Sankofa is from the Akan tribe of Ghana. The literal translation of the word and the symbol is, “It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” Its symbol is a mythical bird with its feet firmly planted forward and head turned backwards, representing the belief that the past serves as a guide for the future. To the Akan, it is the wisdom that comes from learning from the past that ensures a strong future.
In that same spirit, we will sojourn to Ghana to gain understanding of why and how we came to be and who we are today. We will reclaim the things of value from this knowledge of the past to move forward, to be inspired, to serve, and to direct the future! Join us for this sensuously immersive exploration into the culture, history, landscapes, music, and gastronomy of this amazing country!
We will arrive at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana’s beautiful, ocean side capital. We will be met by John Hutchinson, aka Sly, our guide for our 10-day tour of glorious Ghana! Owner of Slutchtours Ghana, John is also an acclaimed actor, storyteller, and writer who will keep us entertained with stories and proverbs as we travel around the country.
On our way, we will have an informal city tour of Ghana’s largest city. A bustling metropolis and the commercial and political heart of Ghana, Accra is the modern gateway to one of Africa’s ancient lands. The capital has a pulsating nightlife, absorbing museums, historic public monuments, tree-lined residential suburbs, busy markets, splendid beaches, and restaurants that showcase Ghana’s gastronomic offerings.
We will check into Ghana’s premier Labadi Beach Hotel located in the city center.
We’ll freshen up for an evening buffet dinner at the hotel and then relax and unwind to get ready for a tour of a lifetime!
On our first full day in Ghana, we’ll enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Labadi.
Then we will begin our tour of Accra. You will see sites like the National Museum and drive past the city’s major monuments and sights such as Independence Square, Fort Christiansborg, the Makola Market and National Theatre. Our first stop will be Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. It is the final resting place of Kwame Nkrumah, Africanist and the first prime minister of Ghana after gaining its independence from the British is 1957.
Nkrumah’s radical vision and bold leadership helped lead Ghana to independence and served as an inspiration to Martin Luther King and countless other leaders who looked to Nkrumah as an example of nonviolent activism.
We’ll then move on to the National Center for Culture in Accra. There you will find everything from textiles, wooden sculptures, bead works, shea butter, leather goods, jewelry, and quality handicrafts, both modern and antique, from all over Ghana. Make sure to buy your Ghanaian cloth today. Our exclusive tailors will be at the hotel this evening to design and measure you for custom Ghanaian clothing. Your pieces will be ready when we return to Accra. Tonight is our official welcome dinner, so chic casual is the vibe. (Overnight at the Labadi Beach Hotel)
We will order a packed breakfast and depart early for the beautiful and haunting Cape Coast, capital of the Central Region in southern Ghana and known infamously for its role in the transatlantic slave trade.
Our first stop will be the Village of Salt Pond, the capital of the Mfantsiman Municipal District in the Central Region of South Ghana. Saltpond has a population of nearly 25,000 people and is led by the oldest chief in Ghana. We’ll be welcomed by its residents with a traditional durbar, a Ghanaian tradition where the rulers of the village sit in state and meet their guests with drumming, singing, and dancing. Durbars honor the ancestors, rekindle their bond to the people, revive unity, cleanse the society, and renew hope for the fruitfulness of the land and the welfare of the people. Welcome dinner at Kokodo and overnight at the Brenu Beach Lodge.
The transatlantic slave trade was the oceanic trade of captured African men, women, and children which lasted from the mid-sixteenth century until the 1860s. European traders loaded stolen, African captives at dozens of points on the African coast, from Senegambia to Angola and round the Cape to Mozambique. The great majority of captives were transported from West and Central Africa and from Angola. Approximately 10-28 million Africans were stolen from the motherland and forced to work, suffer, and die under the most horrific sanctioned institutions the world has ever known.
The slave dungeons we visit house dank, tiny storerooms where hundreds of slaves were crowded together before being shipped across the ocean. They would live for months in inhumane conditions, forced to fight over the scarce food and water, and left to live in their own waste. When they left their homeland, it was through the Door of No Return, a modest but powerfully symbolic passageway through which they were led to awaiting boats bound for the Americas and Europe.
