• Ghana,
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Explore Ghana: medieval ruins and great surf

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
If you travel to Ghana you will find it is a small African country surrounded by Ivory Coast in the west, Togo in the east, Burkina Faso in the north, and finally the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Scattered with fortified castles, Ghana also attracts surfers to its many beaches in the Gulf of Guinea. The culture of the Achanti tribe from Akan, the country's most populated, is particularly well-known. You can find its colourful and diverse handicrafts all over the country, particularly in the national museum in Accra, the country's capital. Lake Volta, covering a large part of the country, is also worth visiting if you have the time.

Our Editorial team's advice

If you are shopping for gold, only buy it at the Precious Mineral Marketing Co. or at authorised jewellers. Do not accept any money transfer, or dubious foreign exchange offers. Always ask permission before taking pictures of people and do not take photographs in public places, considered to be contentious.

pros

  • +Ghana has a rich history, having been the biggest African medieval empire.
  • +Its culture is rich and diverse.

cons

  • -The climate is very humid.
  • -Health: onchocerciasis disease is on the rise.

Traditions

The Silversmith's trade is the country's most prestigious handicraft activity. Low-priced products can be found at local markets in Accra. Kumasi and Tamale have the best-known local markets. Ghana, and in particular the Kumasi region, is the place of choice for Ashanti people, an Akan population that protects customs and mostly prospered in the 18th and 19th centuries. Its speciality is based on a kingship symbolised by a golden stool. The Akan's Ashanti tribe is the most populated in the country. Its craft is famous for its hand-sculpted stools, its dolls, its complex and colourful pattern clothes.

Food

Traditional food is made up of soups, stews (kontomere, okro), with crushed cassava root (fufu). Shrimps and sea food are very common on the coast. Most hotels and restaurants offer an international menu. In Accra, you will find many Chinese, French and European restaurants. The local beer is worth trying and you will be able to find other alcoholic drinks in supermarkets and bars.

Souvenirs

Hand-made jewellery, made from gold or silver, are sold by authorised jewellers. In terms of handiwork, it predominantly comes from the Ashanti region and northern Ghana. Stools, brass figurines used for weighing golden powder, leather products and multicoloured woven baskets are easily found at local markets and in handcraft shops. One of the best local markets is the one at the Centre for Arts. Shop opening hours: 8.00am-12.00pm, and 2.00pm-5.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thrusdays and Fridays; 8.00am-1.00pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.