Flag of Ghana

Ghana

Ghana (officially the Republic of Ghana) is situated in West Africa and is bounded by Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Côte d'Ivoire to the west.

A narrow grassy plain stretches inland from the coast, widening in the east, while the south and west are covered by dense rainforest. To the north are forested hills beyond which is dry savannah and open woodland. Ghana's coastline is dotted with sandy palm-fringed beaches and lagoons.

Ghana was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the inland Ashanti kingdom and various Fante states along the coast. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874. Upon achieving independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation as a reference to its ancient roots in the Empire of Ghana.

The capital, Accra, features the Makola Market, a large and busy open-air market. Kumasi is the historic capital of the Ashanti civilisation, where ruins of the Manhyia Palace and the Royal Mausoleum may be examined. In the northeast, the Boufom Wildlife Sanctuary contains the spectacular Banfabiri Falls. Mole National Park is recommended, where species of antelope, monkeys, lions and elephants can be seen on guided excursions.

Local dishes include traditional soups (palmnut, groundnut), kontomere and okro stews that are normally accompanied by fufu (pounded cassava), kenkey or gari. In Accra and other major centres there are nightclubs combining a selection of Western pop music and spectacular Ghanaian music and dancing.

Map of Ghana