We will journey the horrific, dark dungeons that served as holding areas for the human cargo less than 200 years ago. These dungeons may be a disturbing experience. Due to the powerful historical messages that these monuments physically and symbolically represents, anticipate a range of powerful emotions.
We will wake to the sounds of waves and homemade breakfast on the beachfront of the quaint Brenu Beach Lodge owned by Agnes Boger. Dress in white as today we will pay homage to our ancestors who passed through the Cape Coast Dungeon to be sold into slavery. Cape Coast is a fort built by the Swedish in the 17th century which was later converted to a slave dungeon. Construction began in the mid 1600’s.
The castle has passed from Swedish hands, to Dutch, to English and most recently to the Ghanaian government. It is now a museum and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. (Overnight at the Brenu Beach Lodge)
We will set out around 10AM to visit Elmina Dungeon, paying homage to our ancestors who died there or were transported from this fortress during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Called São Jorge da Mina (Saint George’s of the mine) or Elmina (the mine), it was the first permanent structure south of the Sahara built by Europeans, and for centuries it was the largest.
By the 18th century, 30,000 slaves passed through Elmina each year on their way to the Americas and Europe.
At Elmina, you’ll hear stories of the cruelties that took place behind its walls. Those who lived through these brutal conditions were hoarded into dungeons rooms by the hundreds and sometimes thousands, the only ventilation provided by a single hole in the wall. Today, the stone floor is covered with a calcified amalgam of feces, vomit, urine, and menses.
After Elmina, we are on our way to Kakum National Park, West Africa’s most noted rain forest. This park is one of the last remaining habitats for six globally endangered species, including Diana monkeys, bongos, and forest elephants.
You will get the chance to trek a 1¼-mile nature walk through the forest and discover a variety of exotic fauna and flora species. Experience the tranquility of a tropical rainforest, or take a walk on the award-winning Kakum Canopy Walkway.
It leads visitors through the treetops of the park, offering a spectacular, unmatched view of the rainforest ecosystem. The suspended walkway is composed of 1,000 feet of swinging bridge and six tree trunk-perched platforms, reaching heights of 100 feet.
(Overnight at the Brenu Beach Lodge)
We will leave the haunting yet beautiful Cape Coast for the Ashanti Region and the ancient capital Kumasi also known as the Garden City. It is the capital of the Ashanti Region and home of the Ashanti people, the richest and most powerful tribe in Ghana. The people are surrounded by legends and colorful history. In one of Africa’s fastest-changing societies, Ghana’s traditional chiefs still wield great power. Even in a modernizing Ghana, traditional chiefs still play a pivotal role, especially when it comes to land ownership and resolving disputes. We will learn about the significance of Ghanaian nobility.
DAY six (cont.)
On the way to Kumasi, our first stop will be the Assin Manso Slave River. The Assin Manso Slave River served as the place where slaves had their last bath on African soil before being marched down to the slave dungeons. The site was referenced as the “great depot” through which the Asantes sent slaves to the coast. It served as one of the largest eighteenth-century slave markets.
This site is where our ancestors had their last baths after the long painful walk from the north before being taken to the slave dungeons. After, we’ll dine at the unique Ike’s Cafe and Grill and then check into the Lancaster Kumasi to be hosted by its courteous and friendly staff.
Today we’ll tour two important textile villages: the Ntonso, the home of adinkra cloth and the Kente Weaving Village Bonwire. Ntonso is the homeland of adinkra cloth and the only place in Ghana where traditional adinkra is made locally. It is also the largest producer of adinkra, a cloth famed for its symbols and proverbial wisdom.
At Bonwire, we will see the ancient weaving methods of the Kente cloth, Africa’s most recognizable and popular cloth. According to legend, two friends from the town of Bonwire learned the art of weaving by observing a spider spinning its web. The fabric later became a royal cloth and symbol of prestige. Kente is still meticulously woven by artisans who make the cloth of kings and is worn for its symbolic significance and for its eye-catching designs. There are over 300 patterns, each with its own name and meaning derived from proverbs, historical events, important chiefs, and valuable plants. You will get the opportunity to purchase textiles at both villages.
day seven (cont.)
