Distance from Koforidua to Kumasi

The journey from Koforidua to Accra is roughly 4 to 5 hours depending on some factors. It is a distance of 191.4kilometres driving on the N6.

The distance has interesting sites and stopovers as you journey into Kumasi.

Some of these are the Bonsu Junction which has the Linda Dor stopover.

And if you have time, you can pass through the Arboretum and take a walk on the canopy walkway.

As you enter Ashanti Region, you will be greeted by “Bushmeat” sellers along the road, crab sellers and several fruits. You can’t miss the several fufu “accessories” like mortar, pestle and earthware.

Top things Kumasi can boast of

Kumasi is a city which is located in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It is the commercial and cultural capital of the Ashanti Empire. It is among one of the largest metropolitan areas in Ghana.

Due to the presence of different species of beautiful plants and flowers, it is also known as the Garden City. It is also alternatively known as Oseikrom (Osei’s town), with reference to Otumfuor Osei Tutu.  It is the second-largest city in Ghana, falling behind Accra, the nation’s capital.

The meaning of Kumasi

The name Kumasi means “under the Kum tree”. History has it that around the 17th century, the chief priest of the Asante Kingdom, Okomfo Anokye planted three “Kum” trees at different places. According to the story, Okomfo Anokye wanted to determine the place which would become a great city for the Asante Kingdom.

The three different areas he panted the tree are; Kwaaman which was ruled by Nananom Ayokofuo, Apemso-Bankofo which was ruled by Nananom Aduanaduo and the final one at a village near Fomena and Amoafo, called Oboani which was ruled by Nananom 3ko)nafuo.

It was said that the Kum tree which he planted at Kwaaman blossomed into a huge tree where the King and his people began to spend a considerable amount of time together, hence Kwaaman was renamed into Kum-ase, which as said earlier, means under Kum tree.

What can Kumasi boast of?

Kumasi boasts of having considerable amount of sites which are highly relevant to the history and progress of Ghana. Let’s delve into that, shall we?

The Fort Castle, which was built in 1986 is located in Kumasi. Kumasi also houses Royal Asante attractions such as; the Kumasi National Cultural Centre, the Prempeh Jubilee II Museum, the Golden Stool, the Okomfo Anokye Sword and the Manhyia Palace which was built in 1972.

Also located in Kumasi is the headquarters of the Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL). So now you know where the Guinness and other popular beer you drink in Ghana come from. The GGBL was founded in 1960 and is located specifically in the Kaasi Industrial Area. The Kaasi Industrial Area plays an important role in the local industry. It is believed that 50% of the timber industry is based in Kumasi.

In terms of Senior High School education, Kumasi can boast of Prempeh College and Opoku Ware SHS, which are a part of the biggest and most prestigious SHS’s in Ghana. Prempeh College was established in 1949 whiles Opoku Ware SHS was established in 1952.

Kumasi also houses the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). KNUST was established in 1952.

In terms of commerce, Kumasi boasts of the Kumasi Central Market, popularly known as the Kejetia Market, one of the most renowned markets in Ghana. The Kejetia Market is the largest single market in West Africa. It houses over 12,000 sores and stalls.

Kejetia

Kumasi also houses the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). It is the second-largest hospital in Ghana.  It is the only tertiary health institution in the Ashanti Region. KATH was built in 1954. However, it was initially named the Kumasi Central Hospital. It was converted into a Teaching Hospital in 1975, and it is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

KATH is also accredited for postgraduate training in surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology and radiology by the West African College of Surgeons.

With regard to recreation, Kumasi has Rattray Park. The Rattray Park is one of the ultra-modern amusement parks which Ghana can boast of.  It was inaugurated by President John Mahama and Otumfuor Osei Tutu on June 20, 2015. The facilities located in the park include; an artificial lake, a golf cart, a gym, children’s playground, restaurants and cafeterias.

Kumasi Rattray Park
Kumasi Rattray Park

Of course, when Kumasi is mentioned, the Ashanti Kingdom is also mentioned. Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti Region/ Kingdom.  The Ashanti Kingdom is also one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world.

Asantehene during Adae Kese Festival
Asantehene during Adae Kese Festival

There’s so much to be said of Kumasi, so much so that, Lake Bosomtwe, the only natural lake in Ghana, is just a stone throw from Kumasi!

Lake Bosomtwe

KNUST Botanical Garden

The KNUST Botanical Garden is located within the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.

The garden was created by the university authorities to serve two purposes; firstly to serve as a learning and research centre for the university’s agriculture students, and secondly, to serve as a park where students and visitors can go relax and have some quiet time or even have some small get-together.

While the park was largely built to serve the student and staff community of the university, it has over the years become very popular within the Kumasi metropolis, receiving thousands of visitors from the city, most of who visit there with the intent of touring the beautiful garden.

While the garden is opened 24/7, the best time to visit is usually between the hours of 6am and 5pm as you are more likely to encounter some of the rare insects and small reptiles like wild lizards living in the park. It also gives you a much clearer view of the garden for you to appreciate the beautiful and incredible tall tree species in the park.

For residents of Kumasi, the KNUST botanical garden is a must-visit especially for the lovers of flowers and gardens.

 

Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary

Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary is a predominantly bird dominated sanctuary located in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital. The facility was established in 1988 under the presidency of Acheampong to serve as a major animal reserve in the Kumasi metropolis where wildlife can be well protected from human activities that possess danger to their survival as well as serving as a major eco-tourist site for tourists who visit the city and those living in the city.

