The Kakum National Park is a fairly old national park, having been established in 1932 and used for the last fifty years for thee extraction of timber. It is located in Central Region of Ghana, about 20 kilometres north of Cape Coast. It covers 360 square kilometres of Ghana's rapidly dwindling rainforest.
Cape Coast Castle is one of the major tourist attractions in Ghana. Initially constructed as a small trading lodge. Later enlarged and rebuilt to a real castle
Were millions of slaves were shipped through to the Caribbean and the United States.
Elmina is one of the best conserved castles of the Gold Coast.
Built by the Portugueses, it went to the British and then the Dutch.
It is the main and best witness of the starting point of the slavery. Thousands of people were sold to Europeans traders and collected at El Mina.
The castle was also a point of departure for the commerce between the Ashanti's and Europe.
The castle is in very good condition.
Pay a visit to see the conditions of men and women who had no chance. A large part of them were already dead before being in the vessel. They were chained during days under the heat.
In this park you are supposed to see a lot of animals and local flowers and trees. However, the main attraction is the canopy.
You are on a small rope bridge, walking on top of the high trees, sometimes 100 m from the ground.
A big experience!
Don't worry it is very solid, but if you feel vertigo, don't try.
During the week, sometimes too many people and it can take you one hour to cross because of the afraid people, If possible for you visit during the week.
f you are not there before dawn, don't visit the park, there is nothing to see.
At dawn, if you are lucky, you can see some animals.
Cape Coast Castle was built by the British in 1665 on the site of a small Swedish fort from 1653. Since then it has changed hands four times, being captured by the Danish in 1658, and occupied by the Dutch between 1663 and 1664.
From 1667 until 1750, the castle was used by merchants trading in slaves, gold, spices and ivory.
Cape Coast Castle covers an area of 76,500 square feet and was officially opened to tourists in 1974.
The Cape Coast Castle was originally controlled by the Portuguese, Swedes, Danes, and Dutch, before the British took over. With each occupation, the castle was enlarged both in terms of slave exporting capacity and military defense. Much of the recent building on the upper levels must not date back more than a couple hundred years at most. The lower portions and the dungeons appear to be quite old and well used. It almost seems as if the men's dungeon is below sea level is it goes down rather deep into the bedrock on which the castle is built. The women's dungeon is quite a bit smaller and at a higher level, but both dungeons would have been both crowded and unhealthy on the whole. The ramparts still have rusty canons. The museum is informative in a variety of ways regarding tribal culture and slavery. The Castle has great views of the coast and the town. The gift shops at the entrance have garments and other handicrafts worth considering, even if at a higher price than available elsewhere. The bookstore upstairs has a good selection of readings appropriate for those interested in learning more.
I went to Expertravel Agency to arrange for a trip to Cape Coast the following day. It wasn't an easy task, it is better to arrange for the trip with the Agency before you get there. It costs $70 for a trip to Cape Coast and Kakum Park.
We drove our Toyota 4X4 to the cape coast castle. When we got there, I joint the guide of the castle and his tourists. He explained in details the journey of the ‘unwilling immigrants’. One of the tourists was an African-American, completely touched by the story, he asked questions such as: So, the African brothers and sisters didn’t think about attacking the castle and destroying the whole system?
The guide Peter was super patient and explained to him that the Africans were divided and some Africans were traders. They used to go and destroy villages and capture everybody in village and sell them to the white traders.
This magnificent castle is in the heart of the little town overlooking the sea and its strategic position helped defending it (see pictures)
The Dutch converted the building into a castle in 1637 and the Swedes expanded it in 1652.
The castle was captured in 1664 by the British (changed hands 5 times in 13 years), the Brits took control for 2 centuries a and the castle was the headquarters for the colonial administration until 1877 and the capital was moved to Accra which is the current Capital of Ghana.
At the end of my visit to the castle, I was truly exhausted. I was psychologically drained. The horrifying history of slave trading and the brutality of slave traders are overwhelming.
In March 1994, the president of Ghana, Rawlings officially opened Kakum National Park. The park has been created to conserve one of Ghana’s rapidly vanishing tropical rainforests and the rare wildlife it contains.
Prince Eric, this is the name of my guide came to my hotel at 6 am to pick me up, he was a very nice young man with a big smile on his face.
We went to Kakum National Park on our way to Cape Coast; Price said that this is going to be a thrilling experience. I wasn’t sure why a visit to a “park” would be thrilling. Well, I found out when we got there. The park has 7 different bridges, very scary bridges. My experience in Vancouver (Canada) prepared me for this experience, we have a similar bridge. I wasn’t concerned about the height but I saw a Ghanaian woman who was so terrified that she decided to go back. People (all Ghanaians) laughed, cheered and applauded when she turned around and decided to skip the fear test.
The humidity at this point was behind imagination, I couldn’t believe how badly I was sweating.
The park is very beautiful, if are into hiking and a bit of "thriller", don't miss Kakum National Park.
Kakum National Park is about an hour from Cape Coast. It would be difficult to find a tro-tro direct, but one should go by the park entrance as these roads are well traveled. The park itself is something of a rainforest preserve with quite a variety of flora. The park is small though, and despite reports that a small elephant herd lives here, we didn't see any animals of size. This park has a canopy walk that is worth hanging around on for awhile. We only spent an hour or so with a guide and some friends from Accra.
If you got time to go downtown, you should visit the local market.
The colors, sounds and smells you experience over here, are typical Africa.
You love it, are leave it.
Once you’re on the market you can see they sell everything.