The tourism industry in Ghana is known to promote sustainable tourism which includes: cultural tourism, heritage tourism, recreational tourism, adventure tourism and events tourism. Cultural tourism focuses on festivals and events, whereas heritage tourism focuses on the history of the slave routes.
Heritage Tourism is Ghana is composed of a festival called the Pan-African Historical Festival or “PANAFEST”. The festival is a cultural event with the intention of increasing the notion of Pan-Africanism and African development.
It consists of the festival itself as well as the celebration surrounding Emancipation Day. It primarily takes place in two cities, Elmina and Cape Coast, which were the largest slave-trading forts in the nation. PANAFEST takes place over eight to nine days and begins with a ceremonial wreath laying.
Events during PANAFEST include carnival day, a journey of return from those located in other nations, Rita Marley’s birthday, an academic lecture on the women and youth, a naming ceremony from people from the diaspora, and finally the “Reverential Night”.
PANAFEST is a direct manifestation of Ghanaian culture. It is also the appropriation of it and capitalization by the Rawlings administration. Indeed, Rawlings’ developed international cultural festivals such as PANAFEST as a source of income for Ghana through the promotion of tourism in Ghana. It proved to be effective.
There really is no ‘best’ time to visit Ghana, as the temperature is always Africa-hot and if rainfall doesn’t soak you, then the humid air will. If you prefer your soaking tropical in nature, stick close to the beaches.
Whatever the season, the weather gets more arid the farther inland you go. Village-specific festivals and events occur throughout the year.
Top Major Tourist Attractions in Ghana
Lake Volta & Akosombo
Occupying the central part of Ghana, the Volta Basin covers about 45 percent of the nation’s total land surface. Its northern section, which lies above the upper part of Lake Volta, rises to a height of 150 to 215 meters above sea level.
Elevations of the Konkori Scarp to the west and the Gambaga Scarp to the north reach from 300 to 460 meters. To the south and the southwest, the basin is less than 300 meters. The Kwahu Plateau marks the southern end of the basin, although it forms a natural part of the Ashanti Uplands.
Ghana is graced with 540km of stunning, sandy coastline. Most of it is undeveloped and many of its beaches are like private paradises waiting to be explored.
To the east are Ada, Keta and Prampram, and to the west, Brenu, Busua, Anomabo and Axim. In the capital, Labadi Beach is a major attraction for locals and visitors alike.
Ecotourism has become popular over the last few years and there are now a few eco lodges in the Axim area. If you are lucky you can watch nesting turtles or even seen migratory whales passing Ghana’s coastal waters.
In the capital city, Labadi beach attracts hundreds of beach-goers at the weekend. Drinking spots line the shore and there is often entertainment late into the evening.
Castles and Forts
Ghana’s castles and forts offer concrete testimony to the drama of human history and stad as witness to one of the world’s most tradic events – the Slave Trade.
Cape Coast Castle has seen the passage of numerous foreign powers. Initially constructed as a small trading lodge in the 16th century, the building was subsequently altered and enlarged becoming a substantial fort by 1627. It was later captured by the Swedes and named Fort Carolusberg, finally becoming a British possession in 1664.
Cape Coast Castle, through which millions of slaves were shipped to the Caribbean and the United States, became the seat of British colonial administration until 1877 when government offices moved to Christians burg Castle in Accra.
The cannons still face seaward, stirring the imagination to scenes of exploration, discover and great tragedy. The Museum of West African History, currently under development in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution of the United States, brings into sharp focus the role that these great structures played in the meeting of two cultures.
As you wander the ramparts of Cape Coast Castle in the salt air, the view is a visual feast. Traditional customs – the mending of nets and launching of painted fishing canoes, continue side-by-side with the new – impromptu soccer games and the hustle and bustle of business. Cape Coast Castle is alive with the human spirit.
