The Western Region of Ghana, adjoining the border with Cote D’lvoire, presents a striking contrast between ancient and modern.
Although one of the first areas to welcome early European traders and so now distinguished by the large number of castles and forts, the Region also boasts some of the oldest mines in the Country and our modern harbour and commercial centre at Takoradi.
The Region includes also some of the most fertile land in Ghana, and the roads are lined with rubber and cocoa plantations and farms.
For the tourist, the forts and castles are a magnet, as they reflect the diversity of building styles that were employed by colonial traders. Of particular interest must be Fort Appolonia at Beyin, and Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove. Many of the castles overlook some of the best beaches in Ghana.
The Festival of Kundum is celebrated from August to November by the Region’s coastal people, and moves from town to town every week. Traditional drumming and dancing feature prominently.
Because the Region is so fertile, farming is a major part of the people’s life. The larger farms are happy to welcome visitors (usually by prior arrangement), and on some, such as some of the cocoa farms, you can see the full operation from the growing of the crop to the harvesting and processing of the crop for market.
The Region was one of the earliest to mine for gold and other minerals, and several of the mines welcome visitors (by prior arrangement). Tarkwa is the centre of the Region’s mining industry.
To discover the Western Region is to discover an area that reveals many of the diverse attractions of Ghana.
ATTACTIONS & EXCURSIONS IN THE WESTERN REGION
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 Metal Cross at Dixcove (1693)
Fort Batensteyn (1656) at Butre
Fort Groot Friederichsburg at Princesstown
Fort S. Antonio at Axim (1515)
Fort Dorothea (ruins) at Akwida
Fort Sebastian at Shama
The village on Stilts of Nzulezo
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 lakeâ€™s edge, and a trip in a dugout canoe to the village. The village welcomes visitors every day except Thursday, which is a sacred day.
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 welcome every day except Wednesday, a sacred day.
The Beaches of the Western Region
Western Region is famous for some of the best beaches in Ghana. Just the right spot to relax after a tour. Some of the most popular are:
Busua Pleasure Beach – only 5km from Fort Metal Cross
Sports Club beach – behind the Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi
Ajua Beach – just 200 metres from Dadowa Lagoon
Princesstown Beach – off Takoradi/Elubo Highway
Miamia Beach – a secluded beach with rocky coves, 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 Goldmines – 40km north of Tarkwa
Tarkwa Goldmines – founded in the 1800s just 92km northwest of Takoradi.