Over the last few days, I had the opportunity to travel in 3 regions in Ghana on an excursion organized by students of the University for Development Studies.
Tourism means traveling or to historically, recreationally significant sites for pleasure. Unfortunately, tourism is a privilege that only a few Ghanaians enjoy due to the wide income disparity in the country.
People also visit tourist sites to appreciate nature. Ghana as a nation is blessed with a whole lot of tourists sites. These tourist sites are of great importance to the nation. They serve as sources of revenue for the nation. This signifies it’s economic importance to the nation. The tourism industry is regulated by the Ministry of Tourism. This ministry is in charge of promoting and developing tourism related activities across the country. Tourism is a major contributor to economic growth and development. It’s a major source of foreign exchange. Tourism creates jobs for citizens. This clearly demonstrates the prominent role tourism plays in the development nation.
Some tourists sites occur naturally and others are sites of historical significance. Such sites include the Paga Crocodile Pond in the Upper East Region, Kintampo Waterfalls in the Brong Ahafo Region, the Cape Coast Castle in the Central Region etc.
To begin with, the Paga Crocodile Pond is a sacred pond in the Upper East Region of Ghana which is inhabited by the West African crocodiles. Due to the friendliness of these reptiles, it has become a popular tourist attraction site. It’s the only known place in Africa where you can interact with harmless crocodiles. The crocodiles are totems for the Kassena people who reside in Paga and the surrounding communities. This pond is inhabited by live crocodiles with its oldest crocodile being 90 years old.
It’s a fun experience to spend time with these reptiles. They are touchable and ready to take pictures with patrons provided a rite has been performed for these reptiles by their guards. It is believed by residents of this area that long time ago, one of the crocodiles led a dying man to the pond to quench his thirst without harming him. The man after recovering his strength pronounced this pond “sacred”. And ordered that no one should cause harm to these crocodiles. It is also believed that the soul of every community member of Paga has a crocodile in the pond. The Upper East Region is one of the nicest tourist attraction sites in Ghana.
Another popular tourist attraction site is the Kintampo Waterfalls. Kintampo Waterfalls is one of the highest waterfalls in Ghana. It was known as the “Sanders Falls” during colonial Ghana. It is located on the Pumpum river, tributary of the Black Volta in the Brong Ahafo region. The Kintampo Waterfalls is a cheerful and exciting environment with lots of shade where visiting individuals can sit and enjoy the serenity that nature presents. It has lots of trees dominated by mahogany. It is a popular tourist destination for students and families.
In the Central Region, the Cape Coast Castle is an important historic place. The cape coast castle is one of about forty “slave castles” built in the Gold coast (Ghana) by European traders. It was built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold and later used in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade during which Africans were dehumanized and enslaved to build imperialist European countries. The castle was rebuilt by the British in the 18th century with the use of free labor from Africans. It is the largest of the castles in the country. Visiting the cape coast castle gives one an insight about the history of slavery. This structure was founded for trafficking people, centuries ago. This place was once one of the world’s slave holding sites and therefore holds significance for Africans at home and in the diaspora. It is a reminder of the cruelty that African peoples had to endure at the hands of white slavers.
There are several tourist attraction sites in Ghana and my visit to these 3 sites was a beautiful learning experience.
About the Writer
Tiyumtaba Hakeem Mohammed is a first year student of Social Change Communication at the University for Development Studies, Nyankpala. He is an avid music fan.