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Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region and home to the ever-rich Ashanti culture, finds itself geographically positioned in the very centre of Ghana. With so much to offer such as intricate-kente weaving, best fufu eateries, open air Kejetia exchange, museums bursting with tangible, opulent Ashanti-historic content, the Akwasidae celebration at Manhyia Palace to Adinkra printmaking, here are some of the many things visitors can do while in Kumasi.
West Africa’s biggest space for buying and selling is none other than the open-air Kejetia Central Market. Consisting of over 50,000 packed stalls and thousands of smaller shed or umbrella outlets, the business here forms a large part of the informal economy. Traders sell everything from sneakers, glass beads, kente clothing, hardware, meat, fish, vegetables, computers, back-alley cheap batiks, and secondhand fabrics. Others set up shops to meet patrons’ tailoring, shoe-making and even offer voodoo-consultation needs. A close glance into the lives of typical Ghanaians, this market offers every moment of adventure and hospitality at its finest. After leaving, check out the high rise overlooking the market for a bird’s eye view and good photos.
Kumasi Central Market, Kumasi, Ghana, +233 24 311 7490
The cultural centre is a creative hub that offers craft workshops such as local textiles, jewellery, ceramics, wood, glass, stone, metals, and wax in a fun and friendly environment. The pottery making, batik cloth dyeing, and kente-cloth weaving provide both tutoring and commerce linked to the gallery and craft shops there. The dance performances will help visitors unwind while enjoying some ginger sobolo and fufu.
Centre For National Culture Kumasi, Kumasi, Ghana, +233 32 202 2822
With peacocks and peahens inhabiting the compound, go see ancient Ashanti artifacts, sculptures, textiles, gold weights, and more during the museum tour. The tour guides educate visitors on stories of wars, mystery, royal history, leadership, and wit connected to the museum pieces as the tour progresses. Located at Ahene-Boboano, meaning “the King’s doorway,” the museum sits between Kejetia Central Market and the Kumasi Airport.
Manhyia Palace Museum, Kumasi, Ghana, +233 032 202 3680
Away from Kumasi’s traffic, Rattray Park is the new recreational attraction to see. Located near the Golden Tulip Hotel, where families and couples lodge, there is a children’s play area with neatly-manicured lawns for picnics. Vendors sell food and snacks in the park, but their prices might exceed that of food spots outside the perimeter.
Rattray Park, Kumasi, Ghana, +233 24 509 0093
Located at the lake shore of Ghana’s natural lake, Lake Bosomtwe, The Green Ranch exposes visitors to a stunning view from its attractive terrace over the lake. Jump on a horse’s back and take a ride in the calm surroundings as professional guides provide safety. Otherwise, go canoeing on the lake and experience the wonderful breeze and views the atmosphere has to offer. The property also offers vegan and vegetarian meals served at affordable prices with an option for dessert as well as pleasant accommodations. There are private rooms and dorms with clean, private, and sizable outdoor showers and outhouse toilets.
The Green Ranch, Ashanti Region, Ghana, +233 20 291 7058
The only natural lake in the country occupying an ancient-impact crater, Lake Bosomtwe has over 30,000 people who mainly fish or farm to provide for themselves living around it in small settlements. It takes a 30 km (18.6 mile) scenic drive to get to this spot southeast of Kumasi. Enjoy speedboat rides in a life jacket, glimpses of mist enveloping the hills, and going around old tree trunks sticking out of the water. Visit the tour-guide office for information and a brief history, but beware of scammers who ask for donations for odd reasons upon arrival.
While located about 25 km (15.5 miles) from Kumasi on the Mampong Road, vehicular traffic can stretch the time it will take to reach Ntonso. However, the scenes of the local terrain will keep travellers busy. While there, learn more about Adinkra and its handmade prints, the philosophical meanings of the symbols, and how the colours matter when used for occasions like traditional festivals, funerals, or just casual wear. Visitors also have the opportunity to join workshops on the process with Adinkra craftspeople using stamps and organic ink.
For those with more than 48 hours to spend in Kumasi, other interesting places to check out include the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site, Kumasi Zoo, the Adanmwase Ecotourism (Kente Weaving Sites), the Bobiri Forest Reserve, and the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.