Standing right in front of an 80-meter (262 ft) waterfall about to swim, you’re hit with the reality of how remote Ghana is. You are lucky as I have put together a guide for the best tourist sites in Ghana to visit this year.
Welcome to the enchanting world of Ghana, a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Nestled on the west coast of Africa, Ghana boasts a tapestry of vibrant landscapes, warm hospitality, and a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity. If you’re a wanderlust-driven traveler seeking an unforgettable experience, look no further than the best tourist sites in Ghana.
In this guide, Mrpocu.com will take you on a virtual journey through the heart of this West African gem, uncovering hidden treasures and iconic landmarks that define the nation’s unique charm. From the bustling markets of Accra to the serene shores of Cape Coast, Ghana’s diverse tourist sites promise an adventure that resonates with both history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.
Best Tourist Sites In Ghana
The upper and lower falls at Wli Agumatsa Waterfalls, which is the tallest waterfall in West Africa, are its two main features. The tallest falls, the upper falls, drop from a height of roughly 80 meters (262 ft). This is comparable in height to the Statue of Liberty at its summit. The lesser falls, however, are marginally smaller. Locally, Wli Falls are referred to as Agumatsa Waterfalls, which means “Leave Me to Flow.” Typically, tourists take a picturesque stroll through the Wli Nature Reserve’s lush tropical forest to get to the waterfalls. While the journey to the upper falls is more difficult and calls for a good level of endurance, the trek to the lower falls is generally straightforward and appropriate for most fitness levels. The fall is one of the best waterfalls in Ghana that you should add to your bucket list.
You can enjoy a nice swim in the calm, clear waters of the pool located at the base of the lower falls. It’s a fantastic way to unwind and cool off following a hike and you may need it. For individuals who enjoy a small amount of nature. For birdwatching, the surrounding area is a refuge. Numerous bird species can be seen at the Wli Nature Reserve, one of the most prominent species for birdwatchers in the area being the endangered White-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes hydrocephalus).
Kakum National Park
With its 234 square miles of verdant rain forest, the semi-deciduous Kakum National Park offers a refreshing respite from Accra’s and Kumasi’s red dust and bustling urban ambiance. Kakum National Park is conveniently reachable by road from large towns like Accra and Kumasi. It is located approximately 33 kilometers (20 miles) north of Cape Coast. While in the Cape Coast region, many tourists first visit Elmina Castle and then this national park.
The park is one of the rare places in Ghana where such a pure forest ecosystem is still conserved since its main feature is tropical rainforest. The rainforest provides a vast haven in the tropical heat, supporting a diverse range of plant and animal species. Additionally, a wide variety of wildlife may be found in the park, including antelope, several bird species, colobus and Diana monkeys, forest elephants, and forest buffalo. The abundant population of insects in the Kakum National Park is well-known and includes vibrant dragonflies and butterflies. You must go to Kakum National Park and take part in the canopy walk. One of the park’s main attractions is this. You can also book a private tour with me and I promise to give you the best experience.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
In the heart of Accra stands the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park. The park was constructed in memory of Kwame Nkrumah (1909–27 April 1972), Ghana’s first prime minister and president who guided the country into independence from Britain in 1957. A café, souvenir store, library, and buildings containing private items from Kwame Nkrumah’s life are all located here. It’s a fantastic immersing day trip destination. The mausoleum and the museum are the two primary components of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
It is easy to find the park because it is located in the center of Accra. If you are lost, please ask someone, locals are willing to show you the way. The Kwame Nkrumah tomb and Park are located near the arts center and the former polo fields; if you find these locations, you will undoubtedly find the tomb. The site is one of the best tourist sites In Ghana you add to your first 4 Ghana bucket list.
Bia National Park
The Bia National Park is the only Biosphere Reserve in Ghana, spanning an area of 305.62 km² and situated in the Western Region. The sixty-two mammal species in the park include ten kinds of primates, including chimpanzees, Oilve Colobus, Black and White Colobus, and Red Colobus monkeys. The largest forest antelope, the Bongo, is extremely threatened and can be found in this area along with the forest elephant. The part is one of the best national parks in Ghana if you are looking to experience wildlife in West Africa.
