9 Days/8 Nights
The Pan African Historical Festival (PANAFEST) is a bi-annual festival which celebrates people of Africa and of African descent in the Diaspora through art, culture, music, dance and theatre. This tour will give you the opportunity to learn the history of great Africans who worked in diverse ways during the fight for African independence from colonial rule and also of people of African descent in the Diaspora who contributed and continue to contribute immensely to the liberation struggle at the various seminars and colloquiums.
Arrive at Kotoka Airport. You will be met by a TraveltoGhana and Viaxar Tours representative and transferred to your hotel for a welcome drink and orientation. (Please note that check out is at 12 noon and check in at 2pm so your rooms may not be ready upon arrival i.e. if you are arriving on a morning flight). Welcome Dinner. Overnight in Accra. (D)
Today take a tour of the century old capital of Ghana, Accra. Start your visit with a tour of W. E. B. DuBois Centre for Pan African Culture and Museum as well as The African Diaspora Forum. This is located in the house where Dr. W. E. B DuBois lived and died here in Ghana. After which you will take walking/drive tour of the colonial section of Accra. This area locally known as James Town and mainly inhabited by the local Ga tribe was a settlement for the British during the colonial era. Visit further north of this section of the city and view the Ussher and James Forts built by the Dutch (1650) and British (1673) respectively and also the Lighthouse which used to guide ships to the Accra Harbour in colonial days. Then visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park & Museum, a monument dedicated to Ghana’s first post-independence President. Later, visit to the intriguing craftsmen at Nungua/Teshie who make fantasy coffins in the shape of vegetables, fruits, cars, etc usually depicting the profession of the deceased for e.g. a fisherman might be buried in a coffin in the shape of a giant fish or a pilot in an airplane. After lunch, visit the Arts and Crafts market and Woodin, the sensational African fabric shop which is located on one of Ghana’s busiest streets nicknamed the ‘Oxford Street’. Early evening return to your hotel. Overnight in Accra. ( L)
Today, depart Accra through the forest belt of Ghana to Aburi Gardens and up the Kwahu mountain range to the village of Aduamoah . We will have the opportunity to interact with the chief, his elders and the people of the village. You will to depart to Kumasi in the late afternoon.(L)
Today, take a tour of the seat of the Ashanti Empire, which was built on similar basis as the Dahomey Empire (now Benin), i.e. through wars. Visit the Royal Manhyia Palace Museum, home and office of former and Present Ashanti Kings. A regal history that dates back to 1700 is told with relics and artifacts. Then visit the Cultural Center that features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and various studios of brass makers, potters, drum carvers and batik makers. This museum also depicts the numerous exploits of the Ashantis especially their wars with British colonial rulers. After lunch visit the Ashanti craft villages to observe craftsmen at work and to purchase souvenir gift items. These villages are Ahwiaa; where woodcarvers produce Ashanti stools, fertility dolls & walking sticks etc, Ntonso where Adinkra cloth is processed (Dyes are extracted from the bark of the tree called Badie) and Bonwire, where kente cloth is woven. Kente, a very colourful fabric is usually worn on festive and very important occasions like marriage ceremonies, child naming, etc. Take part in an Akan traditional naming ceremony where you will be given an Akan name (Optional). You will also have an opportunity to tour in a Cocoa farm and get to know how it is grown, harvest and the end products. Overnight in Kumasi. (L & D)
This morning depart Kumasi to Elmina. Stopover at Assin Manso and visit the Memorial Wall and Slave River which was the last rest stop for captives on their “one-way” trek to the coast for shipment into slavery. The captives were said to have had their last bath at this river. Arrive in Elmina later in the afternoon, check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the beach front of your hotel. (D)
This morning drive further north of Cape Coast to the Kakum National Park, a tropical rainforest in the heart of the Attandaso reserve for an adventurous and breathtaking walk on the ‘Canopy Walkway’. It is composed of 350 meters of a suspended bridge and six platforms at a height of 60 meters (100ft). After lunch visit the Cape Coast Castle, and take a tour the infamous slave dungeons, built in 1653 by the Swedes and later taken over by the British. This castle also houses the West African Historical Museum. The group will watch a documentary titled “Crossroads of Trade, Crossroad of People” at the Cape Coast Castle. Overnight in Elmina ( D)
After breakfast visit the Elmina Castle, the oldest European monument in Ghana built in 1482 by the Portuguese. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Both the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles have been designated as UNESCO Heritage Monuments. We will take part in a private memorial at the ‘Door of No Return’ at Elmina Castle where we will say a prayer for our ancestors and lay a wreath. Spend the afternoon visiting the PANAFEST arts and craft exhibition at the Centre for National Culture.
After dinner, take part in a candle light procession through the streets of Cape Coast to the courtyard of the Cape Coast Castle for a vigil to remember our ancestors who departed the shores of Ghana through slavery. There will be music, dance and prayers until midnight when Emancipation is declared. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Elmina. (D)
‘Emancipation Day’ – attend a durbar of chiefs and people of Assin Manso to commemorate the abolishing of Chattel Slavery. There will also be a wreath-laying ceremony at the tombs of three enslaved ancestors. Two who were exhumed from New York’s Wall Street and re-interred on Emancipation Day in 1998 and the third in August 2019 from Barbados as part of the celebrations of the ‘Year of Return’. Overnight in Elmina. (L &D)
This morning we join Auntie Esi’s Kitchen at Global Mamas in Cape Coast for a few hours and learn how to cook a few Ghanaian dishes. After lunch we return to Accra. In the evening dressed in African wear, we will attend our farewell dinner. Overnight in Accra ( D)
Spend the day relaxing at your hotel or doing your last minute shopping and packing for an evening departure. In the evening, check out of your hotel and depart to the airport for check in. Depart late evening for a return trip back home.