Akwasidae Festival African Heritage Tour

March 30th-April 10th 2021

Tuesday

March 30th  

Selected flight departs from U.S.A.  

Wednesday

March 31st 

Until we select the airline for your flight, we will not know the time your group will arrive in Ghana. This itinerary anticipates a Delta Airlines arrival which is 1:35 p.m. The itinerary would change if another airline is selected.  

1:35 p.m. Delta Airlines flight arrives in Ghana.

Welcome and Airport pick-up by African Connections Ghana Ltd. staff who will assist you throughout your stay in Ghana. 

After completion of Airport arrival procedures, your tour guide will take you on a driving tour through Accra to give you a feel for this vibrant and cosmopolitan City.

Lunch can be purchased at selected restaurant during the tour.

After the driving tour, you will arrive at your hotel for check-in and a free evening to rest. 

Dinner can be purchased at the hotel.

Thursday 

April 1st 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

10:00 a.m. Bus departs for Accra City Tour.

Accra City Tour Includes:

  • Visit to Jamestown, one of the oldest districts in the city of Accra, was a significant stop on the slave routes that were used by slave traders to move their human “cargo” from points of capture to the slave dungeons on the coasts of Ghana.

2019 marked 400 years since the first African slaves landed in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States. “From Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown in Accra, Ghana” ------ your return to Africa, completes the circle. 

  • While in Jamestown, you will the opportunity to climb the Jamestown Lighthouse, which towers 112 feet above sea level, with a visibility of 16 nautical miles. From the top of the Lighthouse you can view James Fort, the Bukom district and the Ussher Fort in the distance.  
  • See Christiansborg Castle (Former fort and slave dungeon and until recently, the official residence of the President of Ghana).
  • See Jubilee House which is now the official residence and office of the President of Ghana. 
  • See Independence Square (where Ghanaians celebrate the nation’s Independence Day each year).
  • Stand under Black Star Square which is a monument to the Black Star of Ghana, which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister adopted in tribute to Marcus Garvey. 
  • See State House (Popularly called Job 600, which was built by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to host the first Organization of Africa Unity summit in Accra).
  • See Parliament House (Built by Dr. Kwame

Nkrumah and the place where Parliament meets).

  • See the National Theatre (National Center for 

Performing Arts).

  • Explore Old Osu and Labadi (two of the oldest settlements in Accra).
  • Visit the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which is the final resting place of the first President of Ghana and one of Africa’s most renowned Statesmen and Pan-Africanists.
  • Visit the W.E.B. DuBois Memorial Center for Pan-African Culture, which is a research library and gallery of the invaluable manuscripts of W.E.B. DuBois.  
  • Drive through the commercial districts of Accra and see the amazing development and growth of Ghana’s capital city.
  • See other sites of interest as we crisscross through Accra, one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in Africa.

6:00 p.m. Enjoy an evening of entertainment and fun at our Akwaaba (Welcome) Dinner Buffet with Cultural Dance and Drumming Performances, Fashion and Art Show.

Included meals this day: Breakfast and Dinner. 

Friday  

April 2nd  

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

9:00 a.m.  Check out of your hotel for a scenic drive to the Volta Region. However, before you leave Accra, you will complete the Accra City Tour. (Any sites not visited on Day One will be visited before we start our journey to the Volta Region.)

When we reach the Volta Region, our first stop will be a visit to the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary where tour members will see families of these endangered animals close up in their natural habitat.

Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary is situated in a lush indigenous tropical forest which is home to hundreds of the playful Mona monkeys.

Over 200 years ago, when the ancestors of the current inhabitants of Tafi Atome arrived at the village, the monkeys were believed to be messengers of the gods and their ancestors. These monkeys were therefore seen as sacred.

After our guided tour of the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, we will proceed to the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary & Wili Waterfall.

The Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Hohoe district of the Volta Region. This lush forest contains hundreds of exotic birds and over 400 species of butterflies, monkeys and a number of antelopes.

In addition, it boasts of one of the country’s most spectacular natural wonders—the Wili Waterfall.

This waterfall is estimated to be an amazing 600 meters from the very top and it is truly a site to behold.  

After our nature tours, we will check in at our hotel. 

After check in, enjoy a buffet dinner and a relaxing evening at the poolside.

Included meals this day: Breakfast and Dinner. 

Saturday

April 3rd  

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

9:00 a.m. Check out of Hotel for trip to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.  

10:00 a.m. Before heading to Kumasi, the tour group will participate in a Traditional Naming Ceremony in the Volta Region, where each tour member will be given a traditional Ghanaian name based on his/her day of birth.

Tour members will be welcomed by the Village Chiefs, elders and families during this festive occasion with traditional dancing and drumming and the sharing of the traditional meal served when a new born child is named and formally welcomed into his/her family. 

After the Naming Ceremony and taking time to interact and get to know the families that have “adopted” the tour group members, we will begin our journey to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

We will stop for Lunch on the way to Kumasi.

After arrival in Kumasi, check-in to hotel for a relaxing evening. 

Dinner can be purchased at the hotel.

Included meals this day: Breakfast only.  

Sunday  

April 4th 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

9:00 a.m. Bus departs for Akwasidae Festival at Manhyia Palace.

Tour members will have the privilege to witness one of the most important and historically significant festivals that take place in Ghana.  

The Akwasidae rituals and events honor the ancestors and allows Asante chiefs and their subjects to pay homage to the Asantehene “the king of kings,” the king of all of the Asante.

According to Asante cultural history, the Akwasidae festival commemorates the date that the Asante Golden Stool was magically brought down from heaven by the traditional priest Okomfo Anokye.

