There are many things to know about Ghana. It is an attractive place for travelers. Ghana is a country in West Africa, formally known as the Republic of Ghana. It shares borders with the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, and Togo in the east, and spans the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
There are many places to visit in Ghana. This article will be sharing a guideline about places to visit in Ghana.
Places to Visit in Ghana: A Complete Guide & To-Dos
Below is a list of places to visit in Ghana, let’s see what are those.
1. Cape Coast Castle: A Glimpse into Ghana’s Dark History
On the picturesque Atlantic coast of Ghana, a haunting vestige of the past stands as a somber reminder of one of the darkest chapters in human history. Cape Coast Castle, an ancient fortification, is a poignant testament to the inhumanity of the transatlantic slave trade. Constructed in the 17th century, this imposing structure was initially commissioned by the Dutch in 1665, only to be later expanded upon by the Swedes. Subsequently, the British, having wrested control from the Swedes, made Cape Coast Castle their colonial headquarters, retaining their grip for nearly two centuries, until the capital was shifted from Accra in 1877.
2. Kakum National Park: A Verdant Oasis of Biodiversity
Nestled in the verdant embrace of southern Ghana, Kakum National Park unfolds as a lush tapestry of tropical rainforests. This ecological gem is home to an astonishing array of wildlife, boasting over 40 mammal species, including elusive forest elephants, enigmatic forest buffalo, playful mona-maquettes, and stealthy civets. The avian life in Kakum is equally extraordinary, with more than 250 species taking wing within its forested realms.
Yet, the crowning jewel of a visit to Kakum is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring canopy walkway, an elevated marvel suspended 30 meters above the forest floor. Stretching over 350 meters and comprising numerous suspension bridges, this engineering marvel offers an unparalleled vantage point for observing the diverse flora and fauna. Knowledgeable guides are on hand to lead you through the wilderness, offering detailed insights into the medicinal applications of the forest’s botanical treasures. For those who wish to extend their communion with nature, a basic campsite is available for overnight stays.
3. Mole National Park: A Safari Oasis in Northwestern Ghana
Mole National Park, situated in the northwestern reaches of Ghana, is the crown jewel among the nation’s wildlife reserves. Here, a remarkable array of creatures roams freely, including herds of buffalo, meandering elephants, wily warthogs, and, if you’re particularly fortunate, the elusive leopard. Notably, the park has recently reintroduced lions into its vibrant ecosystem.
As you venture through this untamed wilderness, your senses will be serenaded by the melodious calls of more than two hundred bird species. Explorers can choose between a thrilling walking safari, accompanied by an armed guard, or a classic game drive in search of these majestic animals. The park’s headquarters also hosts a comfortable motel for those in pursuit of a more relaxing stay.
For the ultimate wildlife spectacle, plan your visit during the dry season, spanning from January to March, when animals gather around the park’s watering holes. Accessible by public transport, though the roads may be a bit rough, a visit to Mole National Park is incomplete without a stop at the Larabang Mosque, Ghana’s oldest mosque, nestled near the park—an essential addition to your Ghanaian odyssey.
4. Kokrobite Beach: Where Rhythms of Music and Nature Converge
Ghana’s coastal beauty extends far beyond its historical sites. Among the nation’s picturesque shores, Kokrobite Beach has emerged as a favored destination for sun-seekers and culture enthusiasts alike. Situated a mere 20 miles (30 km) away from the bustling capital, Accra, this tranquil enclave beckons with its golden sands and azure waters.
One of the principal attractions here is the renowned Academy of African Music and Art (AAMA), founded by the master drummer, Mostafa Tate Addie. The AAMA draws music aficionados, drummers, and dancers from around the globe, providing a captivating insight into the rhythms and melodies of African culture. Visitors have the option to find accommodation within the Music Academy or venture to Big Mill’s backyard, a beachside haven in the village. Big Mill’s offers a convivial bar and restaurant, where backpackers, volunteers, and Ghanaian Rastafarians come together to revel in the harmonious fusion of good vibes, making it a quintessential stop on your Ghanaian itinerary.
