Alisa Hotel North Ridge
Lancaster Kumasi City (formerly named Golden Tulip Kumasi City)
Coconut Grove Beach Resort
Day 1: Arrival - Accra
Our expert local tour guides will meet with you on your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport Accra, is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. You will be transferred to your Accra hotel. Once we have checked you in, our experienced guide will offer you Akwaaba (welcome) and brief you on all aspects of your trip. You can enjoy your evening meal at the hotel restaurant whilst acclimating yourself to West Africa.
Overnight in Accra Meals Included | Dinner
Day 2: Economic districts, National Museum, Jamestown, Independence Square, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and National Cultural Center
Your first full day in Ghana, after breakfast at our hotel, we set off for our tour of Accra, passing through the economic and administrative districts on our way to the National Museum. Almost all the displays here are ethnographic in nature and the museum gives us an excellent overview of West African culture. The displays in the museum are not only from Ghana but most West African countries. There is an adjoining garden that is home to various sculptures that talk about West African traditions and customs and give an overview of West African history. During our time here, we also get the chance to view and purchase some wonderful examples of traditional fabrics and crafts. James town is next, we will enjoy a walking tour of this old community taking in some of the historical structures that predate the colonial era. The locals are committed to conserving these buildings and have made significant efforts to maintain them. Our time here gives us an excellent idea of what it was like during the colonial era. The 30-meter-high lighthouse built by the British in 1871 and the attractive colorful fishing boats on the beach are also wonderful to see. We continue to Fort James which was built by the British as a trading post in 1673 before it joined the Dutch Fort Crêvecœur and the Danish Fort Christiansborg. Fort James gave its name to the Jamestown neighborhood in Accra. These areas give us a perfect picture of old Accra, distinguishing between British Accra and Dutch Accra. Of interest are the Brazilian stone houses, built by free enslaved Africans who reside in Brazil, they made their way back to Africa after the slave trade was abolished and their descendants have now integrated with the locals of James Town.
Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant (Country Kitchen) serving a selection of West African and continental dishes. In the afternoon we pass by Black Star Square which houses the Independence monument and continue to Independence Square which is our main ceremony grounds where we find the enclosed flame of African liberation, which was lit by Kwame Nkrumah himself in 1961. A short distance away we find the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, the final resting place of Ghana’s founder. Set in attractive gardens, there is an adjoining museum, which contains photos, artifacts, and an insight into this incredible man’s life. The center was designed by a Ghanaian architect and built using Italian marble. Adjoining the park is the National Cultural Center, which is Ghana’s largest outdoor arts and crafts market where we find locals selling traditional crafts from all over West Africa. After an action-packed first full day, we return to our accommodation for our evening meal and to relax with the remainder of the evening's free leisure time.
Overnight in Accra Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: DuBois Center, TK Beads, Aburi Botanical Gardens, and Craft Market
After breakfast, we will continue with our city tour of Accra prior to heading North to Kumasi. Our first visit this morning will be the DuBois Center. This is the final burial place and former home of the prominent American Pan-Africanist Dr William W Burghardt DuBois, who led the Pan- African congress between 1919 and 1927. He was a vocal Anti-Segregationist and a prolific speaker and writer. The center now serves as a library and research institute for students of Pan- Africanism. Our journey today will take us into the beautiful Akuapem Hills, but before we head out of this bustling city we stop first at TK beads, experts in making beautiful traditional beads using ancient methods. Your guides will talk you through the skilled process of making the beads. Beads are culturally a symbol of wealth and beauty here in Ghana and are still used during traditional durbars and festivals. After the demonstration, we can admire and buy a wide selection of beads that have been made here in the onsite shop.
