CENTRAL REGION

THE CENTRAL REGION

INTRODUCTION

The Central Region is the former government centre of the Gold Coast. Cape Coast was the seat of the British colonial administration up until 1877. The coastline is famous for its ancient forts and castles built by early European traders, and three of them at Elmina, St. Jago and Cape Coast have been identified as World Heritage Monuments by the World heritage Foundation under UNESCO.

The Region is also famous for its palm-fringed beaches, fascinating fishing villages and historic towns, and rich natural attractions. Kakum National Park, just 30km north of Cape Coast, is the foremost nature reserve in Southern Ghana and well worth a visit. Almost untouched virgin rainforest has been preserved as a habitat for birds, butterflies and rare local animals, and Kakum is most accessible, as it is very easy to reach from Accra.

The Region’s culture is depicted through its many exciting festivals which are held throughout the year. Some of the best known festivals are ‘Bakatue’, literally the opening up of Benya Lagoon into the sea, which symbolised the beginning of the fishing season for the people of Elmina; ‘Edina Buronya’, a native version of Christmas celebrated by the people of Elmina on the first Thursday of the New Year; ‘Aboakyer’ or game hunting, one of the most famous festivals celebrated by the chiefs and people of Winneba on the first Saturday in May; and ‘Fetu Afahye’ celebrated with a durbar of chiefs by the people of Cape Coast on the first Saturday of September. Another famous festival is ‘Odambea’ celebrated on the last Saturday in August in Saltpond Traditional Area, and reflecting a migration of the local people centuries ago.

The historic towns in the region that deserve a visit include Winneba, traditionally known as ‘Simpa’ Winneba; Kromantsej Abanze, the site of Fort Amsterdam; Duakwa and Mensa Krom, home of some of the Region’s best woodcarvers; Ajumako aware where the carvers specialise in royal regalia, stools, linguistic staffs and clan totems.

Throughout the Central Region there are welcoming hotels and restaurants, all an easy drive from Accra. If you are seeking to discover the historical links between Africa and the Americas and Europe, or just wanting to explore a culture that has its roots in another era, or just wanting to relax on a sun-dappled beach, then the Central Region must not be missed.

Cultural Events & The Arts

One Stone Cultural Linkage

One Stone is one of our featured artists located at the Elmina Beach Hotel. They have contributed quite a bit to the community and welcome visitors en route to Elmina Resort. Also visit Elimax just next door for a cold drink and relaxing atomosphere!

Places of Interest

Traditional Fishing Villages

Along the Coast of the Central Region are a succession of busy fishing villages and traditional market towns that reflect the distinct cultures of the district.

Craft Villages

The villagers of the Central Region are famed for their traditional crafts that are still worked as their forefathers have worked for generations.

Bamboo Orchestra at Masomagor

The youth at the village of Masomagor have revived a traditional art, by performing with

Cape Coast Town

To the west of Accra lies Cape Coast the Capital of Central Region. Cape Coast was the Capital of Gold Coast before it became Ghana, and was moved to Accra in 1877.

Winneba

Winneba is an old coastal town on the “Gulf of Guinea”, located 35 miles west of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. In the early colonial history of Gold Coast, as Ghana

Ostrich Farm

The Ostrich Farm is located at Efutu Mampong about 14km from Cape Coast on the KNP Road. The ostrich is the world’s largest living bird belonging to the small order of birds known as Ratitae or running birds. The Ostrich can live up to between 30-70 years.

Festivals and Events

Aboakyir Festival

This Festival is celebrated by the people of Simpa or Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana

Masquerading Festival

It started around the 1920’s and is celebrated on the 1st of January every year and draws large crowds from all over…

Edina Bronya

This festival is a novel Christmas introduced to the people of Elmina during the Dutch era of the colonial period…

Edina Bakatue Festival

Literally translated means “The opening of the Lagoon” or the Draining of the Lagoon”. It is celebrated…

Akwambo Festival

The festival literally meaning “path-clearing”, is celebrated by the people of Agona in the Central Region.

Panafest

Pan-African Historic Festival is a major biennial event of cultural forum for Africans and people of African descent as well as friends of the…. continent committed to the noble

Odwira Festival

The Odwira Festival which is celebrated by the Denkyira people runs for weeks, beginning at Jukwa, the traditional capital, and ends at Dunkwa-on Offin, the administrative capital…

Fetu Afahye (Carnival) Festival

This festival is being celebrated by the people of Oguaa or Cape Coast Traditional Area in the Central Region.

