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8 day Gold Coast

DAY 1: Accra, Gulf of Guinea - GHANA
Arrival in Accra (Ghana) and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax.

Meals:own arrangements
Overnight Novotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 2: African Metropolis, from Accra to Sogakope (120 km – 3 hr) – GHANA
Accra, the capital of Ghana, has maintained its unique identity despite the fast paced development currently underway in this intriguing African city. The luxuriant administrative area, punctuated with elegant villas built during the first half of the 19th century, reminds us that Ghana was one of the most flourishing British colonies in West Africa.
The program includes a visit to the National Museum, one of the first works of independent Ghana - the idea inspiring the Museum is to relate Ghanaian art to the rest of the continent and to prove the existence of an African history as part of the general history of humanity. We explore the old quarter of James Town, inhabited by the local population known as the Ga. Facing the Ocean is where local native people life fully unfolds: a village surrounded by the city! Here all economic activities follow very different rules from the ones governing “the city” (business area), just a few hundred meters away. Our tour continues with the visit of a workshop where they specialize in building fantasy coffins. These special handcrafted coffins can reflect any shape: fruits, animals, fish, cars, airplanes…. the only limit being imagination! Started in Africa, these flamboyant coffin designs are by now collected worldwide and exposed in museums.
Drive to Sogakope.

Meals: included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Cisneros Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 3: Voodoo, from Sogakope to Akossombo (150 km – 3 hr) – GHANA
We are in the land which is the cradle of voodoo. In a remote hidden village we will join a Voodoo ceremony: the frenetic rhythm of the drums and the chants of the adepts help calling in the voodoo spirit who then takes possession of some of the dancers. They fall into a deep trance: eyes rolling back, grimaces, convulsions, insensitivity to fire or pain. Sakpata, Heviesso, Mami Water are just some of the voodoos divinities who can show up. In this narrow village, surrounded by the magic atmosphere of the ceremony, we will finally understand what people mean when they say: “In your Churches you pray God; in our voodoo shrine we become God!”
Continuation to the region of the Krobo people, famous for their glass beads. They produce them here and they use them for their cults and for aesthetical purposes.

Meals: included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Afrikiko Resort Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 4: Ashanti, from Akossombo to Kumasi (260 km – 5 hr) – GHANA
Departure in the morning towards Kumasi, with a stop, near Ejisu, to visit the Temple of Besease, an important place of worshiping for the Ashanti people for over three centuries. Recently restored with the help of the French Cooperation, it represents a particularly beautiful example of traditional Ashanti architecture.
Kumasi is the historical and spiritual capital of the old Ashanti Kingdom. A city proud of its past as much as it is of its present: a flourishing economy thanks to the exploitation of its gold mines and its forests. The Ashanti people were one of the most powerful nations in Africa until the end of the 19th century, when the British annexed Ashanti Country to their Gold Coast colony. The tribute paid today to the Asantehene (=King) is the best evidence of their past splendour and strength. With nearly one million inhabitants, Kumasi is a sprawling city with a fantastic central market - one of the biggest in Africa. Every type of Ashanti craft (leather goods, pottery, Kente cloth) is found here, along with just about every kind of tropical fruit and vegetable. The program includes a visit of the Ashanti Cultural Centre: a rich collection of Ashanti artifacts housed in a wonderful reproduction of an Ashanti house. In the afternoon we participate – if available – in a traditional Ashanti funeral, attended by mourners wearing beautifully red or black togas. We say “funerals” but it means a “festive” celebration: the deceased in fact is believed to be still with his/her family and through this ceremony he/she becomes an ancestor. Relatives and friends gather, socialize and celebrate his/her memory. The chief arrives surrounded by his court under the shade of large umbrellas while drums give rhythm to the dancers whose intricate moves are highly symbolic.

Meals: included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Miklin Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 5: Gold and Power, Kumasi (100 km – 2 hr) – GHANA
On a Sunday morning, Kumasi wakes up slowly and the streets of the city, not too busy, become like a charming and interesting stage to any curious traveller: the colonial buildings around the market, the very original hand-painted advertisement signs (real urban art!), the railway lines crossing the central market, the devotees going to church in their Sunday clothes - so out of fashion to actually be of great fashion!
An Ashanti chief, wrapped in traditional cloth, will welcome us in his courtyard for an interesting chat about the customs and traditions of his people.
We also will visit the Royal Palace Museum - hosting a unique collection of gold jewels worn by the Ashanti court – and a few nearby villages specialised in weaving the traditional Kente cloth, praised by the socially important people and used to make special ceremonial stools.

Meals: included in a local restaurant and at the hotel
Overnight Miklin Hotel or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 6: Slave trade castles, from Kumasi to Anomabo (230 km – 5 hr) – GHANA
In the morning drive back to the coast. Cape Coast Castle was built by the Swedish in 1653 but from 1657 to 1664 it changed hands many times, as it was conquered by the Danes, the Dutch, the Fanti (a local tribe), again the Swedes and finally the British. Today, it hosts a museum on slave trade history.
Nearby we shall also visit Fort William with its lighthouse and the magnificent view it offers from its top.

Meals: included in a local restaurant and at the hotel
Overnight Anomabu Beach Resort or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 7: Forest, from Akossombo to Elmina back to Anomabo (110 km – 3 hr) – GHANA
In the morning, we will experience the thrill of a “canopy walk” right in the deep forest of the Kakum National Park: one of the world highest suspended rope bridges held by steel cables. Perched 37 meters (120 feet) above the earth, you will enjoy a stunning view of the rainforest - instead of unveiling their trunks, trees will reveal their tops!
In the afternoon visit of Elmina Castle, the oldest European building in Africa, erected by the Portuguese in the 15th century. At different times the castle has been used as a warehouse to trade gold, ivory, and eventually slaves. The castle we visit today is the result of successive extension works and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old Dutch Cemetery in Elmina goes back to 1806. Outside the castle, a wonderful fishing village with lots of large colorful fishing boats - every day these canoes are guided by skilled fishermen across strong ocean waves and currents, “fighting” to earn a living. In the old town we will see the Posuban, the shrines of the old “Asafo companies” - the warriors who used to put their offerings on the large colorful statues. The alleys in the old town have a very lively atmosphere, bringing us back to a time when Elmina was a busy colonial town.

Meals: included in a local restaurant or pic nic and at the hotel
Overnight Anomabu Beach Resort or similar (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)

DAY 8: Golden beaches, from Anomabo to Accra (155 km – 3 hr) – GHANA
Free time to relax on the beach or go for walks to explore villages and meet fishermen.
In the late morning drive to Accra and in the evening transfer to the airport for the flight out.

Meals:breakfast and lunch included in a local restaurant and at the hotel; dinner own arrangement
Day-use Rooms in day-use till 18.00 hrs (all rooms ensuite and with aircon)
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8 day Gold coast,
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