This article contains a list of 21 interesting things to do in Ghana if you ever go visiting.
Ghana is world famous for its ancient forts, native shrines, amazing wildlife, colonial buildings, incredible museums, and exquisite beaches. Are you looking for an African country to visit this festive season? Then, Ghana might just be your best bet. The country which is located in the heart of West Africa is one of the safest, most accessible and most vibrant countries on the continent.
Although Ghana is less visited than other countries in Africa, like South Africa and Kenya, those that do go to Ghana are greeted by the warmest smiles, open arms and a buzzy, colourful energy. And best of all, travelling around Ghana is reasonably straightforward, meaning visitors can explore many of the country’s highlights with ease.
Whether you’re going for a short or long visit to the beautiful country, this article aims at making your stay worthwhile as it will show you interesting things to do in Ghana.
With this in mind, Ghana has the most interesting places located in Accra. The heart beat of Ghana is Accra, the capital city. This is where all international trips to Ghana start and end. Accra is a whirlwind of colour, culture, music, dance.
Accra is packed with things to do, and you could easily spend your entire Ghana trip here. From bustling markets, exciting nightlife, beautiful beaches, excellent cafe culture and colourful, historical corners, there’s plenty of things to see in Accra. So here’s my pick of the best:
Some interesting places to visit in Accra includes
- Independence Square, also known as Black Star Square
- Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
- National Museum
- JamesTown Cafe, etc.
Apart from Accra, the capital city, Ghana is blessed with other cool places in, Volta region, Cape coast and Takoradi, Tamale, and Kumasi,which are located in the Eastern, Western, Northern and Central parts of the country respectively.
Below are interesting things to do in the various parts of Ghana
THE CAPITAL CITY- ACCRA
1. Visit Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
This is where Kwame Nkrumah was buried. It’s a beautifully landscaped park with an iconic memorial at its heart. This is the very spot where he stood to declare independence from British rule. The attraction was installed in his memory, thanks to his hard work which brought education and infrastructure to Ghana.
2. Visit The Jamestown Lighthouse
Jamestown is a colourful corner of Accra where colonial architecture meets the bustling street-market atmosphere. This area was once a key settlement of Europeans during the slave trade. The Jamestown lighthouse, which is 92ft tall and built in the 1930s is the most iconic site in the area, and it’s well worth climbing to the top for its beautiful views across the Gulf of Guinea.
If you happen to visit Ghana in August, then make sure to check out the Chale Wote Street Art Festival taking place in James Town. The streets come alive with people, music and the delicious smells from the street food, making it a wonderful opportunity to get fully immersed in Ghanaian life.
3. Explore Osu
Osu is the shopping and entertainment heart of Ghana, with its central street often called Oxford Street.The main site to see is the Osu Castle, sometimes referred to as Christiansborg. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage which provides an important reminder of Ghana’s slave history.
The castle provides visitors the opportunity to learn about European colonial rule in Ghana as it was used by the Danes, Norwegians, Portuguese and British throughout the slavery era. Security is tight at Osu Castle and visits are only permitted at particular hours on Fridays.
4. Get To The Beach
The nearest beach to Accra is Labadi Beach which is usually bubbling during the weekends as locals flock to this popular beach. Here you can play football, enjoy the surf, go horse riding along the sand or spend the days at the various beach bars.
5. Take A Trip To Makola Market
Make sure you visit Makola Market in Ghana to shop souvenirs. You can find here several goods and items that traders from Accra and other nearby villages sell. This vast market is a must-do experience in Accra. Enjoy getting lost and meeting the local Ghanaians out shopping for their wares. Sample local street food and try to visit some of the local seamstresses who’ll be happy to create you a tailored outfit in Kente cloth.
6. Visit The Legon Botanical Gardens
This beautiful park sits behind the University of Ghana campus in East Legon. It’s a huge, leafy spot In the last few years, the park has been boosted by the installment of zip wires and a elevated rope course. Alternatively, you canvisit the Aburi Botanical Gardens which although is a little further out but offer a peaceful and romantic escape from the bustles in the city.
THE EASTERN GHANA: VOLTA REGION
The Volta Region is the easternmost region in Ghana and borders the neighbouring country of Togo. The region is famous for the huge Lake Volta, which is the world’s largest manmade lake, covering a vast 8,502 km².
There are lagoons, waterfalls, mountain trails and lush rainforest. Interesting things to do in this part of the country includes:
7. Climb Mt. Afadjato
At 885m (or 2,905 feet), this mountain is the highest point in Ghana and is an excellent hike to do for witnessing the beautiful views across the landscape.
8. Waterfall Hopping
The Volta region has dozens of waterfalls, some easier to get to than others. The Wli Falls is mostly preferred by many. Others include the Tsatsadu Falls and the Tagbo Falls.
Wli Waterfalls are one of the major attractions in the region, as they’re so tall – nearly 1,600 feet tall! It’s a beautiful 40 minute hike to the lower falls, or 2-3 hours to the upper falls, although this route is very steep.
Spectacular Wli Falls, which are located in the vicinity of town Hohoe, are highly popular for being the tallest waterfalls in West Africa. So, make it a point to visit these worth-watching Wli Falls in the afternoon.
9. Visit The Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
By visiting Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, you get a chance to have a close-up encounter with a unique black-and-white colobus monkey and rare Lowe’s mona monkey. There are plenty of monkeys to be spotted in the Volta region. The Mona monkeys here are cheeky and certainly very friendly.
Local tribes hold traditional significance with these monkeys, believing them to be messengers from above. Therefore local tribesmen keep them protected and hold funeral rituals for these monkeys when they pass. This is such an interesting adventure.