Our journey continues, taking us through the beautiful Akuapem range with outstanding views across Accra and Tema in the distance. At the top of the range, we find the Aburi Botanical Gardens, set in a beautiful location that was founded by the British in 1890. The gardens are home to a wide variety of indigenous and exotic flora, offering outstanding views to Accra on a clear day. As we walk around the gardens our guide will identify the many trees and plants found here, some with medicinal properties, and explain how they benefit the locals. A short distance from the gardens we find the relaxed and friendly Aburi craft village, where traditional African drums, sculptures, and other crafts have been carved for generations. As we watch the skilled craftsmen at work it is worth noting that prices here are amongst the lowest in Ghana, making Aburi an ideal place to pick up some souvenirs. Your guide will talk you through the meaning and local beliefs connected to many of the sculptures that have been made the same way throughout history. Our lunch will be taken in Koforidua capital of the Eastern Region of Ghana before we continue our journey to Kumasi arriving in the early evening. Once we have checked into our accommodation we enjoy our evening meal with the remainder of the day free leisure time to relax.
Overnight in Kumasi Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Manhyia Palace, Cultural Center, Kejetia Market, Okomfo Anokye Sword, and KNUST University
A well-deserved relaxing breakfast this morning after our long journey yesterday. A day of culture and history awaits us as we set off on our city tour of Kumasi heading to the Manhyia Palace, home of the Asantehene King of the Ashanti and ruler of the powerful Asanteman Kingdom. The Palace Museum offers a fascinating excursion through the history of this powerful tribe and is extremely informative on the well-documented Ashanti history and culture. Our tour gives us a firsthand insight into the legacies of the Ashanti and enables us to understand their culture during our time in this region.
We continue to visit the National Cultural Centre. The cultural center is in one of the oldest suburbs of Kumasi near Bantama. There is a wonderful craft market here and during our leisurely tour, we can visit the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum which offers an excellent overview of the Ashanti history and houses some wonderful ancient artifacts. A short distance from the palace is the Kejetia market which is reported to be the largest outdoor market in West Africa. Visiting here gives us a wonderful opportunity to experience everyday life for the people in this great city and pick up a few bargain souvenirs. The market is a labyrinth of stalls nestled closely together, and a hive of activity. Some stallholders sleep here in the evenings as trade rarely stops. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant that sells an excellent selection of local and continental dishes. Our next stop is the Okomfo Anokye sword found at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. Okomfo Anokye was a powerful priest born in 1600 in the Eastern Region of Ghana who helped the then Ashanti King Osei Tutu I to defeat the powerful Denkyera tribe. After defeating the Denkyera, legend has it the Golden Stool of Ashanti descended from the sky and landed on Okomfo Anokye’s lap, which he gave to the Ashanti King. He then planted a sword into the ground as a symbol of unity between the Ashanti and Nzema tribes. The sword is still there to this day and has defied all human strength to pull it out. Prior to returning to our accommodation, we visit the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology which was established by Ghana’s founding President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1952. It is the leading university in the sub-region for research into science and technology with students from all over West Africa studying here. Our evening we have the option of heading into the city to experience Kumasi nightlife where we can enjoy our evening meal and a live highlife band. If you are not feeling up to a late-night you can choose to relax at your accommodation.
Overnight in Kumasi Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Ancient Kente and Adinkra Villages, Ashanti Traditional House and Sakoban Krofrom
A morning visit to the last material remains of the great Asante Empire as we visit the traditional Asante buildings that are now recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. There are 10 active shrines within the buildings which are made from bamboo, timber and mud, and thatched roofs. The walls are designed with motifs that have traditional symbolic meanings attached to ancient Adinkra symbols that we will learn more about later today. This is also where NanaYaa Asantewaa, possibly the most important woman in Ashanti history comes from, a great female warrior who led the Ashanti in the 1901 war against the British. Nana Yaa Asantewaa was also the Queen Mother of Ejisu Besease and we will visit the local spiritual shrine where she used to fortify herself before going into battle.
