The Western Region of Ghana us an integrated complex of beautiful safe beaches and African touch beach resorts. It has the largest collection of European trading forts (later used in the slave trade); the highest tropical jungles; numerous mines, picturesque villages and friendly people; and old architectural styles and vivacious festivals.
The region’s water villages on stilts are amazing to experience. A visitor can charter a local canoe out to the village and actually stay overnight in a guest house on the water.
The region is located in the south-western part of Ghana and shares boundaries with the Central, Ashanti, and Brong-Ahafo regions. To the West it shares a border with the republic of Cote D’Ivoire. The region has 192 Km of tropical beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and a tropical climate characterized by moderate temperatures all year round.
The native people of the Western Region are mostly Akans, speaking various dialects including: Ahanta, Nzema, Sefwi, Wassa, Brosa, and Pepesa. Principal religions are Christianity, African Aminism, and Islam.
Principal economic activities include agriculture (cash crops and food crops), fishing (commercial and subsistence), and mining and manufacturing. The main exportable produce are cocoa, timber, copra, coffee, rubber/latex, gold, manganese, and bauxite.
The Castles of the Western Region
The Western Region is another region with a rich heritage demonstrated by the number of castles still open to visitors. The best examples in the region are:
- Fort St Appolonia at Beyin
- Fort cross at Dixcove (1693)
- Fort Batensteyn (1656) at Butri
- Fort Groot Fredericksburg at Princess Town
- Fort S. Antonio at Axim (1515)
- Fort Dorothea (ruins) at Akwida
- Fort Sebastian at Shama
Akatekyi Crocodile Pond
30km west of Takoradi, the local fetish priest entices the crocodiles from the water with a live chicken. Bring a bottle of schnapps for the libation. Visitors are welcome everyday except Wednesday, a sacred day.
The Beaches of the Western Region
Western region is famous for some of the best beaches in Ghana. Some of the most popular beaches are:
- Busua Pleasure Beach – only 5km from fort metal cross
- Sports Club Beach – behind the Atlantic hotel in Takoradi
- Ajua Beach – just 200metres from Dadowa lagoon
- Princess Town Beach – off the Takoradi/Elubo highway
- Mimia Beach – a secluded beach with rocky cave perfect for picnics.
Dr. Nkrumah’s Grave
The original grave of Dr. Nkrumah, first President of Ghana and now buried in the mausoleum in Accra, can be found at Nkroful, 83km west of Takoradi.
The Mines of Ghana
The western region has several mines that may be visited, by prior arrangement. The main sites are:
Nsuta Manganese Mine – 20km southeast of Tarkwa
Prestea Goldmine – 40km north of Tarkwa
Tarkwa Goldmines – founded in the 1800s just 92km northwest of Takoradi
The Village on Stilt of Nzulezu
An amazing village where life goes on in the centre of lake Tadane, just 90km west of Takoradi. The houses are built on stilts, and traditional village life adapts to the watery conditions. The excursion from Beyin involves a walk through the reeds at the lake’s edge, and a trip in a dugout canoe to the village. The village welcomes visitors everyday except Thursday, which is a sacred day.
Ankasa Conservation Area
Ankasa Conservation Area is twin Wildlife Protected Area comprising Nini-Suhien National Park and the Ankasa Resource Reserve. It is about 500km2 situated in
the Western Region of Ghana. Ankasa is the only area in the Wet Evergreen Forest Zoo. The Southwestern corner of the reserve is about 5 kilometres from the border town of Elubo. Takoradi is about 120 kilometres east.
Being the area with the highest rainfall in Ghana, Ankasa is the richest forest in terms of botanical diversity in the Country. Its natural resources are the
best in Ghana and enough to announce its presence on the world tourism map as haven and Ghana’s tourism address therefore, there is no wonder that Ankasa
remains as one of the natural treasures of the nation.