THE WESTERN GHANA: CAPE COAST & TAKORADI
Cape coast is another part of Ghana that is similar to Accra. Located a 3-4 hour drive from Accra, Cape Coast is the important place to visit in Ghana to understand its slave trade history.
10. Visit The Cape Coast Castle
This is the most well-known of the castles and one that is absolutely essential to visit as there are histories to be exposed to. Cape Coast castle marked the end of the perilous journey taken by millions of Africans coming from across West Africa. They were held captive in dire conditions in the castles’ dungeons, before being shipped off across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Many never survived the journey.
Both men and women were held in separate dungeons below the castle, in terrible conditions and each shackled to the next person. There was little light and nowhere to toilet, meaning many of the slaves became seriously ill. The women were frequently subjected to violent rapes by the guards.
To learn about the castle, when visiting Cape Coast Castle, you can join a guided tour. The guide will take you through the dungeons, describing and explaining the horrific conditions the prisoners experienced.
11. Stop By At The Elmina Castle
This is the oldest European structure in Ghana and is sometimes referred to as St George’s Castle. Its history is similar, with slaves stored underground before being shipped to the New world. It’s worth visiting to understand more about Ghana’s dark slave trade history. There is also a bustling daily market outside the castle.
12. Kakum National Park
Nearby to Cape Coast and Elmina is the beautiful Kakum National Park. This excellent excursion is in fact the most popular attraction in Ghana.
The primary feature is the canopy walkway, offering visitors an elevated experience amongst the rainforest. The walkway is 333m long, and nearly 30m above the forest floor. You can take in the magic of the rainforest by wandering across the 7 suspension bridges which give an unparalleled perspective across the tropical, lush trees.
It is an abode of the varieties of antelopes and monkeys and fabulous, worth-watching forest birds. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to watch unique wildlife while crossing the spectacular 350 metres long canopy walkway that is known to safely connect seven exquisite tree tops in this forest. There are also two cafes at the visitor centre, with one offering light snacks and the other serving local meals.
THE CENTRAL GHANA: KUMASI
The city is even more hectic and bustling than Accra, especially in its vast Kejetia Market. Occuping a huge section of the city centre, it’s widely considered to be the biggest market in West Africa with more than 11,000 stalls. Kumasi is the heartland of the Ashanti people, Although there are fewer obvious sites and attractions in Kumasi, as opposed to the others, it is an energetic city with a proud Ashanti heritage. I’ve spent less time in Kumasi than other areas in Ghana.
13. Visit the Manhyia Palace Museum and the National Culture Centre
These are the best places to learn all about the history of the Ashanti Kingdom.You can also buy local handicrafts and watch locals do brasswork, pottery, kente cloth weaving and wood carving.
14. Visit Lake Bosomtwe
This is the only natural lake in Ghana. It resulted from the impact of a meteorite over a million years ago! Here, visitors can go fishing, swimming and canoeing in the calm waters.
THE NORTHERN GHANA: TAMALE
Tamale is the capital of northern Ghana and is the country’s third city. While Christianity is the main religion in Accra, up north in Tamale, there are more Muslims, and as such, there are dozens of mosques in Tamale.
15. Visit The Larabanga Mosque
Visit the spectacular mud-brick, whitewashed Larabanga Mosque, which is constructed in the unique Sahelian style. You can find it about three km in the south from the Mole National Park’s main gate. Larabanga Mosque gains the reputation of being one of the oldest mosques in Ghana that dates back to the year 1421.
16. Larabanga Mosque in Northern Ghana
A visit involves admiring the mosque as well as meeting the locals in the adjacent village.
Other interesting things to do in Ghana includes?
17. Hanging Out With Hippos in Wechiau
The Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary works to protect and preserve the wildlife and their environs. Put together by the local traditional heads in 1999, Wechiau is home to one of the two remaining hippopotamus populations in Ghana.
18. Experience Nzulezu
Nzulezu sits on stilts and overlooks Lake Tadane. The town folk have it that the village’s protecting spirit is a snail. This led the people to this land, and they presently subsist on fishing, farming, and tourism. While the hotel may not meet guests’ high-end taste like the case of powering the TVs with car batteries. A visit to to place will definitely be an amazing experience
19. Watch A Play Or Concert
Ghana’s National Theater situated in Accra’s Victoraborg is popular for hosting various worth-watching shows.Yiu can watch an entertaining play, dance performance, or interesting concert. This structure is developed by the Chinese making the building the base of well-known National Theatre Players and popular National Dance Company.
20. Attend Tribal Festival
Each region here celebrates its own annual tribal festival valuing the natives’ tribal traditions and in the remembrance of their past leaders and ancestors. They enjoy traditional dancing, feast, and drumming during the festival. So, attend one of the tribal festivals when in Ghana. One of the popular celebrations here is at the Adae Kese festival that Ashanti people in Kumasi enjoy.
21. Touch Crocodiles At Paga
Paga is a small town in Ghana which is well-known for housing friendly crocodiles. Sacred crocodiles live in two pools that are close to the town centre. People here believe that crocodiles hold the soul of deceased villagers. You can touch these crocodiles. This will be a very interesting thing to do in Ghana especially if you’re an adventurous and fearless fellow.
There are just a thousand and one interesting things to do in Ghana of which some of the things listed in this article is just part of the many interesting things to be done. If you’re planning a trip to Ghana, this article has just helped to give you clues on what to do. Now that you have a broad idea of interesting things to do in Ghana, make sure you explore each one of them while in Ghana and for a mind blowing experience, be in the company of a local while visiting each location.