Day 1 Accra
Arrive in Accra at any time. There are no planned activities, so check into to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city.
At the hotel, you will meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and fellow group members to review the details of your trip. Look for a note from your CEO at the reception (or ask reception) to see the exact time your CEO has arranged this meeting (this could be in the evening of Day 1, or in the morning of Day 2, depending on everyone’s arrival schedules). If you arrive late, no worries, the CEO will leave you a message at the front desk with the plan for Day 2.
Located close to the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean, Accra is the capital and largest city in Ghana, a country of approximately 24.2 million. The British chose Accra to be the capital of their Gold Coast colony in 1877, a relationship that is still evident today when marveling at the architecture around the city. The center of the city is organized around historical British, Danish and Dutch forts.
An experience not to be missed is taking a stroll through the Makola Market. The city's main central market is bustling with life as farmers, food vendors, and craftsmen work side-by-side selling anything and everything to those that pass by. The variety is endless - from cooking utensils to plantains and knock-off labeled clothes to smoked fish - you'll be sure to loose track of time in this cultural maze.
In Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park you can visit the mausoleum and monument dedicated to Kwame Nkrumah, the nation's first president and the man credited for leading Ghana towards freedom from British rule.
Visit Osu Castle, built by the Danes in the 17th Century. Once used for storing slaves before shipping them to the Americas, the castle was then the Presidential House and is now used as the seat of government.
Day 2 Sogakope (1B)
Approximate Distance: 130km
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours
Start the day with a visit a carpentry workshop that specializes in custom coffin-making that has become famous around the world. The handcrafted coffins have a number of designs on them ranging from animals to fruits, the choices are unlimited. Continue to the The National Museum for a glimpse of Ghanaian history; highlighting tools used for measuring gold and cultural artifacts such as masks and drums. End the city tour with a visit to the old quarter of James Town, a fishing community mainly populated by the Ga-Adangbe ethnic group. One of the busiest ports in Ghana, it's fascinating to watch the fisherman bring in that morning's catch.
In the afternoon travel past the Volta River which feeds Lake Volta, the largest reservoir in the world. Continue to Sogakope, located in the South Tongu district, for the night.
Day 3-4 Ho/Akossombo (2B)
Approximate Distance: Sogakope to Ho: 130km, Ho to Akossombo: 160km
Estimated Travel Time: Sogakope to Ho: 2 hours, Ho to Akossombo: 2.5 hours
Morning boat excursion on an estuary of the Volta River, learn about the Akosombo Dam and the hydroelectric project. See different fishing villages and hopefully have a chance to help them with their catch or set out the nets. Continue to explore the region by land, stopping to partake in a Voodoo ceremony. Watch as the dancers fall into a trance as they perform rituals of percussion and chanting to call out to the spirits.
Continue to the town of Ho for the night. The morning of Day 4 will be spent exploring little-known Wili waterfalls. They are the highest falls in the region with a wealth of wildlife available for viewing. A 45-min walk to the falls displays spectacular views with over 220 bird and 400 butterfly species inhabiting the area.
Next stop is Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, which aids in the protection and preservation of the Mona monkey population and the area in which they live. The locals believe that the Mona monkeys are messengers to the gods, therefore very sacred animals to the locals whose ancestors arrived in the region around 200 years ago.
Drive along the Volta River spending the night in a guesthouse in Akossombo.
Day 5-6 Kumasi/Lake Bosumtwi (2B)
Approximate Distance: Akossombo to Kumasi: 220km, Kumasi to Lake Bosomtwi: 60km
Estimated Travel Time: Akossombo to Kumasi: 5 hours Kumasi to Lake Bosomtwi: 1 hour
Begin the day exploring the Krobo region, known around the world for high quality beads. Visit an artisan workshop to see the production process necessary to make these glass beads. The process is very similar to the techniques that have always traditionally been used.
Continue to Koforidua to visit the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, established in June, 1938. Learn about the importance of this export and how it has shaped the region. Travel to Kumasi visiting a traditionally decorated Ashanti house en route.
Day 6 explore the beautiful town of Kumasi, the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. Visit the Royal Palace of Kumasi and see a great collection of Ashanti jewelery in the in palace museum. If scheduled, see the unique Akwasidae Festival. During the celebration, the King is seated under a spectacular colorful umbrella and is adorned in vivid cloth with massive gold jewelry which is centuries old (the Ashanti gold jewelry and masks are considered masterpieces of African art). The ceremony is made up of a procession of the royal court attendants who bring forth gifts, storytellers who recite the history of the Ashanti Kings, drummers, and trumpeters playing horns of ivory. Corpulent dancers dressed in vivid, red costumes, perform an erotic dance.
In the afternoon, visit a village surrounding Kumasi called Ntonso that specializes in adinkra, visual symbols used on handicrafts. This community makes their own cloth from the bark of Bedia trees and carves the calabash gourds wtih the special adinkra to make unique patterns.
Travel to Lake Bosumtwi for the night. The lake was formed in a meteorite impact crater and is the largest natural lake in the country. The lake is seen as very sacred place to the Ashanti people who live in the area, local legend says that the name means Antelope God because it is said to be discovered by a hunter chasing an antelope that disappeared into the lake like it was trying to save the animal.
Day 7-8 Axim/Anomabu (2B)
Approximate Distance: Lake Bosomtwi to Axim: 300km, Axim to Anomabu: 120km
Estimated Travel Time: Lake Bosomtwi to Axim: 5 hours, Axim to Anomabu: 2 hours
Transfer through the forested areas. Encounter farmers producing cocoa, palm oil, palm wine. There are also chances to see people searching for gold that they pan out of the rivers of this region.
Day 8 start to move from West to East, along the coast, visiting fishermen villages and Europeans forts along the way. We'll visit the town of Elmina, and the important castle of the same name. Elmina Castle is 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 has been 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 fisherman 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 our 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.
Day 9 Accra (1B)
Approximate Distance: Anomabu to Accra: 220 km
Estimated Travel Time: Anomabu to Accra: 5 hours
In the middle of a rainforest, we find Kakum National Park. Discover the forest from above by walking on the canopy bridges suspended high in the trees. The Kakum forest walk is the longest and highest suspended rope bridge in the world. Walking between 120-150ft in the air offers incredible views of the rainforest. At this height, instead of revealing their trunks, the trees can be seen from a whole new perspective, looking down on the canopy.
To top off a phenomenal exploration of Ghana, we head back to Accra on one of the better roads of the country, and spend some time at the giant craft market to allow for some time to pick up some quality carvings, textiles, masks, or some last minute memories.
The tour ends in the afternoon back at the the Miklin Hotel, where we began the tour.
**Please make sure to book any flights from 3pm onwards.