Ten kilometres west on a promontory visible from a great distance, Elmina Castle is the earliest known European structure in the tropics. Built in 1482 by the Portuguese during early world exploration, the castle was taken over by the Dutch in 1637, which retained control for 274 years.
Inside the vast fortification is the location of the first Catholic Church in Sub-Sahara Africa. The Castle’s damp, unlit dungeons served as horrific holding areas for the human cargo of the infamous slave trade.
For St. Jago is within walking distance. It is from this vantage point that the Dutch launched their successful land attack on Elmina Castle.
Unlike other forts in the area, Fort St. Jago was not used for trading activities. Its primary purpose was to provide military protection to Elmina Castle.
Be sure to bring your camera. The hill on which Ft. St. Jago stands provides an excellent view of Elmina Castle, the Atlantic Ocean, and the buzz of commercial activity at the Elmina fishing harbor.
Guided tours of Cape Coast and Elmina Castles are available. Cultural and theatrical performances are often staged here.
Prominent among these are the re-enactment of the horrors of the slave trade as well as a solemn, touching portrayal of the final journey of the Africans as they walked through the hellish dungeons into the awaiting ships that transported them to the Americas.
Ghana’s National Parks and Reserves
These are controlled by the Ghana Wildlife Division and the Forestry Commission of Ghana. Most national parks, sanctuaries and reserves have a government office run by staff of the divisions.
Ghana has large and viable populations of wildlife and wild assets that support a growing Eco-tourism industry to complement the nation’s strong cultural and historical attractions.
A visit to Ghana’s wildlife parks and other protected areas is like walking into an interesting world of nature. Fortunately for the Eco-tourism world, Ghana is only 6 hours from Europe and several airlines link Ghana to the Americas by direct flights.
Ghana has 18 wildlife-protected areas that include the following:
- Bia National Park
The Bia National Park and Bia Resource Reserve constitute a twin conservation area. It is found in the transitional zone between moist-evergreen and moist semi-deciduous forest types.
It covers a total area of 305.62km² of the original National Park, which was later divided into 277.92km² Bia Resource Reserve and the other 77.7km² represent the National Park.. It is the only the Biosphere Reserve in the country.
Sixty-two species of mammals have been recorded. These include 10 primates amongst which are the Black and White Colobus, the Olive Colobus, Red Colobus monkeys and chimpanzees.
The forest elephant and the highly threatened bongo are present. Over 160 species of birds have been recorded; they include the internationally endangered white-breasted guinea fowl.
A number of walking trails and roads lead into the reserves on which tourist can appreciate the beauty of the forest. The birds, forest elephants and other wild animals may be spotted.
The reserves offer opportunities for scientific and ecological studies and research for visiting researchers.
- Bui National Park
Bui National Park is the third largest Wildlife Protected Area in the country. It covers 1,821km² and is bisected by the Black Volta. It is located in a typical woodland savannah zone in the Brong Ahafo and Northern Region of Ghana.
It has spectacular gallery forests along rivers courses. The reserve is particularly notable for its resident Hippo population in the Black Volta.
Primates like the endangered black and white Colobus monkey and a variety of antelopes and birds are also present.
- Digya National Park
This is a park on the western bank of the Volta Lake that includes large swathes of inland estuary. It is located approximately 100 km to the east of Techiman.
The Digya National Park was gazetted in 1971 and covers an area of 3,478 km2 of undulating terrain with sandstone inselbergs. It is situated on the western shores of the Volta Lake. Guinea savannah woodland predominates with gallery forest along the major lines.
The Park supports at least six primate species including black and white colobus, elephants and a variety of antelopes. Manatee and clawless otter are also reported to be present in the Park.
- Kakum National Park
A coastal rain forest in the central region with abundant plant and animal life. Park facilities include access to the upper rain forest canopy. Kakum National Park protects plant and animal treasures of the African tropical forest and is a haven for the casual visitor, birdwatcher, amateur botanist and Eco tourist alike.
Thirty kilometres north of Cape Coast via a paved road, you will find rare plant species in a spectacular environment where some trees reach heights of over fifty meters. After viewing the exhibits at the Visitor’s Center, the drama of the jungle comes alive as park guides provide insight into this complex ecosystem.
You will learn about traditional forest product uses for medicine and daily village life. The flora at ground level may be familiar to you as houseplants, and be sure to watch for one of the estimated 550 butterfly species.
A beautiful butterfly, new to science, was discovered in Kakum in 1993, and has been appropriately named Diopetes kakumiu!
Looking carefully, you will see signs of life, much of which thrives well overhead in the forest canopy. Trails provide self-guided day hiking opportunities where you may sight some of the over 200 bird species represented: the parrot, bee-eaters, blue plantain-eaters, horn bills, and kingfishers.
The dense vegetation provides cover for globally endangered species such as the forest elephant and bongo – the largest forest antelope, as well as various types of monkeys.
Chances of viewing wildlife are increased by allowing time to sit quietly in the forest staying at one of the free-standing camps, or by taking advantage of some upcoming attractions such as the canopy walkways, viewing stations and blinds.
Kakum National Park is a priority area for conservation in Ghana. With light cotton clothing, long trousers, sturdy footwear, a water bottle, snacks, binoculars and a camera, the wonders of this vanishing leafy-green world are open for your exploration.
Located just 20 kilometres from Cape Coast, the Kakum National Park is home to elephants, monkeys and elusive bongo antelopes which roam among over 800 rare species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians.
But beside its vast natural endowment of plant and animal species, the presence at Kakum Park of world class receptive facilities for visitors such as the 333 meter long tree-top walkway and a multi-purpose visitor centre, have accounted for the park’s status as an irresistible destination for Eco-tourism.
- Kyabobo National Park
Kyabobo National Park, a newly created Park in the Atwode traditional area, is located in the Nkwanta district of the Northern Volta Region.
This park which covers an area of 359.8 km² is found in the Dry semi-deciduous forest zone and has both forest and savannah species of plants and animals. Its forests contain the nationally endangered endemic tree Talbotiella gendtii.
Animals common to the Park include Buffalo, Kob, Warthog, Aardvark and Baboon. Threatened species of animals, which with adequate protection may recover, include Lion, Elephant, Bongo, Reedbuck and Hartebeest, which may recolonize the Park from the adjacent Fazao National Park in Togo. Tourist infrastructures are vigorously being developed in Fazaso. Kyabobo will be an attraction from Fazao.
- Mole National Park
A former game reserve in the isolated northern region of Ghana that contains an abundant variety of wildlife. It is located 100 km to the west of Tamale. Mole National Park in the Northern Region offers close-up encounters with huge Savannah elephants, baboons and other primate species, birds and large antelopes.
On the other hand, Kakum National Park near Cape Coast offers visitors deep insights into the natural world of plants, insects, birds and reptiles and monkeys that may be seen at dawn and dusk.
A key feature of the Kakum National Park is the 370-metre long suspended canopy walkway 40 metres above the forest floor.
Kakum is only 30km from Cape Coast and Elmina, whose castles are among others are recognized as world heritage sites and the oldest European buildings outside Europe. These huge castles are repositories of history relating to the slave trade.
- Nini Suhien National Park
A small forest located in the western region near the border of Cote d’Ivoire. Nini Suhien National Park and Ankasa Resources Reserve are twin Wildlife Protected Areas that are located in the wet evergreen forest area of the Western Region of Ghana.
These areas are so rich in biodiversity that about 300 species of plants have been recorded in a single hectare. The areas are largely unexplored but 43 mammal species including the bongo, forest elephant, 10 primate species including the endangered Dina monkey and the West African chimpanzee have been recorded.
Bird fauna is also rich. The reserves offer very good example of the west evergreen forest to the prospective tourist.
