Ghana was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans arrived to trade- first in gold and later in the unfortunate slavery.
It was also the first black African nation in the region to achieve independence from a colonial power from Britain.
Until its independence from the British colonial rule on March 6, 1957, Ghana was called the “Gold Coast”, a name given to it by early Portuguese explorers who first set foot on the shores of the country in the fifteenth century.
Ghana has a tropical climate; the temperature is generally between 21-35°C (70-95°F).
There are two rainy seasons, from March to July and from September to October, separated by a short cool dry season in August and a relatively long dry season in the south from mid-October to March.
The North, also with tropical climate, is dry and falls partly within the Sahelian zone and the annual rainfall in the south averages 2,030 mm, but varies greatly throughout the country, with the heaviest rainfall in the south-western part.
Demographic and language
Ghana is a multilingual country in which about 80 languages are spoken; among these English is the official language and lingua franca.
Ghana has more than 70 ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language and Akan is the widely spoken language in the country.
Ghana is more about the immersive experience than typical tourists sightseeing.
The country is a conference of rich heritage culture, pride and hospitality which welcomes from the heart of Ghana.
When it comes to African character, Ghana has abundance of natural beauty to showcase to the world.
Ghana is endowed with a wide range of natural, historical and cultural attractions, all of which provide the basis for conservation and preservation, allowing the country to promote a range of diverse tourism.
Ghana has a unique cultural heritage, featuring a calendar of regular festivals, to showcase the rich cultural of each ethnic group of Ghanaians.
From the bustle of downtown Accra to the atmospheric adobe villages of the North, from the ancient Kingdom of Asante to the medieval mosques of Larabnga and Bole, it is a country whose immense cultural diversity both thrills and fascinates visitors, drawing them into a daily rhythm that is uniquely and unmistakably African.
A common feature of all Ghanaian cultures is a love of festivals.
Barely a week goes without one or other town or village holding its major annual celebration, while everyday personal events such as funerals, name-giving ceremonies and weddings tend also to be imbued with something of a carnival atmosphere.
The country’s natural resources include: rich mineral resources such as gold, diamond, manganese, bauxite, iron ore and various clay and salt deposits.
It has extensive rich forests with a wide range of tropical hardwoods, a wide variety of agricultural products, including the important export crop cocoa, and rich fishing resources.
The Ghana also had unique tourist attractions, such as beautiful landscapes, wildlife parks, golden beaches, countryside with rich cultural heritage, and the proverbial warmth and hospitality of the Ghanaians.
The Regional expose
The normal starting point for exploring Ghana is the historical Greater Accra Region, the capital of Ghana, one of the safest and most navigable of African cities, and brimming with interest.
Accra’s atmospheric older quarters Ussher town and Jamestown are characterized by an architectural cocktail spanning several centuries, spiced with striking landmarks such as the 17th century Osu Castle and Jamestown Lighthouse, the more modern Independence Arch and Nkrumah Mausoleum.
The Arts Centre gives travellers an opportunity to see traditional Ghanaian arts and crafts stalls and made in Ghana textile for their designer dresses.
Ghana’s second is Ashanti region, is heirs to a centuries-old kingdom that once sprawled from its core in central Ghana into what are nor Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Burkina Faso. Better known to outsiders as Ashanti, Asante was the last and most enduring of a succession of centralized states that controlled the goldmines of Obuasi, though its wealth and influence was also linked to the ample supply of captives it provided to coastal slave traders.
Traditional Ashanti landmarks include a beautiful 300-year old fetish shrine at Besease, the royal kente weaving village of Bonwire, and Manhyia Palace, where the Asante King sits in session every sixth Sunday, heralded by a procession of dignitaries and a fanfare of exuberant drumming and horn blowing that capture the pageantry of Asante’s past.
There is also Central Region, the coastal Fante Kingdom, Asante’s southern counterpart and traditional rival, centered on Mankerssim and incorporating the ports of Cape Coast, Elmina, Anomabu Saltpond and Winneba, where local fishermen still ply their trade in colourful pirogues, and life is ruled by the whimsical winds and tides of the ancient Atlantic.