These unusual animals are identified by the distinctive white stripes that run through their brown coats. The park is home to around 160 kinds of birds, some of which are globally endangered, such as the white-breasted guinea fowl. As with any natural reserve, it is essential to follow park regulations and guidelines and engage in responsible tourism to reduce the negative effects on the delicate ecosystems. A visit to Bia National Park is highly recommended for those who like to get up close and personal with Ghana’s native species. You won’t be alone because there are lots of tour companies that offer trips to this location.
Cape Coast Castle
With a commanding view of the sea, the whitewashed castle of Cape Coast dominates the town center. It offers terrifying insight into the inner workings of the slave trade and was once one of the most significant slave-holding locations in the world. Employees lead one-hour tours that take you into the dank, gloomy dungeons where slaves were kept for two to twelve weeks as they worried about rumors that only suggested what would happen to them. The castle is one of the best places to visit in Ghana if you are looking to know more about the slave trade.
On the first level, there’s also a great museum that covers Akan culture, the history of Ghana, and the slave trade. The Dutch first built the castle in 1637, and the Swedes extended it a year later in 1652. Over the course of the 13 turbulent years that followed, the castle changed hands five more times before the British took control of it in 1664. It served as the colonial administration’s headquarters for the two centuries of British rule until Accra was named the new capital in 1877.
The Kejetia Market appears to be an extraterrestrial mothership that has crashed into Kumasi’s downtown from a distance. When viewed up close, the massive market—often referred to as the largest in West Africa, with 11,000 stalls and at least four times that many workers—looks like a circular shanty town with its rusted tin roofs. The pulsating Kejetia within is completely engrossing yet incredibly unsettling. Foodstuffs, used clothing and shoes, beads made of glass, kente strips, sandals made of Ashanti, batik, jewelry, and other items are available. The market is one of the best places to visit in Kumasi if you are looking to do any kind of shopping.
It’s perfectly acceptable to stroll through the market by yourself. Shopkeepers will be pleasantly surprised to see you, since not many visitors visit this area. Alternatively, bring a guide, who can assist you in negotiating and getting to know stallholders while also providing guidance on the more obscure trades and commodities.
Mole National Park
You can’t always get up close and personal with elephants the size of buses. With 90 species of mammals in total, including roving gangs of baboons, warthogs, water bucks, and antelopes, face-to-face interactions with these beasts are possible at the Mole National Park, which is the largest in Ghana at 4660 sq km and offers the best wildlife watching. The majority of the park is made up of level savanna, with gallery forests found around rivers and streams. Daily walking and jeep safaris are conducted. You will have to cover the cost of an armed guide to ride in your car if you are bringing your own 4WD. It is always best to visit the park with a tour guide or agency from Accra. You can contact me for an amazing private tour package.
As the city of Accra evolved, Jamestown, which had its beginnings as a hamlet around the British James Fort from the 17th century, integrated with it. Even though Jamestown is currently one of Accra’s poorer neighborhoods, with its charmingly run-down colonial buildings, clapboard homes, and corrugated iron shacks, it is nevertheless a bustling area. Ascend to the top of the whitewashed lighthouse for a fantastic perspective of the city and the bustling, colorful fishing harbor (haze and pollution permitting). Jamestown is home to various boxing clubs that have developed countless local children into champions. There are a lot of posters around. Visit the area and try their popular local cuisine, Kenkye and fish.
Lake Bosumtwe, the only natural lake in Ashanti and Ghana, was formed when a big meteorite struck this area many years ago. The lake is regarded sacred by the Ashanti people, who believe that after death, people’s spirits come here to say goodbye to the God Twi. Aside from being a pilgrimage place, Lake Bosumtwe is an excellent location for outdoor activities. The lake, which is about 90 meters deep, is a fantastic site for relaxing, hiking, trekking, picnics, horseback riding, biking, and participating in water sports.
