Our expert cultural tour guides will meet with you on your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport Accra, which is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. Look out for our sign board when you leave the main terminal building after passing through customs. Make yourself known to your guides who will be accompanying you for the duration of your time in Ghana and they will take care of you from here.
After boarding our air conditioned vehicle, which will be your mode of transport for the duration of your tour, we transfer you to your hotel which is situated in Accra. Once we have checked you in, our experienced guides 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 acclimatising yourself to Africa.
Your first full day in Ghana, after breakfast we load up our vehicle and depart Accra, Ghana’s busy capital city. Our destination is Kumasi capital of the Ashanti region and home to the Asantehene, king of the powerful Ashanti Empire and its people. Our journey takes us through the beautiful Akwapim range, which offers outstanding panoramic views of Tema and Accra in the distance. At the top of the range we find the relaxed and friendly Aburi craft village, where traditional African drums and 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. We make the short detour to the picturesque Boti waterfall (seasonal), a great place to kick off our shoes for a refreshing paddle. Boti is in the eastern region of Ghana which is famous for producing traditional glass beads. We stop at a nearby village to visit Comfort and her family, experts in making beautiful beads the traditional way. Your guides will talk you through the skilled process of making the beads as we enjoy a demonstration from Comforts husband. After the demonstration we have the opportunity to admire and buy a wide selection of beads that have been made here.
We enjoy our lunch in Koforidua, capital of the Eastern region of Ghana before setting off on the final leg of our journey to Kumasi. Upon our arrival we check into our hotel and eat our evening meal around the pool, the remainder of the evening is free leisure time.
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Kumasi is widely regarded as the cultural centre of Ghana, the Ashanti’s are extremely proud people ensuring their traditions and beliefs are passed down to new generations. This region is renowned for its quality brass casting of a wide variation of items ranging from beads and jewellery to traditional statues. After breakfast we visit the nearby village of Sokoban Krofrom, which has been producing high quality traditional brass works for centuries. The methods used to produce these wonderful brass works has 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 continue our tour of the Ashanti region with a trip to the National Cultural Centre.
The cultural centre is found in one of the oldest suburbs of Kumasi. There is a wonderful craft market here and during our leisurely tour we have the opportunity to visit the Prempeh II Jubilee museum which offers an excellent overview of Ashanti history. We then enjoy our lunch at the Jofel restaurant which sells an excellent selection of local and continental dishes.
This afternoon we travel a short distance outside of Kumasi to the village of Ntunso, the birthplace of adinkra. Adinkra are ancient symbols with meanings that are carved from calabash shells, and printed onto traditional cloth using natural dyes made from the bark of certain local trees. Adinkra cloth has been worn by the Ashanti’s for more than 4 centuries and pre dates kente cloth. Even today most Ashanti’s will wear adinkra cloth for funerals, festivals and other important occasions.
During our time here we have the opportunity to make our own strip of adinkra cloth using symbols with personal significance. Kente cloth is also woven in Ntunso and the Ashanti Region is famous for producing some of Ghana’s finest Kente cloths. Many designs of cloth are woven here and some are exclusive only to this region. We will interact with the locals, learning about the history behind the many designs. As we walk through the village, we see highly skilled locals weaving outside their homes. The machines that the weavers use have not changed in design for centuries. During our time at Ntunso, we have the opportunity to buy excellent quality cloth at very reasonable prices. We return to our hotel in the evening and enjoy our meal around the pool, with the remainder of the evening being free leisure time.
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After a leisurely breakfast, we load up our vehicle and set off for the beginning of our Northern adventure. We head northwards; our first destination is Techiman, a large town in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana where we will spend the evening. We check into our hotel and enjoy lunch before setting off for the villages of Boebeng and Fiema. These two villages nestled closely together have been protecting the black and white colobus and Mona monkeys which are found in the surrounding forests, the locals perceive the monkeys to be sacred and offer them traditional burials. During our time in the villages we interact with the locals learning about their culture and daily routine as farmers. As we walk trails into the forest viewing these beautiful monkeys our local guide will identify the many medicinal trees and plants found here and explain how they benefit the locals. After a wonderful afternoon with the villagers we return to our hotel for our evening meal and to relax.
