Slotted into the underbelly of Africa’s northwestern huddle, Ghana is a rustic that’s steadily reinventing itself.
Identified for its colourful tradition, wildlife and pure magnificence, the West African nation had certainly one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economies prior to now few years, due to cocoa and a comparatively current discovery of oil.
The financial upturn helped to inject a brand new lease of life into the humanities and style scene, resulting in a lift in restaurant openings.
Whereas Ghana has little doubt been impacted by the pandemic, the nation stays as eclectic and alluring as ever.
The nation has lengthy been a mecca for volunteers, and there are numerous hip and inexpensive lodging choices accessible, in addition to extra high-end hideaways.
A handful of worldwide resort manufacturers have opened up right here over the previous few years, however touring right here nonetheless feels genuine.
Whereas it’s seemingly be some time earlier than many people are ready to take action on account of present journey restrictions — its borders by land and sea stay closed to passenger journey, there’s no hurt in planning forward.
From browsing at abandoned seashores, to hanging out with wild elephants, listed here are a few of the prime issues to do whereas visiting Ghana .
Go to Cape Coast Citadel
Now a UNESCO World Heritage web site, Cape Coast Citadel was certainly one of round 30 “slave forts” constructed by Dutch, Portuguese and British merchants alongside the nation’s shoreline.
The massive white stone constructing presents educated guides who take guests right down to the awful dungeons the place slaves have been as soon as shackled, and the Door of no Return, the purpose they might have been crammed into ships heading for America.
Earlier guests embrace the Obamas, who got here right here throughout their first go to to Africa after the previous US President was sworn into workplace. Michelle Obama’s roots have been traced again to slaves taken from this citadel.
There’s additionally a incredible vegetarian restaurant named Baobab café that serves scrumptious, wholesome smoothies and juices.
Guests also can head inland to Kakum Nationwide Park and swing throughout the rainforest on its 350-meter-long cover walkway.
Baobab Café, Cape Coast; + 233 54 043 6130
Strive native, naturally grown meals
Baobab timber are scattered all around the nation, they usually occur to provide one of many world’s most nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich fruits.
This may be made right into a powder, which is great in smoothies, and is alleged to spice up the immune system in addition to struggle fatigue.
Ghana can be stuffed with Moringa timber, a powerhouse of proteins and nutritional vitamins that aids metabolism. A tea or powder might be created from its leaves.
As for prime native dishes, kenkey, created from corn, is offered in most native “chop bars” and is certainly value a strive.
Banku, cooked by mixing fermented corn, cassava dough and sizzling water right into a easy paste, can be extremely popular.
Nonetheless, red-red, a stew of black eyed peas made with purple palm oil and served with fried plantain, is especially scrumptious.
Try the shoreline
Ghana has a piece of tropical shoreline, over 335 miles (560 kilometers) of it, in actual fact.
There are many incredible spots to select from near Accra, however the seashores are way more pristine barely additional afield.
Ko-Sa Seaside Resort, a two-hour drive east from Accra, is run by a Dutch couple and fits all budgets, with beachfront, historically constructed buildings with thatched roofs in addition to extra inexpensive choices.
Kids from the neighboring fishing villages come right here to promote peanuts and bananas. However their method is light, solely including to the chilled out vibe.
Ko-Sa Beach Resort, Cape Coast; + 233 244 375 432
Surf at Cape Three Factors
Regardless of Ghana changing into one thing of a hotspot for surfers, Cape Three Factors is among the few locations the place you gained’t need to share the waves.
The wild, rainforest-backed seashore perched on the southernmost tip of the nation, stretches for nearly two kilometers and is virtually abandoned on account of its far-flung location.
Cape Three Factors is a six-hour drive from Accra, with the final 40 minutes of the journey alongside a tough monitor that may grow to be tough to navigate in the course of the wet season.
Those that do enterprise out right here can catch a degree break, watch humpback whales migrate or simply sway within the hammocks below almond timber whereas sipping hibiscus juice.
Escape 3 Factors Ecolodge owned by Akwasi, a Ghanaian-Canadian with a level in sustainable structure, is predicated on the seashore.
Made up of raffia and bamboo-stilted chalets and a dormitory, the eco lodge is electrical energy free and holds compost bathrooms.
There’s additionally a communal seashore shack with desk soccer that’s preferrred for entertaining youngsters, in addition to a pure swimming pool at low tide.
Keep in mind to rent a surfboard (Mr. Shiny’s Surf College in Kokrobite is an efficient place) earlier than you arrive for those who don’t have already got one. Surf classes can be found from native Brett.
Escape 3 Points Ecolodge, Cape Three Factors; + 233 26 721 8700
Uncover native artisans and craftspeople
Considered one of Ghana’s nationwide cloths, Kente was as soon as reserved for kings and queens, however it’s now way more widespread.
Historically related to the Ashanti folks, the interwoven materials with summary designs is commonly mass-produced, however folks weavers might be discovered throughout the nation.
Adinkra, one other conventional material, is embellished with symbols, every signifying a proverb or custom.
Kumasi, the capital metropolis of the Ashanti Area, is one of the best place to purchase conventional cloths.
Artisans are rising within the nation on a regular basis, producing new materials and different arts and crafts.
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, creator of equipment model AAKS, is among the most profitable.
The designer’s handcrafted luggage have been snapped up by US clothes retailer Anthropologie, which noticed her work on Instagram, and at the moment are offered worldwide.
Keep at a non-profit lodge or hostel
Ghana boasts varied nonprofit lodging choices.
