Also,visit Boti waterfalls. It is tropical, magical…and beautiful! l take a hike to boti and go see if you could stand (almost) underneath the main fall… a truly refreshing experience. Needless to say, you will get drenched with the mist, but it is really awesome to be directly behind that huge wall of water…hopefully the pics do the place justice!
2. Cape coast Castle – Central Region
The Cape Coast Castle described as one of the six most beautiful in existence today has an interesting but checkered history. According to authentic sources it was originally built by the Swedes in 1650. In 1660, it was taken over by the British who rebuilt and enlarged it in 1662. In 1663, it was captured by the Dutch, re-captured by the English in 1664 and again improved and enlarged in 1673. In 1681, it was attacked by the people of the town, and subsequently bombarded by the French fleet in 1703 and also in 1757. It was the object of the Angle Dutch rivalry and hostilities during that period. Its rebuilding in 1757 was undertaken by the Royal African Company, one of the three principal English trading companies formed to trade in the Gold Coast among others. The other two were: The Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading into Africa and the African Company of Merchants. All were established under Royal Charters, to trade with Africa including in particular the Gold Coast (Ghana).
THE SLAVE TRADE
The slave trade was a later addition to the commercial trade in gold, ivory and other local commodities in exchange for European merchandise. It formed part of the Triangular Trade between Europe, Africa and America.
The Slave Trade is said to have began in the country round about 1480 when Europeans at Elmina sold slaves to African traders who wanted porters. Those slaves who were bartered for gold, were said to have been brought from other African Territories. Thus, it is clear that the Gold Coast then appeared to all the European powers as the most favorable country from which they could carry out their trade more profitably than in any other African territory.
In the Sixteenth Century there was a flourishing trade in sugar, tobacco and rum in America and the West Indies. The English and Dutch colonies were facing labor problems and wanted more slaves to work on the sugar plantations, mines and the pearl fisheries. The prospects for the supply of slaves to those countries became bright when impetus was given to the trade. For example, in America millions of dollars were in store for any European nation which could supply sufficient number of slaves to that country to meet increasing demands. The Royal African Company established in 1672 for example undertook to supply 3,000 slaves annually to the West Indies.
Hence the Portuguese who started the slave trade were followed in quick succession by the Dutch, English, French, Swedish, Danish and the Brandenburgers, who came to the Gold Coast and built castles and forts and competed seriously in the trade. They acquired lands for that purpose from the local chiefs to whom they paid monthly ground-rents and “protection money,” meant to induce those chiefs and their people to be well-disposed towards them for security reasons. The struggles for footholds in the trade occasioned increasing hostilities among the Europeans.
To ensure regular supplies of slaves from the Gold Coast, the European powers adopted the method of instigating conflicts and wars among the various tribes. In the ensuing confusion, able-bodied men, women and even children were captured chained or yoked together by the captors and marched to the slave market on the coast, to be sold to slave dealers. Such tribal wars which have persisted to the present day, and became the bane of Africa, thus originated from the Slave Trade. In this regard, the tribal conflicts and internecine strife ravaging Africa today are seen as the manifestations and extensions of the Slave Trade believed to be subtly ignited by the imperialist powers in the shadows, and fanned into flames by their local agents or proxies, as before, just to further what a critic describes as their “traditional historic greed.” It should be noted that in recent times such conflicts are mostly in areas of rich economic resources, especially minerals, for example Angola, Mozambique etc. where civil wars have raged for nearly two decades.
Thus, it is extremely clear that the fortunes and greatness of the USA have largely been built up, thanks to the “blood, tears and sweat” of the African Slaves in particular those from the Gold Coast (Ghana) who were transported to the New World through the “Gates of No Return” at the Cape Coast Castle. From all accounts, there is no doubt that the USA was the greatest supporter and indeed, the greatest beneficiary of the Slave Trade. It is significant that the USA and other European powers which benefited from the human and material resources and wealth of our country in the past are today among the rich industrialized nations of the world. They are still denuding Africa of her natural resources – agricultural and mineral – in various subtle ways and methods including large devaluation of African currencies and constant falling commodity prices, which ironically they, the buyers, themselves set for the producers. Besides, they have been pursuing unjust trade practices that not only deprive Africa of her just due, the fruits of the toil and sweat of her hardworking people, but actually keeping Africa perpetually in an inferior position as raw material producers, for their manufacturing industries. They garner enormous wealth thereby, but dish out pittances to Africa in the guise of economic aid and grants, while they close their markets to Africa, they dump on Africa their manufactured products – consumer goods, food items, textiles and capital goods, machinery and equipment.