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An early start and the beginning of our Upper East adventure, our destination is Bolgatanga which is close to the Burkina Faso boarder and where we will spend the next 2 evenings. As we venture northwards the landscape becomes more savannah woodland and we pass through many beautiful villages with fine examples of traditional housing. We enjoy our lunch in Tamale, capital of the Northern region of Ghana before continuing to the town of Gambaga.
Gambaga is the ancient capital of the Mamprusi and was the colonial capital of the Northern region until 1907. Found on the outskirts of Gambaga is the Kukoa, an ancient witches camp. The Kukoa acts as a refuge to women who have been accused of witchcraft within their communities, many of the women would not be alive today if the camp did not exist. Its 230 inhabitants come from a variety of countries which include Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso. After meeting the chief and community we continue our journey to Bolgatanga, arriving in the early evening.
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A morning visit to the remarkable village of Sirigu, as we approach the beautifully painted traditional homesteads stand out, it is a local tradition that spans centuries and one we will learn more about during our time with the community. A highlight of our time at Sirigu is a visit to the chief’s palace and local market. This offers a perfect opportunity to meet and mix with the locals whilst enjoying a calabash of pito the local brew at one of the many spots (bars). We return to Bolgatanga for lunch and refreshments before setting off for the Tongo Hills where we find the Talensi tribe. Tongo Hills is a mysterious place where there are numerous pinnacles formed by enormous rocks. The local people consider these vestiges as the ancient domiciles of the Gods, in a deep fissure on the side of the highest mountain the cave of the Oracle can be found. The Talensi’s live in fortified homes that accommodate up to 60 people; they have only one entrance and are a labyrinth of walls, stairways and narrow passages. During our time here we will visit the chief’s traditional home that houses over 300 people, 17 of them his wives. It is believed that this family compound is the largest in Ghana. After spending time with the community we return to our hotel for our meal with the remainder of the evening being free time.
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After breakfast, we set off for Mole National Park, en route we will visit Larabanga and the 14th century mud and stick mosque. This wonderfully preserved traditional Sudanese style mosque dates from around 1421 and reportedly houses one of the original copies of the Koran. We will tour Larabanga learning about the history of the mosque and the traditions of the villagers. A short distance from Larabanga is an ancient spiritual stone, which is definitely worth a visit and the history behind it is fascinating.
On our arrival at Mole we check into the Mole Hotel, which is the only accommodation in the area. Situated on a 250 metre high escarpment overlooking this 4840km² park, it offers simply breathtaking views. It is an amazing feeling to be sitting around the pool, on the hotel terrace, watching African Savannah elephants bathing in the two nearby watering holes inhabited by crocodiles. After our evening meal, we shall watch the beautiful sun setting over the Savannah woodlands and gallery forest, which surrounds the hotel. This is a perfect ending to a wonderful day.
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We will take an early morning foot safari around the watering holes with armed guides. Many of our guests who have travelled extensively around Africa are amazed at how close we get to the world’s largest land mammal on foot. There are over 93 mammals recorded in Mole, as we walk through the savannah and bush, we are likely to see troops of olive baboons and patas monkeys getting extremely close to these beautiful primates. Kob, bushbuck and hartebeest regularly come to the watering holes to drink, being cautious of the crocodiles lurking in the muddy waters. Deeper in the park, lion, leopard, hyena and African buffalo can be found.
As we return to the hotel, we may encounter a family of giant warthogs or a crocodile sunning itself on the waters edge. We enjoy our breakfast before retracing our steps back to Kumasi, via Damongo. En route to Kumasi, we will stop at the beautiful Kintampo waterfall to relax. Some of our more adventurous guests use this opportunity to experience the best shower in Ghana, an invigorating experience and a great way to cool off after our journey. After our refreshing stop we will set off on our final leg to Kumasi, on our arrival we will check into our hotel and enjoy our evening meal around the pool.