Osu Castle, Accra
Osu Castle is a historic structure situated in the Osu suburb of Accra, Ghana. It is often referred to as Christiansborg Castle or “The Castle.” Since 2013, the castle has been the residence of the President of Ghana; only certain parts of the castle are accessible to the general public for guided tours and visits. However, guests can take a tour of the neighboring Osu Cemetery, which is significant historically since it serves as the last resting place for a number of European businessmen, missionaries, and colonial officials who were employed in Ghana during that time. A tiny museum showcasing some of the items and records connected to Ghana’s colonial past is located within the cemetery.
Osu Castle has a multi-century history that is intricate and interesting. The Danes first constructed the castle in the middle of the 17th century as a fortified outpost and trading hub to safeguard their interests in the Gold Coast, which is now Ghana. But in 1652, the Swedes bought the castle from the Danes, and in 1657, the Dutch bought it again. The castle also played an important role in the transatlantic slave trade during this time period, serving as a significant departure point for enslaved Africans who were shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean. The castle should be the first place to visit in Accra if you first arrive in Ghana.
Fort San Sebastian, Shama
Fort San Sebastian in Ghana has changed hands multiple times during its history, with several colonial powers occupying it at various times. However, determining which group occupied it was the most difficult because there were multiple periods of occupation, and the length of each occupation fluctuated. Fort San Sebastian (So Sebastio), located in Shama, Ghana, is the country’s third oldest fortification.
Fort San Sebastian was a major colonial and military fortress, with several organizations occupying it at various periods during its history. Today, the fort functions as a historical site and museum, preserving the memory of these several periods of occupation as well as the fort’s significance in the history of the region.
The cost of admission to Fort San Sebastian varies according to the type of ticket purchased and whether you are a Ghanaian or a foreigner. The following were the ticket prices: (Please keep in mind that pricing is subject to change.). Ghanaian adults: GHS 10, Ghanaian students: GHS 5, Foreign adults: GHS 20, and Foreign students: GHS 10.
The Makola Market has no front door or greeting sign. You’ve been drawn in by the human undertow from the customary pavements jammed with sellers advertising food, secondhand clothes, and shoes to the market itself before you realize it. It might be a stressful experience for newcomers to Africa, but it’s a pleasant – if perhaps a little masochistic – Ghanaian initiation rite. It is always best to visit with a guided tour.
Prempeh II Jubilee Museum
The guided tour included with entrance to this museum is a fascinating introduction to Ashanti culture and history. Among the exhibits are items related to Ashanti monarch Prempeh II, such as the king’s military costume, ceremonial clothes, jewelry, protective amulets, personal bathing and dining equipment, furniture, royal insignia, and several excellent brass weights for weighing gold. It was built to look like an Ashanti chief’s house, with a courtyard in front and walls decorated with traditional carved symbols.
A rare photograph of the renowned Golden Stool is among the museum’s interesting photographs. The museum also houses the phony golden seat that was given to the British in 1900.
When in Accra, everyone should have their photo taken here. If you are visiting Ghana for a few days from Europe or anyplace else, you must stop in Accra and take a picture in Black Star Square. The Square was erected to commemorate Ghana’s independence, therefore you’ll find some really impressive structures here that you’ve certainly seen in many tourist videos of Ghana.
Aburi Botanical Gardens
Aburi Botanical Gardens is a fascinating place to visit in Ghana. Visitors can tour the gardens to learn about the origin, age, and medicinal properties of plants in the gardens. The garden features a palm walk comprising an avenue of elegant palm (Roystonea regia) about 274 meters long to the car park. Other attractions at the Aburi Botanical Gardens include the Bush House, the Rock Garden, the Pergola or Lovers Lane, the Ficus tree, the retired helicopter, and the School of Horticulture.
The garden provides a serene atmosphere for picnic lovers, and on any of the national holidays, it is not surprising to find lots of people traveling from far and near just to have their picnics there. The park is also one of the best child-friendly places to visit in Ghana. Visitors can also enjoy the sweet scents and aromas of some of the carefully selected exotic and local plant species. To get to Aburi Botanical Gardens, visitors can take a 45-minute drive from Accra, and it can be reached via a modern dual-carry way.
