PLACES OF INTEREST
University of Ghana at Legon
Ghana’s premier center of higher education, it was founded in 1948. Set in beautiful gardens, including a striking botanical garden, it also houses the School of Performing Arts and the Balme Library.
The Markets of Accra Amongst the most famous markets of Accra are Makola market located on Kojo Thompson Road, and the Osu Night Market, where market stalls are illuminated by hundreds of lanterns and candles.
Makola Shopping Mall
Located at the Accra Central. Has adequate car parking space. The market was recently constructed to replace the old one with the same name. One can obtain beautiful African Textiles, Foodstuffs, Traditional Cloths and clothes, shoes, cosmetics, etc. It also houses a bank, restaurants, offices, etc. Because of its central location it enjoys a lot of patronage from residents in Accra and tourists alike.
Located near the Timber Market on the Fadama Road. This is another newly constructed market. It enjoys all the facilities as the Makola Shopping Mall.
Other local markets found in Accra are the Kaneshie Market Complex located on the Mallam-Odorkor Road, Kaneshie, and the Kantamanto Market also located in central Accra is the capital’s local and largest flea market. Items sold here are mostly imported second hand cloths, shoes and household items.
The Crafts of Ashanti
The Crafts of the Asante
The crafts villages surrounding Kumasi include:
Bonwire – 18km NE of Kumasi – Kente weaving
Pankronu – 3km N of Kumasi – pottery
Ahwiaa – 6km N of Kumasi – woodcarvings
Ntonsu – Adinkra clothe making
Asuofia/Asamang – Barakese Road – bead making
Ampabame Krofrom – 10km from Ahodwo – brass smiths
Goldsmiths and Silversmiths can be seen in Kumasi.
Traditional Cloth Making at Boama
Traditional cloth making at Boama
20km from Techiman, the village of Nsuta is famous for the production of Kyenkyen, a local folk weave cloth.
The Centre of Ghana:
The geographical center of Ghana is a tourist spot pinpointed close by in kintampo town.
Traditional Fishing Villages
Along the Coast of the Central Region are a succession of busy fishing villages and traditional market towns that reflect the distinct cultures of the district. Visitors to all the villages will be welcomed with traditional Ghanaian hospitality. Of particular interest are:
1. Winneba – famous for its fishing fleet, Masquerade festival and local ceramics
2. Mankessim – well known for its Posuban shrine busy market
3. Kromantse / Abandze – twin fishing villages, one of the important trading centers to which the late Louis Armstrong, the great jazz player, traced his ancestry.
The villagers of the Central Region are famed for their traditional crafts that are still worked as their forefathers have worked for generations. They all make great Souvenirs of your visit to the Central Region.
Particularly important villages are:
· Winneba- famous for its beautiful and unusual ceramics
· Gomoa-Otsew-Jukwa- a village of pottery makers
Grottos and Caves
Etched out of limestone, the grottos and caves of Volta Region are dramatic. Not to be missed are:
1. The ancestral caves of Likpe – 14km
2. The grottos of Kpando – Agbehoe and
3. The caves of Nyagbo and logba
4. Caves and ironmine workings – Alepafu
The Village on Stilts of Nzulezu
An amazing Village where life goes on in the centre of Lake Tadane, just 90km west of Takoradi. The houses are built on stilts, and traditional village life adapts to the watery conditions. The excursion from Beyin involves a walk through the reeds at the lake’s edge, and a trip in a dugout canoe to the village. The village welcomes visitors every day except Thursday, which is a sacred day.
The mines of Western Region
The Western Region has several mines that may be visited, by prior arrangement.
The main sites are:
1. Nsuta Manganese Mine – 20km southeast of Tarkwa
2. Prestea Goldmines – founded in the 1800s just 92km northwest of Takoradi.
The Gold mine is locted in Obuasi, it is one of the richest gold mine in the world. For details of visits to the Ashanti Gold Mine – available on Tuesdays and Thursdays – contact the P.R. Manager on (0582-40494).
Breath-taking in its beauty, this area is home to the Kwahus (pronounced Kwa-woos). On top of the mountain there are a number of well-planned, picturesque communities with beautiful homes. Further north of the Kwahu Scarp is the Afram Plain, which is a transitional zone of wooded savannah land. The Volta River is at its broadest here, and opportunities for boating and angling abound. Trips into the vast Digya Game Reserve are also possible from here.
