Ghana

Accra • Ho • Akossombo • Kumasi • Axim • Elmina • Kakum

Countries visited:  Ghana

Sample itinerary:  10 days/9 nights

 

Overview

Itinerary

Details

Ghana Overview

This unusual destination has been chosen to connect our pilgrims with a land and with traditions completely different from ours. Ghana is a very friendly country, ideal for first time travelers to Africa and for the people, very helpful and welcoming.

Unfortunately Ghana’s history includes among its highlights the trade of slaves who were brought from Africa to the New World for work on the plantations. The Europeans, for various extended periods of time, also came to exploit for their own purposes the gold mines located in the country. This journey in Ghana will encourage us to remember these events and to become aware of how hatred and the thirst for power can destroy other people’s lives.

Moved toward decolonization after World War II and after an intense struggle, Ghana was declared by its leader Kwame Nkrumah as "free forever." The nation thus became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence and is now one of the most stable countries in Africa with great potential for growth. Tourism in Ghana has been increasing significantly and more travelers are regarding this country as a unique destination with high cultural and historical interest

 

Highlights

Accra, visit to fantasy coffin builders, National Museum, old quarter of James Town, Ho and VoIta region ,Wli waterfalls, Tafi Atome colony of monkeys, Krobo region with artisan beads factory, Cocoa Research Institute arboretums and model farms, traditional Ashanti shrine, Kumasi and central market with Ashanti crafts, Royal Palace Museum of Ashanti, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology visits to farmers, Ghana coastline and beautiful ocean beaches, Ankassa Forest, walking in Bamboo Cathedral, Axim Castle, Dixcove fishermen’s village, the Metal Cross Fort, a Buthe village, canoe cruise and birdwatching along Butre River, stay in African village guest house, Elmina Castle,  Posuban shrines, Cape Coast Castle, canopy ropewalk in the Kakum National Forest

 

Day 1:      Arrival in Accra

Day 2:      Ho

Day 3:       Akossommbo

Day 4-5:   Kumasi

Day 6:       Axim

Day 7:       Ankassa-Axim

Day 8:       Elmina

Day 9:       Kakum

Day 10:     Accra

 

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are invited to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

Our itineraries that do have dates and prices already listed are open to all and are guaranteed departure if the minimum number of participants is met.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 •  Accra

Assistance at arrival and transfer to Afia Beach Resort in Accra.

Day 2 • Accra – Ho (130 km)

We start our tour with a city tour of Accra. Accra, the capital of Ghana, has maintained its unique identity despite the fast paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city. Our first visit of the day is to craftspeople specialized in building fantasy coffins. These handcrafted-coffins are created in shapes of fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes… the only limit is the intended occupant’s imagination. Started in Africa, these flamboyant coffin designs are collected and shown in museums. On the agenda is also a visit to the National Museum, one of the first works of independent Ghana. The idea inspiring the Museum is to relate Ghanaian art to the rest of the continent and to prove the existence of an African history as part of general history of humanity. We end our day exploring the old quarter of James Town, inhabited by the autochthonous population known as the Ga. Transfer to Ho, in the Volta Region. Overnight at Chances Hotel, facing the Volta River.

Day 3 • Ho – Akossombo (160 km)

Today we explore the VoIta region which has some very beautiful natural highlights. We start by the Wli waterfalls, the highest waterfall in the region. A flat and pleasant footpath of 45 minutes leads to the falls through forest, inhabited by 220 bird and 400 butterfly species. We move to Tafi Atome, a village living in daily contact with a colony of monkeys. In the tradition of the village the monkeys are considered as spokesmen of the tortoises. Both monkeys and tortoises are considered sacred by the population whose ancestors came to the region 200 years ago. We drive to the Volta River, where it issues from Lake Akossombo and spend the night at the Afrikiko Resort, along the river.

Day 4 • Akossombo – Kumasi (220 km)

We start our day in the Krobo region which is famous around the world for their beads. They are produced here, and are used for cults and esthetic purpose. We see a factory specialized in this production and follow the process of making a bead! Artisans make use of scrap glass, which is ground into fine powder as it has been for centuries. The glass powder is then carefully formed into patterns and placed into handmade clay molds covered in kaolin. The beads are fired, further decorated, washed, and strung. The beads all represent long traditions of production. Then we change our environment and enter into a lush forest. The main product of the forest is cacao. Near Koforidua we visit the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, established in June 1938. It has arboretums and model farms. Botanists will find the Institute of particular interest. On the way to Kumasi, we visit a traditional Ashanti shrine, recently renovated. This shrine played an import role in the history and culture of the Ashanti people. Pay attention to the unique decoration. Arrival in Kumasi and overnight in Okubi Hotel.

Day 5 • Kumasi

Today we explore this beautiful town and visit the University. Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. The Ashanti people were one of the most powerful nations in Africa until the end of the 19th century, when the British annexed the Ashanti country to their Gold Coast colony. The honor offered today to the Asantehene (king) is the best evidence of the past splendor and strength of Ashanti. Today with nearly one million inhabitants, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market, one of the biggest in Africa. Every kind of Ashanti craft (leather goods, pottery, kente cloth) is found here, along with a multitude of varieties of tropical fruit and vegetables. Also on the agenda is a visit to the Museum located in the Royal Palace with its great collection of Ashanti jewelry. A highlight of the day will be the visit to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). “Established in 1952, KNUST has a rich history of its evolvement into a first class University over the years. Kwame Nkrumah, the African Personality of the century and Pioneer of African Independence is the founder of KNUST. With eyes set on our mission and vision, KNUST believes in achievement through diligent work and commitmen.t”  Overnight in Okubi Hotel.

