(CNN) — Slotted into the underbelly of Africa’s northwestern huddle, Ghana is a rustic that is steadily reinventing itself.
Recognized for its colourful tradition, wildlife and pure magnificence, the West African nation had one in all Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economies previously few years, due to cocoa and a comparatively latest discovery of oil.
The financial upturn helped to inject a brand new lease of life into the humanities and trend scene, resulting in a lift in restaurant openings.
Whereas Ghana has little doubt been impacted by the pandemic, the nation stays as eclectic and alluring as ever.
The nation has lengthy been a mecca for volunteers, and there are a lot of hip and inexpensive lodging choices accessible, in addition to extra high-end hideaways.
A handful of worldwide resort manufacturers have opened up right here over the previous few years, however touring right here nonetheless feels genuine.
Whereas it is possible be some time earlier than many people are ready to take action because of present journey restrictions — its borders by land and sea stay closed to passenger journey, there is not any hurt in planning forward.
From browsing at abandoned seashores, to hanging out with wild elephants, listed here are among the high issues to do whereas visiting Ghana .
Go to Cape Coast Citadel
Now a UNESCO World Heritage website, Cape Coast Citadel was one in all round 30 “slave forts” constructed by Dutch, Portuguese and British merchants alongside the nation’s shoreline.
The massive white stone constructing gives educated guides who take guests all the way down to the grim dungeons the place slaves have been as soon as shackled, and the Door of no Return, the purpose they might have been crammed into ships heading for America.
Earlier guests embody the Obamas, who got here right here throughout their first go to to Africa after the previous US President was sworn into workplace. Michelle Obama’s roots have been traced again to slaves taken from this citadel.
There’s additionally a incredible vegetarian restaurant named Baobab café that serves scrumptious, wholesome smoothies and juices.
Guests may head inland to Kakum Nationwide Park and swing throughout the rainforest on its 350-meter-long cover walkway.
Strive native, naturally grown meals
Be sure you strive conventional Ghanian dishes like Banku, made by mixing fermented corn and cassava dough in scorching water.
Jordi Perdigo/Anadolu Company/Getty Pictures
Baobab bushes are scattered all around the nation, they usually occur to supply one of many world’s most nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich fruits.
This may be made right into a powder, which is great in smoothies, and is claimed to spice up the immune system in addition to struggle fatigue.
Ghana can be full of Moringa bushes, a powerhouse of proteins and nutritional vitamins that aids metabolism. A tea or powder might be created from its leaves.
As for high native dishes, kenkey, created from corn, is offered in most native “chop bars” and is unquestionably value a strive.
Banku, cooked by mixing fermented corn, cassava dough and scorching water right into a easy paste, can be extremely popular.
Nonetheless, red-red, a stew of black eyed peas made with purple palm oil and served with fried plantain, is especially scrumptious.
Take a look at the shoreline
“Environmentally conscious” resort Ko-Sa Seaside, positioned close to fishing village Ampenyi, gives beachfront properties.
Courtesy Ko-Sa Seaside Resort
Ghana has a piece of tropical shoreline, over 335 miles (560 kilometers) of it, in truth.
There are many incredible spots to select from near Accra, however the seashores are way more pristine barely additional afield.
Ko-Sa Seaside Resort, a two-hour drive east from Accra, is run by a Dutch couple and fits all budgets, with beachfront, historically constructed buildings with thatched roofs in addition to extra inexpensive choices.
Kids from the neighboring fishing villages come right here to promote peanuts and bananas. However their strategy is mild, solely including to the chilled out vibe.
Surf at Cape Three Factors
Cape Three Factors is likely one of the finest browsing spots in West Africa.
Regardless of Ghana turning into one thing of a hotspot for surfers, Cape Three Factors is likely one of the few locations the place you will not need to share the waves.
The wild, rainforest-backed seashore perched on the southernmost tip of the nation, stretches for nearly two kilometers and is virtually abandoned because of its far-flung location.
