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Itinerary: Ghana Cultural History of the Ashantis, Festivals

Ghana Cultural History of the Ashantis, Festivals

Join paramount, divisional and sub chiefs to pay homage to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the powerful Asanteman Kingdom during the colourful spectacular that is the Akwasidee festival.

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Ghana Cultural History of the Ashantis, Festivals

Day 1
Our expert cultural tour guides will meet with you on your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport Accra, which is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. Look out for our sign board when you leave the main terminal building after passing through customs. Make yourself known to your guides who will be accompanying you for the duration of your time in Ghana and they will take care of you from here.

After boarding our air conditioned vehicle, which will be your mode of transport for the duration of your tour, we transfer you to your hotel which is situated in Accra. Once we have checked you in, our experienced guides will offer you Akwaaba (welcome) and brief you on all aspects of your trip. You can enjoy your evening meal at the hotel restaurant whilst acclimatising yourself to Africa.
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Day 2
Your first full day in Ghana, after breakfast we load up our vehicle and depart Accra, Ghana’s busy capital city. Our destination is Kumasi capital of the Ashanti region and home to the Asantehene, king of the powerful Ashanti Empire and its people. Our journey takes us through the beautiful Akwapim range, which offers outstanding panoramic views of Tema and Accra in the distance.

At the top of the range we find the relaxed and friendly Aburi craft village, where traditional African drums and crafts have been carved for generations. As we watch the skilled craftsmen at work it is worth noting that prices here are amongst the lowest in Ghana, making Aburi an ideal place to pick up some souvineirs. We make the short detour to the picturesque Boti waterfall, a great place to kick off our shoes for a refreshing paddle. Boti is in the eastern region of Ghana which is famous for producing traditional glass beads. We stop at a nearby village to visit Comfort and her family, experts in making beautiful hand painted beads the traditional way. Your guides will talk you through the skilled process of making the beads as we enjoy a demonstration from Comforts husband. After the demonstration we have the opportunity to admire and buy a wide selection of beads that have been made here.

We enjoy our lunch in Koforidua, capital of the Eastern region of Ghana before setting off on the final leg of our journey to Kumasi. Upon our arrival we check into our hotel and eat our evening meal around the pool, the rest of the evening is at leisure.
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Day 3
Kumasi is widely regarded as cultural center of Ghana, with its many ancient craft villages within touching distance of the city center. Today is dedicated to visiting these traditional villages, our first stop after breakfast is Bonwire famous as the birth place of Kente.

Bonwire produces some of Ghana’s finest Kente cloths, many designs of cloth are woven here and some are exclusive only to this region. We will interact with the community, learning about the history behind the many designs. As we walk through the village, we see highly skilled locals weaving outside their homes. The machines that the weavers use have not changed in design for centuries. During our time at Bonwire, we have the opportunity to buy excellent quality cloth at very reasonable prices before setting off for the village of Ntunso.

The ancient village of Ntunso, is where adinkra cloth and symbols originate. These traditional symbols all have meanings and are carved from calabash shells. The adinkra symbols are then printed onto traditional cloth using natural dyes made from the bark of certain local trees. Adinkra cloth has been adorned by the Ashanti’s for more than 4 centuries and pre dates kente cloth. Even today most Ashanti’s will wear adinkra cloth for funerals, festivals and other important occasions. During our time here we have the opportunity to make our own strip of adinkra cloth using symbols with personal significance.

After lunch we visit the village of Sokoban Krofrom where traditional brass casting has been the main source of income for the community for generations. A wide selection of items ranging from beads and jewellery to traditional statues are made here. The methods used to produce these wonderful brass works has not changed and during our time here we see a demonstration of the skilled process. After visiting some of the stores selling a wonderful selection in the village we return to our hotel for our meal and to relax the rest of the evening is at leisure.
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Day 4
The Akwasidae festival is soon upon us, the excitement builds as we enjoy our breakfast before setting off for the Manhiya Palace, home of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll, King of the Asanteman Kingdom. Before the festival begins we visit the palace museum which is extreamly informative on Ashanti history and culture. Our tour gives us a first hand insight into the legacies of the Asanteman Kingdom and enables us to have an understanding of their culture and traditional values before the Akwasidae festival begins.

After our tour we make our way to the durbar grounds of the palace courtyard, which by now will be a hive of activity. Many people of the Asanteman Kingdom make the journey here to pay homage to their King. The Akwasidae festival is celebrated every 42 days (every sixth Sunday) and gives us an insight into the rich culture of the Asanteman Kingdom. Paramount, divisional and sub chiefs of the Asanteman are adorned in rich, colourful and traditional kente and adinkra cloths, accompanied by native sandles whilst sitting under their traditional umbrellars. Traditional drumming and dance accompany proceedings as the chiefs pay homage and gifts are offered to the Asantehene. The Asanteman Kingdom is as strong today as ever before, it is evident the present generation fuses the culture, customs and traditional values for future generations to uphold. After our amazing morning with the King we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant serving a wide selection of West African and continental dishes, before setting off for the National Cultural Center.