Okyir Festival

Okyir is the major festival celebrated by the people of Anomabu. It is celebrated as a sign of cleansing or purification of the town from filth, evil spirits etc.

Highlights of the festival include the following activities:

Odunkwaa Festival

This is a week long festival which starts on Easter Monday. The festival has two venues: Abakrampa, the seat of the traditional area and Abura Dunkwa, the administrative capital. Rituals are performed near the state shrine. The festival is characterized by the fencing of the Odum Tree which is regarded as sacred, and believed to have protected the people from attacks during their wars.

Nyeyi and Tuakron

The Komenda-Nyeyi festival is celebrated in honour of departed heroes and heroines for their great contribution to the various traditional areas and the “Tuakron”, meaning settling on new lands is celebrated by the people of Hemang.

Beaches and Resorts

The Beaches of the Central Region

Beach lovers will enjoy our palm – fringed beaches, warmed by African sunshine

Wildlife and Nature Reserves

Kakum National Park

A 357km2 national park comprising undisturbed virgin rainforest.

Kakum Conservation Area Tree House

This Conservation Area was formed in 1992, consisting of the Kakum National Park and the nearby Assin Attandaso Resource Reserve. The Tree House and 2-3 hour hike make a unique camping/hiking experience.

Coastal Ramsar Sites – Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site

The Muni-Pomadze Site encompasses an area of about 90 km2 comprising the water shed of the Muni Lagoon. However, the lagoon and flood plains is only 114ha. Eleven…

Castles and Forts

Elmina Castle

The Portuguese founded Castle “Sao Jorge da Mina” in 1482 to protect the gold-rich lands discovered in 1471. The castle was completed according to its original plan in 1486 and the town was raised to the status of a “city”.

Fort William – Anomabu

Anomabu became the focus of intense European trade rivalry in the 17th and 18th centuries, partly because of its easy access to a rich hinterland and partly because the local Anomabu were themselves powerful and astute traders.

Fort Amsterdam (Cormantin) – Abandze

History has it that, in 1631, a renegade employee of the Dutch West Indian Company called Arent Groote, acting on behalf of the English Company of Adventurers Trading to Guynney and Binney, signed an agreement with the Chief of Cormantin by which a hill site near the village was ceded to the English company.

Fort Good Hope – Senya Beraku

Thanks to their establishment of a lodge at Senya Beraku in 1667, the Dutch entered into a long-standing relationship with the Agona State. Its chief subsequently requested the Dutch to build a permanent fort at Beraku.

Fort Patience – Apam

In the late 17th century, the small state of Acron – sandwiched between the larger British allies of Agona and Fante sought to have a strong fort built on its territory to defend it in case of attack. The Dutch, while willing to erect a fort at Apam, were in no position to build a large one. Building of the fort commenced in 1697 on the summit of a promontory close to a sheltered beach and bay.

Fort St. Jago (Coenraadsburg) – Elmina

In 1503, according to historical narration by the Portuguese Diego de Alvarenga, a Portuguese missionary converted and baptized the paramount chief of the Efutu Kingdom on the Mina coast together with 300 of his subjects. The chief permitted the Portuguese to build a church on the hill located opposite the Castle St. Jorge. The site was dedicated to the Portuguese saint, Jago.

Cape Coast Castle

The strategic location of Cape Coast having a sheltered beach in proximity to Elmina Castle made it a great attraction to the European nations.

Food

Dishes of the Central Region

The main dishes of the Central Region include “fante dorkunu” or kenkey with fish

Facts and History

A Short History of Cape Coast (Oguaa)Royal Stool

Succession to the Stool of Cape Coast was established in 1856 it was beign selected from male line, that is from father to son of a previous ruler and a change to female line was instituted.

Donkor Nsuo (The Slave River) at Assin Manso

A secrets place where the slave trade were chained to the tall stump before or after their last bath.

Entertainment

Cape Coast Night Life

You would have the chance to be part of a wonderful disco session at Cape Coast Hotel, Elmina Beach Resort, Dans Paradise and Jet Night Club at Elmina and Cape Coast respectively. The Greenland Hotel at Agona Swedru also provides night per- formances to entertain visitors. Tourists would be amused by entertaining cultural performances by the Agoro Cultural Dancers on request.

Toppyard Cinema and a host of others in Cape Coast, Swedru, Mankessim etc. also provide entertaining film shows to visitors.

There is no selected car class in current office. Please choose another Class!