5. Kumasi, the Former Capital
Kumasi, nestled in the heart of south-central Ghana, once held the prestigious title of being the former capital of the Ashanti Kingdom. This bustling city, the second-largest in Ghana, boasts a vibrant population of approximately 1.5 million residents. Its rich history and cultural significance make it an enticing destination for travelers from across the globe.
The Ashanti Kingdom is revered for its skilled artisans, celebrated for their exquisite craftsmanship in creating dazzling gold jewelry and intricate trinkets that have captivated admirers worldwide. The renowned Kane cloth, a textile marvel that intricately weaves tradition and artistry, as well as the skillful wood carving industry, are emblematic of Ashanti’s creative prowess. Exploring Kumasi, one encounters these splendid art forms in the many craft villages that dot the landscape. The National Culture Center stands as a testament to the Ashanti’s dedication to preserving their heritage, and examples of their masterpieces can also be found in the city’s outskirts.
For those who revel in the thrill of exploration and are not deterred by the hustle and bustle, the Kejetya market beckons with a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and aromas. Adventurous shoppers can discover the allure of Kenneth cloth, a treasure with a tale to tell. To delve even deeper into the fascinating history of the Ashanti Kings, a visit to the Manhyia Palace Museum is a must. Here, visitors can glimpse into the regal past and even have the extraordinary opportunity to meet the current Ashanti king, who graciously receives the public every 42 days.
6. Busua Beach
Busua Beach, a coastal gem on Ghana’s shoreline, offers visitors a sublime haven, where the captivating allure of the Atlantic Ocean beckons and the delectable taste of lobster tantalizes the palate. This picturesque destination, replete with pristine sandy shores, boasts a spectrum of accommodation options to cater to diverse preferences, ranging from opulent retreats to more modest abodes.
The Busua Beach Resort stands as a testament to modern elegance, offering a sprawling expanse of comfort, complete with a sumptuous dining experience, a refreshing pool, and beachfront chalet accommodations. On the other hand, Bussua Inn, tenderly managed by a charming French couple, presents an alternative, charming atmosphere that emanates an aura of intimacy. With a beach bar and restaurant that serves delectable French cuisine, it’s an irresistible choice for those seeking a touch of Gallic flavor in their culinary escapades.
For travelers in search of a more family-oriented, budget-friendly experience, the African Rainbow Resort, a cozy and inviting family-run establishment, beckons with its 12 well-appointed rooms and the promise of a hearty breakfast, all at a pocket-friendly cost. For those who find Busua’s touristy atmosphere a tad overwhelming, a venture to Princess Town, nestled further west along the coast, unveils an alluring and less-crowded coastal retreat that still retains the rustic charm.
7. Elmina Castle
The historic grandeur of Elmina Castle in present-day Elmina, Ghana, stands as an enduring testament to the indomitable spirit of exploration and commerce. Founded by the Portuguese in 1482, this architectural marvel was christened as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina, although it is commonly referred to as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina. It is not merely a fortress but a living chronicle of Ghana’s complex history, making it one of the most significant and captivating sites on the West African coast.
Originally established as a trading post, Elmina Castle underwent a sinister transformation in history, evolving into a pivotal hub of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The harrowing narrative of this transition bears witness to the dark chapters in human history, as it became an epicenter for the inhumane trafficking of African souls. In a brutal turn of events, the Dutch wrested control of the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, effectively seizing power over the entire Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The Dutch maintained their macabre trade in enslaved people within these stone walls until 1814.
The intricate tale of colonial conquest and shifting imperial powers further unfolds as the British took possession of the Dutch Gold Coast, including Elmina Castle, in 1872. It remained under British jurisdiction until the Gold Coast, now known as Ghana, achieved its independence from British rule in 1957.
Beyond its haunting history, Elmina Castle also found its way onto the silver screen, serving as a prominent location in Werner Herzog’s 1987 drama film “Cobra Verde.” Its historical significance has garnered it the prestigious status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserving its legacy for generations to come. Today, it stands as a magnet for tourists, offering a somber yet essential journey into the past, right in the heart of Ghana’s central region.
8. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum
In downtown Accra, Ghana’s capital, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park are located. It is named after Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah.