We continue our journey through Ashanti history by visiting the traditional villages of Adanwomasie and Ntonso. Our first stop is Adanwomasie, the birthplace of Ghana’s rich colorful Kente cloth. Adanwomasi produces some of Ghana’s finest Kente cloth, many designs of cloth are woven here, and some are exclusive only to this region. Quality time is dedicated here as we walk through the community, interacting with the locals whose families have been weaving kente for generations playing an important role in the history of this beautiful cloth. During our time here, we learn about the history behind the many designs and see skilled weavers outside their homes still using traditional looms that have not changed in design for centuries. Former US President Bill Clinton has had a design named after him called the “Clinton Kente” as Ghanaians were so impressed with the respect he showed our nation during his state visit to Ghana when he was in office. An ideal time to purchase quality kente cloth at very low prices before we set off for Ntunso.
The ancient village of Ntunso is where adinkra cloth and symbols originate. These traditional symbols all have meanings and are carved from calabash shells. The adinkra symbols are then printed onto traditional cloth using natural dyes made from the bark of certain local trees. Adinkra cloth has been adorned by the Ashanti for more than 4 centuries and pre-dates kente cloth. Even today most Ashanti will wear adinkra cloth for funerals, festivals, and other important occasions. During our time here, we can make our own strip of adinkra cloth using symbols with personal significance. After lunch, we visit the village of Sokoban Krofrom where traditional brass casting has been the main source of income for the community for generations. A wide selection of items ranging from beads and jewelry to traditional statues are made here. The methods used to produce these wonderful brass works have not changed and during our time here we see a demonstration of the skilled process. After visiting some of the stores selling a wonderful selection in the village we return to our accommodation for our meal and to relax with the remainder of the evening being free leisure time.
Overnight in Kumasi Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Assin Manso and Cape Coast Castle
This morning we’ll take a leisure breakfast before setting off Southwards to Elmina in the central region of Ghana. The town of Elmina was given its name by the Portuguese due to the abundance of Gold found in Ghana, translated Elmina means The Mine. Gold is of such importance to Ghana today and historically that we were even known as the Gold Coast before independence. Ghana’s gold is of the highest quality and we are the 8th largest exporter in the world and second-largest exporter in Africa behind South Africa.
We stop at Assin Manso, an important town along the enslaved African trade routes. The town surrounds the Ndonkor Nsuo (Enslaved African River). This river is where enslaved Africans were checked for fitness and bathed before being transported to Cape Coast for shipment to the Americas. The slaves would have walked hundreds of kilometers from Northern Ghana through thick forests in shackles and chains, many being in poor health once they reached Assin Manso. Once bathed and rested the slaves would continue the final 32-mile march to the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle where they would remain for up to 6 weeks before being shipped to the Americas. In 1998, a symbolic gesture was made when the bodies of two free (previously enslaved) Africans, Samuel Carson from New York U.S.A. and Crystal from Kingston Jamaica were returned to Cape Coast Castle and symbolically passed through the “Door of no Return'' before being transported to Assin Manso for re-internment. After our tour we continued to Cape Coast, we’ll enjoy lunch upon arrival at a local restaurant overlooking the ocean before visiting the nearby Cape Coast castle which has been designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The castle is a thought-provoking monument to a harrowing period in the region’s history. Quality time will be spent in the afternoon on an emotional journey touring this castle which held more enslaved Africans captive than any other in West Africa, viewing the dungeons and the infamous “Door of no return”. There is a historical museum inside, which explains the entire history of the castle and Cape Coast itself, as well as a souvenir shop selling literature on all of Ghana’s forts and castles, as well as the cultural history and traditions of Ghana. Our local guide will arrange the Rite of Passage program that will include the re-enactment of a slave group in the dungeons of the castle. This performance from a local drama group shows the painful experiences our ancestors were forced to endure during their time in captivity. Our special guest will be Mr. Kohien, a prominent African American who has relocated back to Ghana and who is now the President of Panafest. Traditional drumming and dance will set the tone during this emotional and thought-provoking time. Many African Americans have relocated back home to their motherland Ghana and set up a business and homes in Cape Coast and Elmina. Our evening can be at one of the restaurants owned by those who have relocated, hearing their experiences and interacting into the night. Alternatively, we can relax at our accommodation after an informative and emotional day.
