Ghana has always been the golden child when it comes to touring western Africa. Its inviting beaches, rich culture, vibrant city life and Jollof (a matter of national pride), It is no surprise Ghana was voted one of the world’s most favourite destinations. The weather is inviting all year, and there are many locations around Ghana, such as waterfalls, game parks and the coast. Ghana is a one-stop destination for any kind of holiday.
However, in the month of Black History, a trip to Ghana’s coastal forts is a must. A strong reminder of the slave trade and the world’s history, Ghana is an essential destination on anyone’s bucket list.
There are about 30 sites to visit along Ghana’s coastline which mark the slave trade era. A few have been turned into museums and historical sites, one the most visited is Cape Coast Castle.
Cape Coast Castle:
Previously one of the world’s most important holding sites for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. When it was first constructed by the Swedes it was used as a holding and trading site for gold (Ghana as the Gold Coast) and timber. Over the years, as colonial powers fought to control Ghana, command of the castle changed hands multiple times.
Later on, under the rule of the British, underground dungeons were added when slaves were considered a commodity. These dungeons would imprison slaves for up to 12 weeks in the most inhumane conditions, while they waited to cross to the Americas. Up to 1000 individuals were held in one dungeon. It is estimated that almost 6 million individuals were sold from Ghana’s coastline.
Today, the castle still stands and operates as a museum. Its appearance is paradoxical. The top so lavish and extravagant, masking the misery and anguish which lies beneath. Cape Coast castle is one of many sites along Ghana’s coast that were used during the slave trade period. Other popular destinations include Elmina and Ussher Fort.