The Republic of Ghana is stationed along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, tucked between Ivory Coast to the west and Togo to the east. Its name, which means “warrior king” is a nod to the nation’s ability to overcome a difficult past, and also foreshadows the country’s promising ability to thrive in the future.
Visitors to this West African gem, which is notably in the top 10 of Africa’s best-governed nations, can still experience the rich history of this foreign land. From the old Ashanti Empire to the Akwamu, Bonoman, and Mankessim Kingdoms, places like the National Museum of Ghana hold relics of this prehistoric past that travelers can view right up close.
The nation’s first contact with the Portuguese, who came to the Gold Coast region in the 15th century, laid the foundation for a bloody and complicated history, which includes entry into the slave trade and future colonizing by the Dutch and Danish. Remnants of this difficult era are still evident on the streets of Jamestown, the Ussher Fort Museum of the impressive and unique Brazil House Museum of History, which was built by a small group of freed slaves after they returned to Ghana.
Despite this history of colonization and European oppression, modern Ghana has become a hub for West African trade and commerce. Today it is viewed by much of the continent—and much of the world—as a relatively stable democracy. Its warm climate, historic place in the slave trade, beautiful beaches and vibrant culture have made it an emerging destination for travelers in search of a uniquely African experience.