Kumasi, Ghana’s second city and cultural hub, is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Asante people, as it was once one of the richest and most influential kingdoms of the African continent. If you’re looking for a taste of authentic West Africa, here are some ideas for how to spend your time in Kumasi.
Day 1: The Asante Kingdom
Your first day in Kumasi is a great time to learn about the history and culture that put the city on the map in the first place. Start your day with a visit to the National Cultural Centre, where you’ll find the small but informative Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and its collection of relics and historical memorabilia from the Asante Empire’s storied history. In the afternoon, make your way just out of town to visit the UNESCO-listed Asante Traditional Buildings to see what the traditional ceremonial dwellings of the Asantes looked like during their cultural height.
Day 2: Modern Kumasi
Yesterday was all about the past, so today is about Kumasi’s present. There’s no better place to feel the pulse of a city than at its main market, so plan to spend your morning immersed in the sights and sounds of the massive open-air Kejetia Market. While you’re there, pick up some Asante sandals or famous kente cloth, but don’t forget to haggle. After you've had your fill of shopping, head out for an evening of people watching and nightlife—Ghana-style—at the open-air bars along Bantama High Street.
Day 3: A Breath of Fresh Air
The traffic and chaos of Kumasi is enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned of travelers, so use your last day in the area to get out and relax in nature. A day at Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana’s only natural lake, means cooling off with a swim or exploring the small villages that dot the banks. Alternately, you can set out for a day of bird-watching and monkey-spotting in the secondary forests of Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary.