About Ghana

Ghana, a country on the West Coast of Africa, is one of the most thriving democracies on the continent. It has often been referred to as an "island of peace" in one of the most chaotic regions on earth. It shares boundaries with Togo to the east, la Cote d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north and the Gulf of Guinea, to the south. A recent  discovery of oil  in the Gulf of Guinea could make Ghana an important oil producer and exporter in the next few years.

Culture and tourism  

Century old traditions of the people of Ghana, coupled with the diversity distinct ethnic groups, have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana.To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of daily life. Traditional leaders have historical authority over tribal and family matters, and customary lands are an important heritage.

Important events in life are marked by special rites and rituals. Child naming, puberty initiations, marriage and death are marked by family ceremonies, while seasonal festivals bring a whole people or clan together in spectacular fashion.

Many festivals include thrilling durbars of chief, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers process in decorated palanquins, shaded by traditional umbrellas, and supported by drummers and warriors discharging ancient muskets.

In Ashanti, the Adae and Akwasidae festivals vividly bring the splendour of the Asante kingdom to life, when the Asantehene (King), adorned in all his gold regalia, comes out to receive the homage of his people. The Asantehene's dancers, praise-singers and horn blowers surround the King and his procession in never-to-be-forgotten spectacle.

As part of preserving Ghana's heritage, several museums have been opened besides the Ghana National Museum. The latter nevertheless remains the most significant effort in the field. The museum started in the Archaeology Department of the University College of the Gold Coast. Subsequently, a permanent home for it was found in Accra where the collections were brought. There remains however, at the Archaeology Department, a small museum which is worth visiting because of the unique collection based on the activities of the university's archaeology staff.

Ecotourism  

Ghana is a nature lover’s delight. It’s sunny equatorial climate and fertile well-watered soils sustain an enchanting selection of wildlife, ranging from elephants to monkeys and marine turtles to crocodiles, as well as hundreds of colorful bird and butterfly species. More than 5% of the country’s surface area has been accorded official protection across 16 national parks or lower-profile conservation areas, of which the most popular tourist destinations are the vast Mole National Park in the northern savannah and the forested Kakum National Park near the coast.

Over recent years, Ghana has emerged as a pioneer in the field of community-based ecotourism, which aims to create a mutually beneficial three-way relationship between conservationists, tourists and local communities. The Boabeng-Fiem Monkey Santuary, home to sacred troops of mona and black-and-white colobus monkeys, led the way in 1995, and it remains the flagship for more than two dozen other community-based tourism projects countrywide. These range from the award winning Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary in the Upper West and Amansuri Wetland Sanctuary in the Western Region to cultural sites such as the Domana Rock Shrine, set in the forests near Kakum National Park, and the painted houses and pottery of Sirigu in the Upper East.

Volta Region, the most topographically varied part of Ghana, also hosts the country’s largest concentration of community-based ecotourism sites, and offers outdoor enthusiasts some superb opportunities for hiking, rambling and mountain biking. Popular attractions include the sacred monkeys of Tafi Atome, a plethora of magnificent forests and waterfalls around Amedzofe, the country’s highest peak on Mount Afadjato, and the magnificent forests and waterfalls around Amedzofe, the country’s highest peak on Mount Afadjato, and the impressive forest-fringed Wli Falls, the tallest cascade in West Africa.

Ghana is highly alluring to birdwatchers, with 725 species recorded in an area comparable to Great Britain. For casual visitors, it is colourful savannah birds such as gonoleks, rollers, parrots and weavers that tend to catch the eye, as well as the eagles and other raptors that inhabit the drier north. Serious birdwatchers, however, are likely to want to seek out the more elusive residents of the shadowy rainforests interiors of Kakum, Bui and Ankasa, as well as the exceptional variety and volume of marine species that congregate on coastal lagoons such as Keta, Songor and Muni-Pomadze.