Travel Journal

Cape Coast - Elmina - November 18-19

(Wednesday 21 November 2007) by Karin
More traveling today but this time with a comfortable STC bus with airco. Comfortable bus but still not on time. Had to be at the station for 6:00 am as bus would be leaving at 7:00 am (already don't understand why you have to be there an hour early) only to see the bus arrive at 7:40. Really not that bad for Ghanaian standards but still annoying. Arrival in Cape Coast mid-day where a taxi takes us to the Oasis Beach Resort. Nice nice nice. Open the door, turn left, take about 10 steps and you're on the beach. But it is too hot for that so I first make the usual mess in the room before taking a nap. The room has a fan so I even manage to sleep. I love vacation. Exploring will be for tomorrow.

We started early with a trip to Kakum National Park, situated less then an hour from Cape Coast. Kakum NP protects what is among the most extensive rain forests in Ghana. The predominant vegetation type in Kakum is semi-decidiuous forest.
The main tourist attraction is the canopy walk. It consists of a 350 m-long, 40 m-high wood-and-rope walkway suspended between seven trees and broken up by a number of viewing platforms. It offers an opportunity to actually look into the forest, a breathtaking experience. But you better don't be afraid of heights. As a volunteer with proof of my status the entry fee was only 5 Ghana Cedis instead of 9 (for once I get a discount somewhere). I'd also signed up for a general hike afterwards which also was a great natural history lesson. Unfortunately all the animals were hiding.

A visit to Elmina followed. Elmina lies in the Central Region of Ghana on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and is a fascinating little town that started life as a fishing and salt-producing village approx. 700 years ago and, despite having served as first the Portuguese and later the Dutch headquarters in West-Africa, modern Elmina still is a small fishing and salt-making township. Started with a guided tour of the St. Georges Castle (Elmina Castle). Founded in 1480, the castle is the oldest colonial building in sub-Saharan Africa but it has been extensively rebuilt and extended over the centuries. Elmina lay at the heart of the West-African gold trade but the castle was mostly used for slave trade. It was impressive and sad to see where thousands of man and woman where treated so badly, imprisoned for months in dark dungeons, waiting for the boat that would bring them to the new world. Lots of them died. You really realize how bad and horrible it all was.

Afterwards we lingered around the harbor to watch dozens of colorful pirogues and fisherman before heading back to Cape Coast for a very late lunch at the breezy beach-front located Castle Restaurant. Great view, great company (some other people joined us for the Elmina trip), great discussions...... what else do I want???

PS. For more pictures, check the gallery.


Home | Features | Sign Up | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | © 2006 - 2018
Note: Javascript is not active