|Adventure in Ghana
Accra is a city that has managed to escape the overblown fate of many other world capitals. Though it was once a major center of the gold and slave trade for four different empires, its tree-lined streets have the same intimate feeling that comes with the word town.
Accra is an excellent place to meet locals and buy native Ghanaian art and craftwork, especially at the Arts Centre. Visitors here can find practically anything: sculptures, game-skin drums, exotic beads, and superb examples of the colorfully expressive Kente cloth. The Makola Market, also abundant in goods and bargains, is a fine place to experience a true West African bazaar.
Unlike many other wildlife reserves in Africa, Mole offers visitors the opportunity to drive or walk throughout the park at very reasonable costs. The only place to stay is the park hotel, which offers excellent views out over the surrounding parkland.
The Coastal Forts
Ghana's role as a focus of the gold, ivory, and slave trade resulted in the construction of an entire string of colonial forts along its coastline, and many remain as picturesque legacies of that era. The forts at Dixcove, Elmina, Cape Cove, and Apam are all open to tourists, and some even offer accommodation and meals. While the forts are reason enough to tour the coast, the area's outstanding beaches are an equally compelling attraction.
This major city was the capital of the Ashanti empire, and it continues to serve as the cultural center of the Ashanti people. Although the historic city was destroyed almost a century ago, modern Kumasi contains a good cultural center and museum as well as the modern palace of the Asantehene.
In the region surrounding Kumasi are four settlements known as the craft villages. They are the towns of Ahwiaa, Ntonso, Kurofuforum, and Bonwire, and their inhabitants have been the royal artisans for the Asantehene for generations.
Each craft village has a particular claim to artistic fame. Bonwire is the capital of the Kente cloth, while Ntonso boasts the Adinkra cloth. Ahwiaa produces outstanding carved figures, including Ghana's traditional fertility doll, and Kurofuforum specializes in the casting of brass.
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