Ghana may only be about the size of the state of Michigan, but boy does this West African nation have a slew of landscapes and cultural sites that shine. We’re talking everything from lush rainforests and empowering social enterprises, to stingless bee centers and royal Ashanti palaces. Safe to say when it comes to unique things to do in Ghana, Africa, the options abound.
The best part? Our Ghana Adventure: Accra to Cape Coast tour brings you to hidden gems across the country so you can explore them with local experts in tow. Check out some of the top spots you’ll visit when you join us on tour.
1. Explore the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre
Accra is not only one of the must-visit places in Ghana, but also the capital of the African nation. You’ll find this historic city sitting along the Atlantic on the country’s southern coast. One of the top things to do in Accra, Ghana, is take a guided tour of the museum at the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre.
This museum is housed in Du Bois’ former residence and offers a peek into the life of the prolific Civil Rights activist and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois lived here from 1961 until his death in 1963 and during that time, worked on an encyclopedia about the African diaspora called the Encyclopedia Africana. While never completed, this piece took a scientific, holistic approach to exploring the history of African people.
2. Pick up a unique souvenir at Trashy Bags Africa
Taking a guided tour of Ghana means you’ll enjoy responsible travel experiences, handpicked and vetted by our experts. One of those unique things to do in Ghana is visit Trashy Bags Africa. This social enterprise makes eco-friendly bags and other items from recycled plastic.
When you come here on our Ghana tour, a representative from the organization will lead you on a tour of the factory. They’ll tell you how the company pays locals to collect and wash single-use plastic, like water sachets and ice cream packets. The organization then turns those single-use plastics into reusable products. You’ll learn how the organization offers employment and skill-building opportunities to locals. Of course, we also saved you some time to shop for upcycled items so you can head home with a unique souvenir.
3. Explore historic Jamestown
Another one of the can’t-miss things to do in Accra, Ghana, is to set foot in Jamestown. This is one of Accra’s oldest districts and it’s filled with unique, historic architectural styles. This includes a group of stone harbor houses built by Africans who returned to Ghana from Brazil after the abolition of slavery.
Beyond the architecture, the neighborhood is also home to some hidden gems of Ghana that you probably wouldn’t have the chance to see if you set out on your own. One that’s included on our guided tour of Ghana: a boxing gym. Yes, really! Jamestown is famous for producing several world champion boxers, and locals see boxing as an opportunity to build a better life. You’ll chat with a member of the boxing gym and learn how they support local children’s school fees through weekly boxing events.
4. Set foot on a sustainable cacao farm
Chocolate, anyone? The only thing better than seeing beautiful places in Ghana, like a cacao farm, is doing it responsibly. As you make your way north to the city of Kumasi on our Ghana tour, you’ll stop to tour a sustainable cacao plantation. While here, find out how Ghana became the world’s leader in cacao production. You’ll see what it takes to grow and harvest this tasty treat before trying some during a tasting.
“Cocoa is king in Ghana,” said staffer Tom who helped design our Ghana tour. “It’s the country’s principal cash crop, making Ghana the second largest cocoa exporter in the world. Our visit to the sustainable cocoa farm will show our travelers the impact of cocoa on the lives of locals, and how a natural resource like cocoa can be produced in harmony with the environment.”
5. Step inside Manhyia Palace
Ghana is home to some deep, royal African roots and your visit to Manhyia Palace will show you exactly what we’re talking about. This palace is the seat of the Asantehene, or Ashanti king. A local guide will give you the inside scoop on the Ashanti Empire, its legacy, and its resistance to British colonialism as you tour one of the most beautiful places in Ghana.
“The Ashanti Empire was one of the only African nations to put up a strong resistance to European powers during the colonization of Africa,” said staffer Tom who helped design our Ghana tour. “With this resistance, the Ashanti maintained a semblance of autonomy after being defeated by the British. The autonomy helped protect and preserve cultural heritage, and to this day, the Ashanti Kingdom has robust cultural continuity. The kingdom is still a constitutionally protected sub-national state, with a king whose official residence is Manhyia Palace.”
6. Take part in Kente & Adinkra cloth workshops
The vibrant colors featured on traditional Ghanaian clothing aren’t just stunning to look at—they’re symbolic, too. If you’re wondering what to do in Ghana, our answer is to visit a few Ashanti craft villages to learn how artisans make these colorful textiles. Lucky for you, our guided tour of Ghana takes you there.
