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12 Places to Visit in Ghana

This is definitely a bucket-list for anyone interested in seeing Ghana.

Starting out at number 12 is:

12. Go See the BlackStar Gate and Black Star Square

The Independence Square is the second largest square in the world after the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

The Independence Arch in Accra, Ghana is part of the Independence Square which contains monuments to Ghana’s independence struggle.  In Independence Square are large stands with a total seating capacity of 30,000 surrounding the edges of the square. The square boasts three monuments that encapsulate the fight for Independent and liberation. These monuments include the Independence Arch to the south of the square, backdropped by the Gulf of Guinea. On the opposite side of the square but facing the arch is the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, which honors the Ghanaian soldiers who fell fighting for their country. Just to the north of the main square is a roundabout, in the center of which stands the Black Star Gate, an imposing monument topped by the Black Star of Africa, the five-pointed star that symbolizes Africa in general and Ghana in particular. The monument bears the large inscription “AD 1957” and “Freedom and Justice” and the Liberation Day Monument. The Independence Square is one of the largest city square in the world.

11. Spend time at the Aburi Botanical Gardens

Aburi, a forty-five minutes drive from Accra, is located on the Akwapim-Togo Range of Ghana. The Aburi Botanical Gardens is located in this peaceful environment with its mountainous area serving as one of the finest destination to enjoy a cool breeze. Its total land area is about one hundred and sixty (160) acres with only three (3) acres developed. The rest of the land was used as a botanical reserve.

10. Visit the Larabanga Mosque

The Larabanga Mosque is thought to be the oldest mosque in Ghana and West Africa. It is popularly referred to as the ‘Mecca of West Africa’, because of its rich historical and architectural values. The dimensions of the mosque are approximately 8m by 8m. The Larabanga Mosque made it to the  World Monuments Fund’s List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.

There is some controversy over when exactly the mosque was built, and who built it. The mosque is thought to date back to 1421. It is believed that an Islamic trader called Ayuba, who was travelling through the area, built the mosque. According to one story, Ayuba slept in the area and had a dream in which he was instructed to build a mosque. When he woke up the next morning, the foundation of the mosque had mysteriously appeared, so he continued with the construction until the mosque was complete.

The mosque is made of mud and stick, in Sudanese style. Right next to the entrance is a large baobab tree, under which Ayuba’s remains are buried. The mosque has four entrances: one each for the village chief, men, women, and the muezzin who leads the call to prayer. The mosque houses a very old Koran which is thought to have been delivered from heaven to an Imam called Bramah, around 1650, after he had prayed hard for a Koran.

Inside the Mosque

The mosque is located in a small predominantly Muslim town, called Larabanga, near Damongo in the Western Gonja District in the Northern Region.  Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.

9. Jump on the Dodi Princess, Explore Akosombo / Dodi World

Dodi world is Ghana’s first destination experience offering a unique package of adventure, entertainment, history and education on the beautiful banks of the Volta River in Akosombo providing a fantastic view of the lake, dam, and adjoining mountain slope Dodi world awaits you with multi-fold excitement. Dodi World offers a memorable voyage experience on board its 150 capacity pleasure boat the famous MV Dodi Princess II to Dodi Island an 84 hectar Island located 5 kilometres off the shore of Lake Volta which provides tourist and holiday makers an opportunity to experience nature as well as enjoy the daring thrills on varied water sports equipment.

8. Spend a Night at Osu Oxford Street

This is where the party is at! Aside from a few buildings like No. 1 Oxford Street, It is not particularly nice to look at but this area is great for food and entertainment. Perfect to mingle with locals and foreigners alike and experience life in Accra. 2 Words for this place: Great Vibes!

7. Kakum National Park

Welcome to Ghana’s most visited attraction, the Kakum National Park. Tucked away in the Assin Attandanso Reserve is the Kakum National Park and Canopy Walkway that offers visitors spectacular scenery and a fascinating wildlife experience along with modern camping facilities.

 

The park’s best-known feature is undoubtedly its 7 suspension bridges which form a 333-meter long canopy walkway, suspended up to 27 meters above the forest floor from trees that are over 300 years old.

6. Visit Kwahu at Easter

Kwahu is a beautiful town set upon a hill. Kwahu Easter is the annual Easter celebrations at the Kwahu South District of the Eastern Region of Ghana. People from all walks of life and all nationalities throng the Kwahu Hills every Easter to celebrate the three-day-long holiday. It is quite the party!

5. Bike at Shai Hills

The Shai Hills Resource Reserve is a resource reserve located in Doryumu in the Shai Osudoku District all in the Greater Accra Region.  The area was declared Forest Reserve  in 1962 with area of 47 square kilometres (4,700 ha; 18 sq mi) which was later extended to 51 square kilometres (5,100 ha; 20 sq mi) in 1973. It was made a Game Production Reserve in 1971. The protected area was home to the Shai people before they were ejected by the British in 1892, remains of Shai peoples works can still be found at the reserve. A mosaic of forest covers the 5 separate hills in the reserve, while grassland and low dry forests are found in intervening canyons. Baboons, green monkeys, antelopes, zebras, mammals, reptiles and over 172 bird species have been identified in the reserve. 

