Arrive in Accra, Ghana. Transfer to the hotel for our welcome ceremony with cultural drumming and dancing (for daylight arrivals only), pouring of libation, welcome drinks and orientation by host Tour Company. Lodging: Hotel in Accra. Meals.
After breakfast, depart hotel for a sightseeing city tour of Accra. You will drive through the administrative and economic districts of Accra, the capital of Ghana. This 128 year-old city has a blend of colonial and modern architecture that summarize her history. You will visit the W. E. B. Dubois Center for Pan African Culture, Independence/ Black Star Square and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. After lunch in a local Ghanaian restaurant, you will end your tour at the Arts Centre where you will have an opportunity to use your bargaining skills to shop from an open-air market for artifacts from Ghana and West Africa. Continue the drive to Elmina Lodging: Hotel in Elmina. Includes: (B).
Early morning departure for a drive through the historic Denkyira Kingdom to Kakum National Park, one of West Africa’s surviving tropical rain forests. Extending over 360sq km, Kakum is the home to over 40 large mammals and 400 bird species as well as many species of butterflies, flora and fauna. The most popular attraction is the Canopy Walkway which is made up of seven bridges extending 330m, hanging 40m (120 feet) above the forest floor. Choose between a 2 Km Nature walk through this forest to discover the wide variety of exotic floral species and the medicinal values they offer or take a walk on the canopy walkway. Lodging: Hotel in Elmina. Includes: (B).
After breakfast at your hotel, you will embark on an emotional boat trip to the Cape Coast Castle. This trip will mark as a return trip for the one made 200 years ago when Africans were transported via slave ships to the Americas. On landing on the shore make your way to the castle and enter through the door that was the last door African ancestors passed through on their way to board the ships to the new world. At that time it was a symbol of hopelessness and was known as the Door of No Return. But to modern pilgrims it is a Door of Return, of hope and healing.
Explore the grounds of this infamous castle with its slave dungeons. Every part of the castle has historical significance. This castle also houses the West African Historical Museum established by the Smithsonian Institute in collaboration with the Ghanaian Government in 1994. History will unfold the story of the slave trade whose impact is still being felt today, beyond the shores of Africa. Watch the film ‘Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade’. Lodging: Hotel in Elmina.
After dinner participate in Kasa (Talk Time) - This event offers the opportunity to learn more about Ghanaian culture or simply talk to each other and share information about the experiences you are having on the tour. Your tour leader and tour guide leads Kasa discussions. (This activity is optional). Includes: (B).
This morning visit Elmina Castle. This is another infamous castle and slave dungeon. It was built by the Portuguese in 1482 and is also known as St. George's Castle. This castle was the first European structure built in Sub-Saharan Africa. Explore the grounds and rooms full of haunting history. Stroll down to the beach for a memorial ceremony where each pilgrim will throw bread into the waters in remembrance of ancestors. A wreath with a candle is solemnly pushed into the waters and a respectful one minute silence is observed in remembrance of those who died in the Middle Passage (before reaching the Americas).
After lunch, enjoy a tour of the colonial town of Elmina. Elmina’s rich history is captured in its buildings. They tell the stories of the people of Elmina and the interaction with those who came from outside. Visit the colorful and Asafo houses that were used as a place for warriors to prepare mentally and spiritually before going to war. They are wonderful examples of how art is used in daily lives of Africans. After dinner depart for Cape Coast Castle to join other pilgrims for Panafest’s midnight vigil. Lodging: Hotel in Elmina. Includes: (B).