Additionally there are six resource reserves which include Ankasa, Gbele and Shai Hills, four Wildlife Sanctuaries which include Kogyae, Bomfobiri, Kalakpa and Agumatsa plus five coastal Ramsar sites or Wetlands which include Keta lagoon, Songhor lagoon, Muni Pomadze and Densu Delta.
Ankasa Conservation Area, made up of three protected areas in the Western Region, lies on the border of Ghana with the Ivory Coast and represents the only wet evergreen protected area in almost unspoiled state.
It is home to over 800 plant species including some endemic ones like the recently discovered Psychotria. Ankasa also records over 600 butterfly species, and primates are represented by six confirmed species including the white-napped mangabey and 3 unconfirmed species including western chimpanzee, the Roloway Diana monkey and the Western black-and-white colobus. There are over 200 different bird species.
Adventure seekers make their way to the Volta Region where wildlife-protected areas also have waterfalls. These enclaves include the Kalakpa Resource Reserve and the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary.
In the northern part of the Volta Region is the Kyabobo National Park, which offers physical adventure in reaching the Kyabobo waterfall and visits to very, interesting traditional villages? Kyabobo is dominated by hills, and two of these form the popular ‘breast mountain’.
On the other hand, Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ashanti Region has remarkable rock formations and caves for the adventure-minded.
Visitors interested in the offerings of wetlands and Ramsar sites elect to begin their wildlife adventures with the Keta and Songhor Lagoons to see indigenous and winter migratory birds, and then also wait out July and August to see turtles that include the green turtle, olive-ridley and the leatherbacks.
Keta and Songhor are interesting also because of the artisanal fishing that takes place there. The other Ramsar Sites include the Sakumo lagoon and the Densu Delta, at the eastern and western ends of Accra respectively, and the Muni Pomadze at Winneba.
Boabeng-Fiema in the Brong Ahafo Region has a traditional monkey sanctuary for Mona monkeys and Black and White Colobus.
What makes this Eco-destination special is that for centuries, the monkeys have co-habited in the communities with humans, and command a funeral when they die. It is perhaps the only village in Africa with a special cemetery for monkeys.
In Ghana, you can travel around the national protected areas for unforgettable wildlife experiences with friendly eco tour guides. You are most welcome to our country, which offers culture, warmth and much more.
The National Museum: (Barnes Road), here you will find the History of Ghana told in a collection of ancient relics, documents and pictures.
Top Safari Lodges in Ghana
Abuesi Beach Resort
This offers the best of Ghana, 4 double villas i.e. 8 double rooms, just steps from the shore and surrounded by magnificent landscaping. We are pleased to announce that the resort is specially designed also to accommodate people with disabilities.
Our resort facilities include also airport transfer, internet services, bar/restaurant, stand by generator, and a nearby Golf Park among other modern amenities and facilities befitting the status of a modern hotel.
Activities for example beach volleyball and table tennis, among many others, can be found in the nearby areas.
Afia Beach Hotel
Situated on the Gulf of Guinea, in a gentle bay sweeping from Ghana’s Presidential Castle to Jamestown Fishing Harbor, Afia African Village is ideally located to meet the needs and interests of business travellers and tourists alike. It is within walking distance.
Accra’s commercial centre. Major Banks and offices. The Government Ministries offices . Makola Market. The Arts Centre. The National Theatre. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
The National Museum. Black Star Square and Independence Arch. Accra Stadium (the main venue for the African Cup of Nations (CAN 2008).
A Short drive to “Oxford Street” – Accra’s main shopping and entertainment area and only 10 – 20 minutes (depending on the traffic) to Kotoka International Airport.
Afia African Village is sensitively designed to take full advantage of the expansive ocean views and cooling sea breezes. Its traditionally styled architecture evokes the very essence of Africa.
