Ghana has been blessed with some of the most beautiful natural resources, landscapes and sceneries in Africa. These include national parks, animal reserves, and historical sites that tell the Ghanaian story in a beautiful style. If you want to know what to visit in Ghana, these places should be at the top of your list.
Ghana has definitely plenty of other interesting places to visit (you can check this article for more), but if you’re looking for natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries and historical landmarks, you’re in for a treat! Below you’ll find five essential places for any visitor who wants to take Ghana seriously.
5 places to visit in Ghana
Kakum National Park
Officially opened in 1994, the Kakum National Park is the most popular and most visited tourist centre in Ghana. It is located along the Jukwa road in the Central Region, about 20 km north of Cape Coast. It protects an area of rainforest, home to endangered mammals such as forest elephants, bongo antelopes, squirrels, leopards, and primates like the Diana monkey.
The park is also rich in butterflies and birds, including the African grey parrots and hornbills. The most exciting and endearing feature of this park is the breathtaking 30-meter (100ft) above the ground canopy walkway which provides a tree-top view of the area.
At best, a tourist should arrive before 7 a.m. if he or she wants to see as much wildlife as possible. Tour guides are on hand to explain the economic, cultural and medicinal value of the trees. If you suffer of acrophobia (fear of heights), this visit is not recommended.
Cape Coast Castle
The Cape Coast Castle is among the numerous slave castles built in Ghana during the slave trade era by the European traders. It was originally built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold, but later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
In 1664, after a four-day battle, the fort was captured by the British and renamed the Cape Coast Castle. It is the second largest castle in Ghana. The castle has dungeons which served as rooms for the slaves. The dungeons have essentially no ventilations or windows but hosted some 200 slaves, separated by gender.
Another notable feature of the castle is the ‘Door of No Return’ which led slaves out of the castle and shipped to Europe and America where they never returned again, just as the name says.
High profile personalities like Barack Obama, Former President of the United States visited in 2009, and former First Lady Melania Trump also visited in October 2018. The history behind this castle makes it one of the destinations everyone must visit during their stay in Ghana.
Mole National Park
Home to elephants, leopards, and rare birds such as the white-backed vulture, the Mole National Park is one of the treasures in northern Ghana. It is the largest wildlife refuge in the country. There are about 300 species of birds and 94 species of mammal, including Kob antelopes, buffaloes, baboons, and warthogs. The elephants are more likely to be seen during the dry season.
It was the first national park to be established in Ghana and its entrance is through the nearby town of Larabanga. Because of the lack of predators, safaris can be done on foot, an experience that is quite different from the vehicle safaris in other parts of Africa.
However, tourists can also go with a driving safari accompanied by an armed ranger, giving tourists the opportunity to cover a much wider area of the park. Tourists who visit this sight can also take advantage and see the beautiful mud-and-stick mosque at Larabanga. An opportunity to witness Ghana’s wildlife in all its glory.
Paga Crocodile Pond
Paga Crocodile Pond is a sacred pond in Ghana in the Upper East Region, one of the top things to do in Bolgatanga. This pond has some of the biggest crocodiles in the world. The pond has a mythical history of saving the life of the first man to settle in the area.
It is believed that one of the crocodiles led this man to the pond when he was in need of water, and thus, saved his life. Since, then, the pond was declared scared and it is highly forbidden to harm any crocodile from it.
It is an exciting scene to observe how the tour guides call the crocodiles from the pond. The guide whistles and as the crocs come out, he waves a fowl in the air—the favourite food for the crocs. As it gives the fowl to the crocs, tourists then get the chance to hold them by the tail, sit on them or pose with them for a photo.
The pond has an impressive safety record as no one has ever been reported of being harmed by any of the crocodiles.
Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary
It is natural to expect full excitement at a sanctuary for monkeys, as they are known for their playful nature, tricks, and smartness. The Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary, located 45 minutes drive from Hohoe in the Volta Region, gives nothing short of that experience and excitement.
This monkey and wildfile sanctuary is thought to be about 200 years old. At the location, there is an information centre which briefs visitors on the history and some vital information for touring the place. Some of the activities visitors can do is to play and feed the monkeys.
Other exciting features of the place is that visitors have the opportunity to see the daily activities of local people such as the traditional kente weaving, (one of the most sought after gifts in Ghana), palm oil production, among others.
Why not plan a visit on your next holiday away from Green Views and have some fun with the monkeys at the Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary!!!