Krobo Mountains – Klowen
The Mountains are believed to have been the first home of the Krobo people when they migrated to Ghana between the 15th and d 16th centuries. These mountains provided a natural protective barrier against marauding slave raiders and other invaders. However, in 1852 a 100-man British army forced the Krobos to evacuate their home. Relics, interesting architectural designs and ruins of buildings have survived, and can be seen on the mountain today.
The Keta District has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches full of coconut trees in West Africa. The beaches are relatively clean. The sea is rough and shallow up to about 1 to 2 nautical miles in some places. The best beaches can be found at:
- The Volta Estuary Areas from Azizanu to Atiteti. Woe-Cape St. Paul and adjoining areas
- Keta-Dzelukope Areas such as Tegbi
- Kedzi areas
- Anloga and adjoining areas.
Lighthouse at Woe
There is a lighthouse at Woe not far from Keta, which directs ships during the night. It architecture is very unique. It is also believed that there is a huge underwater mountain off the coast of Woe, which necessitated the building of the lighthouse.
You will enjoy the weather and the people of Amedzofe! The climate is very invigorating with mild breezes and clear skies. Amedzofe’s bird’s eye view of the lush Volta Region and friendly people leave a lasting impression on all those who visit.
Amedzofe has played a large role in history, from the Ashanti wars to the German possession of the area, which culminated in the construction of Amedzofe Training College in the 1880’s. Much of this history still lives through the stories or architecture of the area.
How to get there!
From Accra, board a Ho Bus or Trotro and alight at Ho lorry station. Board Amedzofe Bus/Trotro to the last stop where you will locate the Tourist Office.
With private car:
From Ho drive to Matse. Continue to Dzolokpuita junction, take the road up to Vane and continue to Amedzofe. From Hohoe, one can get to Ho and then continue as above.
For those travelling from Accra to Hohoe with off-road vehicles, there is a rough road from Fume through Gbadzeme to Amedzofe or through Biakpa and Vane to Amedzofe.
Bargain for renowned straw hats, baskets, leather goods, metal goods, and traditional clothing in a northern market that is a part of the historic trans-Saharan trade routes. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, and chat with traders from the region, Mali, and Burkina Faso, about their wares.
Tongo Whistling Rocks
These rocks create a dramatic presence on the landscape outside Bolgatanga. Only 10km from the city, these rocks also make strange, ghostly whistling sounds during November and December, when the harmattan wind blows off the Sahara through the Northern Region.
Displays in this little Bolgatanga museum include music, hunting, jewellery, weaponry, and chief’s possessions. Beautiful carved darkwood stools and a bronze ancestor vase are the highlights of the collection.
These sacred groves are traditonal nature reserveds created around shrines The Jaagbo Shrine 30km from Tamale has 25 acres of untouched vegetation around the Jagbo fetish, sheltering medicinal herbs, near extinct and sometimes mysterious plants. The Malshegu Sacred Groove at Katalga 12km from Tamale has a Guest House attached.
Wa Naa’s Palace
The 19th century palace with its distinctive architecture is the official residence of the Wa Naa, traditional chief of the Walas. In front of the palace are graves of previous Wa Naas.
The Atiwa Rock
Formations Located in Nsuta, it offers a beautiful view of Kumasi and the outlying countryside.
Bamboo Orchestra at Masomagor
The youth at the village of Masomagor have revived a traditional art, by performing with bamboo percussion instruments to music and dance. It is worth taking a look at their performance. This village is close to the Kakum National Park.
The Krobo, Kwahu and the Aburi areas are important woodcarving and pottery centers. Enyeresi is another woodcraft center well known for cane production.
Kulungugu Bomb Site
This is a minor port of entry in the Bawku District, on the far eastern corner of Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso.
In August 1962, an attempt to assassinate the architect of Ghana’s independence and the first President of the Republic, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was made. En route to Accra from signing an accord with the President of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) for the construction of the hydroelectric project on the Volta, a bomb was planted and blasted at a village school, where he made a short stopover. The bomb blast killed a young school child and injured others. A memorial stands at this
Located in Bolga, the museum has a collection of terracotta figurines representing the region’s cultural history.
Navrongo-Tano Irrigation Dam
The dam offers opportunities for water sports and relaxation at the guesthouse.
Aduklu Mountain Hike
A Tour guide right up to the topmost part of Adaklu Mountain leads this challenging mountain Hike. It is located 12kms from Ho. You will encounter colourful birds, butterflies, monkeys and the natural surroundings whilst climbing. Camping is allowed on the mountaintop.
