Ghana, a nation tucked into the northwest corner of Africa, is constantly reinventing itself.
The West African country, which is well-known for its vibrant culture, diverse fauna, and stunning scenery, has recently experienced some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest economic growth thanks to the production of cocoa and the relatively recent finding of oil. Here are some of the top things to do in Ghana, from surfing at deserted beaches to hanging out with wild elephants.
1. Check out Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast Castle, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, was one of over 30 “slave forts” constructed along the country’s coastline by Dutch, Portuguese, and British traffickers.
The enormous white stone structure provides experienced tour guides who lead visitors to the grim dungeons where slaves have once chained and the Door of No Return, where they would have been crowded onto ships bound for America.
The Obamas were among the previous guests; they came here on their maiden trip to Africa following the swearing-in of the former US President. The ancestors of Michelle Obama can be found among the slaves taken from this stronghold.
2. Attempt locally sourced, organic foods.
The world’s most nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich fruit is produced by baobab trees, which are found all over the nation. This may be turned into a powder, which tastes great in smoothies and is claimed to cure both fatigue and strengthen the immune system.
Moringa trees, which are a powerhouse of proteins and vitamins and help with metabolism, are also abundant in Ghana. Its leaves can be used to make tea or powder. Top regional specialties include the corn-based kenkey, which is available at most “chop bars” and is unquestionably worth trying.
Another well-liked dish is banku, which is made by blending fermented maize, cassava bread, and boiling water into a smooth paste. But red-red, a black-eyed pea stew prepared with crimson palm oil and eaten with fried plantains, is very mouthwatering.
3. View the coastline.
Over 335 miles (560 kilometers) of tropical coastline are present in Ghana. There are several great locations nearby Accra, but the beaches are much more pristine and a little bit farther away.
Here, young people from nearby fishing communities sell peanuts and bananas. But they take a gentle approach, which only heightens the laid-back atmosphere.
4. Cape Three Points surf
Cape Three Points is one of the few sites in Ghana where you won’t have to share the waves, despite the country becoming somewhat of a magnet for surfers. Due to its remote location, the untamed beach that spans about two kilometers along the country’s southernmost edge is essentially empty.
The last 40 minutes of the six-hour trip to Cape Three Points from Accra are on a bumpy road that can be challenging to travel on in the wet season. If they do decide to travel here, they can watch humpback whales migrate, catch a point break, or simply relax in hammocks among almond trees while sipping hibiscus juice.
5. Learn about regional artists and crafters.
Kente, one of Ghana’s national garments, was formerly only worn by kings and queens, but it is now much more common. The interwoven fabric with abstract designs, traditionally linked with the Ashanti people, is frequently mass-produced, but there are folk weavers all over the nation.
6. Spend time in Accra
Although Accra lacks any significant landmarks, it still exudes charm. Many areas have been renovated, especially Osu and the area around the airport, which is now as hip and international as it gets.
Designer boutiques like Christie Brown, Wild Gecko Handicrafts, and art galleries like the Artists Alliance are also located here.
Jamestown, Accra’s oldest neighborhood, is home to a bustling fishermen’s shanty town and a sea of brightly colored boats, all set against a backdrop of a red and white lighthouse and a historic fort.
There is a lot to see, but visitors shouldn’t have very ambitious plans (unless they’re walking around), as Accra’s traffic may be difficult. Cars are frequently held in jams for more than an hour.
7. Explore Mole National Park to see elephants in the wild.
Mole National Park, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Ghana, is home to 93 different species of mammals, including spotted hyenas, Nolan warthogs, and African elephants.
The ability for tourists to approach wild elephants up close while on foot is one of the park’s main selling attractions. It also has the first premium safari lodge in West Africa, Zaina, which is a stunning on-site facility.
Elephants may be viewed from the infinity pool, so visitors don’t even need to leave to get a safari experience. The lodge is perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of a sea of lush Rosewood and Shea nut trees.
The majority of its accommodations are situated next to a watering hole and are large, air-conditioned safari tents in the East African style.
8. Spend the night on the Green House rooftops.
This excellent eco-guest house is located in Karimenga, 30 minutes drive from Bolgatanga, and is run by visionary local Ibrahim, who is enthusiastic about mud construction and advancing organic farming.
Only five rooms make up Green House, which is made entirely of mud and clay and lacks electricity. Boarders can sleep on its flat rooftops, which are typical of local construction when it gets too hot by ascending earthen stairs.
Here, activities like excursions to Ibrahim’s farm, instruction in beekeeping, and culinary classes with Felicia, the guest house’s cook, enable visitors to get fully immersed in the local communities.
9. Observe the Larabanga Mosque
Larabanga is among the oldest mosques in West Africa and Ghana, dating back over 600 years. The foundations of this remarkable black-and-white adobe structure, located near to Mole Park in the north, are thought to have been created by a higher power. It resembles other old Sudanese-style structures made of mud and reeds found in West Africa, such as the Great Mosque in Djenné, Mali.
10. Greetings, the Tongo chief
Traditional shrines and Whispering Rocks, where rocks are perilously placed on top of one another while the wind whistles through holes at the top, are both prominent features of the Tengzug Hills settlement of Tongo.
The chief’s palace, a sizable mud compound where some 300 members of his family, including his more than 20 wives, reside, is one of the area’s most intriguing sights.
In fact, it’s customary in the north to greet the village chief upon arrival and to explain your intentions before you begin exploring. However, tourists must take care to never stand or sit taller than a chief.