Fitzone Cycling Club at Shai Hills

The best time for wildlife viewing is early in the morning. The morning visit may include sightings of Kob antelope, bushbuck or monkeys.

4. Feed Endangered Monkeys at Tafi Atome

For the past 200 years, the Mona monkeys inhabiting the tropical forest surrounding the small village of Tafi-Atome have been protected because it was believed they were messengers to the gods. In 1996, the village began broader efforts to protect their forest and monkeys, as well as to offer tours for visitors.

As a result of these efforts, the monkey population has increased to about 200 and the forest, with its many species of birds and butterflies, has been preserved. The playful monkeys are wild but often come down very close to visitors.

3. See Wild Elephants at Mole National Park

Mole National Park is the largest and most prestigious protected area in Ghana, in the north-west of the country, is Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge, measuring 4,849 sq km. The park has very rich flora and fauna. It is best known for its elephants (a population of about 600) as well as many other primates.

The Mole national park was established in 1958 and re-designated a National Park in 1971. It covers an area of 4,840sq km of undulating terrain with steep scarps. The vegetation is pristine Guinea savanna with gallery forests along the rivers and streams.

Species of special interest include Elephant, Buffalo, Kob, Western Hartebeest, Roan Antelope, Defassa Waterbuck, Oribi, Bohor Reedbuck and Red-flanked Duiker. The riverine forests are home to rare and endangered species such as Yellow-backed Duiker and Black and White Colobus monkey. The Lion, Leopard and Hyena are important large carnivores found in the reserve. The baffalo population is of great scientific interest since both black and red colour varieties exist in the Dark.

2. Visit the Forts and Castles

Elmina Castle, Elmina.

The castles and forts were built and occupied at different times by traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Britain. They served the gold trade of European chartered companies. Latterly they played a significant part in the developing slave trade, and therefore in the history of the Americas, and, subsequently, in the 19th century, in the suppression of that trade.

There are 28 separate properties on the list, including three castles; fifteen forts; four forts partially in ruins; four ruins with visible structures; and two sites with traces of former fortifications. The UNESCO has documented 32 forts and castles along Ghana’s coast as World Heritage Sites. “These edifices testify to the once flourishing trade between the indigenous African people and the European trading companies of Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France, Sweden, and Brandenburg of German Prussia. The history of Ghana’s government administration, judiciary, religion, health care, and even its architecture has its roots at these ancient relics.” – (Ephson, Dr. Isaac S., Ancient Forts and Castles of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Ilen Publications, Accra 1970, page 13.)

According to the National Monuments Instrument, EI 42, 1972, the following forts and castles are considered National Monuments:

WESTERN REGION
  1. Fort Apollonia at Beyin
  2. Fort St. Anthony at Axim
  3. Fort Gross Friedricksburg at Princestown
  4. Fort Dorothea at Akwida
  5. Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove
  6. Fort Batenstein at Butre
  7. Fort Orange at Sekondi
  8. Fort St. Sebastian at Shama

CENTRAL REGION

  1. The Fort at British Komenda
  2. Fort Vendenburg, Dutch Komenda
  3. Castle of St. George’s, Elmina
  4. Fort St. Jago at Elmina
  5. Cape Coast Castle
  6. Fort Victoria at Cape Coast
  7. Fort Royal at Cape Coast
  8. Fort William at Cape Coast
  9. Fort McCarthy at Cape Coast
  10. Fort Fredericksburg at Amanful
  11. Fort Nassau at Mouri
  12. Fort William at Anomabu
  13. The Little Fort at Anomabu
  14. Fort Amsterdam at Abandzi
  15. The Fort at Tantumquery
  16. Fort Patience at Apam
  17. Fort Good Hope at Senya Beraku

GREATER ACCRA REGION

  1. James Fort at Jamestown, Accra
  2. Ussher Fort, Ussher Town, Accra
  3. Christiansborg Castle at Osu, Accra
  4. Fort Augustaborg at Teshie
  5. Fort Vernon, Prampram
  6. Fort Fredensborg at Old Ningo

VOLTA REGION

  1. Fort Prinzensten at Keta

ASHANTI REGION

  1. The Fort at Kumasi.

1 Climb Afadjato

Mount Afadja is one of the highest mountains in Ghana standing at an elevation of 885 metres (2,904 ft). The mountain is located in the Agumatsa Range near the villages of Gbledi and Liati Wote, in the Volta Region of Ghana at the border with Togo. ‘Afadja’ is the name of the mountain whereas ‘to’ in the Ewe dialect means mountain therefore, it is called ‘Afadjato’ by the indigenes. The correct name would be ‘Mount Afadja’ as ‘Mount Afadjato’ will be a repetition of the ‘Mountain.’ Mount Afadja is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Volta Region of Ghana welcoming thousands of visitors from around the globe annually.

About a kilometer (less than a mile) to the east, is the nearby peak of Aduadu, which is higher than Afadjato, also standing at over 900 metres.

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