Journey to the kingdom of the Ashanti
Ghana (before: The Gold Coast) has an important natural heritage. A grassy plain stretches inland from the coast, towards the east, while the south and west are covered by dense rainforests which are being developed into nature parks, such as the national park at Kakum, for eco-friendly tourism.
Compared to other African countries, Ghana's national parks and game reserves are relatively small; however species of antelope, monkeys, lions and elephants can be seen here. Birds and butterflies are particularly numerous in the forests. The coastline offers sandy palm-fringed beaches and lagoons where water sports can be practiced.
The country has a rich history and still boasts 42 European forts and castles including Elmina and Cape Coast Castles which are all recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Monuments as well as sites of wars between the British and the indigenous population. Colorful traditional festivals can still be seen throughout the country while traditional open markets provide the sounds and sights of the typical African bazaar.
10 REASONS TO VISIT GHANA
- Elmina, the former Portuguese castle located on the coastline of Ghana, is an unparalleled historical relic on the African coast.
- The Ashanti are proud people who fought against the British until they were defeated. Despite this their ethnic identity and traditional culture survived and visiting their villages in Central Ghana is one of the country’s main attractions.
- A visit to Kumasi market, capital of the Ashanti Kingdom, one of the most spectacular markets of West Africa and managed a 100% by women.
- The Ghanaians have inherited the British diplomatic service without losing the traditional African hospitality, making them one of the most educated people of Africa.
- Ghana is one of the most stable countries in the region and the authorities are open to the arrival of Western travellers. Ideal for English-speaking travellers as Ghana was a former British colony and English is the official language.
- The funerals of the people on the Ghanaian coast are spectacular. The thematic coffins with a shape of animal, car, plane or tool, according to the clan or the profession of the deceased, are a unique case in e world.
- The vernacular architecture of the Ashanti people (central Ghana) and Kassena (north-eastern Ghana) is listed by UNESCO as symbol of identity and art of these African societies.
- In Accra, capital of Ghana, there is an important group of graphic artists with a great reputation around the mainland.
- The calm atmosphere of fishermen on the coast of Ghana invites to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the beach.
- The “kente” is the official clothing of Ghana. This is a hand-woven fabric, brightly coloured with geometric shapes and attached to the body.
GHANA: Slave Coast and Ashanti Kingdom
Duration: 10 days / 09 nights
Ghana has no iconic natural calling card like Victoria Falls or Kilimanjaro, but one look at a map reveals a geographic blessing: hundreds of kilometers of coast shared by beautiful beaches, like those at Busua & Dixcove, ruined European forts, such as Cape Coast Castle, the poignant reminders of the country’s importance as a way station for African slaves, and the battered shacks of lively fishing villages. Accra is the commercial and cultural motor of the country, while Kumasi is the traditional home of the Ashanti, and is famous for its crafts. And finally the North, which offers opportunities for wildlife viewing up close and personal, stretches across the horizon like an overcooked pancake to the Burkina Faso frontier.
Compared to other countries in the region, Ghana is stable and prosperous, but this valuation is in part founded on hopes for the future. The country is often labeled ‘Africa for beginners’, and while you’ll likely be welcomed by the people in a hot, sweaty clinch, the same way the sun grabs hold of you the second after you step outside, getting around is by no means easy.