Tour Packages - Greater Accra Region Tours
Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum
Centre for National Culture
Jamestown LightHouse 1
Accra Welcomes You
Goldstar Air warmly welcomes you to the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Accra, the Nation’s capital. AKWAABA! Accra is the capital city of Ghana, located in West Africa.
It is also the regional capital of the Greater Accra region, which is the smallest of the ten regions of Ghana, and is the main gateway to the country through the Kotoka International Airport.
You will find Accra a bustling metropolis; an interesting city of contrasts, where the old blends with the new, where tradition blends with foreign cultures. It is vibrant and unique in its own way and beckons to be explored.
The striking feature of Accra today is a city under construction with the rapid growth of high rise buildings, overhead road constructions, and new urban investments of shopping malls and residential apartments.
This is sharply juxtaposed with sprawling townships, old suburbs and old colonial buildings. Old Accra, actually, comprises James Town and Ussher Town along the coast.
Location and Size
Accra is situated on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean), almost on the Greenwich Meridian. It covers an approximate area of 225sq km (87 sq miles) and includes the satellite suburbs of Osu, La, Teshie and Nungua. ‘Accra’ has expanded beyond its borders to include new settlements along its borders towards the north, east and west. ‘Accra’ is also used to refer to the central business district.
In the field of Local Government, the satellite suburbs have assumed control of their respective jurisdictions and the rezoned ‘Accra’ is administered by the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) under the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council. Areas falling outside the jurisdiction of AMA include the Municipalities of:• Ga West- Amasaman;
• Ga East – Abokobi;
• Ga Central – Sowutuom;
• Ga South – Weija;
• La-Nkwantanang Madina;
• La Dadekotopon, Adentan;
• Ledzorkuku-Krowor Teshie Nungua.
The metropolis of Accra, the nerve centre of Government Administration, boasts of the Ministries with a large concentration of Public and Civil Servants, Foreign Missions and International organizations, an International Airport, International standard Facilities and Services including Hotels and Restaurants, Casinos, Pubs, Travel and Tour Agencies and Car Rental services, Shopping Malls and Supermarkets, an International Conference Centre and other conference facilities, Art Galleries, Boutiques and Jewellery shops, Hospitals and Clinics.Retail business is carried out in the shopping centres, markets and communities.
Accra also has a light industrial area. Tema, the twin city of Accra, lies about 40 kilometers to the east and is the Port and Harbour city and main industrial hub of the country. Fishing is undertaken by the indigenous people along the coast. There is small-scale farming of vegetables, maize, pepper and cassava especially in the Accra plains.
Accra has a humid and hot temperature (25 to 34 degrees Celsius). It experiences two rainy seasons from April to July and from September to November. From December to March, the city experiences dry harmattan winds, which blow from the north of the country.
History and Culture
The city of Accra was founded at about the end of the sixteenth century by a section of the Ga people who left Ayawaso (then the main seat of the Gas) to found this new village. Its rapid development however manifested itself when the British authorities who were then ruling the country moved their administrative headquarters from Cape Coast in the west to Accra in 1877. The choice of Accra was due to its climatic advantages as well as its nearness to the Aburi Mountains that boasted near temperate climate, and where the colonial authorities preferred to live.
Accra saw tremendous development in the 1940s which changed the face of the city altogether. It was declared a city in 1961. Today, it is a major Conference and Conventions destination in West Africa, boasting of international chain hotels, restaurants, entertainment centres and many social amenities and hospitality services.
The Chief of Ga Mashie, the Ga Mantse and other paramount chiefs of the region, symbolize the pomp and pageantry of the culture of the Ga people and the institution of Chieftaincy in the country. The Ga people celebrate the ‘Homowo’ festival in August/September to mark their traditional calendar and to commemorate their past migration events. Homowo is a harvest festival and means ‘hooting at hunger’.
Population & Language
Accra boasts of about 3 million inhabitants largely made up of rural-urban migrants. It is cosmopolitan, with many races, colour and creed of people represented. English is the official language. Local languages freely spoken include Twi, Ga and Ewe.
AKWAABA! You will not fail to experience the traditional Ghanaian Hospitality.
Enjoy your stay.
The coast of Accra is blessed with an abundance of beautiful beaches for the pleasure of beach lovers. Ghanaians patronize the beaches in Accra mainly on weekends and on public holidays. Recommended beaches include: La Pleasure Beach, Marine Drive Beach, Korle Gonno Beach and Kokrobite beach.