Dedukorpe Ostrich Farm
The farm is one of the peculiarities of the region. A host of products are made from this bird at the farm.
Agotime-Kpetoe is one of the two capitals of Kente weaving in Ghana. In this rural village, the skill of Kente weaving has been passed on from generation to generation
Vume a small village near Sogakope produces large volumes of antique ceramics known as ‘Soga Soga’. Large tracts of clay in this village have helped the pottery industry in this area to grow.
In the heart of the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi is a tropical forest inhabited by monkeys. It is the city’s tropical hideaway.
Tourist facilities are available.
Cape Three Points
This is the southernmost point of the country and its lighthouse permits great views of the countryside.
The village of Shairi, up the hills near the Ghana-Togo ranges (16km from Nkwanta) is unique by all standards. The climate there is invigorating.
Mountain Dzebobo and others offer beautiful scenery. The area has a cool near temperate climate. On top of the hill, which is the second highest in Ghana, one can have a panoramic view of the Volta Lake.
The Old Kete-Krachi Slave Route
The old Kete-Krachi, now completely under water except for three building the German barracks, used to be a very important nodal town as well as clave port in the past. Now it is completely submerged by the floodwaters of the Volta Lake. The main north-south caravan route passed through Kete-Krachi. Slave en route southwards from Salaga, for example, were “shipped” in boats to river ports like Akuse and Ada Foah in the south.
Dzemeni market along the bank of the Volta Lake is becoming one of the most important markets in the whole of southern Ghana.
German Building at Kpando
There are two separate storey building once used as hospital by the Germans at Kpando. Overlooking Kpando town is the old German Governor’s Residency, a massive stone building. A few other relics can be found in it.
The Kraal Buildings
Only a few kilometres north or east of Tamale, visitors will discover the first northern-style kraals set amidst their surrounding millet fields. These traditional habitations are totally different from those of southern Ghana, and also vary from those in the rest of the country. In the Dagomba territory, all the kraal buildings – both habitations and granaries are covered with straw roofs in the shape of conical hats. Upon their first visit to a compound, visitors are often impressed by the cleanliness of the courtyard, divided into separate areas containing living quarters, livestock shelters or sanitary facilities. The ground, harder and smoother than cement, is composed of clay blended with cow dung that serves as a bonding agent. After application of this mixture, the surface is pounded down by women or children singing traditional chants and wielding wooden mallets. It is then further smoothed with a layer of liquid mortar.
The rounded openings in the dwellings are often surrounded with multicoloured ceramic mosaics, which on closer inspection; reveal themselves to be the skilfully salvaged fragments of chinaware. Just in front of the threshold of the houses, a shallow ditch connected with a system of gutters provides a means for the evacuation of rain and waste-water from the habitation area to the surrounding fields.
The women’s huts are filled with piles of brightly coloured traditional pottery or modern decorated enamel utensils, while inside the men’s quarters, hunting arms are fastened onto the straw rooftops and various ritual objects are ensconced in niches in the walls.
Old Basel Missionary Building
The Akwapim Ridge has a long history of missionary work, especially in the field of education. Residence of the area warmly welcomed the advent of Christianity in the country, and that Christian heritage is still strongly evident.
Ashantemanso the ancestral origin of the Ashantes is 35km on the Kumasi – Kuntanase Bekai Road, near Essumeja. Other attractions of a special nature include the Kumasi Zoological Gardens, the Suame magazine and the kwame Nkrumah university of Science and Technology.
The Central market in Tamale sells everything from groceries to motorbikes. Visitors will find this colourful market full of hustle and bustle and the bargaining process between sellers and buyers captivating. A visit to the leather tanners will provide a look at the traditional process of tanning, which produces the beautiful leather products including bags, purses, necklaces and boots. Other sites include the National Cultural Center, a small zoo, and a botanical garden herbarium of the University of Development Studies. Tamale is largely Islamic so you’ll find grand mosques and very interesting traditional rustic mosques in which the faithful gather to pray five times each day.
One hundred and twenty kilometres to the southwest of Tamale is Salaga, the capital of the Gonja East District which used to be the biggest slave-trading center in Northern Ghana.
