Cape Coast Castle and Kakum National Park

Trip Start Apr 04, 2006
Trip End Oct 23, 2006

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Flag of Ghana  ,
Monday, May 8, 2006

Cape Coast was the capital of Gold Coast (Ghana's name before independence in 1957) until 1877. At that time, Accra became (& remains) the new capital. Built specifically for the slave trade by the British, Cape Coast Castle is 341 years old.

Spending time at this castle brought much of the same sentiments as Elmina. I cannot really describe my thoughts in knowing that this particular fort was built specifically for slave trade. Unlike Elmina, no other merchandise was collected here by the cargo ships. An interesting symbol here is the plaque on the other side of the Door of No Return. It reads Door of Return and was put there recently as a symbol to all African people across the diaspora that they are always welcomed home.

After lunch on the side of the road (Yes, Gene & Charu ate 'street food' when it was specifically NOT recommended by the guidebooks), we headed north to Kakum National Park for the night.

We planned to camp & this was the equivalent to luxury camping. The campsite was equipped with toilets, showers (with better water pressure than in the hotels), covered platforms off the ground, foam mattresses, & mosquito nets - we were only lacking walls on the platforms :-) My sleeping bag and pillow came in handy to add even more comfort. Sleeping in the forest was amazing - albeit loud with all the creatures chirping and crying. Seeing the moonlight filtering through the trees was like having our own private accent lighting. Although we did not see them, we were surrounded by armed park rangers. Who would have thought ... sleeping in the forests of Africa where the same rules or safety nets do NOT exist as in North America ... very cool! Loved that I have friends to share this with me!
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