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 full of Ashanti traditions and has some interesting sights.

 

Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and 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!

 

Participants generally volunteer on a Monday-Friday basis and the weekends are free to relax or travel further afield. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend you get involved in. Our local team are able to arrange activities, transportation and accommodation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core programme.

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 open-air 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! Kejetia market offers a range of products including gold and diamond jewelry handcrafted by the Ashantis, traditional Ashanti kente cloth, food, spices, grains, and toiletries. 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.

BOABENG FIEMA MONKEY SANCTUARY

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

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. Bosomtwi is the largest natural lake in Ghana. The Ashanti consider it a sacred lake and according to traditional belief, the souls of the dead come here to bid farewell to the god Asase Ya. Our local team run medical outreach camps at Lake Bosomtwi on an ad-hoc basis to provide free healthcare to the local community.

BEACHES & SURFING

Not far from Cape Coast you’ll find no shortage of great beaches such as Busua, Anomabo, and Elimina. Busua is a small, laid-back coastal village with surfing at its heart. It is home to the only two surf shops in Ghana, and most of the country’s surfers live in the village. 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. More experienced surfers can make easy trips along the coast to find more challenging and 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 sq km of protected rainforest is 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 in one of the park’s tree houses overnight.

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 - 1,000 CEDI pp (LOCAL PAYMENT)

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 center in West Africa. Today it is an easy going fishing town, the very picture of laid-back serenity. With a long, beautiful white sandy beach, friendly locals, delicious local food, little stalls perfect for mementos and an intriguing history, Cape Coast is a winner!

 

The main attraction is the Cape Coast Castle and the slave dungeon. The tour is a fascinating but harrowing experience and an insight into horrific human cruelty. Thousands upon thousands of West African men and women were imprisoned within the castle’s dungeons, in the most inhumane conditions, before passing the ‘Door of No Return’ and being shipped off to the Americas. The majority would not survive to reach their final destination. The 45-minute guided tour is a must, and included in the ticket price.

MOLE NATIONAL PARK WEEKEND TRIP - 1,000 CEDI pp (LOCAL PAYMENT)

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, kob antelopes, buffaloes, baboons, monkeys, lions, hippos, and warthogs. Sightings of elephants are common from December to April, and you’re guaranteed to see other mammals year-round. You will also spot some of the 344 species of bird and 33 species of reptile, including crocodiles.

 

With its swathes of saffron-coloured savannah, Mole National Park offers a fantastic opportunity to see and experience some of Ghana’s incredible wildlife.

DUBAI RETURN STOPOVER TRIP (INDEPENDENT) - $330pp

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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