The original slave market was moved south from Salaga to a settlement called Kafaba. Unfortunately, much of Kafaba is now under the Volta Lake. The present road from Tamale to Salaga is rough terrain. Salaga has a pond called “Wonkan bawa” (a Huasa word meaning “the bathing place of slave”) and a young Baobab tree in what used to be the Slave Market.
This existing Baobab is a replacement for an original tree to which slaves were chained and displayed as wares for sale. Merchants from farther north and the forest regions of the south would come and barter salt, cola nuts, cowries, gold, and Europeans drinks for slaves. This historical market presently doubles as a public transportation terminal.
Salaga was an international trade centre and had seven other markets. Wells, which served as water supply sources for the township, and the large migrant trader population and relics such as slave chains can also be found in Salaga. Slave dormitories and other transit housing have been demolished and replaced with new residential dwellings. The chains and other related artefacts are in private possession of some residents and there are few sites of the slave market available to visitors.
Northwest of Tamale are the salt mines of Daboya. Salt was an important and major item of exchange and used in the barter for slave. Salt mining still goes on today, but more than salt, the town is noted for its hand woven and unique textiles, which sell in the market of the Northern Region. The White Volta also runs nearby and offers potential for boating, canoeing and fishing.
Yendi is the seat of the “Yaa Naa’s”, King of the Dagbon State and is 98km southeast of Tamale and connected by an excellent paved road. Babatu, the notorious slave raider is buried in this District capital. Slave relics such as chains and Babatu’s armour are held in private possessions. Until the First World War, Yendi and other parts of the Northern region were part of Trans Volta Togoland and German colony.
The cemetery, which includes the grave of German soldiers who fell in the war of resistance of the Dagomba against German colonization, can also be found in Yendi.
Bolga is the shortened version of Bolgatanga, which is both a Regional and District Capital. It is north Tamale and takes an hour drive on newly constructed asphalt road. Bolga used to be a terminus on the ancient Tans-Saharan trade route. The eastern route from Northern Nigeria came through Bawku and converged at Bolga with the Sahelian route from Mali via Burkina Faso. “Dawadawa”, a traditional spice, and hand-woven cotton fabrics were exchanged for kola nuts and salt from the handicrafts, especially straw baskets, hats and fans leather goods, metal jewellery and indigenous attires called “Fugu”. It has a small but interesting regional museum.
Yipkabongo is north of Tamale in the Builsa traditional area, with access via Walewale, the District capital for West Mamprusi. Yikpabongo and three other towns, Tantala, Yeziesi and Kubore are noted for terra cottas, which have their roots in the famous ninth Century Koma civilization that flourished in the area from Sandema, through the Fambisi Valley to Kubore.
The area is a rich archaeological site where the University of Ghana has done pilot excavations. Also of interest are the traditional architectural styles, culture and customs of the people.
Paga is the major port of entry on the Ghana-Burkina Faso border. It is 40 km and a 45-minute drive from Bolga. The heritage and vestiges of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade can be found across towns and villages in Northern Ghana. Slaves were marched on foot and in chains along these routes to market centres where they were sold to merchants. The merchants marched the captives to markets in the south where they were sold to both European and local merchants from the coast. The merchants from the south marched them on to the coast, where they were held in dungeons until slave ships arrived and exported them to the Americas.
Paga offers perhaps the most vivid insight into the lives of captives on the 400-mile march to the South. A slave camp near the sacred crocodile pond provides evidence of the harsh realities of the captives. Holes dug in rocks which served as drinking troughs and eating bowls are very visible, as are slabs of rocks that served as auction blocks and graves.
The National Theatre
The distinctive architectural of this modern building encompasses an important national centre for the performing of art.
The Zoo is located when travelling north on the Independence Avenue, past Sankara Interchange and look for Afrikiko Restaurant; turn left and follow the signs leading to the zoo. Their phone number is 021-772553 and it is open daily between the hours of 9:30am – 5pm. This is a small, but fascinating, collective of many birds and animals indigenous to Africa. Some of these animals that are worth a visit include the monkeys, snakes, lions, leopards, crocodiles, duikers among others. Interestingly, the zoo was once part of Kwame Nkrumah’s estate. His original house (in its original condition) is still located adjacent to the zoo.
Takoradi Port was established in 1928 as the first port of Ghana, handling both imports and exports. For several decades Takoradi port served as an important Port for passenger vessels plying the West Africa – Europe route.
In 1986, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority with the support of the Ghana Government embarked on major rehabilitation of the Port, which included: – the repair and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure and facilities – institutional strengthening involving technical strengthening of management and training supply of equipment including floating crafts, cargo handling equipment and vehicles.