3. Kakum national Park and Game reserve- Cape Coast.
Kakum National Park is one of the more accessible parks in Ghana. It’s just a short cab ride from Cape Coast or Elmina. Short meaning somewhere between half an hour and an hour depending on how good your cab driver is at avoiding toll checkpoints (or bribes as we’d call them in most places). The park entrance is a rather innocuous looking hut with another toll gate attached to it (that cannot be avoided). On our visit it was 4000 Cedi to enter, which is really insignificant compared to the costs of a guided land or canopy tour hike. Realistically, the entrance fee gets you access to the museum, the gift shop and the restaurant and that’s about it. Everything else is an additional expense although I seriously doubt any visitors show up at Kakum not intending to do the canopy walk (we’re not sure if you get your money back if you flee once you actually see the canopy walk).
The canopy walk is a series of seven rope bridges strung between assorted species of very sturdy trees. The valley drops away as you walk out along it so at the midpoint it’s really quite far to the forest floor, not that you can see it very often through all the foliage.Quite a lot of people suffer a variety of bad reactions to it. Everyone in our group of ten people completed it, although several of them were not very happy at all. The advantage of people who take a very long time to struggle across each bridge is that you can spend plenty of time on the platforms, especially since the bridges cannot hold many people at once (another comforting fact)
4. Lake Bosomtwi- Ashanti Region
Exploring Lake Bosomtwe – Swimming, Hiking & more! Whether looking for peace & serenity or fun & adventure, you will be delighted with Lake Bosomtwe. This large, circular lake nestles in a meteor crater & surrounded by mountains offers swimming, boating, hiking, exploring & more.
History of Lake Bosumtwi
Approximately 1.3 million years ago, a meteorite about 800m in size collided with the earth, creating the huge crater which is today Lake Bosumtwe. The average diameter of the crater rim is 10.5km, and in some places the hills of the surrounding rim exceed an altitude of 600m.
After the metrorites’s impact, the landscape in the area underwent several stages caused by climate changes. Sometimes periods of heavy rainfall filled the whole crater with water so the lake level was up to the lowest points of the rim. These periods became obvious when fossils of fish were found on the top of the hills. At its highest levels, water even flowed out of the basin. On the other hand, there were times when the water level dropped to such a low level that rain forest could come up inside the basin and the lake itself was only a small pond. This period lasted until about 300 years before our present times.
Legends of The Lake
The legends say that in 1648 an Ashanti hunter named Akora Bompe from the city of Asaman was chasing an injured antelope through the rainforest. Suddenly, the animal disappeared in a small pond, as if the little water wanted to save the animals life. The hunter never got the antelope but he settled close to the water and started catching the fish. He called the place “Bosumtwi” meaning “good antelope”. This story also offers a hint that by then the lake level was very low, and the dead tree giants standing offshore in the lake give evidence for it as they are over 300 years old.
The following centuries saw several wars about the lake as the Ashanti and the Akim both claimed the area to be theirs. Finally the Ashanti were victorious and secured Lake Bosumtwi for their kingdom.
Many fallen Ashanti warriors from Asaman were buried in a mass grave close to the lake at a place called Ekoho. As a sacred location, farming was forbidden, resulting in the protection of the rainforest, something destroyed in many other parts of the basin. This burial ground is located near the village of Esaase.
The Ashanti consider Lake Bosumtwe as a god. He was born on a Sunday, his birthday celebrated in a special festival called Akwasidae. Each village in the lake area has its own shrine or fetish grove. The spiritual centre of the lake is the Abrodwum Stone. Here, all the lake people will sacrifice a cow when an omen of bad fish harvest occurs. This act is celebrated in the presence of his majesty, the Ashanti king, the Asantehene himself.
In former times, it was a taboo to touch the water with iron things, so the people never used conventional boats. Traditionally they move on the lake using the padua, a wooden plank that requires much skill to be handled properly.
Lake Bosumtwi Today
Today the area around Lake Bosumtwi belongs to Ashanti region, where about 23 000 people live in 27 lake communities. Most locals are fishermen as this was their single source of income for a long time. With the growing population, the need for fish increased and with more people fishing the catches steadily decreased, resulting in the need for farming.
Lake levels are still changing, causing many of the villages to become submerged several times. This, in turn, forced the people to move up the slopes or outside the basin. That is why there are now double (town) names like Pipie No.1 and Pipie No.2.
5.Tongo Rocks- Northern Region
Just 10km from Bolga is Tongo; a town built on granite rocks which rise dramatically from the terrain. These ancient rocks have interesting geometric shapes and are naturally perched precariously on top of one another. During the cold, dry “Harmattan”, which blows across the Sahara from November to March, the persistent wind forces its way through the rocks, producing an eerie whistling sound.
6. The paga chrocodile pond, Paga – Northern Region.
Paga Crocodile Pond
Paga is located at the northeast border between Ghana and Burkina Faso. The Paga Crocodile Pond is the sacred sanctuary for crocodiles, which are said to be the totems of the Kasena people who reside in Paga and surrounding villages.
At the Crocodile Pond, these reptiles can be enticed out of the water by the whistling of the caretaker and the brandishing of a chicken which the crocodile will snatch with its long snout. If you are fearless enough, you can hold the beast’s tail and pose for pictures. There is a small charge for the chicken and a token fee to the caretaker.