The monument complex, which was dedicated in 1992 and is located on the former British colonial polo grounds in Accra, was built on the site of the former British colonial polo fields. It has a total area of five acres. The corpses of Kwame Nkrumah and his wife Fathia Nkrumah are interred in the mausoleum constructed by Don Arthur.
It is the location where Nkrumah declared Ghana’s independence. On the site, there is a museum with artifacts from various phases of his life on exhibit. The structure is designed to resemble an upside-down sword, which is a symbol of peace in Akan culture.
The tomb is covered in Italian marble from top to bottom, with a black star at the apex to represent unity. The interior features marble flooring and a marble grave marker that looks like a mini mastaba, surrounded by river-washed rocks. The burial is illuminated by a skylight at the top of the mausoleum. Water, a symbol of life, surrounds the tomb.
9. Labadi Beach
The busiest beach on Ghana’s coast is Labadi Beach, often known as La Pleasure Beach. It is one of Accra’s beaches, and the local hotels maintain it. Labadi Beach is located near Teshie in Ghana’s Greater Accra Region, in the town of La, also known as Labadi.
Those who are not staying in the hotels must pay an admission fee. Reggae, hip-hop, playback, and indigenous drumming and dancing are frequently performed on holidays and weekends. As of 2014, the beach is still being closely monitored by the community in order to address the problem of open defecation on the beach.
The local municipality and hotels around the beach have been approached with proposals to construct more designated sanitary facilities to address the problem. Aside from having fun at the beach, many come early in the morning to work out, especially on weekends.
10. Aburi Botanical Garden
Aburi Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden in Aburi, Ghana’s Eastern Region. The garden covers 64.8 hectares of land. It was created by Governor William Brandford-Griffith and Dr. John Farrell Easmon, a Sierra Leonean medical practitioner, in March of 1890.
It was once the location of a sanatorium for Gold Coast government officers, which was erected in 1875. Alexander Worthy Clerk, a Basel missionary and Jamaican Moravian, directed clearance of land around the sanatorium to form the Botanic Department during the administration of William Brandford-Griffith. The garden’s first curator was William Crowther, a student from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was appointed in 1890.
By providing low-cost cocoa seedlings and knowledge about scientific farming practices, the gardens helped to boost cocoa output in South Ghana. The gardens stimulated rubber production in Ghana when Hevea brasiliensis was introduced from Kew to Aburi in 1893.
11. Osu Castle
Historical Significance and Shifting Ownership
Osu Castle, a formidable historical edifice situated in the Ghanaian town of Osu, stands majestically on the scenic coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The castle’s origins trace back to the 1660s when it was initially constructed by Denmark-Norway, marking the commencement of a fascinating historical journey. Over the years, Osu Castle passed through a remarkable sequence of ownership, bearing witness to the ebb and flow of colonial power and trade. It transitioned from Danish-Norwegian hands to Portugal’s, later becoming a critical stronghold for the Akwamu people. The British Empire also had its turn as custodian of this fortress before Ghana achieved its hard-fought independence.
A Dark Legacy and Transformation
Osu Castle, albeit a historical marvel, is tinged with a dark legacy as it was notably used for the detention and shipment of enslaved people overseas during the transatlantic slave trade. The castle was a chilling reminder of the inhumane practices that marred a significant portion of history. In a twist of historical fate, Osu Castle took on a new role when it was designated as the capital of the Danish Gold Coast during Danish-Norwegian rule. However, its prominence as the seat of Ghana’s government was relatively short-lived, with the inauguration of the Golden Jubilee House marking a symbolic shift in the nation’s governance. The castle’s transformation over the centuries underscores the complexity of its historical narrative.
12. Lake Bosomtwe
Natural Wonder Within an Ancient Crater
Lake Bosumtwi, a natural gem nestled in the heart of Ghana, stands as the country’s singular natural lake, captivating visitors with its serene beauty. This pristine waterbody finds its home within the confines of an ancient impact crater, boasting a majestic diameter of 10.5 kilometers. The striking geological history of this site lends it an aura of mystery and wonder, as it holds the remnants of a cataclysmic event that shaped the landscape.