First, set off on a walking tour of Adanwomase to see expert weavers at work. The town is known for producing colorful, hand-woven Kente cloths worn during celebrations. You’ll learn about the history of the cloth’s colorways, like how gold symbolizes wealth and blue represent love. Then, head over to Ntonso to participate in an Adinkra-making workshop. This is your chance to try your hand at making an Adinkra, or mourning cloth. This cloth pre-dates Kente, and the Ashanti have worn it for more than four centuries.
7. Dive into history at the Ghana Armed Forces Museum
Looking for places to visit in Ghana? Make sure the Ghana Armed Forces Museum makes it on the list. The museum is housed inside a British colonial fort in Kumasi. You’ll learn about the country’s wartime history, from the Ashanti-British Wars of the 19th century to World War II, when colonial Ghana supported the Allies. Your guided tour of the museum, which is one of the hidden gems in Ghana, also includes time to explore the military equipment and artifact exhibits.
“For Ghanaian colonial troops, over 65,000 Ghanaian men were part of the British Royal West African Frontier Force during WWII,” said staffer Tom who helped design our Ghana tour. “This was the largest contribution from Britain’s African colonies. They saw combat in the Burma Campaign against the Japanese, and have been called the Forgotten Army due to the campaign’s meager awareness compared to more well known WWII battles.”
8. Learn how slavery impacted Ghanaian people at the Assin Manso Slave Camp
The Assin Manso Slave Camp is one of the places to visit in Ghana to learn about the somber history of slavery. Your Ghanaian Tour Director will lead you on a tour of Assin Manso River Park. Slave traders assessed enslaved Africans’ fitness levels here, and it’s where the enslaved bathed before being transported to the Cape Coast and shipped to the Americas. End your visit by viewing the Memorial Wall of Return, where travelers of African descent can write their names to honor their roots.
“While Assin Manso was the last stop of rest for enslaved Africans, it’s where we’ll begin to honor the appalling injustice done to those who passed through in chains,” said staffer Tom who helped design our Ghana tour. “Our travelers will follow the path, and reflect on the journey of those enslaved at Assin Manso and the slave castles on the coast.”
9. Pay a somber visit to Cape Coast Castle
The UNESCO-listed Cape Coast Castle served as the “grand emporium” of British slave trade. You’ll tour this fortress, which is the best-preserved example of a European slave fort on the Ghanaian coast, with a local guide while on tour. This is one of the places in Ghana where thousands of Africans were brought to be sold into slavery. You’ll see the castle, dungeon, and Gate of No Return. Slaves were marched through the door to dungeons, and ultimately shipped overseas to a life of enslavement in Brazil, the Caribbean, and America. Be sure to make your way through the historical museum, which details the story of the castle and Cape Coast.
“We will never be able to capture the true horror of what occurred at Cape Coast Castle,” said staffer Tom who helped design our Ghana tour. “During our visit, we can try to reflect upon the forces that drove humanity to such a depth, and how Cape Coast Castle and the transatlantic slave trade continue to shape the conditions of our lives today.”
10. Hike through Kakum National Park
If you’re looking for hidden gems in Ghana that pack a one-two punch when it comes to wildlife and beauty, look no further than Kakum National Park. This rainforest is located just north of the Cape Coast and is easily one of the most under-the-radar things to do in Ghana for nature lovers.
The national park is dotted with seven bridges hanging from trees over 130 feet above the ground. You’ll traverse some of these elevated platforms during a guided walking tour. Plus, being up in the canopy gives you the best vantage point to see monkeys and birds in one of West Africa’s only surviving tropical rainforests.
11. Try honey at the International Stingless Bee Center
When you think about what to do in Ghana, we doubt visiting a bee farm is the first idea that pops into your head. That’s exactly what makes going guided to this spot one of the most unique things to do in Ghana!
Bees contain unique medicinal qualities and are an important part of Ghana’s ecosystem. You’ll learn all about this as you take a guided tour of the hives and the butterfly garden. Of course, you’ll cap off the visit with a honey tasting and enjoy time to pick up a bottle of your own stingless bee honey.
12. Support female Ghanaian artisans at Global Mamas
Visiting Global Mamas, a fair-trade organization in Ghana, rounds out our list of under-the-radar things to do in Ghana, Africa. Global Mamas helps Ghanaian women gain economic independence by connecting them to global markets for their products, so they earn a fair wage.
You’ll meet a representative from the company and learn how the company is helping women across the country create a life of economic independence for themselves and their families. Plus, you’ll have free time to shop and find a one-of-a-kind souvenir.