From surfing and exploring the great outdoors to seeing some of the country’s historical sites, Ghana offers enough experiences to satisfy people of various ages, interests, and likes. A visit to Ghana would not be complete without seeing or doing at least some of the following attractions and activities.
Surf culture has taken off in the last decade. Partly pioneered by Brett Davies, a former Rip Curl champion. Hailing from England’s west coast, he began riding African waves in the Ivory Coast and has since made his way to Ghana—first in Busua and now based in Kokrobite. As surfing now dominates many of the local kids’ interests, he runs Mr. Bright’s Surf School, gives lessons seven days a week, and runs surf camps to various beaches around the country with the best breaks.
This seaside community of fishermen has become something of a cultural hub in the last few years with the advent of the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, the Accra Dot Alt, and the plentiful street art intermingling with old-colonial buildings that make it a unique and vibrant neighbourhood. Visit the Lighthouse and walk down High Street to see Ussher Fort and stop for lunch at Jamestown Café or a drink at Osikan, perched high on the rocks with views all the way down to Osu Castle.
Local food usually consists of ‘chop bars’, a no-frills roadside structure where one could eat communally at low tables. While convenient, it’s perhaps not the most comfortable setting to try new food. These days, there are some lovely restaurants to sample some Ghanaian favourites such as fufu (a plantain-cassava dumpling) or banku (fermented-corn dumpling) alongside delicious stews and simpler fare such as jollof rice or plantain and beans. In the lively enclave of Osu, head to Buka, a popular-lunch spot with its quaint décor and breezy terraces; in Legon, head to the aptly named ‘Chop Bar’ for similar options in a sedate setting.
This intimidating edifice perched on the ocean’s edge at Cape Coast in the Western Region was originally built by Swedes for the timber and gold trades and ended up becoming a slave fort for the Transatlantic trade. An important part of Ghana’s history, visit the preserved dungeons and holding rooms—though they can be difficult to stomach—and the door of no return: the final glimpse of home for the unfortunate souls who were taken from the castle to be carried across the sea.
This tropical rainforest reserve located in the Central Region covers 375 square kilometers (around 144.8 square miles) of lush flora and fauna. It is distinguished by a long-canopy walkway measuring some 350 meters (382.8 yards), one of only two canopy walks in all of Africa. Diverse species of monkey can be seen as well as endangered antelopes and many rare birds such as the white breasted guinea fowl.
Enjoy Local Drinks and Music at Republic Bar and Grill
A visit to Osu—the lively neighbourhood filled with bars, restaurants, and clubs—would not be complete without a visit to Republic, a pub-style music venue that draws large crowds for its regular Wednesday night live-music sessions where the crowd spills onto the streets and the drinks are flowing. Try the locally-brewed ‘akpeteshie’ cocktails made with strong in-house spirits of rum or gin and mixed with tropical tastes such as coconut, hibiscus, and ginger. The flavoured beers are also hugely popular.
Ghanaian streetscapes swirl with the bright and vibrant colours of the various fabrics purchasable all over the country that can then be transformed into a desirable outfit for a reasonable price by a tailor or seamstress. The well-known woven kente fabric, originally made with orange thread (and can be seen in production at Bonwire in Kumasi), are now available in many colours and also printed on cotton. The Northern-Gonja cloth is also woven but this time, layered in stripes unlike the criss-cross pattern of kente. Dutch wax has been a staple in the country for over a hundred years and can be found at Vlisco along with their whimsical and bold designs. Pan-West-African cloth can be found in Woodin, and the markets and street sellers offer a wide range of styles and designs from GTP to Printex.
The northern part of the country is much less trodden by tourists, but Mole National Park offers a major draw to nature lovers. The country’s largest wildlife park, it features buffalo, elephants, and hippos among many others as well as rare sightings of cheetah and other predators that used to roam freely on the savanna.
Perched atop Accra’s tallest-residential tower, Skybar provides the only place to get an unencumbered 360° view of the entire city. A special spot for drinks, dinner, or to listen to one of the live bands that frequent the establishment, it is an elegant place and the food and drinks are to the highest standard.
The country’s Eastern Region shares a border with Togo and has some of the freshest air and highest mountains in the entire country. Located in the Hohoe District, access Wli Waterfalls through a tropical forest for the lower falls and hike up the mountain for access the upper ones. The area’s landscape is stunning and serene, and the wildlife around includes fruit bats by the thousands, butterflies, birds, and monkeys.