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How to spend 5 Incredible Days in Ghana

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: March 16, 2023

Ghana is a vibrant country located in West Africa that has gained increasing popularity among travellers in recent years. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and welcoming people, Ghana is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic African experience. In this article, we’ll take you on a five-day journey through Ghana’s most fascinating cities, landmarks, and attractions. Buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Day 1: Arrival and Accra City Tour

After a long flight, nothing feels better than settling into your hotel and exploring the city. Your first day in Ghana will be spent in Accra, the country’s bustling capital city. Upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport, you’ll be greeted by the warm smiles of the Ghanaian people and transferred to your hotel.

After freshening up, you’ll embark on a city tour that will take you to some of Accra’s most significant landmarks. Your first stop will be Independence Square, a vast open space that was built to commemorate Ghana’s independence from British colonial rule. Next, you’ll visit Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a beautiful park dedicated to the country’s founding father and first president. The park features a museum that showcases Nkrumah’s life and contributions to Ghana’s independence movement.

Finally, you’ll head to JamesTown Lighthouse, a historical lighthouse that offers breathtaking views of the city’s coastline. You can also explore the vibrant neighbourhood of JamesTown, where you’ll find colourful buildings, lively markets, and friendly locals.

After a busy day of sightseeing, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner featuring traditional Ghanaian cuisine and spend the night at your hotel.

Day 2: Kakum National Park and Cape Coast

On day two, you’ll leave the hustle and bustle of Accra and head to Kakum National Park, located about three hours west of the city. Kakum National Park is a protected rainforest that is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including over 500 species of birds and numerous species of monkeys and reptiles.

The highlight of your visit to Kakum National Park will undoubtedly be the canopy walk, a series of seven suspended bridges that offer a unique perspective of the forest canopy. Walking on the canopy walk is a thrilling experience that will leave you feeling exhilarated and awestruck.

After completing the canopy walk, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at the park’s restaurant before heading to Cape Coast, a historic town located on the coast of Ghana. In Cape Coast, you’ll visit Cape Coast Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was used as a slave dungeon during the transatlantic slave trade. The castle is a poignant reminder of Ghana’s painful history, but it also serves as a testament to the resilience and strength of the Ghanaian people.

After a sobering visit to Cape Coast Castle, you’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before retiring to your hotel for the night.

An aerial shot of a seaport in Ghana under the cloudy skies

Day 3: Elmina Castle and Kumasi

On day three, you’ll continue your exploration of Ghana’s history by visiting Elmina Castle, another UNESCO World Heritage site that played a significant role in the slave trade. Elmina Castle was built by the Portuguese in the 15th century and was later taken over by the Dutch, who used it to transport slaves to the Americas.

During your visit to Elmina Castle, you’ll learn about the castle’s history and the horrors that took place there. It’s a sobering experience that will make you appreciate the freedom and equality that we enjoy today.

After visiting Elmina Castle, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch before departing for Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city. Kumasi is located in the Ashanti region of Ghana and is known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant markets.

Upon arrival in Kumasi,you’ll check into your hotel and rest for a bit before embarking on a city tour. Your first stop will be the Manhyia Palace Museum, the former residence of the Ashanti king. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the history and traditions of the Ashanti people.

Next, you’ll visit the Kejetia Market, the largest open-air market in West Africa. The market is a sensory overload, with vendors selling everything from fresh produce to textiles to traditional crafts. You’ll have the opportunity to haggle with vendors and pick up some souvenirs to take home.

After a busy day of sightseeing, you’ll enjoy a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant before retiring to your hotel for the night.

Day 4: Lake Bosumtwi and Ashanti Crafts

On day four, you’ll leave Kumasi and head to Lake Bosumtwi, a stunning natural lake located about an hour outside of the city. The lake is a serene oasis that offers a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

You’ll spend the morning exploring the lake’s surroundings, taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying a leisurely boat ride. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Kumasi.

In the afternoon, you’ll visit the National Cultural Center, a hub of traditional Ashanti crafts and culture. You’ll have the opportunity to watch artisans at work, creating beautiful textiles, pottery, and wood carvings. You can also shop for souvenirs and take part in a traditional drumming and dancing performance.

After a busy day of activities, you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel for the night.

Day 5: Departure

On your final day in Ghana, you’ll have some free time to explore Kumasi on your own or to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the city. You can visit any of the places you missed during the previous days, do some shopping or simply relax at the hotel pool.

Ghana is a country full of surprises and adventure, and this five-day itinerary provides just a taste of what the country has to offer. From the vibrant city of Accra to the historic towns of Cape Coast and Kumasi, from the lush rainforests of Kakum National Park to the serene beauty of Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana has something for everyone.

But what truly sets Ghana apart is its people. Ghanaians are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you’ll ever meet, and they will make your visit to their country one that you’ll never forget. So why wait? Start planning your trip to Ghana today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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