The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as part of its ‘Experience Ghana, Share Ghana’ campaign has visited Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle, and Elmina Castle in the Central Region, and Nzulezu, Bisa Aberwa Museum, and Ankasa Resource Reserve in the Western Region.
The move by the GTA is to encourage domestic tourism in the country and market both popular and unfamiliar tourist sites domestically and internationally.
Speaking on why Ghanaians need to visit castles and forts in Ghana, Robert Morgan Mensah, Head of Education at the Castle, said it is important to learn about Ghanaian history and to honour the memories of those who suffered during the slave trade.
“It is fascinating to learn about the different powers that occupied and fought over the same piece of land over the centuries. The dungeons, governor’s residence, tunnels, and other areas give visitors a glimpse into the harsh realities of the transatlantic slave trade. It is again significant to know the symbolism of the Door of No Return and the Door of Return and the role the castle played in the propagation of Christianity in Ghana”.
Benjamin Amoah, a tour guide trainee at Elmina Castle, also noted that visiting the castle offers a chance to appreciate the architecture and craftsmanship that have survived for over five centuries.
At Kakum National Park, Mr. Samuel Dunkwa, Assistant Wildlife Officer with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, revealed that the park has a gift shop where visitors can purchase locally made clothes, jewelry and artifacts.
“Currently, Kakum National Park has diverse plant and animal species, with more than 100 mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, such as the canopy walkway, nature walks, treehouse camping, and watching butterflies. There are also recreational facilities like a children’s park and an amusement park where visitors can host small programs. The park has restaurants that serve delicious local food and a gift shop where visitors can purchase locally made cabins, clothes, and artifacts. The waiting area is also well-furnished and equipped with movies of animals in their natural habitat”.
On his part, Sam Isaac, Tourism Officer in-charge of Ankasa Reserves Area, said that the Ankasa National Park offers visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of Ghana’s nature and unique wildlife. “The park is easily accessible by road and can be visited as a day trip or as part of a longer trip to the Western Region. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers, bird watchers, and anyone interested in exploring Ghana’s rich nature”.
The team further visited Nzulezu, a community noted for its distinctive architecture, with houses built on stilts above the water. The community is also known for its traditional fishing practices. It has its own school, church, and clinic, and residents rely on the lake for transportation, food, and water.
Finally, the team made a stop at the Bisa Abrewa Museum, a private Pan-African Museum that showcases the rich history and culture of Africa and Africans in the diaspora. It features over 200 artifacts, including statues, arts, pictures, and vessels made of gold, bronze, and brass, some of which are 400 years old.
The Domestic Tourism campaign is under the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) being undertaken under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.