125 things to do in Accra and Ghana • Beaches, day trips and national parks
With tips on everything from Accra's best restaurants and shops to museums and sightseeing – read our ultimate guide to things to do in Accra
From a historical perspective, Elmina Castle is a key attraction. Like its Cape Coast equivalent, it has strong links with the slave years and is registered as a World Heritage Site, although it tops Cape Coast Castle on age; founded in 1482, Elmina Castle (also known as St George’s) is the oldest extant European building in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s had a few facelifts over the years and little resembles the original structure, but still makes for a fascinating (not to mention hugely disquieting) tour.
Half an hour’s drive from Cape Coast, Kakum National Park’s verdant slice of semi-deciduous rainforest offers a fresh green alternative to the bustling cities and stifling heat of the coast. The 607 square kilometres of protected rainforest are home to an assortment of wild residents, including forest elephants, giant hogs, flying squirrels, leopards and various species of monkey. However, with much of the elusive wildlife buried deep in the forest’s flora, there’s little chance of seeing anything more than a millipede or two.
Bojo is a delightfully simplistic set-up of sand, water and seating. The current here is a powerful one, however – there are lifeguards, but it is advised that only good swimmers go out of their depth in the hardy surf. But what appeals compared with the overall feel of city-front Labadi, is Bojo is well-maintained, clean, and the urban hubbub seems aeons away.
From an open-sided restaurant and bar, you can watch island-dwelling locals crab-fishing and clam-diving in the water. The forward-thinking owners offer guided tours to the islands for boat-building and basket-weaving workshops – there’s also a lot of water to play around in on a jet-ski or from one of the pontoons. Game-fishing excursions can be arranged too. Best of all is the option to spend a lazy couple of hours exploring one of the most beautiful areas of Ghana by boat.
If you want to discover the Eastern Region, this is the place to stay. The Royal Senchi, a one-and-a-half hours drive from Accra, is a beautiful resort – peaceful and comfortable, with everything conspiring to make this a relaxing stay. The resort sits alongside the often mirror-flat Volta river, which serves as the view for all 84 rooms and suites. This is certainly one of the most beautiful areas of Ghana and taking a boat trip along the river from the hotel to the Akosombo dam is well worth the time.
An hour or so out of Accra is Kokrobite. This small beach town has become a destination for sun-seekers and pleasure seekers. The long-established Big Milly’s Backyard has become somewhat of a backpackers classic – a laid back hostel with an open bar. Nearby is Bah’doosh, an Australian-owned bar and restaurant where there always seems to be someone strumming a guitar (Bob Marley is a favourite). But the beach is the main attraction – the finest near Accra.
Those willing to splash some cash for the millionaire treatment can stay at the deluxe private members White Sands Beach Club near Fetteh; slide into the infinity pool, sample the top-notch cuisine and enjoy some of the best service in Ghana. It’s exclusive enough to require you to email email@example.com before even seeing prices. However, non-members can visit between Mon-Fri.