They say the best comes from the west, and this cannot be more true when in the western region. One of the most interesting regions in Ghana, the western region is home to picturesque villages, former historic European trading forts, beautiful and affordable resorts, fantastic beaches, tropical rainforests and of course, birthplace of the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. I can’t even begin to tell you the things that one can find in that region, but whatever your tastes and interests are, there’s guaranteed to be something for you!
Journeying to the western region is relatively easy. STC buses from Accra just takes four hours and trains leave from Kumasi to the capital Secondi-Takoradi twice daily.
Where to stay
Being a coastal region, one is spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation. As well as resorts, there are several hotels, guest houses and lodges to choose from. Some of the best rated accommodation in the region include Busua Inn Resort, Ghana Spirit, Casablanca Guest Inn, Stellar Lodge, Anomabo Beach Resort, Planter’s Lodge, Lou Moon Lodge, Escape3points Ecolodge, Ezile Bay Village and many others. Most of these are located in the cities of Busua, Axim and Beyin, and Secondi-Takoradi.
Things to do
Where to begin!? There are a plethora of things one can do in this region. Let’s start with the beaches. Some of the best beaches in Ghana can be found here, and due to few visitors, the beaches are clean and safe. These include Miamia Beach, Busua Beach, Ajua Beach, Coconut Grove Beach Resort, Ankobra and Paradise Beaches, Sports Club Beach, Alaska Beach and Princess Town Beach. These beaches are perfect for picnics, quiet reflection and meditation, BBQs and those of you who want to get your surf on!
For those who of who want to get into a bit of local history, the western region is littered with several forts and castles built by the Dutch, British, Portuguese and Brandenburgian during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for trading slaves, gold and other products. Some of these forts are World Heritage sites and the ones open to visitors include Elmina Castle and Fort St. Jago in the historic town of Elmina, Cape Coast Castle in Cape Coast, Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove, Fort St. Apollonia at Beyin, Fort St. Antonio at Axim, Fort Batenstein at Butri, Fort Sebastian at Shama, Fort Groot Fredericksburg at Princess Town and many others.
Also, be sure visit the original grave and pay your respects to the founding father of Ghana Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which can be found in Nkroful.
There are several other attractions that are not be missed if you’re in the Western region. These include a trip to Nzulezu, a picturesque village entirely built on stilts which one can explore on a canoe. Head out to Monkey Hill located at the Heart of Secondi Takoradi, a tropical rainforest inhabited by monkeys. For breathtaking views of the region and all its glory, visit the southernmost point of the country, Cape Three Points. Also, be sure to pass by the Wassa Dormama Rock Shrine, a nature shrine known as ‘bosom kese’ (great god) by locals. There, you’ll find a mammoth rock monolith reaching almost three storeys high and supported by three other rocks and wrapped in a forest of ancient tree vines. It is truly a sight to behold.
As the region with the highest rainfall in Ghana, the western region is awash with lush hills and tropical rainforests where one can find many wildlife and nature reserves. The Ankasa Conservation Area is one of the natural treasures of Ghana – its home to some of the most diverse plant and bird species, the bongo, forest elephants, endangered primates, several streams and rivers, and the spectacular Bamboo Cathedral (there are camping facilities for those who want to stay overnight). Another nature reserve worth visiting is the Amansuri Conservation Area, a wetland that has the stand of an intact swamp forest and is home to monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and marine turtles. Other wildlife reserves in the region include the Bia National Park, the Egyambra Crocodile Sanctury and the Akatakyi Crocodile Pond.
Finally get stuck in local festivities that take place during the annual Kundum Festival which occurs between July and August. Enjoy the drumming, dancing and feasts that take place during this period. If you’re a foodie, make sure you check out Captain Hook’s, Han’s Palace Northsea Restaurant, Veivaag Lodge Restaurant in Secondi Takoradi, and Saha Country Kitchen and Cafe Puerto in Beyin for mouth-watering local and international cuisines. Local dishes to definitely try are akyekye (made from cassava) served with avocado and fufu with mushroom or snail lightsoup.
What I’ve covered above are just some of the things you can do in this region. There is so much to discover (fishing, whale-watching, canoeing etc.) in this part of Ghana so be sure.
Yaa Nyarko (@Yaayaa_89)