Probably the most well-known is lodge Meet Me There, situated up within the mountainous Volta Area between the villages of Dzita and Dzita-Abledomi, a two-hour drive from Accra.
This relaxed property contains a beautiful tropical backyard in addition to stilted consuming space that juts into an attractive lagoon.
Visitors can swim throughout the lagoon, or paddle within the lodge’s pirogue, to achieve a seemingly unending wild seashore.
The lodge’s holds double rooms or suites — the latter being little thatched cottages painted with adinkra symbols.
Actions accessible embrace boat journeys to the Volta River, visits to native markets or take drumming classes.
There’s additionally the chance to attend an area cult ceremony, which takes place each Friday and is led by a feminine shaman named Mamishie Rasta.
Locals declare she disappeared into the ocean for a number of years and returned with magic powers from the ocean.
Meet Me There may be linked to native charity Dream Huge Ghana, which helps a group studying heart, sanitation and well being for the neighboring villages.
In the meantime in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest metropolis, nonprofit hostel Tumi is concentrated on giving underprivileged females the abilities to supply for themselves.
Began by a Dutch woman named Milou, its income go in direction of stitching and hairdressing prepare for younger and deprived girls.
Visitors can watch them busily stitching shiny African prints within the workshop subsequent door, earlier than the hostel sells their creations.
Small and intimate, with simply two rooms and an eight-person dormitory, Tumi is embellished with large photos painted by native artists and its curtains and cushions are all made on web site.
There’s additionally an outside terrace with picket crates, the place visitor can eat meals.
Meet Me There African Home Lodge, Dzita; + 233 54 183 8387
Tumi Hostel, Kumasi Asokwa Street; + 233 559 002 062
Hand around in Accra
Accra is a metropolis with none main points of interest, however it nonetheless has nice allure.
A number of areas have been revamped, particularly Osu and the land surrounding the airport, now as stylish and cosmopolitan because it will get.
As for eating places, the Republic is an Accra staple, identified for its dwell music and akpeteshie-based cocktails, a conventional sugar cane alcohol, whereas cocktail bar Coco Lounge wouldn’t look misplaced in New York.
Then there’s Jamestown, Accra’s oldest district, jammed with a vibrant fishermen’s shanty city and hordes of colourful boats, all in opposition to the backdrop of a purple and white lighthouse and former fort.
Though there’s a lot to see, vacationers shouldn’t be too bold with their plans (except shifting round on foot) as Accra’s visitors might be difficult — vehicles are sometimes caught in jams for over an hour.
Marvel at wild elephants in Mole Nationwide Park
Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge, Mole Nationwide Park is residence to round 93 species of mammals, together with African elephants, Nolan warthogs and noticed hyenas.
One of many park’s greatest promoting factors is how shut it permits guests to get to the wild elephants whereas on foot.
It additionally boasts an attractive on web site property, Zaina, West Africa’s first luxurious safari lodge.
Visitors right here don’t even have to go away to get the safari expertise, because it’s attainable to look at elephants whereas swimming within the infinity pool.
The lodge is up on a hill, with views sweeping out over a sea of inexperienced Rosewood and Shea nut timber.
Its rooms are spacious and air conditioned East African type safari tents with thatched roofs, with the bulk straight going through a watering gap.
Zaina Lodge, Mole Nationwide Park, Northern Area;+ 233 540 111 503
Buy groceries in Bolgatanga
Often known as the crafts heart of Higher East Area, Bolgatanga is residence to a really giant central market.
Right here guests can watch cotton fugu smocks being handmade and browse stalls promoting all the things from turtle shells, to dried snakes and porcupine quills.
There’s additionally a craft market with varied outlets promoting Bolga baskets, that are handwoven from dried elephant grass, then dyed to provide a vibrancy of colours, and may solely be discovered right here.
Sleep on rooftops on the Inexperienced Home
Positioned half-hour drive from Bolgatanga, this excellent eco visitor home in Karimenga is owned by visionary native Ibrahim, who’s enthusiastic about mud structure and selling natural farming.
Inexperienced Home has simply 5 rooms, all historically constructed from mud and clay, and has no electrical energy.
Its flat roofs, synonymous with native structure, might be reached by climbing earthen stairs, so boarders can sleep there when it turns into too sizzling.
Right here company are inspired immerse with the encompassing communities, with actions equivalent to visits to Ibrahim’s farm, classes on bee preserving and cooking Ghanaian dishes with Felicia, the visitor home’s cook dinner, on supply.
Inexperienced Home;+ 233 24 933 3184
Go to Larabanga Mosque
At round 600 years outdated, Larabanga is Ghana’s oldest mosque in addition to one of many oldest in West Africa.
Located near Mole Park within the north, the foundations of this hanging black and white adobe constructing are believed to have been divinely constructed.
Constructed with mud and reeds, it’s much like different historical Sudanese-style buildings seen all through West Africa, such because the Nice Mosque in Djenné, Mali.
Greet the chief in Tongo
The village of Tongo within the Tengzug Hills is known for it conventional shrines in addition to Whispering Rocks, the place boulders are balanced precariously on prime of one another and the wind makes whistling sounds by way of cracks on the prime.
Nonetheless, some of the fascinating sights right here is the chief’s palace, a big mud compound that homes round 300 members of his household, together with his greater than 20 wives.
Actually, within the north, it’s well mannered to greet the chief of any village when you arrive and clarify your plans earlier than you begin exploring. However vacationers should guarantee they by no means stand or sit taller than a chief.