A trip to Ghana is like a rite of passage for so many Black people in the Americas. As the first African country to throw off the yoke of colonialism in 1957, it has been a beacon of freedom and a safe haven for people of the African Diaspora ever since. Much like Haiti before it, Ghana holds lots of mythical and historical relevance for people throughout the rest of the world. A visit to the Gold coast, however, is unlike any other experience. A trip with Jelani Women Travel is a unique vacation that hits the popular tourist spots and uncovers the hidden gems. Here are the highlights to expect on your next trip with us:
1 - One of Ghana’s top sites is Black Star Square. The monument that celebrates the nation’s independence is used for major public events - from concerts to parades. If we’re in town during one of these, we will be in massive crowds. If not, we’ll tour on a normal afternoon, while on a full-day Accra city tour. Most of the time, it is perfectly fine to snap photos under the large moniker “Freedom and Justice,” and you can’t wait to compare it to the scene you have hanging on your vision board from the illustrated coloring book, Travel-ish: Black Women around the World. But, if there are Ghanians in the shot or soldiers patrolling the grounds we’ll ask permission first to make sure that we’re being culturally sensitive and respectful.
2- For the tame among us, we’ll head to Labadi beach on a Sunday, the most popular time of week to enjoy the waves from this side of the Atlantic Ocean. While on this popular beach, also known as La Pleasure Beach, we’ll eat local foods like charcoal grilled fish and we’ll wash it down with local brews like akpetshie. We’ll come home with shopping spoils and have recharged our melanin for the week. For the party animals among us, we’ll keep the vibe going with live bands, pop music, and afrobeats. It is too dangerous to swim at night, so we’ll stay shoreside and take in the view, particularly the vibrant high end fashion and the beautiful men.
3- After we’ve had unlimited mimosas and delectable eats at the brunch at the Mövenpick
Ambassador Hotel in Accra’s city centre, we’ll be ready for all that lay ahead in the coming days. And what lay ahead is the heavy stuff, i.e., the historic slave dungeons and the “Door of no Return” in what is known as the Cape Coast slave castle. It is less a castle than a fort, but Ghana has many slave markets, forts, and castles that have been used and re-used for many different purposes over time. Verbiage aside, these sites of mourning leave us all raw with emotion and struggling to grasp the horrific circumstances of our ancestors while also honoring the lineage that survived such atrocities. We are the descendants that returned full circle as freed people. This legacy will be one that is not easily forgotten.
4- Getting out into mother nature is one of the best perks of Ghana. From the canopy bridges in Kakum national park to the Wli waterfalls in Agumatsa wildlife sanctuary, this country is full of lush vegetation and beautiful waterways that are simply unrivalled. Animal lovers will get to lay eyes on fruit bats, monkeys, and butterflies, but there are no scaredy cats allowed. These nature excursions are not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of heights but there are always places to simply substitute adventure for a sip of fresh coconut and more local shopping.
5. The Ashanti region in Kumasi is a must-see. In the south-central part of the country, gold bars and cocoa farms reign supreme. Our one of a kind traditional naming ceremony is not to be missed combined with the authentic kente weaving villages of Bonwire and Adanwomase, which have been weaving the famous cloth for Asante Kings since the 17th century. Hands on workshops and village tours will bring it all home, and both the royal lineage and the humble hospitality of Ghana’s people will leave a lasting impression.
No matter where else in the world your travels might take you, Ghana will lay the foundation for appreciating Africa’s historical lineage and its contemporary power. Throughout this trip you’ll meet others - from backpackers to returnees - who talk about their other onward travels in Togo and Benin. With Jelani Women Travel’s multi-country tour, there are certainly more surprises in store along the rest of the journey, which is a great opportunity to rack up passport stamps in the region and maximize your travel miles while already in West Africa.
Ashley N. Company
“Fly” Girl spreading #BlackGirlMagic across 100 countries and counting. Headwrap lover. Fierce Protector of Black Lives.