Day 6 • Kumasi – Axim (300 km)

Day of transfer through the forest. Several visits to villages and farms with farmers producing cocoa, palm oil, palm wine. In the forest we will also meet people searching for gold. They get it out of the rivers crossing the region. This reminds us of the time when caravans were bringing gold and cola nuts from the forest to the Sahel and bringing back salt. We will reach the ocean at one of the most beautiful sites along the coastal line in Ghana. Here the sea is quite calm and the beaches are protected by natural bays. Sometimes the forest reaches the shore, providing a great contrast between the green of the trees and the blue of the water. Overnight in Axim Beach Resort.

Day 7 • Axim – Ankassa – Axim (200 km)

Morning drive and visit with walk in the Ankassa Forest. Ankassa is an environmentally protected forest with an area known as the Bamboo Cathedral. On the way back, visit to Axim Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1516 then owned by the Dutch and British. The castle has kept its old form. Visit of the village and the harbor. Overnight in Axim Beach Resort.

Day 8: Axim – Elmina (110 km)

Today we move from west to east, along the cost, visiting fishing villages and European forts, situated during last centuries for trade. To the east, first visit is Dixcove, a fishermen’s village. There is a beautiful fort, the Metal Cross Fort, which overlooks the bay, an inheritance from the Dutch defense. It has a natural harbor and the port is a lovely area. One can buy fresh shark meat, swordfish and lobsters for which the area is renowned. Then Buthe village, a settlement in a small bay which is the estuary of Butre River. The old Fort Batenstein is located on a hill on the outskirts of the village. We will have a canoe cruise along Butre River; birdwatchers will be astounded. Late in the afternoon we reach Elmina. Overnight in our guest house, African Village.

Day 9 •  Elmina – Kakum (70 km)

We start our day with a visit to Elmina Castle, the oldest permanent building in Africa. The Portuguese built the castle in the 15th century. At different times in the castle’s checkered past it was used to trade gold, ivory, and slaves. Outside the castle, there is a wonderful fishing village complete with a harbor full of large colorful fishing canoes. Every day these canoes are piloted by the skilled fishermen who confront the strong ocean for their livelihood. The alleys in the old town have a lively atmosphere, harkening back to a time when Elmina was a wild colonial town. In the old town we turn out attention to the Posuban. The Posuban are the shrines of the “Asafo companies.” It is at these shrines the warriors used to place their offerings on the large colorful statues. The old Dutch Cemetery in Elmina town dates back to 1806. The cemetery is surrounded by a wall and number of big silk cotton trees, which are well over a century old. In the middle stands a vault with an obelisk on top, dating back to 1806 as well, in which a number of former governors and eminent local elders and the Elmina King, Nana Kobena Isyan, are buried. In the afternoon we move to Cape Coast, and Cape Coast Castle, which was built by the Swedish in 1653. From 1657 to 1664 it changed hands many times. In the castle’s storied history it was conquered by the Danes, Dutch, Fanti (a local tribe), Swedes and finally the British. At present, it hosts an informative museum on the slave trade. The castle also hosts interesting exhibits on Ghanaian culture and the African Diasporas. We finish our day in the forest. Overnight in Hans Cottage Hotel.

Day 10 • Elmina – Accra and departure (200 km)

We end our tour with a walk on the canopy of the Kakum National Forest. Some miles north of the coast, in the middle of a rainforest, we find Kakum National Park. At the park we have a wonderful opportunity to discover the forest from above because Kakum has a canopy walk suspended high into the trees. The Kakum ropewalk is the longest and highest suspended rope bridge in the world. Walking between one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty feet in the air, we have an incredible view of the rain forest. At this height, instead of revealing their trunks, the trees offer us a breathtaking view of the canopy. From this height the trees look as if they are trying to grasp the sun and sky above. The visit comes to the end late in the morning, then we drive to Accra, to the airport for our departure home.

 

 

What's included

Price and Scheduling

This is a possible pilgrimage itinerary for groups.

Interested priests or pilgrimage organizers are invited to contact us to schedule the dates, to modify this current itinerary according to their group's needs, and to receive information about pricing.

 

Price includes :

Accommodations in double rooms as per itinerary

Full board from breakfast Day 2 to lunch Day 10

English speaking guide with a deep knowledge of the places and the populations, staying in same hotels as clients

Excursions as indicated in the itinerary

All transportation from day 1 to day 10 (Minibus such as Toyota Hiace or Toyota Coaster)

 

Price does not include:

International flights. However we will be happy to assist you with flight quotations as soon as they are available. Please let us know your departure city.

Insurance for medical assistance, loss or damage of baggage, cancellation fees. However we are able to offer medical, luggage and cancellation insurance upon request.

Dinner on Day 1 and Day 10

Beverages, included bottled water

Tips, porters and personal items

Anything not specified in “the price includes” section

 

Vaccinations

Yellow fever: required

Prophylaxis anti-malaria: strongly recommended