Africa is one of the world’s most visited continents, with over 53 countries, that is including the islands off the coast like Madagascar, which are usually listed as Africa. It’s a continent overflowing with diverse culture and enriched sites, that will please your sight and nourish your mind.
For the sake of this article, we will focus on West Africa, precisely Ghana, affectionately dubbed ‘Gh’. Proven to be one of the best goto places for that perfect vacation, Gh is popular for its musical talents (Sarkodie, R2bees…), dance moves ‘Azonto’, movie industry and siren stars like Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson and movie star hunks like Majid Michael and John Dumelo.
Its popularity for the best holiday spot doesn’t end there, it’s rank as the 7th best governed, 5th most stable country in Africa and the 61st most peaceful country in the world, added to its tropical climate puts it right up there with the likes of Barbados.
Ghana is divided into 10 regions and each region has something unique associated with it, yet again for this article, we will deal with just 5.
The Great Accra Region: This was originally part of the western region until the 1970s, it is the smallest of the 10 administrative regions but the most influential. This region offers 3 golf courses, museums and historical monuments and boasts the widest variety of restaurants. Giving something for the active, the intellectual and the gourmands amongst you.
One of such monuments is the Elmina castle commissioned by King John II of portugal, built under 3 years by Diogo D’Azambuja. Its one of the 30 surviving castles and forts in Ghana, it is attached with prisons where slaves are kept when the castle became a slave trade settlement. Walking through the walls of the fort, will give you a pretty good description of how the slaves lived (for those with an interest in the workings of the trans-Atlantic slave trade), as it’s dungeons and torture arenas are kept in stable condition. This is a recognised world heritage and it’s preserved as such.
There is a guide that gives tours and gives lectures on the history of the place, the dungeon has an eerie feeling, like the suffering of the slaves were soaked into the walls. The upper story was used by the officers and from the roof you can get some really portrait worthy photos. Though it cost extra to take these photos, but 10 cedis is really not much to pay for an awesome experience.
It also has something for the nature lovers, made-up of mostly undisturbed virgin rainforest with lots of medicinal plants, a wide variety of wildlife that will blow your mind. You can also take a peek, do a little window or actual shopping at the Accra Mall, the West Hills Mall.
For lodging you have the Elmina Bay Resort if your visit is solely for the castle, the LA palm royal amongst others. The La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel is a veritable choice of options because of its ideal location. It occupies about 30 acres of lush greenery and starts just at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a five minute (more or less) drive from the entertainment, business areas, making them easily accessible while also keeping the city noise at bay.
The Hotel structure itself, has a total of 144 rooms built in cottage styles to form a rare merge between homely and opulence. The standard room fee include access to the leisure facilities, protocol services etc. There are also special facilities for disabled guest.
Ashanti Region: This is recognised as the cultural foot stool of Ghana, the ashanti people are known for their hospitality. Their culture is evident in their language, the way the move and the foods. If you happen to be their for more than a month, you would love the Royal Akwasidae ceremonies held every 6 weeks at the Royal Palace by King, Otumfour Osei Tutu II.
Eastern Region: Covering 8 percent of Ghana’s land area, its landscape is dotted with monuments and marked with lush vegetation, caves, waterfalls, hills etc, so much so that one can’t afford to blink least you miss one. It’s a dramatic blend of the old and the new as historic relics and tradition meets the 20th century. A fair amount of this region is dominated by Lake Volta, one of the largest man-made lakes and the Akosomba Dam, which is Ghana’s source of electricity.
This Region lays claim to Ghana’s only commercial Diamond mine at Akwatia, for activities, you can take a weekend trip to Dodi Islands or head down to the mine.
Upper East Region: Remarkable for their ability to hold on to the old ways despite the modernisation, their men still dress in smocks weaved in a particular style handed down over the years. Their history dates back to the time of slavery and you can see some weapons used by the slave raiders in Fliase shrine in Sandema.
They also offer a crocodile pond at Paga known for the docile creatures.
To travel to Ghana from Nigeria, you would need a visa and a yellow card (visit a health centre for this). Ghana is accessible to Nigerians by Road and cost about N10,000.
There are 3 major airports in Ghana and the are located at Accra, Kumasi and Tamale and prices may differ, depending on your destination and time of booking.