Its attractions include:
Being the area with the highest rainfall in Ghana, Ankasa is the richest forest in terms of botanical diversity in the Country. About three hundred (300)
plant species have been recorded in a single hectare. Notable among the plant is: Makore, Dahoma and Khaya. Ankasa is home to many well know plants
including: Marantas, Glory bower, Bloody Lilly. There are also spectacular ferns and orchards.
Charismatic and tourist-pulling animals such as the bongo and forest elephant as well as ten (10) primate species including the endangered Diana monkey and
west African Chimpanzee abound in Ankasa. Bird fauna is also rich – at least 263 bird species have been recorded so far.
The Ankasa rainforest serves as shed for many steams and rivers. Three of them from which the forest derives its name are the Ankasa, Nini and Suhien. The
fascinating characteristics of these rivers are the rapids found on them. The breezes along the rivers and rattling noise of the rapids are a delight to tourists. The potential canoeing is been explored.
The spectacular Bamboo Cathedral is located at Nkwanta about 8km from the Ankasa gate of the Park. Though not a church building and has no human Bishop, a
priest nor a creed, the site showcases nature’s perfect architectural design. The giant and suppliant bamboos bow and criss-cross at their apex as if in a handshake to form a dome. The bamboos plants forming a canopy give the semblance of a cathedral over which the breeze presides a perfect habitation for relaxation.
There are tourist camps here for those wishing to stay for a few nights in the park. The camping facilities are made mainly with local building materials are located at the Ankasa Gate, Elubo Gate and Nkwanta. These have floor space for sleeping; one can use hammocks. There are toilet and bath places as well as running water. Each facility also has fireplace and kitchen. A staff is close by the fruits abound around the area.
Access at all times from Accra through Takoradi on the Elubo – Cote d’ Ivoire highway by a 365km first class international road. From La Cote D’ Ivoire the part can be reached through Osei Kojokrom and Dadieso.
The Amansuri Conservation Area
The Conservation is a project been undertaken by the Amansuri Conservation & Integrated Development Project with the aim of managing the pristine Amansuri wetland and its fresh water lagoon. The wetland has the stand of intact swamp forest in Ghana and home to varieties of animals like monkeys, crocodiles,marine turtles and birds. It has been selected as one of the Important Bird Areas in Ghana based on Birdlife International criteria.
The project is located within the Western Nzema Traditional Area in the Jomoro District, one of the 11 districts in the Western Region. The area is about
360km west of Accra, the nation’s capital.
Bia National Park
Bia National Park is bordered to the south with a 563 square kilometer Resource Reserve and is an International Biosphere Reserve Park. The reserves are situated in the transition between the moist evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical forest and cover much of the drainage for the Bia river. Bia became a protected area in 1935 and an official national park in 1974. Some of the tallest trees left in West Africa are found in this park.
There are 62 species ofmammals known to exist in the park including 10 primate species (three species of colobus, the Diana monkey and the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, among others), leopard, buffalo, the forest elephant, Loxodanta cyclotis, and the bongo, Tragelaphus euryceros. Over 160 species of birds including hawks, eagles,bulbuls, flycathers, the black-collared lovebird and the threatened white-breasted guinea fowl live in this habitat. The park is the only known home of Agama sylvanus, a newly discovered species of lizard.
Sport Fishing & Whale Watching
For those who love the sea, you are welcome to sport fish as well as whale watch along our coast.
Sea Tour is not a common tourism activity in Ghana. It is normally done by using a boat to tour on the sea and watching sea animals such as whales, dolphins and turtles. The sea in the district has the potential for sea tour. From mid-July to October every year a number of whales and dolphins visit the seas in the district. Also from August to March is the nesting season for turtles and a number of these sea animals are seen in the seas near their nesting sites. Sea tour is expensive and has limited market, but great returns. In Africa, it is only done in South Africa. The completion of Metal Boat being constructed at Kpong to develop sea tour is expected to boost tourism activities in the Jomoro District.