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After breakfast, we visit Kejetia market. Found in the heart of the city, Kejetia is the largest outdoor market in the whole of Western Africa. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience everyday life for the people in this great city. The market is a labyrinth of stalls nestled close together, and a hive of activity. Some stallholders sleep here in the evenings as trade rarely stops. Before setting off for Cape Coast we visit the Manhiya Palace, home of the Asantehene, King of the Ashanti’s, for a fascinating excursion through the history of this powerful tribe.
We then start our journey towards 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, with this in mind, we stop for lunch en route in the mining town of Obuasi.
Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of Gold and Obuasi is home to Ghana’s largest Gold mine. As we drive through the town we can see the scale of the gold production that is going on here. After lunch we continue our journey to Elmina stopping at Cape Coast. On our arrival we visit Cape Coast castle, designated a world heritage site by UNESCO the castle is a thought provoking monument to a harrowing period in the regions history. We will spend the afternoon on an emotional journey touring this castle which held more enslaved Africans captive than any other in the region, viewing the dungeons and the infamous “Door of no return”. There is a magnificent historical museum inside, which explains the whole history of the castle and Cape Coast itself, as well as a souvenir shop which sells literature on all of Ghana’s forts and castles, as well as the cultural history and traditions of Ghana. After our tour we check into our beautiful beach front hotel in Elmina, enjoy our evening meal and relax.
Firstly we visit Kakum National Park in the morning, after breakfast, Africa’s only rainforest canopy walkway. This is a truly beautiful, tropical guinea rainforest and the canopy walkway is sure to be a highlight of your time in Ghana. The walkway consists of a series of 7 bridges, attached to 7 emerging trees, 40 metres above the rainforest floor. Prepare to take a deep breath as you walk the suspended bridges. As you rest on the tree platforms between the bridges you will marvel at the outstanding views that stretch for miles across this breathtaking rainforest. 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 centre that offers a very informative overview of the parks flora and fauna. Over 40 different mammal species have been recorded within the park, which includes forest elephants, leopards and 6 primate species to mention just a few. A short distance from Kakum we find traditional palm oil producers and a coco farm. Ghana is the world’s second largest producer of coco and many Ghanaians rely solely on the income it brings from their small farms. During our time here we see how the farmers produce the palm oil and harvest the coco whilst mixing with the friendly locals in the village. On our way to Hans Cottage we stop off to witness traditional palm wine tapping and even get to sample the local brew.
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, which is teeming with bird life and an excellent place to enjoy lunch before setting off for an afternoon of relaxation at one of Ghana’s most beautiful beaches. Before our arrival we pass through the wonderful fishing town of Elmina.
We enjoy the sights of the many colourful fishing boats bringing their daily catch into the harbour and take this opportunity to mix with the locals at the nearby market. A short distance from the market we visit the boat builders, still building colourful fishing boats using traditional tools and methods spanning centuries. We arrive at Brenu beach for a well deserved afternoon of relaxation, our surroundings are perfect, golden sands with coconut trees for as far as the eye can see. There is a traditional fishing village well worth a visit nearby before we settle down for our early evening meal at a local restaurant on the beach. We enjoy our meal and reflect on a wonderful tour whilst watching the sun set over the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. This is a wonderful way to spend your final evening with us before we return to Elmina and your beach front hotel.
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Sadly your final day with us in Ghana, after a leisurely breakfast we will set off for Accra. If time permits on our arrival in Accra we can visit the National Museum. Almost all the displays here are ethnographic in nature and you get a chance to view and purchase some wonderful examples of traditional crafts. Then we have the opportunity to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the cultural centre which is actually Ghana’s largest arts and crafts market.
We will enjoy an early evening meal before your transfer to the airport and departure after a wonderful 11 day tour.