Arrive in Accra, Ghana. Transfer from airport to hotel for welcome ceremony with cultural drumming and dancing (for daylight arrivals only), pouring of libation, welcome drinks and orientation.
After lunch depart 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. You will be spellbound by the Achievements of Kwame Nkrumah During his relatively short span of life.
After lunch in a local Ghanaian restaurant, 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. Lodging: Hotel in Accra. Approximate time for Accra City tour: 4hrs. 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 201 years ago when Africans were transported via slave ships to the America. 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 felt beyond the shores of Africa today. Watch the film ‘Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade’. Lodging: Hotel in Elmina. Appraximate Drive Time (Elmina-Cape Coast): 10 mins. 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 Asafo houses that were used as a place for warriors to prepare mentally and spiritually before going to war. They are full of numerous symbols with great philosophical meanings which depict wonderful examples of how art is used in the daily lives of Africans. After dinner depart for Cape Coast Castle to join other pilgrims for Panafest’s midnight vigil. Lodging: Hotel in Elmina. Approximate Time for Elmina Castle and Village Tour):2hrs. Includes: (B).
After breakfast, check out of your hotel for a drive through a former slave route to Assin Manso. This was the final transit point for the Enslaved Africans before arriving at the dungeons and the final resting place for two ancestors whose mortal remains were returned from the USA and Jamaica and re-interred. Enshrine your place in history by signing the Returnees Memorial Wall the former Slave River and slave market. Pay “Tribute to the Returnees. Do not forget to wash your face with the waters of the slave river or merely touching it for a memorable reconnection with your ancestors.
The Emancipation Day Celebration is opened with a Grand Durbar of Traditional Chiefs and people of the Central Region. Witness this grand, colorful and spectacular event that showcases the pomp and pageantry of Ghana's traditional rulers, dressed in rich Kente and adorned in glittering gold jewelry. Discover the African rhythm in you as you dance to the beat of the 'Fromtomfrom' drums. Continue to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Empire. Lodging: Hotel in Kumasi. Approximate Drive time (Elmina –Kumasi): 4 hrs. Includes: (B).
After breakfast, visit the three famous craft villages in Ashanti. Depart to Ahwiaa, the wood carvers’ village, Ntonso, the home of Adinkra and Bonwire, the Kente weaving village. You will have the opportunity to see how African crafts are made and to buy directly from the artisans who make them.
After lunch, depart for a tour of Kumasi city, the seat of the Ashanti Empire to explore the legends of the famous Ashantis. Visit Manhyia Palace Museum, to obtain firsthand information on the legacies of the Ashanti kingdom. A regal history that dates back to 1700 is told with relics and artifacts.
Enjoy a drive through the city with monuments dedicated to the memory of the great Ashanti people. End the day’s tour at the National Cultural Center which features the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and various studios of the brass makers, potters and batik makers. Lodging: Hotel in Kumasi. Approximate Time for Craft Villages Tour and Kumasi City Tour: 7hrs. Includes: (B).