As a result of the rehabilitation, Takoradi Port now has modern equipment and facilities to handle all types of cargo and vessels. The institutional changes made have also produced a highly skilled and productive staff and an excellent security network. The rehabilitation has contributed immensely to the major improvement recorded by the port in the past decade. The port now on the average turns vessels around under 1.6 days. Cargo output has also risen from 1.3 million tonnes in 1987 to 3.0 million tonnes in the year 2000. The port handles over 65% of Ghana’s exports and considerable volume of import annually.
The port now offer the fastest, convenient and cheapest route to importers and exporters in the Western, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo Regions and the northern parts of Ghana. This is due to the Port has good road and rail connections to the hinterland; it does not have problems with congestion and has a system which ensures quicker and easier evacuation of goods from the Port.
Located 18km on Mampong Road. A settlement hundreds of Kente weavers. A wide variety of hand – woven Kente fabric are obtainable I many of the local shops.
The Kumasi Zoo was established in 1957 by Dr. A.A.Y. Kyeremanteng who also founded the Kumasi Cultural Centre. The Cultural Centre was set up to create a venue for the reinforcement of Akan culture among the youth. One popular activity at the Centre was the telling of Ananse stories. The zoo was a natural extension of the activities of the Centre because young people could go to the zoo to see the very animals they were hearing about in the Ananse stories.
The first animals in the zoo included buffalo and chimpanzee but this has grown to include a modest selection of Ghana’s wildlife. The zoo is centrally located in one of the most enviable locations in the city. One of the zoo’s claims to fame has been the successful breeding of Sooty Mangabey Cercocebus atys lunulatus in captivity.
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
A Brief history of the University
The University of Science and Technology succeeded the Kumasi College of Technology which was established by a Government Ordinance on 6th October, 1961. It, however, opened officially on 22nd January, 1952 with 200 Teacher Training students transferred from Achimota, to form the nucleus of the new College.
In October, 1952, the School of Engineering and the Department of Commerce were established and the first students were admitted. From 1952 to 1955, the School of Engineering prepared students for professional qualifications only. In 1955, the School embarked on courses leading to the University of London Bachelor of Engineering External Degree Examinations.
A Pharmacy Department was established in January, 1953, with the transfer of the former School of Pharmacy from Korle-Bu Hospital, Accra, to the College. The Department ran a two-year comprehensive course in Pharmacy leading to the award of the Pharmacy Board Certificate.
Once established, the College began to grow and in 1957, the School of Architecture, Town Planning and Building was inaugurated and its first students were admitted in January, 1958, for professional courses in Architecture, Town Planning and Building.
The University is situated approximately on a sixteen square kilometre campus of undulating land and pleasant surroundings, about seven kilometres away from the city of Kumasi. The campus presents a panorama of beautiful and modern buildings interspersed with verdant lawns and tropical flora which provide a cool and refreshing atmosphere congenial to academic studies. It has within the short period of its existence become an important centre for training of scientists and technologists not only for Ghana, but also for other African countries as well as from other parts of the world.
The University has six Halls of Residence at the Kumasi campus. Three are mixed, namely Queen Elizabeth Hall, Republic Hall and Independence Hall. Two are for men only, these are Unity Hall and University Hall. Sixth Hall, Africa Hall is for women only. There is one Hall at the Tarkwa campus Chamber of Mines Hall (mixed).
The Halls are self-contained, each with its kitchen, dining hall and separate junior and senior common rooms for students and senior members of the hall. The Halls of Residence, the Administration Block, the Library and the Great Hall occupy the central portion of the grounds.
The University started awarding its degrees in June, 1964. All degree examinations are reviewed by external examiners and moderators to ensure that the high academic standards are maintained.
There are five Faculties, two Schools, two Institutes and one College all of a comparable status headed by Deans or Directors or Principal. They are the Faculties of Agriculture, Environmental and Development Studies, Pharmacy, Science and Social Sciences, the Institutes of Renewable Natural Resources, Land Management and Development and the College of Art. In addition, there is a School of Postgraduate Studies.
International Conference Centre:
A 1600- seated plenary hall. It hosts international conferences, arts, drama musical and fashion shows. It is located opposite the Parliament House.