Cape Three Factors is a six-hour drive from Accra, with the final 40 minutes of the journey alongside a tough monitor that may turn out to be troublesome to navigate throughout the wet season.
Those that do enterprise out right here can catch some extent break, watch humpback whales migrate or simply sway within the hammocks below almond bushes whereas sipping hibiscus juice.
Escape 3 Factors Ecolodge owned by Akwasi, a Ghanaian-Canadian with a level in sustainable structure, is predicated on the seashore.
Made up of raffia and bamboo-stilted chalets and a dormitory, the eco lodge is electrical energy free and holds compost bogs.
There’s additionally a communal seashore shack with desk soccer that is ultimate for entertaining youngsters, in addition to a pure swimming pool at low tide.
Keep in mind to rent a surfboard (Mr. Vibrant’s Surf Faculty in Kokrobite is an effective place) earlier than you arrive when you do not have already got one. Surf classes can be found from native Brett.
Uncover native artisans and craftspeople
Whereas it is usually mass-produced, there are a lot of folks weavers across the nation who make kente cloths by hand.
One in every of Ghana’s nationwide cloths, Kente was as soon as reserved for kings and queens, but it surely’s now way more widespread.
Historically related to the Ashanti folks, the interwoven materials with summary designs is usually mass-produced, however folks weavers might be discovered throughout the nation.
Adinkra, one other conventional material, is embellished with symbols, every signifying a proverb or custom.
Kumasi, the capital metropolis of the Ashanti Area, is the most effective place to purchase conventional cloths.
Artisans are rising within the nation on a regular basis, producing new materials and different arts and crafts.
The designer’s handcrafted luggage have been snapped up by US clothes retailer Anthropologie, which noticed her work on Instagram, and are actually offered worldwide.
Keep at a non-profit lodge or hostel
Visitors can keep in thatched “Chief Suites” at non-profit lodge Meet Me There.
Courtesy Meet Me There
Ghana boasts varied nonprofit lodging choices.
Probably the most well-known is lodge Meet Me There, positioned up within the mountainous Volta Area between the villages of Dzita and Dzita-Abledomi, a two-hour drive from Accra.
This relaxed property encompasses a pretty tropical backyard in addition to stilted consuming space that juts into a ravishing lagoon.
Visitors can swim throughout the lagoon, or paddle within the lodge’s pirogue, to succeed in a seemingly unending wild seashore.
The lodge’s holds double rooms or suites — the latter being little thatched cottages painted with adinkra symbols.
Actions accessible embody boat journeys to the Volta River, visits to native markets or take drumming classes.
There’s additionally the chance to attend a neighborhood cult ceremony, which takes place each Friday and is led by a feminine shaman named Mamishie Rasta.
Locals declare she disappeared into the ocean for a couple of years and returned with magic powers from the ocean.
Meet Me There may be linked to native charity Dream Massive Ghana, which helps a neighborhood studying heart, sanitation and well being for the neighboring villages.
In the meantime in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest metropolis, nonprofit hostel Tumi is concentrated on giving underprivileged females the talents to offer for themselves.
Began by a Dutch girl named Milou, its income go in direction of stitching and hairdressing prepare for younger and deprived girls.
Visitors can watch them busily stitching vibrant African prints within the workshop subsequent door, earlier than the hostel sells their creations.
Small and intimate, with simply two rooms and an eight-person dormitory, Tumi is embellished with large photos painted by native artists and its curtains and cushions are all made on website.
There’s additionally an outside terrace with picket crates, the place visitor can eat meals.
Tumi Hostel, Kumasi Asokwa Highway; + 233 559 002 062
Hand around in Accra
The fishing village of Jamestown, one of many oldest districts of Accra.
Accra is a metropolis with none main points of interest, but it surely nonetheless has nice attraction.
