanti respectively. This historic building, which was built in 1925, was rehabilitated in 1995. The Museum was officially opened on August 12, 1995 by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, the 15th King, as part of activities marking the Silver Jubilee of his ascension to Sikadwa (Golden Stool). Okomfo Anokye Sword LAKE BOSOMTWE It is located 31 km southeast of Kumasi. .It is regarded as a sacred water body by the Ashantis. This picturesque Crater Lake is surrounded by dozens of fishing and farming villages. The lake basin is ideal for mountaineering, diving, swimming, fishing, hiking, building and relaxation. Tradition forbids fishing on the Lake on Sundays. The use of dugout canoes and paddles on the lake is also forbidden. It is by far the most expensive and deepest (90 m) natural fresh water body in Ghana with a surface area of around 25 km. Accessible by road from Kumasi. DIGYA NATIONAL PARK Occupies 3,478 square kms of undulating terrain on the western shore of the Volta Lake. Made up of predominantly Guinea Savannah woodland and gallery forest along the major rivers, complete with sandstone inselbergs. Has at least six primate species, black and white colobus monkeys, elephants and a variety of antelope species, manatees and clawless otters. ADANWOMASE KENTE VILLAGE Strip-weaving has existed in West Africa since the 11th century and the village of Adanwomase has been weaving the cloth known today as Kente since the 17th Century. It has served as the royal weaving villages for the Asantehene (Asante King).weavers create customized designs for clients. kente is used in worship and in ceremonies related to birth, marriage and death
BRONG AHAFO TOURIST SITES
KINTAMPO WATERFALLS At the point where the Pumpu River falls some seventy (70) metres down beautiful rocky steps to continue its journey towards the Black Volta at Buipe, is the Kintampo Waterfalls. Located 4km away from the Kintampo Township on the Kintampo-Tamale highway, it consists of three (3) unique stages which can be accessed by a footpath. The final stage offers an exciting twist as the tourist can only access the beautiful waterfall by descending a windy flight of 152 stairs. Receptive facilities are available for tourists. There is also a rest stop and a 2-star rated accommodation facility in the neighborhood of the tourist site for tourists who may need to rest or stay overnight. FULLER FALLS Located on the Yoko River, at Yabraso which is 7km west of Kintampo town. The Fuller Falls offers the tourist a serene environment for activities such as retreats and picnics. The cascading nature of this waterfall over rocky surfaces before joining the Black Volta makes it a delight to watch. TANO BOASE SACRED GROVE It is believed that the sacred grove is indeed the cradle of Bono Civilization. It is located in the Techiman Municipality. The grove served as a hideout for the Bono people during the slave trade and inter-tribal wars many, many years ago. It also serves as a place for recreation and religious activities. BONO MANSO SLAVE MARKET An important landmark in the history of the Slave Trade in the Brong Ahafo Region. Located at Bono Manso on the Techiman- Kintampo road, Bono Manso was the point where slaves from the north were graded and sorted. The strongest of the captives were selected and sent to the coast leaving the weaker ones in the town. To date, African Americans and other African people in the Diaspora visit the area to learn about their origin and history DUASIDAN MONKEY SANCTUARY Located 10km southwest of Dormaa Ahenkro, this sanctuary hosts a rare breed of Mona Monkeys. The tourist is welcomed by the presence of these monkeys as you enter their forest-like abode. Bamboo trees form a canopy in the middle of the forest which serves as a resting ground for visitors. Monkeys can be seen swinging up and down tree branches and peeling bananas left out for them. It is quite an interesting sight to behold as the visitor gets the chance to see how monkeys carry their babies on the move
NORTHERN REGION TOURIST SITES
MOLE NATIONAL PARK Mole National Park is the country’s premier park for game viewing and perhaps the most important single attraction in the northern region. It was established in 1958 and re- designated as a National Park in 1971. Covering about 4577kmsq of undulating terrain with steep scarps, pristine guinea savannah vegetation and gallery forest along the rivers and streams, the park is home to almost 90 animal species notable among them being elephants, buffalo, roan, kob, hartebeest, waterbucks, warthogs, and 4 primate species. Lions, leopard and hyenas also occur and over 300 bird species have been recorded. PAGA CROCODILE POND Paga is located at the border between Ghana and Burkina Faso. It is 40kms from Bolgatanga and 12kms from Navrongo. Paga is noted for its sacred pond, which is a sanctuary for crocodiles. The crocodiles are said to be totems for the people of Kassena, who reside in Paga and the surrounding communities. It is believed that each native of Paga has a corresponding crocodile representing each person’s soul. Local tradition has it that there have been actual instances when deaths of important personalities in the community coincided with that of some crocodiles. The reptiles are normally enticed out of the pond by the whistling of the caretaker and the brandishing of a fowl, which the crocodiles quickly snatch with their snouts. If you are courageous, you can sit on, or hold the beast’s tail for a good camera pose. The caretaker charges a fee for the fowl and basic interpretation. TONGO ROCKS AND TENGZUG SHRINE The oracle here, consulted mainly by the other tribes, resides in a cave. People come to ask predictions, advice, and cures from the oracle. Pilgrims make ritual stops on their ascent to the cave, and may also make offerings at the cave opening. Originally, locals carrying a fetish stone were attacked at this spot by a swarm of bees. This event caused the people to venerate the place as powerful.