Shai Hills Reserve
Shai Hills Reserve, where you can practice “glamping” in the most gorgeous surroundings, is a force to be reckoned with among Ghana’s many camping locations. Three luxury tented camps are located “literally” in the heart of the wilderness. The wonderfully constructed tents have a bathtub, but the major attraction here is the spectacular vistas and overall calm of the location.
Hiking, strolling, cycling, and even a little safari are among the activities available at the resort. You can also hike to several historical caves that were once inhabited by the Shai people, who were ousted by the British and forced to relocate to other areas of the province. This lovely resort is the ideal setting for a weekend break in Ghana. It is located in Doryumu, in the Shai Osudoku District, some 50 kilometers from Accra.
Paga Crocodile Pond
Most of us know very little about crocodiles since they either fear us or we don’t want to meet them. However, this sanctuary was built to house crocodiles, and visitors can view several of them here. The crocodiles that live here are actually very nice to the people who come to see them. Tourists can feed the crocodiles and interact with them up close. This location appreciates and honors its crocodiles and is adamantly opposed to harming any of them. Guides are constantly on hand to help tourists overcome their phobia of crocodiles.
Nzulezu Stilt Village
This is one of the most unusual and picturesque locations in Ghana. The name translates to ‘ surface of water’ in English. The houses are built above a lagoon and are all built on stilts. This is a site where people should go to see the village people’s ingenuity and way of life. Tourists can now spend quality time in hotels perched on top of the lagoon. Tourists can enjoy swimming, diving, boating, and other activities in this gorgeous setting. Aside from the river and the homes, guests can frequently see crocodiles and monkeys when visiting this location.
Kintampo Waterfalls is one of Ghana’s highest waterfalls, located on the Pumpum River, a tributary of the Black Volta, approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of Kintampo municipality on the Kumasi-Tamale route. The waterfalls, one of the area’s great natural attractions, are formed by three (3) large drops, the tallest of which spans 25 meters (82 feet) in height, and the river falls roughly 70 meters (230 feet) following a series of stairs and cascades. Its source is in a community called Pumpumatifi, some 10 kilometers from the waterfalls. During colonial times, it was known as Sanders Falls.
The Pumpu River cascades 70 meters down stunning granite steps in this seasonal fall. The Kintampo Waterfalls have a more festive atmosphere, with many residents on picnics and shade where visiting individuals and groups can sit and enjoy themselves. There are many trees, predominantly Mahogany, some of which reach heights of 40 meters. Kintampo Falls is also a good place to stop if you’re going between Kumasi and Tamale or Mole National Park.
Ussher Fort And Museum
Accra, Ghana’s Ussher Fort is a fort. The Dutch erected Fort Crèvecoeur in 1649 on a rocky point between two lagoons, a day’s march from Elmina and to the east of Accra. Visitors to Ussher Fort can learn about the tragic history of the West African slave trade. Through the use of paintings depicting pictures of the once-accepted industry, as well as other items owned by captors and slaves that fill the halls. Many travelers who visit a slave castle for the first time are taken aback by how horrible conditions are in these castles on Ghana’s coast.
Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary
Local community chiefs established this much-publicized hippo sanctuary on the Black Volta River in 1999. Hippos are generally visible from November to March; however, once the rainy season (April to October) begins, hippos leave and the spot becomes extremely difficult to access. River safaris, bird watching, village excursions, and nature hikes are among the activities available for Ghc15 per person per hour. You’ll have to spend the night at the sanctuary unless you have your own vehicle.
Even if you have your own vehicle, getting to Wechiau is a challenge. The settlement is roughly 50 kilometers southwest of Wa, about an hour’s drive; the sanctuary is another 20 kilometers (over terrible roads) from Wechiau. Tro-tros (minibusses) run between Wa and Wechiau (Ghc5, 90 minutes); the Wechiau Visitor Centre may then assist you in renting a bicycle/motorbike/tro-tro for Ghc15/30/50 to complete the journey. (prices are correct at the time of posting).