As the name suggests this not a shopping centre but a street where you would find a cluster of very fine and unique shops, restaurants, hotels, a hospital, banks, forex bureaux, toy shops, handicraft shops, state-of- the-art electronic shops, card and gift shops, a casino, night clubs, ice cream parlours, fast food restaurants, grocery shops, etc.
Oxford Street got its name from London’s Oxford Street. It also has a night market, retailing local food and what have you. You will only hear about in the grapevine some fly-by-night places.
Academy of African Music and Art
The Kokrobite Academy of African Music and Art, Accra is located on the beautiful Southern coast of Ghana, 30 kilometres away from Accra. This authentic African holiday paradise offers a unique combination of beach and music, dance and art. The houses are built in the style of African architecture, surrounded by coconut palms and tropical flowers. In their own bay at the beach of the Atlantic, the vacationists and those who are interested in culture have the chance to rest and mediate. The Academy offers classes taught by highly-skilled teachers who are all members of the world-famous Obonu-Royal-Drum of Ghana group which have international experience. Every Saturday and Sunday the Academy is a meeting point where you can experience African music and the local dancing culture first hand.
A concert hall (up to 200 people) for performances and classes with ballroom are erected in the African style of the rotundas and caused by the unique architectural construction which gives optimal ventilation and a wooden dance floor.
Tema city and port lies in southeastern Ghana along the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean), 18 miles (29 km) east of Accra. Tema Port is the biggest of two sea ports in Ghana. It has water-enclosed area of 1.7 million square metres and a total land area of 3.9 million square metres.
The Port of Tema is more than a mere loading or unloading place for goods. It is also a traffic junction, where goods are transhipped and transit cargo destined for the hinterlands/landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are handled.
It is equally a port with a wide range of industrial and commercial companies, producing or handling among others petroleum products, cement, food items, iron and steel, aluminium products and textiles.
Opened formally in 1962, Tema’s harbour encloses 410 acres (166 hectares) of sea and is Africa’s largest man-made harbour. There are 3 miles (5 km) of breakwaters, 12 deepwater berths, an oil-tanker berth, and a dockyard, warehouses, and transit sheds.
The port’s container yard is capable of holding over 8,000 TEU’s at any given time. There are 290 reefer points available. A separate fishing harbour with cold-storage and marketing facilities is east of the lee breakwater.
The government acquired 64 square miles (166 square km) of land north of the harbour and entrusted it to the Tema Development Corporation (1952). The “New Town” that was subsequently built on the site was planned as an industrial-residential complex. There was a large influx of population beginning in the 1960s owing to the new employment opportunities, but the corporation was unable to construct housing and provide other services to meet the needs of this migration. The result was the creation near Tema in an area called Ashiaman.
Tema port was commissioned in 1962. The harbour which was a monumental legacy of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, President of the First Republic, who was anxious to see rapid industrialization of the country.
Most of the country’s chief export, cacao, is shipped from Tema. Manufactures include aluminum, steel, refined petroleum, soap, processed fish, chocolate, textiles, cement, and chemicals.
Tema port handled 6.3 million tones of cargo in 2000, nearly three quarters of total sea-borne trade for Ghana, whilst the export was little over half of sea-borne exports. For 2001 this figure dropped slightly to 6.14 million tonnes. Of this 5.07 million tonne was imports and 783,000 tonne exports and 283,000 tonne was transit cargo.
Sekondi-Takoradi port is situated on the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) in southern Ghana. Both the Dutch and British built forts at Sekondi in the 17th century that were destroyed by the Ahanta. Fort Orange, rebuilt by the Dutch and bought by the British in 1872, still survives as a lighthouse. Sekondi flourished in the 1900s after construction of the railroad (1903) to the mineral and timber resources of the hinterland & the interior goldfields. A deepwater harbour was constructed at Takoradi in 1928.
Takoradi is Ghana’s mail export port with around 500 vessel calls per year handling 65% of Ghana’s exports. Main commodities are manganese, bauxite, timber and cocoa. Takoradi handles over 2.2 million tons of cargo per year.
Sekondi and Takoradi, a single municipality since 1946, became one city in 1963. Takoradi is well-planned, with two breakwaters enclosing 220 acres (90 hectares) of sea with quay berths (5 multi-purpose and 3 dedicated berths) and lee facilities for loading bauxite and discharging oil. The harbour is the terminus of several Ghana railways and is served by road and air. Sekondi-Takoradi also has light industrial, agricultural, and fishing enterprises.
