The year is to commemorate and officially mark 400 years of the start of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, an act which crippled African nations and dispelled black people into the Caribbean, West Indies and America.
Another aim of this initiative is to bridge the relationship gap between Africans and their brothers and sisters living in the Diaspora as well as helping them retrace their roots.
One of the highlights of the “Year of Return” will be a boost in tourism as already heralded by a CNN 2019 Travel article which placed Ghana as number 4 on the top destinations to visit this year.
Ghana is a beautiful nation and is sometimes called the gateway to West Africa. It has some of the world’s most interesting tourist site which you wouldn’t want to miss.
Here are 10 places to cruise when you visit Ghana:
At just over two million inhabitants Accra is the largest city in Ghana.
This capital city is full of character and radiates friendliness.
Whether you’re there as a solo traveler or with a family, on your big annual holiday or there for business, Accra has something to make you feel comfortable.
What tourists really love are the many beaches surrounding the city – particularly Labadi Beach, amongst others.
Accra is home to the National Museum where you’ll find many of the country’s historical treasures.
You can also visit the National Theatre, International Trade Fair, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, Independence Square, and W.E.B. Dubois Centre.
At every turn, you’ll find markets, incredible food, wonderful music, and lots of interesting things that will amaze you.
2. Cape Coast
Cape Coast is a former European colonial capital and one of the most culturally significant spots in all of Africa.
Originally called Cabo Corso by the Portuguese, the town was once the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa.
It was here that slaves were brought, locked deep in the towns intimidating castle, and then loaded on to vessels heading to the New World.
Today Cape Coast is primarily a fishing town with an artsy vibe. Old colonial buildings line the streets perfect for leisurely strolls.
Use Cape Coast as your base for exploring Anomabu, Apam, Makesimm, etc.
What you will see and experience here will move you deeply.
3. Elmina Castle
Located in Central Region of Ghana, about a 3.5-hour drive along the coast from Accra. It is the oldest European structure in sub-Saharan Africa.
Upon visiting, you will experience the physical history of the slave trade, the impact of which is still felt beyond the shores of Africa today.
Most visitors to Ghana tour Elmina Castle, because of its history as a major trans-Atlantic slave hub. Originally, Elmina Castle was not built for the purpose of holding and trading slaves, but instead as a trading post for gold and other African goods. It is from this trade that the name “Elmina” was derived from the Portuguese name for “Da Costa de el Mina de Ouro” (The Coast of Gold Mines).
You can see the luxury accommodations up top, where the Europeans stayed and then visit the dungeons below where one cell held up to 200 people.
4. Busua Beach, Takoradi
One of the most chill beaches in Ghana is Busua.
It’s a magnet for the backpacker and volunteer crowds who love to come to unwind on the beach for a few days at a time.
Busua Beach, Takoradi
Roughly 30k from the city of Takoradi and situated right between Dixcove and Butre, the village of Busua has the potential for great excursions, making it an ideal base camp.
But Busua waters are as relaxed as its vibe.
5. Mole National Park
Mole National Park covers a large savannah filled with African elephants, buffalos, baboons, warthogs, and kob antelopes.
Mole National Park
You’ll find almost 100 mammal species and at least 300 bird species here.
The park allows walking and driving safaris and you can rent a parked vehicle if you don’t have your own.
6. Cape Three Point
Cape Three Points is a small peninsula in the Western Region of Ghana on the Atlantic Ocean. It marks the western end of the Gulf of Guinea.
Cape Three Points
If you like, you can take a canoe ride to Cape Three Points, the southernmost tip of Ghana.
There’s a great bar scene, good food, and plenty of local attractions to provide a good combination of lazing about and seeing new things.
The second-largest city in Ghana is Kumasi, once the capital of the powerful Ashanti kingdom.
The city itself is still heavy with Ashanti traditions. The main attraction here is the Kejetia market.
A place where you can get lost for days. In fact, sometimes the entire city can feel like one big market.
Visit the Manhyia Palace and learn about traditional African democracy.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the National Cultural Centre and sit in on a dance or drumming class.
Inhabited primarily by the Mole-Dagomba group, Tamale is the country’s northern capital.
There are several gorgeous mosques here and the cultural centre has craft shops, dance and music performances.
Considered to be the ‘kitchen’ of Ghana, you’ll find fantastic local and exotic foods here.
It’s probably the fastest-growing city in West Africa and also one of the most welcoming.
Farmers by tradition, this hot and arid land is located close to the Sahara Desert.
Don’t miss the two traditional palaces of Dapkema and Gulkpe Naa.
9. Lake Volta
Lake Volta, Ghana is the largest man-made lake in the world by surface area. It is also the 4th largest in terms of volume. The Volta Lake was formed as a result of the construction of the Akosombo Dam when the Volta River was dammed to produce hydroelectric power for Ghana.
Lake Volta, Ghana is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and a major source of foreign exchange to Ghana. The Black Volta and White Volta are the major inflows to the Lake Volta while the Volta River is the major outflow for Lake Volta.
Interesting things to do at the Lake Volta include taking a cruise to the Dodi Island on the Dodi Princess, visit the Digya Park, fishing, seeing the Akosombo Dam, amongst others.
10. Boti Falls
Boti Falls is a twin waterfall located in the Eastern Region of Ghana. These twin falls are referred to as female and male. It is one of the most visited tourist sites in the country. It is about 2 hours drive from Accra.
You can swim at this falls and spend the whole day there and also visit the beads market.
You will also have the option to do a hike to the umbrella rock, it is about 1hour hike up in the rocky forest. Perfect for you if you love hiking.
On the way back you can stop by the Aguri Botanical gardens.