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Take a trip to the Gold Coast

Article - July 29, 2014
Ghana’s international acclaim from some of the world’s most reputable sources, including Frommer’s, the New York Times and Forbes, does not go unwarranted. A trip to Africa’s Gold Coast will truly be an unforgettable one
PLENTIFUL ALONG GHANA’S 335 MILES OF COASTLINE ARE VIRGIN BEACHES SIMPLY BEGGING TO BE EXPLORED. BEAUTY IS NOT LIMITED TO GHANA’S NATURAL SCENERY, HOWEVER. COLORFUL HANDICRAFT AND COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE, AS WELL AS DELICIOUS FOOD AND WARM AND FRIENDLY PEOP
Often referred to as ‘Africa for beginners’, Ghana, a country which would have come to the attention of many Americans during the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil, is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Sub-Saharan Africa and it is easy to see why.

Some of ghana’s most popular beaches are bojo near accra, Ada, Keta and Prampram, in the eastern half of the country, with Brenu, Busua, Anomabo and Axim in the west

Accra’s own Labadi Beach, also known as La Pleasure beach, is also a major draw for visitors and locals alike, with live music, dancing and drumming on weekends and holidays

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Nature lovers delight in ghana’s wildlife. Attractions include the boabeng-fiema monkey sanctuary, paga crocodile pond, mole national park, agumatsa wildlife sanctuary, and bia national park and resource reserve, among many others

Fans of ecotourism should head to The volta region, where there is the largest concentration of community-based ecotourism sites
As word has spread internationally about its stunning beaches along the aptly named Gold Coast, its abundance of wildlife parks and rainforests, and its unique and rich tradition in arts, music and gastronomy, tourism arrivals have almost trebled since 2005 to 1.26 million in 2012. Ghana’s peace and stability have also helped to make it one of the most attractive destinations in the region for U.S. tourists.

Another major draw for foreigners is the vibrant capital city of Accra, home to the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (voted the city’s number one attraction on travel website Tripadvisor), the beautiful Bojo Beach, the National Museum of Ghana, and the Academy for African Music and Arts. It also boasts some of Ghana’s finest restaurants (check out Republic, a gastrobar in one of Accra’s busiest districts at night, serving the best local cuisine and artisan beers). With several lively bars and clubs spinning international hits and hosting local bands playing the best of Ghanaian’s famed high-tempo take on the afrobeat sound, its nightlife rivals that of Nigeria’s capital Lagos.

Accra’s unique appeal has led to it being named the fourth best business and pleasure destination in 2013 by the New York Times (Ghana itself has also drawn acclaim from the travel gurus at Frommer’s, who included the country on its list of top 10 tourist destinations in the world in 2012, and Forbes, which ranked the West African nation the 11th friendliest on the globe).

Once you have had your fill of Accra’s culture, cuisine, music and unforgettable parties (and of course soaked up some rays and cocktails at Bojo Beach), it is time to head out of the bustling capital and experience some of Ghana’s natural beauty, of which there is no shortage.

Rent a private car with your own personal chauffeur in Accra and you can reach Kakum National Park in Cape Coast in around three hours. Kakum is home to an array of wildlife, however these camera-shy creatures rarely make themselves noticeable – making this lush rainforest more of a delight for hikers than wildlife lovers.

Though not for the fainthearted or vertigo sufferers, Kakum’s breathtaking canopy walk is well recommended. Elevated 130 feet above the ground, this wooden walkway is 1,150 feet long and has various viewing platforms that offer spectacular views of the Kakum’s rich vegetation.

For those seeking to catch a glimpse of Ghana’s wildlife, a trip further north to Digya National Park is a great option. Established as a national park in 1971 with an area of 2,300 square miles, Digya is located on a low laying peninsula located west of the shores of the enormous Volta Lake.

The park’s vegetation is largely savannah woodland and gallery forest along the riverbanks. Binoculars and cameras are an absolute must here; unlike Kakum, you will have a chance to spot a plethora of wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, water buck, hartebeest, bush pig, baboons and five other species of monkeys. Crocodiles and the clawless otter are also found here. Digya was also once home to the black rhinoceros and the gregarious wildebeest, but tragically they have become extinct there.
Fortunately the country, like many others in the region, has stepped up its efforts in wildlife preservation in recent years, as it is now acutely aware of the draw for international tourists.

With direct flights from a number of U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and Houston, it has never been easier to get to the Gold Coast, where you can be assured you will be greeted with that famous Ghanaian golden smile.

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