The region also has a tourism site called Kakum National Park with undoubtedly its 333 metre long canopy walkway, suspended up to 27 metres above the forest floor from trees that are over 300 years old.
The park is heavily patronized and receives many domestic and international visitors.
The region also has other tourism site such as shai hills reserve, ankasa conservation area, bunso arboretum, bonwire kente village, nzulezu stilted village, adjeikrom and akyeamehene farms tours, bobiri forest reserve and butterfly sanctuary and ntonso adinkra cloth village.
Northern Ghana is located in the north of the country and is the largest of the 16 regions, covering an area of 70,384 square kilometres or 31 percent of Ghana’s area until December 2018 when the Savannah Region and North East Region were created from it.
By contrast, has strong cultural links to the sandy Sahel, clearly visible in the local style of dress, a strong Islamic influence dating back to medieval times, and the captivating mud architecture of villages such as Paga crocodile pond, Daboya fugu weaving village, mole National park, Sirigu traditional pottery, art and architecture, tengzug tongo hills and shrines, hippo sanctuary and river safari, gbelle game reserve and larabanga.
Volta and Oti Regions
Volta and Oti Regions is an area of extraordinary scenic beauty, the rolling hills and valleys, rocky outcrops overlooking Lake Volta, and lagoons, rivers and waterfall make for one of nature’s most attractive gift to Ghana.
The region stretches from the coastal plains on the north, and climatic conditions can vary tremendously.
From the coastal plain, fringed by sun-dappled beaches and mangrove swamps, through moist deciduous rain forests in the central belt, where mount Afadjato at 8885m is the highest point in Ghana, you can experience almost every tropical climate in West Africa.
This region is also dominated by the River Volta and Lake Volta, on its western flank.
The lake is a source of power, and much of the water for the region; it is the water highway to the north, a great fishing lake as well as a popular recreational area.
The festivals and ceremonies reflect the rich diversity of history and culture of tribal life in the region.
Volta is famous for its festivals and ceremonies, of which the Hogbetsotson of the Anlos people in November is probably the most famous.
The relics of European coastal forts and other structures still remain, while further north vestiges of the German colonial era are unmistakable.
The people of Wli have a unique festival to give thanks for the gift of water.
Bono East, Ahafo and Bono Regions were also known as the green city of Ghana, the regions also has tourism and parks such as, Bui National park, which is 1,821-kilometer square and covers part of the Black VoIta River, is endowed with several species of antelopes and a variety of birds and is also known for its hippopotamus population.
The tourist can take a cruise on the Black Volta River through the National park.
Duasidan Monkey Sanctuary, located 10 km southwest of Dormaa Ahenkro, hosts a rare breed of Mona Monkeys.
The tourist is welcomed by the presence of these monkeys as you enter their forest-like abode.
Bamboo trees form a canopy in the middle of the forest, which serves as a resting ground for visitors.
Monkeys can be seen swinging up and down tree branches and peeling bananas left out for them.
The visitors get a chance to see how monkeys carry their babies on the move.
Ghana is a country where tranquility prevails, even during the elections.
When you are at Ghana, you expect your senses to be assaulted by the vivid expressions of a culture steeped in family values, ethnicity and gaiety.
Everything about Ghana is colour and symbolisation which Ghanaians love for life reflects in their choice of clothes and artefacts-traditional festivals are ways to loosen up and celebrate life with music, dance, drumming, and plenty of food.
So Ghana is visiting world to come and see the inherent hospitality and warmth of the Ghana people, who love to show of their new modern avatar in its vivid forms.
So please expect to be welcomed with the universal “Akwaaba” whenever you enter a hotel, restaurant or a Ghana home.
The Ghanaians will go all out to make you feel welcome and enjoy the mosaic of cultures and colours that is quintessential Ghana.
Source: News Ghana