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You have probably been hearing a lot about Ghana lately. This West African country is often cited as a prime example of the ‘Africa Rising’ phenomenon. Even prior to Barack Obama’s visit in 2009, when Ghana was the only country the newly elected president chose to visit on the African Continent, it was forging a reputation as busily sewing the seeds for economic and social progress and cultural renaissance. Â
Ghana, as the history books will tell you, was the first African country to gain post war independence. This happened in 1957, when the famous Pan- Africanist Kwame Nkrumah announced that ‘the battle has ended’ and modern Ghana, Africa’s ‘Black Star’ was born. British influence is still felt in Ghana, with quaint legacies such as bakeries specialised in masterfully iced cakes, primly uniformed school children and the posh tones of the BBC world service blaring out from taxis and tro tros Â - the fleet of ratty mini-buses that bounce you from one end of the country the other. But Ghana is very much a forger of its own destiny – and what a ride it is.ÂRead more
The guidebooks will tell you that Ghana is Africa’s friendliest country. Agreed –t his is highly subjective there’s no doubt that obrunis (Europeans) are welcomed pretty much everywhere. Ghanaians, on the whole, are a playful and energetic lot. Sunday Church service is a veritable party, with hymns and sermons rocking along to a highlife-infused gospel beat and women dressed to the nines in the their best long skirts and wraps in the vivid patterns of local wax print and laden down with strings of beads long enough to moor a boat. Pop into any chophouse, the makeshift food canteens that line the roads and you’ll be shown a place at the communal table for a plate of hot and spicy food with a level hospitality normally reserved for a long-lost family member.Â
For the tourist, particularly a first timer to Africa, Ghana is a stellar introduction to the continent’s exoticism, rhythm, colour and intoxicatingly idiosyncratic ways. With a landmass slightly smaller than that of the UK, it is relatively easy to get around, from the rugged Atlantic coastline dotted with the moving castle-forts of the old slave trade, to the Volta Basin and it’s lush blankets of savannah and waterfalls and the Muslim north. Â Sustained by a sizable number of voluntourists and gap yearers, rural eco-resorts and beach hut style accommodations along the coast are on the rise, as are specialist packages offering drumming, batik and bead making classes and walks through the country’s fascinating and often infuriating urban centres.Â
Places of interest in Ghana
You may fall in love with Accra, but it won’t be at first sight. The capital of Ghana is a sprawling, noisy, mostly...
For the visitor, Kumasi is perhaps more appealing for what it represents than what it actually is. In terms of size...
Seeing elephants in the wild is the closest thing you’ll get to a safari-type experience in Ghana – but what a...
Strangely-named Wa is the capital of Ghana’s remote upper-western region. If most of the northern Ghana feels...