A number of areas have been revamped, specifically Osu and the land surrounding the airport, now as stylish and cosmopolitan because it will get.
As for eating places, the Republic is an Accra staple, identified for its reside music and akpeteshie-based cocktails, a conventional sugar cane alcohol, whereas cocktail bar Coco Lounge would not look misplaced in New York.
Then there’s Jamestown, Accra’s oldest district, jammed with a vibrant fishermen’s shanty city and hordes of colourful boats, all in opposition to the backdrop of a purple and white lighthouse and former fort.
Though there’s a lot to see, vacationers should not be too formidable with their plans (until shifting round on foot) as Accra’s site visitors might be difficult — automobiles are sometimes caught in jams for over an hour.
Marvel at wild elephants in Mole Nationwide Park
Mole Nationwide Park is house to African elephants, kob antelopes, buffaloes, baboons and even warthogs.
Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge, Mole Nationwide Park is house to round 93 species of mammals, together with African elephants, Nolan warthogs and noticed hyenas.
One of many park’s largest promoting factors is how shut it permits guests to get to the wild elephants whereas on foot.
It additionally boasts a ravishing on website property, Zaina, West Africa’s first luxurious safari lodge.
Visitors right here do not even have to go away to get the safari expertise, because it’s attainable to observe elephants whereas swimming within the infinity pool.
The lodge is up on a hill, with views sweeping out over a sea of inexperienced Rosewood and Shea nut bushes.
Its rooms are spacious and air conditioned East African type safari tents with thatched roofs, with the bulk straight dealing with a watering gap.
Buy groceries in Bolgatanga
The farmer’s market in Bolgatanga.
Often known as the crafts heart of Higher East Area, Bolgatanga is house to a really giant central market.
Right here guests can watch cotton fugu smocks being handmade and browse stalls promoting every little thing from turtle shells, to dried snakes and porcupine quills.
There’s additionally a craft market with varied outlets promoting Bolga baskets, that are handwoven from dried elephant grass, then dyed to supply a vibrancy of colours, and might solely be discovered right here.
Sleep on rooftops on the Inexperienced Home
Inexperienced Home encourages visitors to completely expertise the way in which locals reside.
Positioned half-hour drive from Bolgatanga, this excellent eco visitor home in Karimenga is owned by visionary native Ibrahim, who’s captivated with mud structure and selling natural farming.
Inexperienced Home has simply 5 rooms, all historically constructed from mud and clay, and has no electrical energy.
Its flat roofs, synonymous with native structure, might be reached by climbing earthen stairs, so boarders can sleep there when it turns into too scorching.
Right here visitors are inspired immerse with the encompassing communities, with actions resembling visits to Ibrahim’s farm, classes on bee protecting and cooking Ghanaian dishes with Felicia, the visitor home’s cook dinner, on supply.
Inexperienced Home;+ 233 24 933 3184
Go to Larabanga Mosque
Larabanga Mosque — the “Mecca of West Africa.”
At round 600 years previous, Larabanga is Ghana’s oldest mosque in addition to one of many oldest in West Africa.
Located near Mole Park within the north, the foundations of this placing black and white adobe constructing are believed to have been divinely constructed.
Constructed with mud and reeds, it is much like different historic Sudanese-style buildings seen all through West Africa, such because the Nice Mosque in Djenné, Mali.
Greet the chief in Tongo
The chief’s palace in Tongo is house to round 300 folks.
The village of Tongo within the Tengzug Hills is legendary for it conventional shrines in addition to Whispering Rocks, the place boulders are balanced precariously on high of one another and the wind makes whistling sounds via cracks on the high.
Nonetheless, probably the most fascinating sights right here is the chief’s palace, a big mud compound that homes round 300 members of his household, together with his greater than 20 wives.
Actually, within the north, it is well mannered to greet the chief of any village when you arrive and clarify your plans earlier than you begin exploring. However vacationers should guarantee they by no means stand or sit taller than a chief.