Your first full day in Ghana, after breakfast at our hotel, we set off for our tour of Accra, passing through the economic and administrative districts on our way to the National Museum. Almost all the displays here are ethnographic and the museum gives us an excellent overview of West African culture. The displays in the museum are not only from Ghana but in most West African countries. There is an adjoining garden that is home to various sculptures that talk about West African tradition and customs and gives an overview of West African history. During our time here, we also get the chance to view and purchase some wonderful examples of traditional fabrics and crafts. James town is next, we will enjoy a walking tour of this old community taking in some of the historical structures that predate the colonial era. The locals are committed to conserving these buildings and have made significant efforts to maintain them, our time here gives us an excellent idea of what it was like during the colonial era. The 30-meter-high lighthouse built by the British in 1871 and the attractive colorful fishing boats on the beach are also wonderful to see. We continue to Fort James that was built by the British as a trading post in 1673 before it joined the Dutch Fort Crêvecœur and the Danish Fort Christiansborg. Fort James gave its name to the Jamestown neighborhood in Accra. These areas give us a perfect picture of old Accra, distinguishing between British Accra and Dutch Accra. Of interest are the Brazilian stone houses, built by free enslaved African’s who reside in Brazil, they made their way back to Africa after the slave trade was abolished and their descendants have now integrated with the locals of James Town.
Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant (Country Kitchen) serving a selection of West African and continental dishes. In the afternoon, we will pass by Black Star Square which houses the independence monument and continues to Independence Square which is our main ceremony grounds and where we find the enclosed flame of African liberation, which was lit by Kwame Nkrumah himself in 1961. A short distance away is Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, the final resting place of Ghana’s founder. Set in attractive gardens, there is an adjoining museum, which contains photos, artifacts, and an insight into this incredible man’s life. The center was designed by a Ghanaian architect and built using Italian marble. Adjoining the park is the National Cultural Center, which is Ghana’s largest outdoor arts and crafts market where we find locals selling traditional crafts from all over West Africa.
After testing your bargaining skills, head to “Fantasy Coffins” of Teshie Nungua. Funeral and burial ceremonies in Ghana are very solemn occasions, but after the burial, a celebration follows. Ghanaians believe that the departed move on into another world, the coffins made here may represent the occupation of the deceased or depict something important to them. There is all manner of coffin designs which one could be buried in from cars, cocoa pods, cigarette packets, and airplanes to crocodiles, shoes, bottles of beer, and boats. After an action-packed first full day, we return to the hotel for our evening meal and to relax with the remainder of the evening free leisure time.
| Overnight in Accra
| Breakfast, Lunch