Within Afia African Village is Afia Beach Hotel, Tribes Bar & Restaurant and Afia Gallery. These three components have created a synergistic experience that has made Afia African Village a popular destination for all visitors to Accra.
Complimentary Cooked Breakfast for guests served between 7.00 and 10.00am daily. Complimentary Guest breakfast: Freshly squeezed fruit juice, fresh tropical fruit, choice of selected hot breakfast dishes, toast with jam and butter, tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
The African Royal Beach Hotel
This is located just a 20 – minute drive from the Kotoka International Airport, Accra. An airport shuttle can be arranged upon request. Furthermore is the city of Tema app. 15 minutes away from our tranquile and peaceful Hotel.
Amenities like Wi-Fi, business center, pool, restaurant, bar, terrace and more truly give the Dutch Hotel a resort atmosphere. For first time visitors the hotel offers an airport pickup service that will get you safely to your destination.
At the African Royal Beach Hotel, our team of experts will ensure that your meetings and conferences are well organized and all your needs are taken care of.
We can provide the ideal venue, with a variety of meals, buffets and beverages served for your guests. Our staff will always be available to provide you with quick and efficient service
Airport view Hotel
We have superior rooms to make your stay a memorable one at Airport View Hotel. All our forty seven rooms are clean and luxurious to give you that privacy you have always wanted. Airport View Hotel is situated in the heart of Accra, 50 meters from the Kotoka International Airport.
Enjoy good & healthy food at Airport View Hotel and have an unforgettable stay. Our chefs have experience in both local & continental dishes.
Enjoy free buffet when you check in. Arial view from our upper terrace bar whiles you enjoy your dinner, lunch or breakfast.
Since we are in the business district of Accra, we find it necessary to provide state-of-the-art-conference facilities for our esteemed guest. Our conference rooms provide for projectors, microphones, internet access, writing boards etc.
Airport View Hotel provides the best venue for conferences, seminars, congresses, exhibitions, special banquets and wedding celebrations, etc. Whatever the event our conference packages will meet your requirements.
Airport West Hotel
You will discover the true meaning of hospitality. We believe a great hotel should offer more than a good night’s sleep, and take pride in offering you the best of everything.
We tap into tomorrow’s trends today and take comfort to the next level. The Hotel harmoniously combines intimate and functional beauty with modernity to make your stay in Accra an unforgettable experience.
We have designed your experience to be outstanding, keeping in mind all your needs, business or pleasure. This Hotel features everything from terrific rooms to friendly efficiency. It offers 30 bedrooms which feature state-of-the-art modern facilities and are skillfully decorated to suit the most discerning tastes.
There is Wi-Fi internet access everywhere in the hotel including the hotel lobby, guestrooms, meeting rooms and fitness room. Hotel services include 24 hour front desk, complimentary fitness facility, and room service and massage treatments.
We’re at your service to help un-complicate your day by helping with whatever you need and whenever, always with a smile and gratitude. Ideally situated near the Kotoka International Airport.
The hotel is a few minutes from many of Accra’s most exotic beaches, attractions and central business area. We take pride in having you as our guest and invite you to have a feel of our exceptional service and warm hospitality.
Opened its doors in 2002 with restaurant and catering services. Little by little, we’ve become a big hotel on hospitality and now we are at the place of the best restaurant of Accra. Our restaurants and bars are all air-conditioned and are in total 120.
You can find local, international foods, exotic cocktails are added. You can take your meals everywhere (outdoor or indoor), there is no difference about the atmosphere.
With us all your needs are accomplished because we give you the opportunity to choose in which conditions you want to dine, whether a tete, boys-boys, girls-girls, after work corporate socialization.
We have in total 100 very large parking yards just near the Central Police Station. This parking has an operational secure network for your cars so you don’t need to worry about where to park your car or about its security.
You can organize your seminars, conferences, theatres and concerts at Akroma Plaza Hotel, we have for you a multipurpose auditorium executive gallery and a plush which counts 1000 seats.