An Idyllic Haven in Ashanti
Situated approximately 30 kilometers to the southeast of Kumasi, the bustling capital of the Ashanti Region, Lake Bosumtwi beckons to those in search of a tranquil escape. The surrounding region is dotted with approximately 30 vibrant communities, collectively hosting a population of around 70,000 residents. Among these settlements, Abono stands as a charming and popular destination for tourists, offering an opportunity to immerse in the cultural tapestry of the area.
Sacred Waters and Folklore
Lake Bosumtwi holds a profound spiritual significance for the Ashanti people. According to local legend, this lake serves as a sacred conduit where the souls of the departed journey to bid their final farewells to the revered goddess Asase Ya. This spiritual connection resonates through the prohibition of motorized vessels on the lake, allowing only the gentle creak of wooden planks used for fishing. This restriction not only safeguards the spiritual sanctity of the lake but also preserves its pristine natural state.
Ecological Riches Beneath the Surface
Lake Bosumtwi’s ecological treasures extend below its tranquil surface. The aquatic environment of the lake is home to a remarkable diversity of fish species. Among these, the endemic cichlid Hemichromis frempongi thrives, while near-endemic cichlids such as Tilapia busumana and T. discolor add to the ecological tapestry of this unique aquatic ecosystem. The lake’s ecological complexity and conservation efforts reveal the delicate balance between nature and culture in this captivating region.
13. Black Star Square
Symbolism of Independence
Nestled in the vibrant heart of Accra, Ghana, the Independence Square is a hallowed ground that commemorates the nation’s struggle for independence. This monumental square encompasses not only the iconic Independence Arch but also the Black Star Gate and Liberation Day Monument, forming a cohesive narrative of Ghana’s relentless quest for freedom. Travel essentials, accessories, kit & items on Amazon
Monuments of Liberation and Identity
The Independence Arch, with its grandeur and architectural elegance, stands tall as a symbol of Ghana’s triumphant emancipation from colonial rule. The Black Star Gate is a testament to the nation’s identity, with the black star adorning Ghana’s flag and encapsulating its pride and unity. The Liberation Day Monument, alongside other memorials, offers a profound journey through the historical chapters of Ghana’s independence war, evoking a deep sense of national pride and gratitude for those who fought for freedom.
14. Boti Waterfalls
Double Cascades in the Eastern Region
Boti Falls, a magnificent natural spectacle tucked away in Ghana’s Eastern Region, graces the enchanting landscape of Boti within the Yilo Krobo District. This remarkable waterfall is characterized by its dual cascades, often referred to as “Female” and “Male,” each possessing a distinct and captivating charm.
A Symphony of Nature’s Elegance
The twin falls of Boti are a harmonious symphony of nature’s elegance, where the rushing waters plunge gracefully into pristine pools below, creating an enchanting visual and auditory spectacle. The surrounding lush greenery and the melodious cacophony of the falls combine to offer a serene and rejuvenating experience for visitors.
Gateway to Adventure and Exploration
Beyond its aesthetic allure, Boti Falls serves as a gateway to adventure and exploration for nature enthusiasts and intrepid travelers. The journey to reach this natural wonder involves traversing through verdant forests and navigating winding paths, allowing for a deeper connection with Ghana’s abundant natural beauty. As visitors stand before the majestic falls, they are enveloped by a sense of awe, marveling at the majesty of nature’s artistry.
15. National Museum of Ghana
Ghana’s National Museum is located in Accra, the country’s capital. The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board manages six museums, the largest and oldest of which is the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. The museum was inaugurated on March 5, 1957, as part of Ghana’s 50th-anniversary festivities. AirHelp: Helps passengers receive up to €600 in compensation for delayed or canceled flights
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, conducted the formal opening. A.W. Lawrence was the Museum’s first Director. Archaeology, anthropology, and fine art all have a home in the National Museum building. The archeology area contains artifacts dating from the Stone Age through the modern past.
Chief’s regalia, indigenous Ghanaian musical instruments, gold weights, beads, traditional fabrics, stools, and ceramics are among the items on permanent display in the ethnographic gallery.
Objects from other African nations have also been obtained through trading. Senfu masks from the Ivory Coast, Zulu wooden figurines, and Southern African beadware are examples. In addition, there are ancient Nigerian Ife bronze heads and Congolese Bushongo carvings.
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