Day 1 - AKWAABA ANYEMI – Welcome Brother/Sister
You arrive on the motherland at Kotoka International Airport Accra, the capital city; Accra is situated on the Gold Coast in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. After passing through immigration, you proceed to the conveyor to collect your baggage before heading to customs. We will meet you on the other side, just look out for our sign as you come out of the terminal building. Please make yourself known to us, and we will take care of you from here and for the duration of your stay. We board our air conditioned vehicle, your mode of transport whilst you are on the motherland and set off for your hotel, which is a short drive from the Airport. Our expert guide, who will accompany you for the duration of the tour will check you in and offer you Akwaaba (Welcome), have some rest before having an early lunch and depart for Cape Coast. We check into our beach front hotel and relax for the next day activities.
Day 2 – Grand Durbar of Chiefs
Today is the formal opening of Panafest with a grand durbar of chiefs and sub chiefs in their traditional colourful kente cloths. This is accompanied with drumming and dancing by the Asafo Companies (Traditional warriors) and the locals. The rest of the day will be taken up by visiting some local homes where we will interact with the people, get to know some customs and have a hand in the preparation of some local dishes.
B, L, D
Day 3 Naming and Marriage Ceremonies
The activities on our agenda today reflect on the true unadulterated customs that our ancestors handed over and we get to feel the real value of some traditional ceremonies. We will experience naming and marriage ceremonies and can have our own local names.
After this, we will proceed to the grounds prepared for the Panafest Village Expo/Bazaar for its official opening.
B, L, D
Day 4 and 5 – Pilgrimage to Kumasi, the Powerful Ashanti Region
This morning we depart Cape Coast and head inland, our destination is Kumasi capital of the Ashanti region and home to the Asantehene, king of the powerful Ashanti Empire. We will visit the Manhyia palace museum and learn how a brave female warrior stood up against British oppression in 1901 and was sent to exile for her bravery. The history of the Ashanti will unfold as we are taken around this small but informative museum.
Every ethnic group in Ghana has a unique type of clothing. Having had our fill of the museum, we continue to two outlying villages just north of Kumasi, Ntonso and Adawomasi. These two villages are famous for two very unique types of cloths, the adinkra (parting ways/ saying farewell) at Ntonso and kente at Adawomase. Adinkra is a collection of traditional symbols with 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’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 on the other hand is more intricate and has lots of designs and colours. We will have a detailed tour of the kente weaving process. We will put our bargaining skills to test and purchase some kente cloths at very reasonable prices.
B, L, D
Day 6 Assin Praso Heritage Village Durbar
The activities for today are one of the highlights of the Panafest celebrations. We depart Kumasi early and attend a durbar at Assin Praso Heritage Village durbar grounds where there will be a re – enactment of the River Pra crossing by our enslaved ancestors on their way to the Coast. This is followed by colourful performances by various cultural groups with the chiefs in attendance. We continue our journey to Cape Coast, have our evening meal and reflect on the day’s activities.
B, L, D
Day 7 Laying of wreaths in respects of our ancestors
After a good night’s rest and a leisurely breakfast, we will visit the Anomabo Fort where wreaths will be laid by the elders. We will continue on a regional tour of the towns and villages around Cape Coast and Elmina. A visit to the Posuban shrines of the traditional warriors (Asafo Companies) will cap our day.
B, L, D
Day 8 Candlelight Procession to Elmina Castle
Whatever that we could not do or have enough of, we have this morning and afternoon to ourselves, so much can be achieved in this respect. The main item of great importance is in the evening. The venue is the Cape Coast Castle and the main climax is 9:00pm. This night has been dubbed as the Reverential Night. There are five main items, Candlelight Procession, Testimonies – spoken word, Cultural Performances, Roll call of Ancestors and Reading of Proclamation. We return to our hotel and rest for the remainder of the night.
B, L, D
Day 9 Emotional visit to Ndonkor Nsuo – Slave River
The enslaved Africans made a significant stop at Assin Manso on their arduous journey from the hinterland to the coast. The prime objective of the stop was to give them their last bath in the ‘’Ndonkor Nsuo’’ (Slave River), separate them according to sexes and wait for news on available boats on the coast to transport them. We will pay an emotional and thought provoking journey to this river. The activities are a durbar of the chiefs and people, Wreath Laying on the graves of two enslaved Africans (Crystal from Jamaica and Carson from USA) whose remains were brought back to Ghana for reburial and a visit to the wall of return. We will continue our journey to Accra, check into our hotel and relax.
B, L, D
Day 10 We bid farewell to our Brothers/Sister
After an early breakfast, we transport you to the airport for your flights after an emotional, memorable, educative and informative 10 day visit to the Motherland.