The cultural center is found in one of the oldest suburbs of Kumasi. There is a wonderful craft market here and during our leisurely tour we have the opportunity to visit the Prempeh ll Jubile museum which offers an excellent overview of Ashanti history. We return to our hotel, the rest of the evening is at leisure.
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Day 5
We begin the day with a visit to Kejetia market. Found in the heart of the city, Kejetia is the largest outdoor market in the whole of Western Africa. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience everyday life for the people in this great city and pick up a few bargain suvineirs. The market is a labyrinth of stalls nestled closely together, and a hive of activity. Some stall holders sleep here in the evenings as trade rarely stops. After testing your bargaining skills we start our journey towards Elmina in the central region of Ghana. The town of Elmina was given its name by the Portuguese due to the abundance of Gold found in Ghana, translated Elmina means The Mine. Gold is of such importance to Ghana today and historically, with this in mind, we stop for lunch en rote in the mining town of Obuasi.

Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of Gold and Obuasi is home to Ghana’s largest Gold mine. As we drive through the town we can see the scale of the gold production that is going on here. After lunch we continue our journey to Elmina stopping at Cape Coast. On our arrival we visit Cape Coast castle, designated a world heritage site by UNESCO the castle is a thought provoking monument to a harrowing period in the regions history. We will spend the afternoon on an emotional journey touring this castle which held more enslaved Africans captive than any other in the region, viewing the dungeons and the infamous “Door of no return”. There is a magnificent historical museum inside, which explains the whole history of the castle and Cape Coast itself, as well as a souvenir shop which sells literature on all of Ghana’s forts and castles, as well as the cultural history and traditions of Ghana.

After our tour we check into our beautiful beach front hotel in Elmina, enjoy our evening meal and relax.
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Day 6
Firstly we will visit Kakum National Park in the morning, after breakfast, Africa’s only rainforest canopy walkway. This is a truly beautiful, tropical guinea rainforest and the canopy walkway is sure to be a highlight of your time in Ghana. The walkway consists of a series of 7 bridges, attached to 7 emerging trees, 40 metres above the rainforest floor. Prepare to take a deep breath as you walk the suspended bridges. You will marvel at the outstanding views that stretch for miles across this breathtaking rainforest, as you rest on the tree platforms between the bridges. We are sure you would agree that this is an exciting excursion never to be forgotten. We return to the park headquarters where we find an excellent information centre that offers a very informative overview of the parks flora and fauna. Over 40 different mammal species have been recorded within the park, which includes forest elephants, leopards and 6 primate species to mention just a few. A short distance from Kakum we find traditional palm oil producers and a coco farm. Ghana is the world’s second largest producer of coco and many Ghanaians rely solely on the income it brings from their small farms. During our time here we see how the farmers produce the palm oil and harvest the coco whilst interacting with the friendly locals in the village. On our way to Hans Cottage we stop off to witness traditional palm wine tapping and even get to sample the local brew.

We stop for lunch at Han’s cottage Botel near Kakum, Han’s is built over a lake containing Nile crocodiles and set in a beautiful location surrounded by tropical guinea rainforest. It is an original and comfortable establishment, which is teeming with bird life and an excellent place to enjoy lunch before setting off for an afternoon of relaxation at one of Ghana’s most beautiful beaches. Before our arrival we pass through the wonderful fishing town of Elmina.

We enjoy the sights of the many colourful fishing boats bringing their daily catch into the harbour and take this opportunity to mix with the locals at the nearby market. A short distance from the market we visit the boat builders, still building colourful fishing boats using traditional tools and methods spanning centuries. We arrive at Brenu beach for a well deserved afternoon of relaxation, our surroundings are perfect, golden sands with coconut trees for as far as the eye can see. There is a traditional fishing village well worth a visit nearby before we settle down for our early evening meal at a local restaurant on the beach. We enjoy our meal and reflect on a wonderful tour whilst watching the sun set over the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. This is a wonderful way to spend your final evening with us before we return to Elmina and your beach front hotel.
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Day 7
Sadly your final day with us in Ghana, after a leisurely breakfast we will set off for Accra. If time permits on our arrival in Accra we can visit the National Museum. Almost all the displays here are ethnographic in nature and you get a chance to view and purchase some wonderful examples of traditional crafts. Then we have the opportunity to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the cultural center which is actually Ghana’s largest arts and crafts market.

We will enjoy an early evening meal before your transfer to the airport and departure after a wonderful 7 day tour.
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All our tour prices include
Collection
Accommodation
All meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
Mineral water
Park entrance fees
All guide fees
Excursion costs
Professional care and attention
Transportation in and around Ghana
Fuel

Price does not include
Flights (UK travellers contact us for competitive quotes)
Travel Insurance
Ghana entry visas
Items of purely personal nature

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Ghana Cultural History of the Ashantis, Festivals

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