La Pleasure Beach – This is the most developed and premier beach in Accra, well patronized by locals and visitors in the metropolis.
Kokrobite Beach Resorts, situated in a rustic enclave 25km West of Accra and off the main Accra- Takoradi Highway is Kokrobite, a Ga settlement that sits on the beach. There are beach resorts, including the Bojo Beach Resort. Enjoy the rustic setting.
Weija Dam – Overlooking the Weija lake on the road to the Central Region, is this dam which supplies water to the western parts of Accra. One finds a picturesque landscape of hills. The lake can be developed for watersports.
Water sports and entertainment are well established in Ada, Prampram and Ningo located about 100 km eastwards beyond Tema.
The National Theatre – This ultra-modern Theatre built in Chinese architecture is located on Independence Avenue and is the venue for theatrical and traditional performances.
The theatre offers a variety of entertainments mostly on weekends. Other interesting features include concert halls, balconies, a beautifully landscaped area with fountains, the Theatre Gardens Restaurant specializing in continental and Ghanaian dishes.
There are occasional performances by the Ghana National Dance Ensemble and the National Symphony Orchestra and these are advertised on bill boards and in the national dailies.
Centre for National Culture (Arts Centre) – Your curiosity for the Arts and Culture and souvenir items will bring you to the Arts Centre. The Arts Centre is situated between the Old Parliament House Building on High Street and the National Lotteries Office.
It preserves and presents Ghanaian arts in various ways, through exhibits, workshops and art galleries. The Bulletin Board at the entrance to the Main Hall and banners outside its walls announce current programmes, plays and other cultural events. At the sprawling crafts market are wood carvings, leather and metal ware, beads, jewellery, traditional cloths and garments including the famous kente cloth, the national cloth of Ghana, which is colourful and distinctive and is sold in full length or in small strips.
The price of your choice is subject to bargaining. Places for inter-cultural exchange include Alliance Francaise and the Goethe Institute. Upcoming programmes are advertised in the dailies.
Accra Sports Stadium
It was built in 1952 and houses the offices of the Sports Council of Ghana. It has a capacity for 30,000 people and currently is under expansion to take in facilities for all major sports including, Lawn Tennis, Badminton, and Handball. Football is the most popular sport and the Accra stadium plays host to major football tournaments.
The resident football club is the Accra Hearts of Oak, the biggest football club in Accra and Accra Great Olympics. The stadium is also used for conventions and congresses.
Visit the following places for more sporting opportunities.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SITES
The National Museum
It was officially opened by the Duchess of Kent during the Independence celebration in March, 1957. Located on Barnes Road, close to the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, the National Museum is the repository of the country’s historical and cultural treasures, as well as artifacts from other ancient African Empires. The collections range from prehistoric, archaeological discoveries to colonial antiquities and exhibits of contemporary African Art.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
This magnificent monument on High Street was erected in honour of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a great Pan-Africanist who led the country to Independence in 1957. The Monument stands on the same grounds popularly known as Polo Grounds where Ghana’s Independence was declared on March 6, 1957. The Mausoleum is the final resting place of his remains, and that of his Egyptian wife Madam Fathia Nkrumah. It has offices, a library of his historical records and memorabilia. Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am – 5:00pm, Sat & Sun 9:00am – 3:00pm.
Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois Centre for Pan-African Culture, House No.22, 1st Circular Road, Cantonments – Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois was an intellectual and a great Pan-Africanist, who spent his last years in Ghana working together with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President ofGhana. He died in 1963. Originally, his body was interred near Osu Castle; later his remains and the ashes of his wife Shirley, were transferred to a final resting place dedicated in their honour, known as the Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture – the house where he lived and died.
The Centre has become a great tourist attraction and a source of inspiration to many. It is significant that he died on the eve of Martin Luther King’s historic March in Washington. The Centre houses a research Library and a gallery of manuscripts and works of outstanding Pan Africanists. There are facilities for lectures, workshops and video shows, at a fee.
George Padmore African Research Library – The Library, established in 1961 is located near the Afua Sutherland Children’s Park in the Ridge Area. It also stores a collection of documents on African Affairs. George Padmore was one of the contemporaries of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The trio – Nkrumah, Du Bois and George Padmore laid the foundations of Pan-Africanism in Ghana.
