Places you need to visit whenever you go to the Central Region of Ghana
Cape Coast offers warm welcome to travelers across the globe. With several tourist sites like the 17th century slave castles standing out, the beaches, the fine restaurants and naturally infused destinations, you cannot travel to Ghana and not go to Cape Coast. If your exploration is just centered on Accra, the capital city, you’re really missing out so much.
Cape Caost fishing hub
This is the beach behind the Cape Coast castle in front of the door of no return. Previously considered as a secluded beach only for the whites in the colonial era, this beach today serves as the second arrival point for fishermen when they go fishing.
On fishing days, the beach is populated by fishmongers, teenagers and tourists who dread by the sight of how the fishermen trawl their nets down the shores. The most outstanding is the layout of the canoes at the beach. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
All the canoes at the beach are painted and decorated with symbols and trimmings in bright colours. The boats have names such as Sea Never Dry and King of the Universe.
One striking feature is the inscription of biblical verses on almost all the canoes at the beach. Every canoe is differentiated by 2 flags. One would be based on the love for a particular country by the owner and the other indicates the family that owns the canoe.
Sundays are jam and swimming time for cape coast teenagers here. Its always full every Sunday afternoon
The Fosu Lagoon is located in Bakaano in Cape Coast next to Asaase Pa and St Augustines College. It is a ‘closed’ lagoon separated from the sea by a sand bar and occasionally breached by heavy rains or manually by sand winning activities. The lagoon originally had a surface area of about 0.61 km2 (61 ha) with an average depth of 1.5 m thus it is considered as a shallow lagoon.
The Fosu lagoon plays a significant socio-economic and religious role in the lives of the people of Cape Coast. It serves as the source of the much loved tilapia fingerlings an unavoidable ingredient in the popular ntsitisii stew, a delicacy enjoyed by the fantes with a staple food made solely from corn dough. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The fishermen go fishing based on demand. They get a good catch very early in the morning before 6am and in the evening between 4pm to 6pm. My mum, a cook in Cape Coast buys tilapia a lot. And she always inform the fisherman she works with a day in advance so that we get it the next morning for her.
But if you want to go and observe how they catch the tilapia and witness the personal rituals needed before they go fishing, early in the morning by 6am is best.
Kakum National Park
The Kakum National Park was established in 1932, but gazetted and officially opened to the public in 1994. It has been used for the last fifty years for the extraction of timber. It is located in Central Region of Ghana, about 20km north of Cape Coast.
After courageously ignoring my fear of heights, the view from the canopy walkway was definitely worth everything. Just imagine being at the top of a rain forest in a tree house. Yeah, that is the experience of the canopy walk. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
A must for anyone who enjoys nature. It was a remarkable experience. The canopy walkway hangs 100 feet above the forest floor with an over view of the rain forest while enjoying the tuning sounds of whispering birds.
While there, I took the sweetest palm wine I have ever tasted right before the entrance. Up at the reception are two restaurants serving local and continental foods, chilled beverages and fresh juices.
Both local and foreign Students with ID proof pay less than the usual charge at the national park.
Hans Cottage Botel is one of the most exciting and tourist oriented sites in the hotel industry. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Located 12kms from the world famous Kakum Rain Forest National Park on the Frami road. The location makes it a very good stopover for tourists on their way to or from the Kakum National Park for refreshments or lodging.
The bar and restaurant is a popular spot for both visitors and locals alike. Their menu features traditional Ghanaian dishes and continental cuisines. Most of the vegetables served are grown organically right in the garden the Botel keeps.
Not only do the botel provides food and accommodation, you can engage in various touristy activities such as boat riding, swimming and crocodile watching. This place has also been marked as one of the best places for bird watching. The lake offers sailing and fishing to the amusement of guests.
Elmina Fish Market
A typical fishing day which is every day except Tuesdays is one that promises the most colourful and cluttered mornings in Elmina. It is truly a sight to behold. I get fascinated each time I go.
The Elmina fish market is located at the banks of the Bantoma beach just about 3 minutes-walk from the Elmina castle and about 12.5km drive from the Cape Coast township. Just before the entrance of the fish market is the Bantoma grocery market. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Although the fish market session starts from 6am till 10am, the 4 hours feels more like a fish festival. The fish market is the biggest in the Central Region of Ghana so fishmongers, traders and families alike troop in during this period to cash in on fresh and low cost fishes right from the boats.
You can still get fishes to buy after 10am except this time it is from the fishmongers, which turns to a bit higher than buying from the boat. Although the prices are still low compared to buying from the markets in the various towns.
As a teenager it was always intimidating for me to pass by this bridge.
Friday to Sunday nights are crazy and if you find yourself here, you wouldn’t want to leave. The long standing and famous bar “The Pantry” and the recently erected modern pub “Hacianda” makes for a weekend fun.
The popular bridge was built in 1905 by the British Government. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The bridge served as a bond of good relationship between the people residing in and around the area and the British embassy to the extent that each year, the embassy, in collaboration with the residents, contributed towards its beautification.
The area, with its good standing, had grown from strength to strength such that the youth have their own area chief, Nana Opoku, who at every Fetu Afahye festival, is dressed gorgeously and paraded through the principal streets of the town, followed by a large entourage of youths to make merry.
The Bridge was recently demolished and rebuilt bearing the same structure and no change of name through the Urban III project carried out by the Cape Coast municipality
While majority of the residents are criticizing the entire demolition of the almost 95 year old historic bridge to make room for a new one, others are of the opinion that the bridge was too weak to withstand the present day heavy duty vehicular movements.
It is usually known and accepted that when the last man at the London Bridge sleeps, then one is assured that the whole of Cape Coast is asleep.
Well, I wouldn’t necessarily consider London bridge as a touristy place, but if you’re close it would be worth your while to check it out.
Located on the Cape Coast Beulah Beach Road, on your way to the Central Regional Hospital. The open air beach features a vegan restaurant, a health resort and a cultural centre where locals and foreign drum enthusiast learn.
To your left is the famous Fosu lagoon and just opposite the resort is the Community Children’s park which is usually full with families during weekends. In the midday heat, Assase Pa is the perfect place to sit in the shade and enjoy the fine breeze. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The Vegetarian Restaurant is currently closed down for renovation and slated to be ready and opened to the general public. Next up is Cape Coast’s central market, Kotokuraba.
Kotokuraba market is the economic hub of Cape Coast. It plays host to many traders from within and outside Cape Coast. The market day for groceries is on Wednesdays to Saturdays and Sunday is for clothing.
The new kotokuraba market has several shops, banks, a hospital and a school. It also has an office block, a big parking lot, eatery, a fire department, a drainage system and walkways, to ensure the free movement of traders and shoppers. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
With the new upgrade, more traders even from outside the region are trooping in and making goods readily available for the ordinary buyer.
The vibe of the market on any given day, whether a market day or not, is one that strikes the balance between quiet and loud, predicting the exact vibe of the city. Now to our final destination, Ampenyi Beach.
Ghana Tourist Board awarded Ampenyi beach as the nicest beach in Ghana. Ampenyi was nominated as Pan African Festival Village by the board of Panafest. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Ampenyi is a fishing community situated between Elmina and Komenda in the Central Region of Ghana. The main occupation of the inhabitants is fishing. They go fishing on all the days with exception of Tuesdays. To the east, it is bounded by a lagoon. They go on the lagoon all days except on Wednesday fishing for tilapia and oyster. The lagoon is also good for salt production.