Cape Coast

Overview

Introduction

We found Cape Coast a nice place to relax, lie on the beach and enjoy delicious seafood. Located 75 mi/120 km west of Accra, it's also a good base for drives along the coast or for visits to various European-built castles and forts. In the city itself is the sprawling British-built Cape Coast Castleā€”a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been restored as an informative museum. It's an interesting place to visit and contains the grave of British poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon. There's a gift shop in the castle and a restaurant next door.

More impressive is St. George's Castle (in Elmina, 10 mi/16 km west of Cape Coast), which was founded as a rather modest Portuguese fortress in 1482 but expanded to its present size during the Dutch occupation. in the late 15th century. Once used as a base for the slave trade, the forlorn-looking castle lets you get a feel for the suffering of captured slaves. The guides who lead the tours through the castle are extremely knowledgeable, and their stories, combined with the setting, will send chills down your spine.

Cape Coast hosts a major festival, the Pan African Historic Theatre Festival (also known as Panafest), during July and August in odd-numbered years. Music, dance, drums and stage performances celebrate the cause of Pan-Africanism. Cape Coast is also a good base for visiting the lush rain forest of the Kakum Nature Reserve.

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