Achimota Golf Course, Achimota
Accra Polo Club (Horse racing), near Kotoka International Airport
Dansoman Keep-fit Club, Dansoman, West of Accra
Osu Castle, formerly known as Christiansburg, was built in 1659 and named after King Christian V of Denmark. Throughout its history, the Castle changed hands among foreign competitors several times until the early 1920s. It has served as the official residence of Colonial Governors and visiting dignitaries. It became the seat of Government when the colonial administration was moved from Cape Coast Castle in 1877.
The seat of Government is now at the Presidential Palace at Flagstaff House and the Osu Castle is now being re-designated as a tourist site. In its forecourts is the Asomdwee Park where one of the illustrious Presidents of Ghana, Professor John Evans Attah Mills has been interred. Alongside the street to the Osu Castle are some old colonial buildings with rich history of the Danes and their descendants at Osu.
Formerly known as Black Star Square, it is Ghana’s premier parade grounds completed shortly before Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1961. It has a seating capacity for 25,000 people on its permanent stands.
The area encloses the impressive Independence Arch and the War Memorial to the Unknown Soldier. Also close by is the Cenotaph in memory of the 28th February shooting incident in which three ex-service men were shot down during a peaceful demonstration for better conditions of service.
Accra International Conference Centre, Osu– A modern Conference Centre built to host the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in September, 1991. It consists of a 1,600 capacity main hall, balcony, multifunctional halls for conferences, congresses, folk shows, cinema, theatricals, music and rock shows; a press centre, shopping centre, and all modern communication equipment necessary for the smooth functioning of a modern Conference Centre. Opposite the Conference Centre stands the State House Complex, on a small hill in a well landscaped area.
It comprises the imposing ‘Job 600’ building, the Old Kwame Nkrumah Conference Centre, site of the new Parliament House, and banqueting facilities which were built to host the 1965 O.A.U. Conference of Heads of Independent African States. In the environs are the Osu Cemetery and the Military Cemetery.
Supreme Court Buildings, High Street – Built in 1935 in classic design, it is situated near the old Parliament House in pleasant surroundings. The building houses the High Court and Supreme Court. It also has the Circuit court and the Ghana Law School in its precincts. A new and magnificent judicial Court building, Atta Mills Judicial Court Complex, has recently been built at the site of the old Victoriaburg, a Press House.
Ghana Library Board – Ghana’s foremost library and head office of Government public libraries since 1950.
Old Parliament House – Built in 1935 as the King George V Memorial Hall, this building was altered and extended to serve as Ghana’s Parliament House. Currently, Parliament House is at the State House Complex, Ridge Area, opposite Accra International Conference Centre. The offices now house the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
Homowo Festival is celebrated in August-September by the Gas. It is marked by the parading of twins in the principal streets and observance of rituals, followed by the cooking and sprinkling of the traditional meal ‘kpokpoi’ to the ancestors. There are interesting activities alongside the traditional rites such as gala nights and crowning of ‘Miss Homowo’, football, beach activities, and a ‘Charlie Wote’ Street Carnival a week after the Ga Mashie version of Homowo.
Other interesting Homowo celebrations take place at Osu, La, Teshie, Nungua and Tema. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts and The Ghana Tourism Authority have established the Homogenous festival dubbed HOMOFEST to climax the Greater Accra Regional Festivals of the entire Ga- Dangme people, in October. There are also occasional JAMA street carnivals by warrior groups of Ga Mashie.
Kotoka International Airport
This is Ghana’s premier Airport, named after the late Lt. General I.K. Kotoka, the architect and Hero of the 24th February, 1966 Revolution which ousted the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. It has undergone a complete modernization, achieving international standard. Rehabilitation and expansion works are still on-going.
Among other features are a technical control block or tower, a public waiting area, eateries and bars, postal services, duty free shop, forex bureau, Tourist Information desk and Airport Car Hire Services among others. Some Hotels and Tour Operators run shuttle bus services from the Airport to the city. There are about 25 international and domestic airlines flying in and out of the Airport.
University of Ghana, Legon – 14 km north of Accra, on the Airport Road and past Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, is Ghana’s premier centre of higher education – The University of Ghana, Legon – established in 1948. The University of Ghana is a showpiece of Japanese Architecture in a tropical setting. The campus has a peaceful atmosphere with beautiful gardens and tree-lined driveways.
A walk or drive uphill provides an impressive vista of Accra and the Atlantic Ocean. The University’s School of Performing Arts offers music and dancing lessons on request. Other features include the great Balme Library, the University Bookshop, the School of African Studies, and the Great Hall.
Achimota Forest Reserve
One of the two preserved green belts in the urban setting, Achimota forest, near Achimota Senior High School is usually used for camping and hiking and has prospects for housing the Accra Zoo. The other green belt is the Dodowa Forest, about an hour’s drive from Accra, off the Madina-Aburi Road.
Ghana’s Markets are a ‘must’ for the visitor. Most of them are traditional open air markets which display all sorts of goods, from foodstuffs to textiles and hardware. The most interesting aspect is to watch in admiration the market woman exhibit business acumen and ingenuity and the act of bargaining between buyer and seller. The colours, scents, the crowd and the noise are just overwhelming. Most visitors will join in and experience it all and also buy beautiful textile prints which you will find a lot of Ghanaian women stylishly wrapped in.
Others are the satellite markets of local popularity especially at Osu, Adabraka, Nima, and Agbogbloshie. The Kaneshie Market is the first market complex to be housed in a three-floor building.
The 31st December Market, allocated in the central business district, is a modern traditional market with facilities such as a Post Office, Bank, Information Centre and a crèche where the market mummies send their children while they are busy at work.
The Market was so named to commemorate the 31st December Revolution led by then Head of State, Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings in 1981. Recent investments in international chain Shopping Malls include the Accra Mall at Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, Marina Mall, Airport City, West Hills Mall, near Weija, A&C Mall, East Legon, and Osu Mall.
Oxford Street, Osu offers an exciting one-stop shopping experience for a variety of goods and services.
Arts Centre and other Art Galleries – Visit for the purchase of artefacts and souvenir items. Interesting places to shop for curios include: the boutiques of major hotels, Omanye House Art Gallery at La, The Loom, near Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Aid to Artisans at the International Trade Fair Centre, Wild Gecko, Shiashie and many others around town.
SERVICES - ACCOMMODATION / RESTAURANTS / AND NIGHT CLUBS
The region offers a number of up-market and international standard hotels and restaurants for relaxation, fine dining, nightlife, conferences and events. Also available are affordable (budget) hotels, and local eateries called ‘chop bars’ and drinking bars.
Currency exchange is recommended at forex bureaus and commercial banks around town. A forex bureau is available at the arrivals hall of the Kotoka International Airport.
Shai Hills Resource Reserve
The only wild life reserve close to the capital city and located 67.2km on the Accra-Tema-Akosombo highway, the Shai Hills Resource Reserve has a total area of 21sq km. Game viewing is done from November to May and among the game found here are baboons, duikers, bush cats, bucks, a wide variety of birds, reptiles and various tree and plant species.
Lodging facilities are available in the vicinity. The Reserve also contains cultural items and relics in the ancestral homes located in the Reserve. Yearly rituals and pilgrimages are made by the Se or Shai people who inhabit the surrounding areas during their yearly festival in September (the Gmayemi Festival) and in commemoration of their stay and final migration from the Reserve.
Further down on the Akosombo Road, and a few kilometers from the Game Reserve is the Twin-rocks located on a hill, which is a sight to behold.
Ada - Ada is a quaint coastal town located about a 100 kilometres east of Accra on the Accra-Lome Road. It marks the eastern boundary of the Greater Accra Region. The main occupation of Ada is fishing and its related activities along the coast. The town is also popular for its thriving salt-mining industry and boasts of a breathtaking landscape at the Estuary at Azizanya, where the River Volta (the largest river in Ghana) enters the sea. This touristic appeal has necessitated the planning of a Tourist Village at Azizanya where watersports such as yachting, skiing, boating and fishing take place.
A number of companies and resorts belonging to individuals have developed chalets at the waterfront and are equipped with motor-boats and paraphernalia for engaging in watersports especially at the weekends. The people of Ada celebrate their yearly Asafotufiam War Festival in the first week of August.
Akosombo HydroElectric Dam site
Akosombo is located about a 100 kilometres from Accra off the Tema – Ho Highway at Atimpoku. The Volta Lake is one of the largest lakes in the world, created as a result of the damming of the Volta River at Akosombo to generate hydroelectric power.
Tours are arranged for viewing of the Dam. The township is well planned with excellent views over the dam. The Volta Lake Transport Services offers transport from the south to northern Ghana.
TEMA AND ENVIRONS
This circuit is unique for business and leisure tourists, and all manner of visitors visiting the busy cosmopolitan areas of Accra-Tema who wish to have recreation and unwind. It falls within the eastern corridor of the Greater Accra Region and covers Tema, Ashaiman, Kpone, Ningo-Prampram, Shai-Osudoku, Sege and Ada. The circuit boasts of natural, cultural and historic tourist attractions such as:• Shai Hills Game Reserve, which is the only Game Reserve close to the capital city, Accra;
• Beaches and beach resorts, and the Volta Estuary;
• The historic Dodowa Forest and township and Kyenku Waterfalls
• Ramsar sites at Sakumono near Tema, and Songor Lagoon at Ada. These are internationally recognized ecologically sensitive areas around lagoons and mangroves that attract resident and migratory birds and marine life such as sea turtles.
• The Greenwich Meridian passing through Tema with a remarkable landmark (a rock in the sea);
• Ecotourism in the historic towns of Dodowa, Ningo-Prampram and Ada;
• Rich and colourful annual traditional festivals such as Homowo, Asafotufiam, Gmayem
• Salt mining at Ada
• The industrial and Port city of Tema, and the fishing harbour
• Celebrity Golf Course, near the Sakumo lagoon and the Tema Golf Course on the Tema-Kpone road
All these areas are serviced by Hotels, lodges, night clubs and restaurants of different categories, Car rental companies, Travel and Tourism Agencies, and Community Tourism Information offices.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ATTRACTIONS AND RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES TEMA
Tema, the industrial and Port city, lies 30 kms east of Accra. It is accessed by the Accra-Tema Motorway, the fastest route, or by the scenic beach road that goes through the coastal towns of Osu, La,Teshie and Nungua.
It was established as an industrial and port city in 1961 at the time that the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam on the Volta River was being constructed to accelerate modernization and industrialisation. The deep water port was vital for the importation of raw materials for the construction of the dam, an aluminium foundary (Volta Aluminium Company – VALCO) and a fishing harbour.
Today, the Port, one of the largest and most important harbours in West Africa, boasts of various industries and manufacturing companies such as Tema Oil Refinery, Valco Aluminium Company, Ghana Textiles Company ( GTP) now Tex Styles Ghana Limited, and other textile companies; a cement factory, GHACEM; food processing and agro-food complexes in flour; fishing and animal feed; a chocolate factory, COCOA PROCESSING Company; and an export enclave named the ‘Industrial Free Zone’; and a number of multi-national corporations including Nestle, Unilever, Air Liquide.
It is also contributing to the development of intra - African trade serving especially the landlocked countries north of the country such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
The township that grew with the establishment of the Port city of Tema mainly housed the workers of the industries that sprung up thereafter. This township is zoned into areas numbered under ‘communities’ i.e community 1, 2 3 etc. and established under the Tema Development Company (TDC).
There are about 25 communities with road links and a railway to Accra. There are three major traditional areas in the Tema Metropolitan Area, namely Kpone, Tema and Nungua. The Government has created new districts including Kpone, Nungua and Ashaiman to fully implement its policies of local governance to the benefit of the entire citizenry.
Tema is bisected by the Greenwich Meridian, (longitude 0) passing through Tema near the harbour, which remains the most important tourism landmark in the city and the Meridian Rock in the sea. This landmark is on the drawing board to be developed. The Port of Tema is the second to be constructed in the country after Takoradi Harbour in the Western end of the country. This Harbour was constructed in 1928 to facilitate shipment of lumber, cocoa and iron ore.
Tourist Attractions around Tema include:
Industrial city tour of some interesting manufacturing plants such as the Tex Styles Ghana Limited, formerly, Ghana Textiles Prints (GTP) and the Ghana Cocoa Products Limited in the production of unique made-in-Ghana chocolates and other cocoa products are a possibility with prior arrangements.
The Sakumo Lagoon which is a significant Ramsar wetland site attracting migratory birds and marine sea turtles to this part of the region is located about 2kms west of Tema on the Accra-Tema beach road.
The ‘Mighty beach’ is the Regional Maritime Academy Beach which lies along the coastal road to Accra close to the lagoon.
Paradise Beach, Tema, a public beach on the coast of the Manhean resettlement village has been earmarked for development.
Tema Beach Club is a private recreation club within the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority The people of Tema celebrate the annual Homowo Festival of the Ga people in September and the special Kplejoo festival in the first week of April.
The festival marks the end of a traditional three-month ban on fishing in the Sakumo lagoon. Tema was created out of a cluster of small fishing villages. The original settlers, the Kpeshie culltivated a lot of gourd plants, hence the original name for the area, Torman,’ land of gourds’ which was eventually corrupted to ‘Tema’.
The indigenous occupation of the people is fishing and it is forbidden for fishermen to go to sea on Tuesdays. You get to know the people up-close with a visit to the rural communities within the traditional area.
Tema teems with a number of star-rated hotels and guest houses, restaurants, fast-food joints, night clubs and entertainment centres and is highly patronised by a significant presence of expatriates and businessmen working with the industries or with the shipping vessels docking regularly at the Port. Tema is administered by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA).
Ashaiman, a sprawling and settler community, lies adjacent to the metropolitan city of Tema southwards and north towards Akosombo. It is relatively a new and very busy township booming with commercial activity by residents who are mostly settlers from other parts of the country and beyond. It is densely populated and is governed by the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly. Ashaiman has a small dam which supports small-holder rice farming activities.
This community borders Tema township to the north and is one of the newly created districts. The Penkwan Forest is located at Katamanso.
The Shai Osudoku district is situated in the southeastern part of Ghana, lying between latitude 50 45’ south and 6o 05’ North and Longitude 00 05 East and 0o 20’West. The District has a total land area of 1,442 square kilometers, making it the largest in the Greater Accra Region. The land size represents 41.5% of the regional land area.
It has 22 km of the Lower Volta River running through and along the Northern to Eastern boundaries. About 45,600 ha of the land is currently under cultivation with about 2,200 hectares under irrigation. Crop production includes maize, cassava, rice, tomatoes, garden eggs, okra, pepper, watermelon, sugarcane, banana, pineapple, pawpaw and exotic vegetables for export.
Tree crops grown are mainlyt mangoes with a few small-scale cashew plantations. Livestock production comprises cattle, sheep and goats and a large local poultry population. There is also fish production in inland waters.
Dodowa is the capital of the Shai Traditional area. It is a historic town that boasts of the famous Guggisberg town hall that was venue for political meetings in the then Gold Coast and currently serves as the meeting place for the Regional House of Chiefs.
Nearby is the famous and mysterious Dodowa Forest where the Ashanti warriors were defeated by the Ga-Dangme in times past in the Katamanso war which ended in 1826. In the Forest are three’ bowls’ used in various ways to snatch victory from the Ashantes.
The great Baobab tree into which the Shai with their allies emptied their ‘spiritually’ loaded guns three weeks after the battle on the 26th August 1826, stands at the outskirts of the Dodowa township to welcome tourists. It is said that the camouflaged trenches within the Forest swallowed the Ashanti warriors. Other tourist sites are the Fetish Shrine in the middle of the forest, the Tsenku Waterfall to the north of the Forest,which is seasonal, and the lush green vegetation of the Akwapim Ranges.
There is also an ancestral grove, The Oyikum Ancestral Grove where tree cutting is prohibited. Recently, part of it has been turned into an apiary (bee-farming) for the production of honey and other related products (4km, north of Dodowa).
The Shai Hills Resource Reserve can be accessed from Dodowa via an unmotorable route through Doryumu. The road needs to be well constructed to make trips from Dodowa to the Resource much easier.
The Shai Hills Resource Reserve is located 50kms northeast of Accra on the Akosombo road, about 40 minutes drive from Accra. It is a small reserve compared to other nature reserves in the country and covers 5,140 hectares. The Reserve combines Natural conservation, Rich cultural interests and archeological sites.
The ancestry homes (caves) contain relics and artifacts and offer splendid scenic beauty created by the evergreen forest on the hills surrounded by savanna plains. The animal stock includes Kob, Bushbuck, Oribi and three primate species including the ever present baboons, rich bird life, and tree species.
The people are mainly farmers and also indulge in pottery and beads making as well as honey production. Gmayem is the colourful festival celebrated in September with pomp and Pageantry The Osuwem Shrine and Osuyom Ancestral Home is about an hour’s drive from Accra through Akuse, Asutuare trunk road, off Accra-Akosombo highway. Osuwem houses a very wonderful shrine which is fenced yearly in May.
The shrine traces its ancestry from South-eastern Egypt. The shrine’s festival coincides with the Dzehayem Festival of the Chiefs and people of the Osudoku area in the second week of May every year. The Osuyom ancestral home was the home of the Osudokus until after 1892. Just before the climb to the Osuyom is the Asase-Dzuam- ‘the Swallowing Market’. Then you face the HESEHE ‘Stone-straps’. Through the stone traps you get unto a plateau where the people gather.
A hanging well served and still serve as the source of water for the people on the mountain. It is reputed to give fertility to all who use it. Many more shines exist The Volivo Oyster-Shells Mines is a vast area of pure coral reef of shells dug out for paint production.
NINGO-PRAMPRAM (NOW ADA WEST DISTRICT)
Located 45km from Accra on the Aflao Road, Prapram, old Ningo and New Ningo lie 6 km to the south of the main Accra-Aflao road. Prampram is the main transport hub of the area. These three towns, of Prampram, Old Ningo and New Ningo lie within 10 km of each other on the stretch of coast between Accra and the mouth of the Volta.
Prampram and Ningo are two of the oldest European settlements in this part of Ghana. Prampram was the site of a small British trading post and fort built in 1742, while Ningo was the site of a Danish fort from 1735 until it was handed to Britain in 1850. Neither fort, however has survived to the modern day: some traces of Prampram’s Fort Vernon remain in the walls of a more modern, but also derelict resthouse near the fishing harbour, and even less remains to be seen of Fort Fredensborg in Old Ningo.
The main attraction of the area is the beach, particularly around New Ningo, generally regarded as safe for swimming and dotted with holiday homes – New Ningo even boasts of rather posh-looking polo club, a yachting and boat racing and other water sports. The estuary on the west flank of old Ningo is also very pretty, its natural beauty is enhanced by the colourful fishing boats moored on the beach.
A Turtle Conservation and Ecotourism Project were recently opened by Raleigh International at Kpongunor near Old Ningo. Ancestral homes and shrines also make up the tourist package of Ningo-Prampram. Ningo Prampram is governed by the newly created Ningo Prampram District Assembly.
COASTLINE PRAMPRAM TO ADA
The coastline between Prampram and Ada, is prime nestling ground for five out of the eight species of sea turtles namely, the leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill, olive Ridley and green turtles
Ada is located 100km east of the Greater Accra region on the Accra-Aflao highway. The areconsists of three settlements, namely Ada Kasseh, which lies on the main Accra-Aflao road, at the junction of the road to Big Ada and Ada Foah, which also lies 15 km and 20 km respectively to its south. Ada Foah is the most important settlement, since it lies closest to the river mouth as well as to most of the accommodation in the area.
It is the district capital and lies about 2km from the Volta River Estuary. Other major settlements are Goi, Anyaman, Lolonya, Akplabanya, Wokumagbe and Koluedor. Ada has rich history but is now a quiet township except for the tourist resorts that draw visitors to the area usually on weekends. It boasts of a superb beach and river-front scenery and opportunities for watersports, and canoe rides across the Volta estuary.
VOLTA ESTUARY, BEST IN WATERSPORTS
The Volta River estuary, Ada, some 100 kilometres east of Accra, attracts a large number of weekend vacationers from Accra and Tema desirous of getting away from it all. The beautiful and calm estuary stretching all the way from Ada to Sogakope, around Hotel Cisneros, offers opportunities for cruising, sport fishing and racing competitions The Estuary is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including birds and the rare sitatunga antelope. The many chalets that line the banks of the waterway, hotels and Resorts are indications of the variety of holiday activities available for all to enjoy themselves.
BEACHES such as the Paradise Beach, Tema, Prampram and Ningo beaches, Goi beach, Dangme East district and Ada Foah Beach Marine Area attract many holidaymakers.
RECOMMENDED TOURS AND ITINERARIES
• Bird Watching at Sakumo and Songor Lagoons (Contact the Wild Life Division for guide services)
• Celebrity Golf Course and Tema Golf Course
• Tour of Tema Port (with prior arrangement)
• Tour of selected industries (with prior arrangement)
• Shai Hills Resource Reserve (WD) en route to Akosombo. While at Shai Hills, Dodowa township could be accessed through Doryumu. This link road is however not in good shape.
• Dodowa – The township is accessible from the Accra-Aburi Highway, or through Afienya , near Tema
• Ningo Prampram beach resorts
• Ada, for water front resorts and water sports