Friday, 15 April 2016

Canopy Walkway and The Cape Coast Castle

     Students on study tour. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.

Walking on the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park is one thrilling experience I will never forget in a hurry. A 330-meters-long series of hanging bridges made of ropes all connected together by the trees, all some 40 meters off the ground. I was so scared to go all the way but took courage when I saw some young school children going all the way. I decided to put on a brave face and walk over the tropical rainforest.

  Kakum National Park is a rainforest located in the central region of Ghana, about 20 kilometers North of Cape Coast. The entire area is covered with tropical rainforest.  If you are into hiking and a bit of thrill seeker, Kakum National Park is the place to be.

Kakum National rainforest. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.
From Kakum National park we went to The Cape Coast Castle, an historic building with lots of scary stories about what went down there and how the blacks were treated, turned to slaves in their own land controlled by the Portuguese and Dutch before the British took over.  
Cape Coast Castle. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.
The tour around the castle will give you goosebumps with the horrifying history of slave trading and the brutality of slave traders.  You can actually feel their presence when you are there in the Condemned Room where rebellious slaves were punished and The Door of No Return from where they were taken onboard ships that would take them to the Unknown World.

You just cannot help but wonder that this beautiful magnificent castle in the heart of a little town overlooking the sea and the coconut tress dancing to the wild that blows has been hell on earth for most people and a black page in global history. It’s a definite must-see.
Cape Coast town. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.

 Getting there

You can get a Bus from Accra's main station on the Ring Road to Cape Coast, costing around GH¢11, and around GH¢14 in an airconditioned bus. The journey takes between two and three hours. From Cape Coast take a taxi to Kakum National Park. The taxi will need to wait for you, if not you will not get a taxi back. The same taxi will take you to Cape Coast Castle and any other places you want to go around Cape Costa. The taxi will cost about GH¢5.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Akwaaba! Welcome!

Kwame Nkrumah Park Accra. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.
During our last visit to Africa, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Ghana. Normally we would look up a place before we embarked on a trip, but for Ghana we did not: we felt Ghana was one of the most organized countries in West Africa. 

It was the gateway to West Africa, as it was said, with a lot of tourists here and there. So we expected to get a map and a list of tourist attractions from the hotel or tourist center. We were so wrong!
The trip down was good but we encountered a little problem at the airport in filling  out some immigration forms: that took more time than we thought necessary and we missed our hotel pick up from the airport. We tried taking out money from the airport ATM and were shocked that the machine only accepted a Visa Card. Our Master Card was useless there. To get an ATM that accepted a Master Card, we had to walk outside the airport to one nearby that fortunately accepted both card types.

Dept of African Studies. University of Accra. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.
It took us sometime but we sorted ourselves out and found our way to the hotel. Coming to the hotel our stress and anger simply evaporated, for the hotel was so cozy and welcoming.

The next morning, with our cameras and ready to hit the town, we went to the hotel reception to ask for maps and a list of fun places we could visit, and the following dialogue ensue

Us: Good morning, please could we get a map of the city?

Hotel reception: Sorry, we don't have maps

Us: Okay. Could you tell us what to see or places to go to?

Hotel reception: You  will need to buy the book on Ghana attractions from the book shop

Can you beat that! The hotel reception cannot point us to any direction, just for us to buy a book not even at the hotel but at a bookstore. It dawned on us that we made a mistake not to have looked up Ghana’s tourist attractions before visiting. The little things we take for granted!

We went out to the street to ask questions, and we were on our way to different attractions in Ghana. I must admit Ghanaians are very warm and welcoming people.