Kumasi

Kumasi is the main city of Ashanti-Kwahu region of Ghana.

Understand

Kumasi is considered the home of the Ashanti King, the current one being Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Kumasi is widely regarded as the cultural cradle of Ghana as the vibrancy of Ghana's culture is more evident here than any part of the country. The Asantehene still sits in state as Ashantis from all walks of life pay homage. He even presides over traditional courts and some residents use this instead of the judicial system. The traditional Asante buildings in the region are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Kumasi was established by the King Osei Tutu I with guidance from the priest Okomfo Anokye. It is said he planted two Kuma trees at two locations. One died and that place was called Kumawu (thus the Kuma tree died) and the one at Kumasi flourised and was named Kumasi (Kuma tree has flourished).

Population of about 2 million, the language is predominantly Akan Twi.

Get in

Kumasi is a cosmopolitan city with a good road network and one can travel on local buses which ply predetermined routes or charter/hire taxis to take one to his preferred destination.

By plane

Flights from Accra to Kumasi are in the morning and afternoon on the three carriers: Fly540Africa, CitiLink and Antrak. The flight is about 45 minutes long, limited on luggage allowance. Excellent way to get to Kumasi, preferred by most. Small planes, yet short trip. The cost on CitiLink is +-$90 USD one way, and $95 on Antrak as of June 2011 and $86 with Fly540Africa as of March 2012.

From May 2012 star bow airlines are flying this and other routes from Accra. Morning and afternoon flights, 100 seated planes and standard 20kg luggage, costs vary but typically around $60.

By train

Railroads connect Kumasi to Accra and Takoradi; however, as of October 2010, all passenger trains to Kumasi have been suspended.

By car

Car rental in Kumasi is available at the lowest cost of about USD $75-100 per day.

By bus

To travel by road to Kumasi from Accra you will need to allow 6 hours travel time. The STC bus service does not seem to be running anymore, or very sporadically; however private bus companies like VIP Jeoun (a Korean company) have taken over this route. Price is 25 cedis for a very comfortable and luxury bus (every row contains three seats; two on one side and one on the other), or 16 cedis for regular touring bus (4 seats in each row).

Get around

The tro-tro station in the city centre offers the widest range of destinations. The disadvantage of this tro-tro station is that it is extremely chaotic and that it is right in the city centre: getting out of the city is often problematic due to a plethora of traffic jams. If you can't find your tro-tro, ask one of the tro-tro mates or one of the ticket sellers. The destinations are posted on signs above the bus station.

Another alternative is to catch a tro-tro from the ring road instead. This saves you the hassle of navigating through the Kumasi traffic jams.

See

Do

The Adae festival is a continuous demonstration of faith in the vision and heritage of the Asante Kingdom, which has existed since the introduction of the Golden Stool in 1700. The festival is also to commemorate and re-enforce the independence of the Ashanti people and an occasion to re-affirm each state's loyalty to the confederacy instituted in the aftermath of the Ashanti war of independence fought against the Denkyeras between 1697–1699. It provides a platform for the King to meet and share his thoughts with his sub-chiefs and subjects and also reward deserving ones.

Eat

The Noble House Hotel serves excellent Indian and Chinese food. Prices are higher than the average Ghanaian restaurant: expect to pay between 30-40 cedis for a curry, some rice and a drink. Noble House has the same owners as the Heritage Restaurant in Osu, Accra.

Splurge

O'Neills/Shields Irish Bar

Drink

Vic Baboo's (Prempeh II Rd) is not the most atmospheric place in town, but it had an impressive cocktail menu. It is a place to meet backpackers, expats and volunteers. The menu features a variety of different Indian, Chinese, Continental, and fast food dishes. The lassi and milkshakes are especially good, staff are friendly and it has a homely atmosphere.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Four Villages Inn

Run by Charity and Chris, very nice people, comfortable location. Recommend a Kumasi market tour with Comfort. Friend Garden- South Suntreso Mothi Mahal Cumba Delight Hotel Rexmar

Stay safe

Hostels are found there with safe guides in the hotels.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.