The capital of the Ashanti region, Kumasi is a well balanced city that holds to tradition while embracing some aspects modernity. Located in a rain forest region, Kumasi is often referred to as “The Garden City” because of its abundance of flowers and plants. Kumasi is a great city to experience and learn about Ghana’s rich culture and history.
The Kejetia Market
The Kejetia Market is one of the biggest markets in Western Africa. This busy market is a great place to buy affordable souvenirs, clothes, accessories, food, etc. When visiting the market make sure to dedicate a generous amount of time to explore as there are over 10,000 vendors selling unique goods! Hint: Don’t be afraid to respectfully negotiate prices with the stall keeper.
Manhyia Palace Museum
Home to the 13th and 14th kings of Asante, the Manhyia Palace was built in by the British in 1924 for Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I after his 28 year exile. The Palace was inhabited by Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I and his successor Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II until 1974 when he relocated just behind the original palace to a more updated and modern palace. The first floor has been preserved exactly the way it was when Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II lived there so you can get an idea of how he lived when he was in the palace. You can also view video presentations, photographs, and other artifacts to learn about the Ashanti Empire.
Kumasi Zoo/Culture Center
If you would like to see some of Ghana’s exotic animals without risking life and limb, the Kumasi Zoo is the great place to experience Ghanaian nature without having to leave the city. Located near the center of Kumasi, the zoo is home to over 60 animal species and is abundant in flora and beauty. Some of the types of animals you can see lions, elephants, primates, reptiles, birds, etc. The purpose of the zoo is not just to display animals to the viewing public, but offer a sanctuary for orphaned animals, engage in breeding for endangered species, and educate the public about Ghana’s endangered animals. When entering the jungle-like atmosphere of the zoo, you may just forget there is a bustling city outside that is also waiting to be explored!
Within the same complex is the Kumasi Culture Center, which encompasses a another museum of Ashanti History. At the Culture Center, you can take traditional dance and drumming classes as well as purchase local crafts while watching how they’re made. The Culture Center is also where you can buy some of the highest quality souvenirs for the lowest prices.
The Kentish Kitchen
After exploring the Kumasi Zoo and Culture Center, you will most likely be famished. There is a wonderful restaurant connected to the Culture Center called The Kentish Kitchen that serves authentic Ghanaian food along with western dishes. The relaxed atmosphere of The Kentish Kitchen makes for a great place to sit back and unwind after a long day of looking at animals and learning about the Ashanti history. In addition, meals at The Kentish Kitchen are affordably priced so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank while going out to eat.
The Green Ranch
Sometimes you might need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking to escape city life for a day, The Green Ranch is the perfect getaway. Located on the banks of the biggest lake in Ghana, Bosumtwi Lake, The Green Ranch offers horseback riding for all abilities. It also offers sleeping accommodations with spectacular views that over look the lake and mountains. Meals are also provided from locally and/or home grown ingredients. The lake is considered Sacred by the locals and does not allow any motorized boats on it. In fact, touching the lake with any kind of iron is considered disrespectful so fishing is done from large wooden planks or canoes. Enjoy a quiet, peaceful day at The Green Ranch before returning to the vivacious city.
Kumasi is great place to experience many of the things Ghana has to offer. Whether you love spending time in nature, learning about history, experiencing the rich Ghanaian culture, or all three, you will without a doubt find many enjoyable things to do in Kumasi, Ghana.