After lunch, we’ll tour the historically and culturally important Manhyia Palace, the Asanthene’s (Asante king) residence. There you will gain insight into the customs, legends, and ceremonies that hold high importance to the Ashanti people. This is also home of the Golden Stool. Legend tells how the king of the Ashanti was chosen by the tribe’s supreme god, Nyame, who decided that the Ashanti people were ready to become a mighty nation if the individual tribes selected one chief to lead them. Nyame sent the magician and healer Anotchi to visit the Ashanti chiefs when suddenly, a black cloud appeared in the sky. Inside it, there was a stool made of pure gold.
Anotchi commanded the stool to land in front of the man who should be King. The stool landed before a chief named Osai Tutu who became the first king of the Ashanti Kingdom in West Africa, unifying the people in the 17th century. (Overnight at the Lancaster)
Today, we will travel back to Accra, but before we leave, we will visit the brass village of Krofofrom tucked away amidst shady banana trees. The largest workshop is run by Akwasi Nortey, master brass craftsman. Metalworking has been passed down from generation to generation, starting with his great-great grandfather who was the revered jewelry-maker of the Ashanti King and chiefs for whom he crafted elaborate gold adornments to be worn during official rituals and ceremonies. Today, Akwasi still uses the ancient technique of lost-wax casting to create beautifully detailed pieces from local recycled brass. You will witness this fascinating demonstration of brass casting and get to purchase gorgeous brass art.
DAY eight (cont.)
We will travel back to Accra where we will visit one of the country’s more important sites, the W. E. B. DuBois Centre for Pan-African Culture. This is not only a museum and mausoleum, but also where Dr. Du Bois lived the last three years of his life while editing the Encyclopedia Africana. In 1963, DuBois was gifted the home by President Kwame Nkrumah and stayed there from 1961 to 1963. The Centre houses DuBois’s personal library, a museum with a handful of personal effects, the mausoleum of DuBois and his wife, and a research center for Pan-African history and culture.
Tonight, we will relax and get a taste of the capital’s renowned nightlife and celebrate our last nights in Ghana. (Overnight at Best Western)
This will be a day of leisure, a time to pack, and time for last minute shopping. We will also do final fittings with the tailors. You will say goodbye to your newfound friends in Ghana, and after a farewell dinner, we will get ready to depart Accra for home the following morning, bringing an end to this journey of a lifetime! (Overnight Best Western)
Early morning departure to the airport.
Labadi Beach Resort
Located on beautiful Pleasure Beach,the Labadi Beach Hotel is set amidst tropical, landscaped gardens and is only 10 minutes from the airport. It offers an al fresco terrace bar overlooking the swimming pool, a beach bar overlooking the Atlantic ocean, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife as well as spa services.
Brenu Beach Lodge
This quaint and clean beach lodge is located off the beaten track and will be one of the least luxurious hotels at which we stay. However, what it lacks in luxury, it promises to make up for it in hospitality, tranquility, and beauty. Previous travelers have called this their favorite lodging. Owned by award-winning chef Agnes Boger, this beach lodge will leave you with lasting memories and a longing to return.
So many travelers make Lancaster their hotel of choice when visiting Kumasi. Providing an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience, it offers an array of amenities designed for make you feel right at home during your Ghanaian stay.
Best Western Premiere Ghana
This hotel offers the highest quality amenities and service, sure to win over even the most refined traveler. Located in Greater Accra Region, the hotel is fully equipped with a fitness room, an exquisite on-site dining experience for the culinary aficionado, and a 24-hour bar.
All accommodations are clean, comfortable, and safe and offer food and drinks venues onsite All hotels have a pool(s) except Brenu, but the lodge is beachfront as is Labadi. You will find ATMs at the Labadi and Lancaster. All hotels except Brenu have reliable Wifi.
Cost per Person:
$2300 Double Occupancy
Your Tour Includes:
All airport transfers and ground transportation in an air-conditioned coach
Tour Guide & Personal Driver
Experienced tour guide and skilled driver who escort us during the entire tour
Lodging in clean, safe Ghanaian hotels (double occupancy)
Full breakfast daily, lunch or dinner daily, welcome dinner, and farewell dinner
Entry fees for all attractions included in the itinerary
Airfare (This will be coordinated as a group)
Guide Tips (suggested $10-$15/day)
Driver Tips (suggested $5-$7/day)
Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)
Visa & Yellow Fever Immunization