So its yet another lovely year and possibly the family has a plan of activities lined up for the year. Certainly these activities would include visiting the mall, going for church, parties and other social events or even a beach trip during vacations and holidays. But all these have become in a way, mundane …. a bit boring!
This year try something different. Go on a tour!! Yes, a tour! You can go on your own but it’s more fun with a small group of friends or, family. Either way, You will be amazed how a simple tour or excursion can create exciting opportunities for you to relax, have fun, and most importantly strengthen bonds with loved ones.
RoamGhana offers you six great holiday options you could patronize in Ghana throughout the year. You could decide to spend just a day or, if you really have time, two or three.
- ADA AND THE VOLTA ESTUARY
This area is a two-hour drive from Accra towards the East. Ada is truly a holiday paradise. Long, sandy beaches with coconut trees and fishermen with their boats and nets make up the picture of the Ada seaside. Even watching the ‘mighty’ river Volta finally ‘succumb’ to the mightier ocean is a breathtaking experience.
Try that especially at sunset or dawn and you will just feel the magical touch. You can swim either in the calm and shallow river or the ocean but first ask the locals for guidance. While here, you also get to watch the amazing sea turtles and understand why we all need to preserve them. A local taboo provides sea turtles traditional protection.
They are revered as gods in the lives of the local people. You can also arrange for a lovely canoe-ride on either the Gulf of Guinea or the Volta River.
The area is bustling with many hospitality facilities that provide lots of good food, drinks and entertainment especially during weekends.
- NZULEZU AND THE WESTERN BEACHES
If the saying that the ‘best comes from the west’ is anything to go by, then Nzulezo confirms that maxim. Located some two-three hour’s drive from Takoradi, this ‘town on water’ offers a fascinating experience.
The adventure starts with a 45-minute canoe trip from Beyin over a vast expanse of water. On the way you can’t fail to observe the plush natural vegetation and the dexterity with which the inhabitants, especially women and children maneuver their pirogues on the water.
Once you reach Nzulezo it’s a whole new water world (literally). Peering down the well woven planks and seeing your reflection in the water is an experience best felt than described.
Whilst here, be sure to ask for ‘odoka’ the locally brewed liquor but careful, its highly intoxicating!!. Back from Nzulezo, you can (and indeed must) visit Fort Metal Cross, one of the numerous forts and castles located along the coast of Ghana. If you ever thought it was only the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles that were active in the Slave Trade, then this is time to revise your notes.
The Fort is rich in history and be sure to ask the guide why the Fort has such peculiar name! You would also want to visit Axim, a very beautiful bustling commercial town reputed to be the wettest point of Ghana.
It is rumored that it rains everyday at 3pm in Axim, find out for yourself. One thing not in doubt, though, is that visiting the Nzulezo area will give you an unforgettable relaxation experience.
- CAPE COAST-ELMINA- KAKUM PARK AREA
These two ancient towns are, without doubt the most visited by tourists in Ghana and the reasons are not hard to fathom. Together with the Kakum National Park, they offer history, heritage, nature and relaxation.
The two ancient towns offer you first hand evidence of the arrival of Europeans and their engagements with the locals. Together these towns offer a lot of historical firsts: the first point of contact with the Europeans, the first European buildings outside Europe, the first Catholic Church, the first capital of Ghana and the list goes on.
When in Elmina remember to ask your guide about the interesting connection this quaint little town has with Africa’s man of the century (Dr. Kwame Nkrumah), Ghana’s first president. Also be sure to visit the Komenda caves which it is rumoured was one of Britain’s best kept secrets of World War II.
On the nature side, you should see the Kakum National Park. Don’t give the excuse that you’ve visited it before. They’ve got some new things going on there and you would definitely want to enjoy. The famous and adventurous canopy walk (the flagship product) is an entirely out of the ground experience that you don’t want to miss.
The Central Region’s lack of night life is compensated for with the presence of many standard facilities scattered along stretches of beach where you can have a relaxing barefoot walk. If you will be visiting during the New Year then you must definitely plan to stop at Winneba for the annual Masquerade festival and you won’t regret you did.
Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region, a very important and historical centre for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in Kumasi and blends very well with modernity. It is popularly referred to as the cultural hub of Ghana.
There are a wide range of attractions in Kumasi including Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Military Museum, Menhyia palace, among others. The Manhyia Palace, the seat of the King of Ashanti and members of the royal family is situated in the northern part of the city.
The Palace has a courtyard and a courtroom where matters dealing with the constitution and customs are deliberated upon the traditional council.
Visitors can get a good insight into traditional African democracy, which is still very present in the customs of the people when they visit the courtyard. You should also see Lake Bosumtwi, the largest and, perhaps the most ‘mysterious’ natural lake in Ghana.
This lake, about 32 kilometres southeast of Kumasi (approximately 40 minutes drive) and its mysterious nature derives from the fact that its origins have been the subject of varied theories ranging from the mythical to the scientific.
- THE MOLE ENCLAVE OF THE NORTHERN REGION
Thought there was nothing touristic after Kumasi? think again!!!! You definitely want to try the Tamale-Mole enclave- consisting three unique attractions namely, the Mystic Stone, Larabanga Mosque and the Mole National Park.
If you ever believed in ‘magic’ then the mystic stone is a must see. Whilst here you will learn of how this rather innocuous stone ‘successfully’ defied all attempts at relocation for road construction.
It is believed to be a god and is a site for consultation for various prayer requests. For a peek at a 14th Century Mosque and the oldest Koran existing in Ghana, the Larabanga mosque is your best bet.
Its unique architecture and layout will leave you spell bound. Tamale is a cosmopolitan city of many delights and its closeness to the enclave means you can get a lot of good supporting facilities (including an airport) to make your trip comfortable.
But certainly the toppings on the ice cream will be a visit to the Mole National Park. Undoubtedly Ghana’s largest, the Park house a variety of animal species including elephants, antelopes, hartebeests, waterbucks, buffalo and warthogs that roams freely in the park’s grasslands.
Uncounted lions, leopards, hyenas and various primates can also be seen in Mole National Park. Polzen is one of the rivers in the park with spectacular falls downstream. There are an estimated 742 species of plants and trees in the park of which 4 are endemic species and more than 20 are classified as rare species.
You could also stop by Mognori to have a first had experience of rich culture.
- ABURI/AKWAPIM MOUNTAINS
Just 45 minutes’ drive from Accra, nestled in the Akwapim-Togo ranges is the part of Ghana named ‘little London’ for its climate all year round.
What strikes you on the highlands is the sweet greenery and the ‘sudden’ peace you encounter once there. Its as if everything just slows down as compared to Accra.
Your first stop should be the Aburi Gardens- a very popular tourist attraction with a very pleasant aesthetic appeal. That place should have been named ‘flower world’.
Ever seen a helicopter upclose? If not, make your way to the Aburi gardens. The garden houses thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers which come in different forms and colours. With beautiful butterflies and birds, this is a nice relaxation spot for most holiday makers.
While there, don’t forget to ask to be shown the various trees that have been planted by world-renowned dignitaries who have ever visited Ghana and you will be shocked at the list!! After Aburi’s luxuriating experience, you can move over to another nature delight. Located 45 minutes’ drive away at Huhunya is the Boti waterfall.
This mysterious waterfall is believed to have come from two sources, male and female and its plunge pool is a different experience all together.
The Umbrella rock, part of the attractions in the area is another interesting site that one can visit near the Boti Falls. This has a nice story behind it which is told by indigenes and tour guides to people who only make it to the rock.
There is always adventure in the Eastern Region. Many hotels, guesthouses and continental restaurants can be found in Mampong, and Aburi to satisfy the accommodation, food and beverage as well as entertainment aspect of your trip.
So as you can see, there is no justifiable reason to stay indoors all day during this period. Give yourself a tour treat and you won’t regret you did!! Have a ‘touristic’ New Year.!!
Philip Ebo Quansah
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June 3, 2019