Manhyia Palace Museum
The British erected Manhyia Palace in 1925 to welcome Prempeh I when he returned from a quarter-century exile in the Seychelles to resume residence in Kumasi. It was utilized by the Ashanti rulers until 1974; the current Asantehene currently lives behind the museum in a contemporary compound. All tours begin with a 10-minute video about the Asante people, followed by a tour of the palace.
The original furniture, arranged up as it would have been at the time, is on exhibit, as are lifelike wax statues of previous Ashanti rulers. The Asantehene receives visitors during the Adae festivities, which take place every 42 days; it’s a pretty formal occasion, although visitors are welcome.
Bojo Beach is so clean and relaxing that you’d never think it’s only a short drive west of Accra. After paying a nominal admission charge, you’ll be rowed across a clear strip of water to a lovely stretch of beach with sun loungers and refreshments. It’s a decent substitute for the frantic Labadi Beach. If you choose to spend the night, the Bojo Beach Resort features luxurious rooms.
The Portuguese built Elmina Castle in 1482 as Castelo de Sao Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), commonly known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina (or Feitoria da Mina). Because of its history as a significant trans-Atlantic slave hub, Elmina Castle attracts the majority of visitors to Ghana.
However, the castle of St George was not intended to store and trade slaves, but rather to serve as a trading center for gold and other African goods. The name “Elmina” was taken from the Portuguese term for Da Costa de el Mina de Ouro (The Coast of Gold Mines) from this commerce.
It was the first commercial post on the Gulf of Guinea and the oldest European structure south of the Sahara. The castle is about a 3.5-hour journey from Accra along the coast.
Cape Three Point is a popular tourist destination in Ghana, with a panoramic view of coastal rainforest reserves, rolling hills, and the Atlantic Ocean. The village of Cape Three Points is the southernmost community in Ghana, and its beach is one of the most beautiful along Ghana’s West Coast. The Cape Three Points beach stretches for almost 2 km and is arguably the cleanest beach in Ghana, especially in front of the Escape3Points resort. To get to Cape Three Points, visitors can take a 4-hour drive from Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The journey is long, but the scenery is breathtaking, with beautiful landscapes and coastal views. Visitors can also take a boat ride from the nearby village of Akwidaa to Cape Three Points.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Sites in Ghana
What are the must-visit tourist sites in Ghana?
A: Ghana has several notable tourist attractions, including Cape Coast Castle, Kakum National Park, Wli Waterfalls, Mole National Park, and the bustling markets of Kumasi.
How do I get to Ghana’s main tourist destinations from the capital, Accra?
A: Transportation options vary, but typically, you can use buses, taxis, or hire a private car. Domestic flights may also be available for more remote destinations.
What is the best time to visit Ghana for tourism?
A: The dry season (from November to March) is generally considered the best time for tourism, as the weather is more predictable and suitable for outdoor activities.
Are there any cultural events or festivals I should plan my visit around?
A: Yes, Ghana hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year, such as the Aboakyer Festival in Winneba and the Homowo Festival in Accra. Check the calendar to align your visit with these events.
Is it safe to travel to tourist sites in Ghana?
A: Ghana is generally considered safe for tourists, but it’s essential to take usual precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid isolated areas at night, and stay informed about local conditions.
What are the entry requirements for tourists in Ghana?
A: Visitors typically need a valid passport and may require a visa, depending on their nationality. Check with the Ghanaian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.
What currency is used in Ghana, and are credit cards widely accepted?
A: The Ghanaian Cedi (GHS) is the official currency. While credit cards are accepted in urban areas, it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially in rural or less developed areas.
Can I take photographs at tourist sites, and are there any restrictions?
A: In most tourist sites, photography is allowed, but there might be restrictions in certain areas, especially those with cultural or religious significance. It’s courteous to ask for permission before taking pictures of locals.
What kind of accommodations are available near popular tourist sites?
A: Accommodation options vary from budget to luxury hotels, guesthouses, and lodges. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Are there guided tours available at tourist sites, and how can I book them?
A: Yes, guided tours are often available at major tourist sites. You can book them through tour agencies, hotels, or sometimes on-site. Research in advance or ask at your accommodation for recommendations.