The Eastern Region offers a number of Ghana's popular tourist
attractions, for its has a richly varied landscape of tropical
forest, rivers and a great lake.
It is also the location for several of Ghana's major cultural
events. In the Eastern region, the modern blends in with the
ancient; it is so close to the nation's capital at Accra, yet
can present such a contrast.
The Volta Lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.
Created in 1965 as a result of the damming of the Volta River
at Akosombo, the Lake stretches from Akosombo in the south (at
Yapei) to Buipe in the north. Both towns are within an hour's
drive of Tamale, the Northern Region's capital.
The Lake offers a variety of opportunities for cruises, water
sports and angling. It also has many fascinating islands and
islets, such as Dodi Island, where facilities for excursions
have been developed.
With the recent construction of modern ports at Akosombo and
Buipe, passengers and cargo can now move easily by boat to and
from the north throughout the week. The Volta Lake Transport
Company Office at Akosombo Tel: 233-0251-697 or in Accra Tel:
233-021-665300 can provide the latest information on schedules.
An impressive feature of the Lake is the Volta Dam, which supplies
hydro-electric power to several parts of Ghana and to the neighbouring
countries of Togo and Benin. You will enjoy a panoramic view
of the Dam from the balconies of the Volta Hotel.
Aburi Botanical Gardens
The Gardens were originally created in 1890 as an agricultural
research station and a habitat for plants from around the world.
Over the years, the Botanical Gardens have collected together
a variety of tropical flora which attracts scores of birds and
Situated in the town of Aburi, which is well-known for its healthy
climate, the Gardens also have pleasant indoor-outdoor restaurants
and facilities for staying overnight.
10km north of Kibi is the magic forest of Atewa-Atwirebu. This
nature lovers'; paradise has over 150 different species of ferns
and other flora. The Forest is filled with the enchanting sounds
of birds and insects including the "Papillio Antimachus",
one of the largest butterflies in Africa.
In the forest reserve at Huhunya near Koforidua is a small seasonal
waterfall known as Boti Falls. It is fed by the River Pawnpawn
and is best enjoyed between June - August, during the rainy
season. In the immediate vicinity of the falls are caves, cascades,
and an "umbrella" rock worth exploring.
Breath-taking in its beauty, this area is home to the Kwahus
(pronounced Kwa-woos). On top of the mountain, there are a number
of well-planned, picturesque communities with beautiful homes.
Further north of the Kwahu Scarp is the Afram Plains, which
is a transitional zone of wooded savanna land. The Volta River
is at its broadest here, and opportunity for boating and angling
abound. Trips into the vast Digya Game Reserve are also possible
Akonedi Shrine, Larteh
Larteh is 56km north of Accra, on the Akwapim Ridge. There you
will find the Akonedi Shrine where herbal medicine as well as
psychic healing are practiced by the fetish. A fee is charged
to observe religious ceremonies.
At Akwatia, 2 hours drive from Accra, is the only diamond mine
in the country. This open-cast mine is open to tourists. It
has recreational facilities and a guest house.
Cocoa Research Institute
New Tafo, 24km from Koforidua, has a Cocoa Research Institute
with arboretums and model farms. Botanists will find the Institute
of particular interest. The Institute also has recreational
facilities including a bar and golf course, which can be booked
by advance reservation.
The Eastern Region is noted for its large areas of lush, tropical
forests, especially in the Birim district, where you will find
the largest tree in West Africa. It has a girth of 10.37 metres
and is 128 metres tall. This impressive tree is located in the
Esen-Epam Forest Reserve in Asantemanso, on the Accra-Akim Oda
Slave Market of Abonse
The town of Abonse was an important slave market in the 17th
and 18th centuries. Traces of the original market can still
Mountains - Klowem
The Mountains are believed to have been the first home of the
Krobo people when they migrated to Ghana between the 15th and
16th centuries. These mountains provided a natural protective
barrier against marauding slave raiders and other invaders.
However, in 1852 a 100-man British army forced the Krobos to
evacuate their home. Relics, interesting architectural designs
and ruins of buildings have survived, and can be seen on the
Original Cocoa Farm
This was the first cocoa farm established in the country. The
cocoa seeds are believed to have been brought from Fernando
Po Island by Tetteh Quarshie, who set up the farm at Mampong-Akwapim
in 1879. The farm was replanted in 1960, but 3 of the original
trees still remain to this day. You can see the farm and Tetteh
Quarshie's home by contacting the Caretaker at the Mampong Chief's
Okomfo Anokye, a legendary priest, is credited with founding
the great Asante Empire. A shrine is dedicated to his supernatural
exploits at Awukugua-Akwapim. Scattered throughout the towns
on the Akwapim Ridge (Awukugua, Apirede, Amanokrom, Brekuso)
mysterious phenomena attributed to this 18th century priest
can be found; for example, his had and foot imprints are permanently
etched in solid stone. There is also an "Oware Board"
which he reportedly carved from 'stone'.
The Shrine is located at Awukugua 60km from Koforidua.
Old Basel Missionary Buildings
The Akwapim Ridge has a long history of missionary work, especially
in the field of education. Residents of the area warmly welcomed
the advent of Christianity in the country, and that Christian
heritage is still strongly evident. You will find several monuments
and buildings constructed by the Basel Missionaries on the Ridge.
Festival of Akwapim
This festival is celebrated in most Akwapim towns during the
months of September and October, with the most colourful festivities
taking place at Akropong, Amanokrom and Aburi. During Odwira,
the Chiefs sit in state and receive homage from the people.
The ceremonies include purification of the stools and performance
of traditional rites. Libations are poured to the gods for prosperity
and the general well-being of the people during the ensuing
year. Drumming and dancing accompany the celebration.
This is the annual traditional harvest and the thanksgiving
festival of the Krobo people. It is celebrated in March-April
by the people of Manya and Yilo Krobo in the towns of Krobo
Odumase and Somanya, about 80km north of Accra.
Adae And Akwasidae Festivals -
Adae and Akwasidae Festivals are held at the various palaces
in Kwahu once every six weeks. These are occasions when the
Chiefs, riding in their palanquin and adorned with all their
gold ornaments, come out to receive the homage of their sub-chiefs
and people. It is a spectacular sight to watch the colouful
canopies and umbrellas, the skillful drummers, dancers, horn-blowers
and praise-singers at these regular festivals, held in honour
of the peoples ancestral spirits. Time your visit to coincide
with an "Akwasidae Festival" (Sunday Adae).
You can determine the Akwasidae date by counting 6 weeks down
the calendar from 1 Adae. For example, in 1991 the dates are
January 6, February 17, March 31, May 12, June 23, August 4,
September 15 October 27, December 8.
The Adawso Market is situated in the foothills of the Akwapim
Ridge, midway on the Mamfi-Koforidua Road.
It is best to go on market days (Tuesdays and Fridays) when
items ranging from foodstuffs and vegetables to handicrafts
and fabrics are sold.
Located in the regional capital, Koforidua, the market first
started on a small scale at the Central Railway Station. Market
days are Mondays and Fridays and prices are, as usual, negotiable.
Situated in the Manya Krobo district, very close to Koforidua,
this old, popular market specializes in foodstuffs. Market days
are Mondays and Wednesdays.
Nsawam, a well-patronized market, is 23km from Accra. It s market
days are Mondays and Tuesdays. Delicious fruits and vegetables
are sold here, but prices tend to be quite high. So be prepared