The Ashanti Region of Ghana is a kingdom of gold, history and culture. Occupying a central portion of modern Ghana, the region is the hub of the ancient kingdom of the Asante, and still the heartland for all Asante, wherever they may now be.
A visit to Ashanti must include Kumasi, the ancient capital of the region founded in 1695 by the Asantehene, Osei Tutu, where palaces, museums, forts and churches reveal the distinct cultural and historic backdrop for the festivals and ceremonies that are still important today.
The Palace of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Opuko Ware II, the festivals of Akwasidae, the Kumasi Fort and the Military Museum, and the Centre for National Culture are all essential tourist highspots.
Kumasi also boasts the largest open air market in West Africa at Kejetia, and the city is ringed by villages famous for their artisans and handicrafts. Tourists should always remember that bargaining is part of the tradition of trading in Ghana.
Funerals are spectacular events in Ashanti (usually held on Saturdays), amidst displays of drumming, dancing and pageantry, often with thousands of mourners in traditional red and black.
Ashanti is also one of the most beautiful regions of Ghana, with unspoilt natural attractions. For birdwatchers both the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary (an important wetlands) and the crater Lake Bosomtwi are well worth a visit, while walkers will love the Bobiri Forest Reserve and its arboretum, the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary with its seasonal waterfall, and the hills around Lake Bosomtwi.
Forest wildlife, including monkeys, buck and clouds of butterflies can be seen all over the region.
Ashanti is also home to the most important gold mines in Ghana at Obuasi (50km south-west of Kumasi). Surface visits can be arranged, and the town still has an air of the gold rush days of the 1890s.
Throughout Ashanti (and especially in Kumasi) you will find welcoming hotels and restaurants, while in the main towns nightlife and entertainment are first class. Sporting facilities are available in the urban areas, while exciting fishing can be enjoyed in our lakes and rivers.
To discover the traditional heartland of Ghana, a visit to Ashanti is a must.
ATTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS IN THE ASHANTI REGION
- Kumasi and the Asante heritage
- Kumasi is the capital of the Asante kingdom and the local highlights are:
- Manhyia Palace Museum
- Centre for National Culture
- The Prempeh II Jubilee Museum
- Kumasi Fort and Military Museum
- Okomfo Anokye Sword
- The Akwasidae Ceremony
- Kejetia Market
- Kumasi Zoo
- Traditional street sculptures
- University of Science and Technology
The Crafts of the Asante
- The craft villages surrounding Kumasi include:
- Bonwire – 18km NE of Kumasi – Kente weaving
- Pankronu – 3km N of Kumasi – pottery
- Ahwiaa – 6km N of Kumasi – wood carvings
- Ntonsu – Adinkra cloth making
- Asuofia/Asamang – Barakese road – beadmaking
- Ampabame Krofrom – 10km from Ahodwo – brass smiths
- Goldsmiths and silversmiths can be seen in Kumasi.
The Natural Attractions of Ashanti
The Ashanti Region is a great area in which to explore unspoilt natural attractions. For birds and butterflies the forests are the place to go, while wildlife can be spotted
around the lakes and in the nature reserves.
The following locations are great for trekking, or just rewarding forest walks:
- Lake Bosomtwi – 35km S of Kumasi
- Bobiri Forest Reserve 35km SE of Kumasi
- Owabi Wildlife sanctuary – 23km NW of Kumasi
- Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary – 50km from Kumasi
- Digya National Park – From Kumawu to Atebubu
- Atwia Rock Formations – 40km from Kumasi
- Mframabuom Caves – Kwamang, 55km from Kumasi
- Obuasi gold Mines
The Cultural Attractions of the Asante
The traditional culture of the people is one of the attractions of the Ashanti Region.
Important illustrations can be discovered at:
- Asantemanso Village
- Kumawu Town
- Kentinkronu Shirne
- Adarko Jachie Shrine
- Ejisu Besease Shrine
- Statues of Kumasi
- Patakro Shrine