Ghana is a gateway to African travel. First-time visitors to the country will discover friendly locals willing to help tourists find their feet, and such kindness comes in very handy since Ghana is not well known for organized tours. Get out and explore: savannas, forests, springs, cave systems, mountains, estuaries, wildlife parks, and nature reserves make up the varied geography; forts, castles, and ports line the 560-km (350-mile) coast; and cities offer a hopping nightlife and one of west Africa’s largest public markets.
- "Akwaaba!" The word means "welcome," and the people of Ghana speak it often. Meet them in their element at public markets and village harvest festivals in August and September. Every sixth Sunday, many Ghanaians celebrate the Akwasidee Festival honoring King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. See drumming, dancing and colorful costumes.
- Animal kingdom Elephants, crocodiles, antelopes, monkeys, and more populate protected areas. Spot Mona monkeys living in harmony with local people in the villages that double as monkey sanctuaries.
- Water, water everywhere From the Volta region’s waterfalls to the Amansuri Lagoon to beautiful beaches, Ghana offers a variety of places to take a dip.
- Look behind the walls The string of castles and forts along the coast trace Ghana’s difficult slave trade history and foreign occupation.