Sekondi-Takoradi also has shipbuilding, railroad repair, and cigarette industries. The two parts of the city developed around Dutch and English forts built in the 17th century.
Takoradi port is gearing up for futher upgrades and increased private sector participation. The Port Authority has secured land close to the harbour to be leased to private investors for the development of fish processing and cold storage facilities. There are also plans to extend the clinker-bauxite jetty and the main breakwater. The old log pond will be reclaimed for use as a container handling area and there are also plans for the construction of new offices and a marine operation berth.
An enclave almost entirely inhabited by fisher-folk, perhaps the most surprising aspect of James Town is its unpresupposing, village-like aspect. In general, maritime capitals usually have industrial installations corresponding to their importance.
Once again, Accra astonishes by its indifference to the sea; its port is wholly devoted to artisanal fishing, as the modest surrounding quarters – occupying the place of honour usually given to commerce and international hotels- amply testify.
The atmosphere is totally different – and all the more so during Homowo in neighbouring Ussher Town. As the fever of the celebration mounts with the thundering drums, enthusiastic crowed encircle groups of kaolin-painted traditional dancers.
Everyone here seems to know everyone else: joking and bantering, the onlookers alternate between following the intricate steps of the dancers and the antics of the local youngsters. There’s no reason for timidity here, and visitors should not hesitate asking for explanations as to the meaning of the celebrations taking place before them, explanations which will be offered with the greatest kindness on the part of the local population.
Outside the circle of the festivities, the crackle of fireworks and the excited cries of children announces the stirring arrival of the city’s chieftains, mounted upon canopy shaded thrones borne upon the shoulders of their retainers. As firearms of all calibres and ages are emptied in a joyous salute, the odour of gunpowder mingles with that of the free-flowing local schnapps. The resulting scene is a rare vision of timeless, immemorial Africa, unchanged by modern life and contemporary influence.
Cape Coast Town
To the west of Accra lies Cape Coast the Capital of Central Region. Cape Coast was the Capital of Gold Coast before it became Ghana, and was moved to Accra in 1877. Cape Coast is 144-km away from Accra. This region is very famous for its forts and castles. For the coconut-shaded beaches you won’t miss.
This is the region that Europeans first came into contact with the tropics. It is the only place that Columbus spent some time on his Voyage to discover the New World.
Winneba is an old coastal town on the “Gulf of Guinea”, located 35 miles west of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. In the early colonial history of Gold Coast, as Ghana was then called, Winneba served as a port town. Vestiges of this colonial past are old warehouses of the Elder Dempster Lines, still to be found on the coastline.
Many a tourist today know Winneba for its annual “Deer Hunt Festival” held in May each year, and its unique “Fancy Dress Contest”, backed by Brass Band music, which is held on January 1st each year. By nature, music is the heart of the Efutu people of Winneba, and in the past every scholar of the town was expected at least to know how to play the piano.
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana
The Cocoa Research Institute established in June, 1938 is located at New Tafo, 24km from Koforidua. It has arboretums and model farms. Botanists will find the Institute of particular interest. The institute also has recreational facilities including a bar and golf course, which can be booked by advance reservation.
Somanya and Odumase Krobo are recognized as bead making centres and
there is a well known bead market in Koforidua.
UNUSUAL ROCK FORMATIONS
Rockhouse (Obodan), Bruku shrine, caves at Obom are all notable rock formations.
At Akwatia, 2 hours drive from Accra, is the only diamond mine in the country. This open-cast mine is open to tourists. It has recreational facilities and a guest- house.
Prempeh II Museum of Ashanti Culture and History.
Opens Tuesdays – Sundays from 8.00 a.m.– 4.00p.m.
Mondays, from 2.00 p.m. – 5.00p.m.
Observe “Kente” weavers, “Adinkra” textile printers, wood carvers and local brass-smiths at work.
Local textiles, leatherworks, carvings and other Ghanaian crafts may be bought at affordable prices.
Traditional dances and drumming lessons are available for a fee on request.
Largest of its kind in West Africa. Opens daily from 6:00 am – 6:00pm. Anything from foodstuffs,
jewellery, livestock and herbal medicine can be purchased through lively bargaining.
The Ostrich Farm is located at Efutu Mampong about 14km from Cape Coast on the KNP Road. The ostrich is the world’s largest living bird belonging to the small order of birds known as Ratitae or running birds. The Ostrich can live up to between 30-70 years.