Overnight in Elmina Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park, Canopy Walkway, and Traditional Naming Ceremony
An early start as we visit the nearby town of Elmina where we find the castle of St. George. This is the oldest extant colonial building in sub-Saharan Africa dating from 1482. This castle is steeped in history and played a prominent part during the tragic transatlantic enslaved African trade era. There is an informative museum inside which concentrates on local history and it is designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. After an emotional and informative time here, we set off for Kakum National Park and Africa’s world-famous rainforest canopy walkway. This is a truly beautiful, tropical Guinea rainforest and the canopy walkway is sure to be one of the highlights of your time in Cape Coast. This national park protects the original habitat that was found in this location and was the local's home and a major source of food. The walkway consists of 7 bridges, attached to 7 emerging trees, 40 meters above the rainforest floor. Prepare to take a deep breath as you walk the suspended bridges. You will marvel at the outstanding views that stretch for miles across this breathtaking rainforest as you rest on the viewing platforms that are attached to the emerging trees between the bridges. We are sure you would agree that this is an exciting excursion never to be forgotten. We return to the park headquarters where we find an excellent information center that offers a very informative overview of the park’s flora and fauna. Over 40 different mammal species have been recorded within the park, including forest elephants, leopards, and 6 primate species to mention just a few. We stop for lunch at Han’s Cottage Botel near Kakum, Han’s is built over a lake containing Nile crocodiles and set in a beautiful location surrounded by tropical guinea rainforest. It is an original and comfortable establishment, teeming with birdlife and an excellent place to enjoy lunch before a very important part of your time here in Ghana. This afternoon is special as we visit a local village to pay a courtesy call on the chiefs and queen mothers. We start by pouring libations to officially welcome you back home and enjoy detailed interactions with the chiefs and elders of the village. Traditional drumming and dancing are all around as we get an in-depth feel of traditional village life here in Ghana. The time has finally arrived for you to be given your true African name during your own personal traditional naming ceremony in your honor. Chiefs and elders of the community officially welcome you as they lead you through the ceremony which has been performed by our ancestors throughout history. You will finally have the chance to adopt your own African name based on the day of the week you were born or the numeric order of your siblings. This would have been your actual name if you were born in Ghana and had an emotional attachment to many when they received them. A major highlight of your time here, after an afternoon of celebrations we return to our hotel to relax. In the evening we hope to celebrate such an important day and we can head out to Cape Coast’s most popular nightspot to enjoy a local live band, dancing the night away. If you would prefer to relax at your accommodation this would not be a problem.
Overnight in Elmina Meals Included | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Brenu Akyinim School, Accra Mall, and Departure
A wonderful morning lies ahead as we enjoy our breakfast before setting off to visit a local school. By booking this tour, you have made a contribution to giving back to this community in need. If you have any donations or school supplies, you would like to give out during your time in Ghana then this is a good opportunity to do so, but this is optional! Our time here is spent meeting the children and teachers and maybe participating in a class or sporting activity. After this special moment with the children, we return to the hotel. Prior to lunch we will freshen up and re-pack our bags, your local guide will collect them from your room and bring them to our vehicle to load. Before setting off back to Accra, enjoy lunch overlooking the beautiful Gold Coast of West Africa. On arrival back in Ghana’s capital city, we may have time to head to the Accra Mall to give you an insight into modern-day Ghana. There will also be the opportunity to also purchase some last-minute souvenirs before heading home. Our early evening meal will be taken at a locally owned restaurant serving an excellent selection of local and international dishes which gives us an ideal opportunity to say our goodbyes and reflect on a wonderful time together. After your meal, our team will transfer you to the airport for your departure.