IN & AROUND KUMASI

PMGY volunteer in Ghana participants are based in a friendly neighbourhood of Ghana’s second city, Kumasi. The volunteer house is a 45-minute drive into Kumasi city centre, which is still dripping with Ashanti traditions and has some interesting sights.

 

Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa’s largest cultural centre, the palace of the Ashanti king. The city is surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast and vibrant central market.

 

Close to the market is the city’s National Cultural Centre which encompasses a museum of Ashanti history and you can even try your hand at traditional dance and drumming classes!

Thousands of stalls at Kumasi Central Market

KUMASI (KEJETIA) CENTRAL MARKET

One of the largest markets in West Africa with up to 11,000 stalls and four times as many people working there, this throbbing market is utterly captivating. Just 30 minutes from your PMGY base this chaotic and buzzing spot is a labyrinth of stalls selling everything you could ever want and quite a few things you didn’t! Definitely worth a visit.

KUMASI NATIONAL CULTURAL CENTRE

This offers a fantastic insight into the culture of Ghana, particularly that of the Ashanti people. The Centre covers a large area close to the Kumasi Zoo. The terrain is nicely situated on top of a hill, full of palm and banana trees, green lawns and other colourful plants. Inside the walls you find a museum about the Ashanti history, a national library, a restaurant and some stalls where traditional souvenirs can be bought (the paintings and woodwork are particularly good). Right in the middle there also is a theatre where you can see traditional dance and music.

Members of the Ashanti tribe at the Kumasi Cultural Centre
Learning to weave Kente cloth at Bomwire Kente Weaving Village

BOMWIRE KENTE WEAVING VILLAGE

Kente cloth is a royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance. Kente was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread, however its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem in the Akan family. There are a number of villages that produce this traditional Ghanaian cloth. Asante kente is identified by its dazzling, multicoloured patterns of bright colours, geometric shapes and bold designs. Bomwire Kente Weaving Village is one of the closest places where you can go to buy kente clothing and learn how they produce it. Most shops will allow you to try your hand at weaving which is always a fun experience. Bonwire is only 30 minutes from Kumasi.

BOABENG FIEMA MONKEY SANCTUARY

The people in Boabeng and Fiema consider the monkeys to be sacred and in the 70s actually came together to pass a law prohibiting causing harm to the monkeys. The sanctuary holds about 400 Colobus and Mona monkeys. They come into the village all the time to steal things, but as the people are not allowed to hurt them, they simply get away with it!

 

The guides at the sanctuary will take you on a tour of the rainforest and local village, where you will see monkeys everywhere. There is also a monkey cemetery in the forest, where the priests of the village have been buried alongside monkeys that have passed away.

Volunteer in Vietnam

FURTHER AFIELD

Lake Bosumtwi, which was formed by an ancient meteorite impact crater. It is approximately 8 km across and the only natural lake in Ghana

LAKE BOSOMTWI

A popular retreat for volunteers at the weekend looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Kumasi. The lakeside area has a range of decent, inexpensive hotels that you can go to for a night or two. You can take a boat trip, go swimming, or just chill out by the lake.

BEACHES & SURFING

Not far from Cape Coast you’ll find no shortage of great beaches such as Anomabo, Elimina and Busua.

 

And if you fancy your hand at surfing then Busua is a small, laid back coastal village with surfing at its heart. As surf destinations go, Busua really is a frontier town: it’s home to the only two surf shops in Ghana, and almost every one of the country’s surfers live in the village. Not that there are very many of them.

 

With gentle waves, warm water and an absence of sharks, the beach is an alluring proposition for anyone looking to learn to surf in a tropical destination off the usual circuit. It is perfect for beginner to intermediate surfers, but the more experienced can make easy trips along the coast to find more challenging and potentially unridden waves.

Sunrise over a Ghanian beach
Rope walkway through the treetops in Kakum rain forest

KAKUM NATIONAL PARK

From Cape Coast, it is highly advised that you take a day-trip to Kakum National Park. The 607 square kilometres (234 square miles) of protected rainforest are home to an assortment of animals, including forest elephants, giant hogs, flying squirrels, leopards and various species of monkey.

 

For a truly unique way to experience this tropical rainforest take a short walking safari on the famous canopy walkways. If you fancy something a bit different, you can stay overnight in the park in one of their tree houses and even go for a night walk!

Volunteer Vietnam

PMGY ORGANISED WEEKEND TRIPS

PMGY operate a number of amazing weekend trips in Ghana. Everything is planned for you and the group is accompanied by a PMGY member of staff who knows the country inside and out, which is the ideal way to travel. As with everything in life though it pays to be organised, so if you have your heart set on any of the trips below and would like to be guaranteed a place please book well in advance of travel.

 

If you’ve already signed up to one of our programmes and would like to book, click the book button below. If you haven’t signed up already, you can add the weekend tour onto your trip during the online application form. Please note places on weekend tours are non-refundable and non-transferable.

CAPE COAST WEEKEND TRIP - $250pp

INCLUDES - PRIVATE TRANSPORT, ACCOMMODATION, ALL MEALS & ENTRANCE FEES

One of the most culturally significant spots in Africa, this former capital of Ghana was the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa. Today it is an easy going fishing town, the very picture of laid-back serenity.

 

The main attraction is Cape Fort museum and the slave market. The tour is a fascinating but harrowing experience, an unfortunate insight into human cruelty. Thousands upon thousands of West African men and women were imprisoned within the castle, in the most inhumane conditions, before passing the ‘Door of No Return’ and being shipped off to the Americas, the majority of them not surviving to reach their final destination. The 45-minute tour guide is a must, and included in the ticket price.

MOLE NATIONAL PARK WEEKEND TRIP - $250pp

INCLUDES - PRIVATE TRANSPORT, ACCOMMODATION, ALL MEALS & ENTRANCE FEES

A trip to Ghana would not be complete without a visit to its largest wildlife sanctuary, Mole National Park. Situated in the Northern region it is one of the few remaining refuges for native species in Ghana.

 

More of a reserve than a park, the animals roam around freely with 94 species of mammals, including African elephants, lions, monkeys, hippos and warthogs; as well as 344 species of bird and 33 species of reptile including crocodiles.

DUBAI RETURN STOPOVER TRIP (INDEPENDENT) - $300pp

INCLUDES - PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFERS, ACCOMMODATION, BREAKFAST & ACTIVITIES

If your flight itinerary includes a stop in Dubai, then grab an opportunity to spend 4 days and 3 nights in this powerhouse of a city with both hands.

 

Your trip includes a city tour, so you don’t miss any of the best bits as well as an exhilarating 4×4 excursion across the deserts of Dubai. You’ll be sandboarding down huge dunes, taking a camel ride and getting a henna tattoo! The day is topped off with a delicious barbecue dinner under the twinkling Arabian stars while watching a traditional tanoura dance performance.

 

The PMGY team will arrange your city tour, desert safari, transfers and accommodation but please note this trip is unaccompanied and is an opportunity for some independent travel.

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