We are at the forefront of technology so our beautiful hall with its decor and design has top class public address system and acoustics and a well-lit stage.
We are available to organize your banquets and they will be the unforgettable one for you, we just need to have all information about it.
We have seats going up to 600 guests; we occupy the first place in the Western Region to reach this number of seating. Lighted by Cristal chandeliers our banquet hall has plenty aspects.
One of its founders named our Conference Hall. It’s the best one for your receptions, workshops, lectures, seminars, parties.
Alberta’s Palace Beach Resort
This sits on 7.5 acres of the beautiful coastal area of Ampenyi in the Central region of Ghana. It is the perfect tropical getaway with its private beaches and peaceful ambiance. There are 21 rooms with single or double accommodations.
Each room features a private shower and toilet, remote control television, DS TV cable, a telephone, a refrigerator, a fan and an air conditioner. Check Rooms & Rates for pricing information. A continental breakfast is included with the room rates.
Our air-conditioned restaurant features delectable Continental and African menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also invite you to dine outside under one of the canopies. Catering services also available for events.
Sit outside at the open bar under the coconut trees and enjoy a fresh cold sip of coconut milk straight from the coconut, or enjoy the local beers, such as Star, ABC, Guinness or Club. Or how about a glass of Palm Wine. Or for those who prefer something stronger, try Takai, an exquisite blend of chocolate and coffee flavors.
Or if you are really brave, try the Alomo Gin Bitters, an herbal alcoholic product made from carefully chosen tropical plant extracts and very well known for its proven medicinal values. It has been said to promote the vitality especially in men.
Alberta’s Palace takes pride in the many ways we can make your stay with us an experience to remember. On our private beach at the Gulf of Guinea, you can swim, snorkel, scuba dive, play beach volleyball and soccer and enjoy all types of water sports. Life guards are on duty.
Let us introduce you to our local board games, such as Draft, Ludo Todo or Oware. Located in the fishing village of Ampenyi, Alberta’s Palace offers great opportunities for the traveler who enjoys fishing. On Friday and Saturday nights, look forward to the live entertainment by local musicians and entertainers of various types.
Or maybe you would enjoy the occasional African movie night in the Conference Centre. Shopping markets are only fifteen minutes away.
Golfing in Takoradi only a 30 minute drive. Want to take a tour of the historic Cape Coast? Check Tours for the cultural tours we have to offer.
This is a refined and celebrated hotel with contemporary flavor offering unrivaled level of service, style, and exclusivity and welcomes all contemporary business and leisure guests to Ghana.
Its impressive architectural masterpiece is superbly located in the business hub of Accra and within 15 minutes travel by car from the Kotoka International Airport.
Since 1999, Alisa hotel continues to invest in a true evolution, delivering panache and truly world-class hospitality with a distinctive new rhythm and style.
Our 173 magnificent hotel suites and guestrooms convey a tasteful design of the finest materials from floor-to-ceiling showcasing a sophisticated urban feel with plush picturesque views of the capital.
Inside, impeccable style, spectacular service, and a sense of intrigue define the experience. Our guests enjoy a higher level of luxury with unparalleled hospitality and a detailed blend of Western and African amenities, including a personable and highly professional team of energized and helpful staff. Our guest services include a complimentary airport pick-up and drop-off to suit your needs.
Alisa Hotel boasts of a variety of highly desirable restaurants situated in extraordinary surroundings that offer a wide selection of international and local cuisines to satisfy any connoisseur. Annabel’s Restaurant boasts of the chef’s personal recipes from Ghana and the rest of the world.
To relax and unwind, enjoy our well blended cocktail of leisure facilities and express yourself at our Table Bay Jazz club to the distinct and soothing sounds of live bands; at our poolside over a drink and a barbeque; enjoy a game of tennis with other guests or rejuvenate at our newly equipped fitness center with the choice of personal help from a personal trainer.