The Akwasidae festival features parades, dancing, drumming and countless traditional displays, including the appearance of the Asantehene, who is carried in a palanquin through the procession of Asante people who have come to pay homage to him.

A visit to Kumasi during the Akwasidae celebration is an unforgettable experience. The colorful parades, the parades of countless chiefs and Ghanaian royalty accompanied by their entourages of drummers, dancers, horn blowers and singers who perform non-stop to honor the ancestral spirits and to pay homage to the Asantehene, is sure to be the highlight of your tour. 

While at Manhyia Palace, visit the Museum, which is filled with countless relics and artifacts that highlight the richness of the history and culture of the Asante people.

The Palace of the Asantehene had been located on other sites before the British wars, but these palaces were destroyed by the British.

After the Asantehene Nana Prempeh I returned from exile in the Seychelles Islands, the British built Manhyia in its the current location.

Although, the Asantehene initially rejected this “gift” from the British, after the Asante people themselves repaid the full cost of the Palace to the British, the Asantehene moved in and Manhyia was the official residence of the Asantehene from that time to recently.

Included meals this day: Breakfast only. 

Monday  

April 5th 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins in your hotel.

9:00 a.m. Check out of your hotel for trip to Central Region.

10:00 a.m. Before we begin our journey to the Central Region, we tour Kumasi.  

Kumasi Tour Includes:

  • See the Okomfo Anokye Monument, dedicated to the traditional priest who “conjured” from the skies the famous Golden Stool that unified the Asante people and is the cornerstone upon which the Asante Empire was built and remains the symbol of strength of the Asante people.
  • See the famous sword that Okomfo Anokye drove into the ground in the 1700’s which until this day cannot be pulled out.
  • Stroll through the winding lanes at the National Center for Culture which features the workshops and shops the artisans producing brass items, batik cloth, wood pieces, artwork and pottery.
  • The National Center for Culture in Kumasi also houses the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum that contains many historical and cultural artifacts.
  • The group will have the opportunity to have lunch at Ike’s Café, which is on the grounds of the National Center for Culture in Kumasi. This well-known restaurant is located on its own “lake” and is famous for its fresh fish, which tour members can select live from the Ike’s “point and kill” tank.

After lunch we will proceed on our trip to Cape Coast/Elmina the Central Region. 

On the road to Cape Coast/Elmina from Kumasi, the group will stop at Assin Manso to participate in Ceremony at “Slave River” where slaves were forced to wash after their long march, which could take as much as six months, from as far away as what is now Nigeria to the coast of Ghana.

After this forced “bath” Slaves were marched to the dungeons where they were held until their departure on the Slave Ships heading to America, the Caribbean or Brazil.

Assin Manso is also the final resting place for two descendants of slaves who were returned from the USA and Jamaica respectively and re-interred at the entrance to Slave River.

After ceremonies of remembrance at the river and at the gravesite of the returned descendants of those enslaved, the group will continue to Elmina, in the Central Region for check-in.

Dinner can be purchased at the hotel.

Included meals this day: Breakfast only.  

Tuesday  

April 6th  

7:00 a.m. Breakfast Service begins at your hotel. 

10:00 a.m. Bus departs for Cape Coast/Elmina Tour, which includes:

  • Visit to Elmina Slave Dungeon

Elmina is infamous as the first place where the Europeans began to trade in African slaves.  

The dungeons of Elmina were built by the Portuguese and later taken over the British.’’

Elmina was first built as a fort to protect European traders but after the Atlantic slave trade began, the fort was quickly converted to a warehouse for human cargo.  

  • Visit to the Cape Coast Slave Dungeon, which houses the West African Historical Museum established by the Smithsonian Institute in collaboration with the Ghanaian Government in 1994.

Millions of slaves were stored at Elmina and or Cape Coast Slave dungeons during 400 years history of the Atlantic slave trade.

For these millions, the Elmina or Cape Coast dungeon and their infamous “Doors of no return” were the last place they walked on African soil, before they boarded the ships that took them to the Americas.

  • Driving tour highlighting many other sites of interest in the area, such as the Elmina Fishing Village, which is has changed very little over the centuries. 

 

  • Lunch at Mabel’s Table, a popular restaurant, owned by an African-American, with one of Ghana’s most spectacular ocean views. 

After the tour, we will return to the hotel for a relaxing evening on the beach.

Included meals this day: Breakfast and Lunch. 

Wednesday  

April 7th 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

FREE DAY TO ENJOY THE OCEAN, SIT AROUND THE POOL; OR PACK AND PREPARE TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES

6:00 p.m. Departure Buffet Dinner with Cultural Performances and Beach Party with music and dancing on the beach.

Included meals this day: Breakfast and Dinner. 

Thursday  

April 8th 

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

11:00 a.m. Check out of Hotel for trip to Accra.

We will stop for lunch on the way to Accra.

After arrival in Accra, complete last-minute souvenir and other shopping. 

Check in to hotel and enjoy a free evening to prepare for departure to the United States.

Included meals this day: Breakfast only. 

Friday 

April 9th  

7:00 a.m. Breakfast service begins at your hotel.

12:00 p.m. Check out of Hotel. 

Tour members will have time for last minute shopping.

We will stop for lunch at a selected restaurant.

6:00 p.m. Depart for airport to check in for flight to the United States.  

After check-in, relax and have dinner at airport restaurant.

Flight Departs from Accra Kotoka International Airport.

Included meals this day: Breakfast only. 

Saturday  

April 10th 

Arrive in the United States.