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5 reasons why you should visit Kumasi and its environs this year

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Ghana remains the Gateway to Africa, whereas Kumasi is often described as the Garden City of West Africa.

As to whether the latter has lived up to its name or not, it’s a topic for another day but one thing we are sure about is that Kumasi and the Ashanti Region qualifies as home to undiluted tradition and culture.

As we celebrate Ghana Month on Joy, the Showbiz A-Z team on Saturday March 5, 2022, travelled to Kumasi with the aim of discovering and unraveling the history and mystery of the Ashanti Kingdom, as well as learn of its contribution to tourism and the creative arts. During a conversation with seasoned panelists, we noted 5 fine reasons why you should visit Kumasi and its environs.

Manhyia Palace

The Manhyia Palace, located in Kumasi is described as the prescribed first tourist site anyone should visit upon touching down in the Garden City. The Manhyia Palace represents the Ashanti Kingdom and is known to hold its necessary facts and information. It boasts of a museum that possesses the history of the Ashanti Kingdom, its kings and queens, numerous artefacts that tell the history and many more. According to Jones Opoku Boama (deputy director, Ghana Tourism Authority), a panelist on the show, the Manhyia Palace recorded about 61,000 tourists during the peak of the covid-19 season. This is proof that the Manhyia Palace is one of the most important places to visit in Kumasi.

Central Market

The Kumasi Central Market is a huge market in the heart of the city. It is otherwise known as Kejetia Market. The Central Market is bordered by Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Cultural Center, both of which are also tourist centres. The market is divided into clusters, making it easier for shoppers to easily locate items they seek to purchase upon arrival. Among the many classifieds on sale are handcrafted jewellery by indigenous men and women, Kente fabric, leather, footwear, foodstuff, and many more.

Zoo

The Kumasi Zoo remains one of the best reasons you should visit the Ashanti Region, especially considering that the Accra Zoo was closed to the public some years ago. The zoological garden which is located in Kumasi is home to many species of indigenous animals. Tourists can visit the Kumasi Zoo and see animals including chimps, baboons, and elephants, camels,, porcupines, birds, snakes and donkeys, to name a few.

Center for National Culture

This is casually called Cultural Center and is situated in the heart of Kumasi, as mentioned in preceding paragraphs. The Center for National Culture is home to amazing samples of artefacts you can find in the Ashanti region. It also houses offices that furnish tourists with information on all tourist sites that can be visited in the Ashanti Region. According to actor, Bill Asamoah, who was a panel on the special edition of the Showbiz A-Z show, the center also has three different drama groups that trains prospective actors and actresses.

Lake Bosomtwi

Lake Bosomtwi is the only natural lake in Ghana. It is described as the ‘Ashanti sea’ and takes only 45 minutes drive away from Kumasi. Contrary to myths that the lake is closed to swimming on Fridays, Jones Opoku Boama (Deputy Director, Ghana Tourism Authority), insists Lake Bosumtwi is open for swimming every day. It is confirmed that the best time to be at the lake is around 5:00pm, during which tourists get to witness the beautiful sunset. Accommodation options are available for visitors who cannot make it back after witnessing sunset, giving them a chance to see sunrise on the next day.

After reading this article, we hope that you do visit Kumasi soon, and as you do, do not forget to ask for any of the numerous Fufu joints, a staple food for the Ashantis. You will be impressed at the passion with which the meal is prepared, served and consumed. Have fun!



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