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Ghana

Main attractions

Elmina Castle, Ghana
Elmina Castle - the oldest European building south of Sahara / Francisco Anzola, CC BY 2.0

The beauty of this country is known too little - undeservedly. Vigorous and diverse, Ghana offers a variety of amazing natural and man made heritage values. Highlights of Ghana are:

  • Historical local architecture. In Ghana are located some of the most interesting Sudano-Sahelian mosques. The best known among them is Larabanga Mosque. Even more interesting are the traditional local shrines with living religious traditions.
  • Historical European architecture. In Ghana are located the oldest European buildings south from Sahara. Elmina Castle was constructed in 1482, several more fortresses - in the 16th century.
  • Waterfalls. Although here are not found such giant waterfalls as in Venezuela, Ghana offers a variety of picture perfect, romantic waterfalls.

Natural landmarks

Waterfalls

Boti Falls, Ghana
One of the two Boti Falls / Shawn Zamechek, CC BY 2.0
  • Akaah Falls - Eastern. Unusual waterfall with complex morphology, located in the rainforest.
  • Boti Falls - Eastern. Beautiful waterfall, consisting of two parallel, vertical plunges, falling directly into a river.
  • Kintampo Falls - Brong Ahafo. Beautiful waterfall with three steps, tallest step is 25 m high, total height - 70 m.
  • Tagbo Falls - Volta. Tall waterfall with several steps, the last is approximately 60 m tall.
  • Vli Falls (Agumatsa Falls) - Volta. The tallest waterfall in Ghana. Several steps with the total height of 400 m, the tallest is approximately 70 m tall.

Other natural landmarks

  • Lake Bosumtwi - Ashanti. The most recent medium sized meteorite impact crater on Earth, 10.5 km across, formed 1.07 million years ago. Filled with 8 km wide lake – the largest natural lake in Ghana. Site of legends.
  • Oda Big Tree - Eastern. Enormous Cherry Mahogany (Tieghemella heckelii), 66.5 m tall and 3.22 m in diameter (12 m in circumference). Legendary tree.
  • Umbrella Rock - Eastern. Enormous rock plate on the top of another, narrower one. On the top of this formation can stand more than 10 people. Fine view on the surrounding forest.
  • Wulin Mushroom Rocks - Upper West. Unusual, muschroom shaped rocks, several meters high.

Man made landmarks

Larabanga Stone, Ghana
Larabanga stone / Sathyan Velumani, CC BY-SA 3.0

Archaeological landmarks

  • Hani archaeological site - Brong Ahafo. Prehistoric cave settlement, inhabited circa 1200 BC. In archaeological excavations found stone utensils, which are exhibited here.
  • Kintampo archaeological site - Brong Ahafo. Prehistoric settlement, inhabited in 2500 - 1400 BC. During the excavations foound remnants of stone buildings, one of the earliest sites where cowpeas were cultivated.
  • Mystic Stone in Larabanga - Northern. Ancient sacred place on tran-Sahara route, site of legends.
  • Okomfo Anokye's Shrine - Eastern. Shrine of legendary fetish priest, who lived here in the 18th century. Site of legends, hand and foot imprints in the stone.

Traditional architecture

  • Ba’ar Tonna’ab Ya’nee shrine - Upper East. The best known of the Talensi ancestral shrines. The old rituals are living here up to this day. In the vicinities are located numerous other shrines, as well as unusual natural rock formations, caves. Visitors can enter the shrine only half naked. Some other local shrines have unique architecture.
  • Gwollu Wall - Upper West. Massive wall, built to protect local people from European slave traders in the 19th century.
  • Nareligu Defence Wall (Naa Jaringa, Nalerigu Walls) - Northern. Defence walls, which originally were built around the village in the 16th century to protect villagers from slave traders. Now only parts of walls remain.
  • Nzelezu (Nzulezu, Nzulezo) - Western. Approximately 400 years old settlement built on stilts in lake Tadane.
  • Wa Naa Castle - Upper West. Residence of the king of Wala, fine example of mud-brick architecture, current building built in the 19th century.
Larabanga Mosque, Ghana
Larabanga Mosque / aripeskoe2, CC BY 2.0

Historical mosques

  • Banda Nkwanta Mosque - Northern. Spectacular mosque, built from adobe in the 18th century. Unusually tall towers.
  • Bole Mosque - Northern. Typical adobe mosque, built in the 17th century. Tall parapets.
  • Larabanga Mosque - Northern. Adobe mosque built in 1421.
  • Nakore Mosque - Upper West. Adobe mosque in traditional style, cosntructed in the 16th century.

European built fortifications

  • Cape Coast Castle - Central. Historical castle, used in slave trade. Current building constructed mainly by British in the 18th century.
  • Elmina Castle (St. George of the Mine Castle) - Central. The oldest European building below the Sahara. This castle was constructed by Portuguese in 1482 as the first trading post on the Gulf of Guinea.
  • Fort Coenraadsburg - Central. Dutch built fort, constructed in 1652 to protect the trading post of Elmina.
  • Fort Metal Cross - Western. British built fort, constructed in 1683.
  • Fort Santo Antonio - Western. Portuguese fort, constructed in 1515.
  • Fort San Sebastian - Western. Portuguese built fort in 1523.
  • Osu Castle (Fort Christiansborg) - Greater Accra. Historical castle, rebuilt several times since 1660ies. For much of the history used as the seat of the government of Ghana. Current building consists of numerous parts built in different times.
  • Ussher Fort (Fort Crèvecœur) - Greater Accra. Historical fort, built by the Dutch in 1649, enlarged and rebuilt in the later times.

List of described attractions by regions

Ghana is divided into 10 regions.

Ashanti
ArrowLake BosumtwiImpact craters, Ecosystems
Brong-Ahafo
Central
Eastern
Greater Accra
Northern
Upper East
Upper West
Volta
Western

Map of Ghana