Currently, the 13 square kilometre reserve boasts of more than 140 species of birds, some of which are among the rarest in the world.

Different species of monkeys are also found in the park together with other animals like bush pigs and antelopes.

Owabi also serves as a popular picnic and events park within the Kumasi metropolis as families, friends and organizations usually organize mini-events such as family get-together at the park, making it all round sanctuary capable of generating huge revenues for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly.

For tourists looking to visit and tour the Ashanti regional capital, the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary is a good place to consider starting your tour from.

Attractions in Ghana: Kumasi Zoo

The Kumasi Zoo, also known as the Kumasi Zoological Garden is one of the last remaining zoos in Ghana, located in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.  The Zoo occupies a total land size of 370 acres between the Centre for National Culture and Kejetia Bus Terminal.

The construction of the zoo began in 1951 but was officially completed and opened in 1957 under the presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in a bid to conserve wild animals especially the ones which are scarce and on the brink of extinction.

Over the course of the decades, the zoo has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ghana for animal lovers who visit the zoo to have a close look at some of the animals kept there.

However, in recent times, the Zoo has been on the brink of closing down due to the lack of government support for the centre. Several news reports claimed visits to the site had decreased drastically over the last few years, while facilities at the centre keep getting old without any effort by government and responsible authorities to replace them.

Animals such as lions, Civets, Olive Baboon, Warthog, Bay Dulker, Green Monkey, Ostrich and Chimpanzee which used to abound at the Zoo had decreased greatly in terms of numbers, and only a handful are left.

Nevertheless, the Kumasi Zoo remains one of the most patronized tourist sites in the Ashanti Region, with the potential to become one of Ghana’s finest tourist destinations if the state would give it the needed support.

Top 5 tourist sites in Kumasi

There are several beautiful tourist attractions in Kumasi which you can visit for recreational activities, just to relax and take some days off work.

Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region, is a large and vibrant city bordered by the central, western, eastern and Brong Ahafo regions. It has great people and culture.

Kumasi Zoo

The Kumasi Zoological gardens started operations 1957 and has since been a great place worth visiting. The zoo provides necessary shelters for all endangered species of animals.

The zoo has about 60 kinds of different species of animals including lions, tigers, snakes, buffaloes, chimpanzees, among others.

You can locate the Kumasi Zoo around the Kejetia Bus Terminal near the Kumasi Centre for National Culture.

The Armed Forces Museum

Established in 1953, the Armed Forces Museum is a military history museum located in Kumasi. It has exhibitions concerning the British-Ashanti war. The museum features military equipment, artefacts and other items used during the British Asante war of 1990 as well as the 2nd World War.

 

KNUST Botanical Gardens

The KNUST Botanical Gardens located on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Campus is one of the go-to places for tourist visiting Kumasi. It houses over 180 species of trees and serves as a site that provides that for scientific research. You can visit this tourist attraction to have a glimpse of the beautiful forest scenery.

You can also arrange events in the KNUST Botanical Gardens by informing authorities who are in charge of the place.

Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary

Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary located in Kumasi. It houses several species of butterflies, about 150 species of birds, monkeys and other mammals. It is a 13km2 size sanctuary with an inner sanctuary of about 7km, which surrounds a lake, formed by the Owabi River.

The site also houses different species of trees which makes the place appealing and worth visiting as a tourist. So far, one hundred and ninety species of vascular plants have been identified.

 

Manhyia Palace Museum

Built in 1925 by the Ashanti King, the Manhyia Palace Museum is a historical museum located in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

It was first built as a private residence for the late Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I. Currently, the Museum provides fair knowledge about the Ashanti culture. It also communicates the riches of the Asante Kingdom to posterity.

You get a tour guide who takes you through all the places in the Museum. If you want to have a fair insight into the Ashanti Kingdom, pay a visit to this Museum.

 

 

Attractions in Kumasi: Kumasi Rattray Park

Kumasi Rattray Park is one of the few modern recreational parks in Ghana. The facility, found in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, was built and commissioned in 2015 under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama to serve as a place where families and friends could spend time together.

The facility is one of the busiest parks in Ghana, and receives hundreds of visitors on a daily basis. With beautiful tall trees and well-mowed lawns, Kumasi Rattray is the preferred destinations for families and friends who plan on a time out together, especially during festive periods like Christmas and Easter.

An artificial lake with aquatic animals, a gym, children’s playground, a spacious car park and free internet facility, are but a few of the attraction and facilities found at the centre.

The facility also features a few restaurants that offer both local and continental dishes for the park’s diverse visitors who come from different countries. The park also offers live Jazz music to visitors at night.

In recent years, however, the survival and sustenance of the park has been under threat with several media report concerning the state of the park. In 2018, there were wide media reports and news publication about the poor state of the park’s facilities, a situation which according to the reports had led to a sharp decrease in the number of visitors the park receives daily.

This compelled the government of Ghana to announce an upgrade of the park in early 2019 as part of measures to renovate the park and ensure damaged facilities are replaced or repaired.

With a land size of 42,000 square-metre and facilities to keep one entertained, the Kumasi Rattray Park is the ultimate destination for families that intend to go on a picnic or simply spend the day at a recreational park rather than home.

 

Ghana Armed Forces Museum

The Ghana Armed forces museum was established in 1953 by the then colonial masters of Ghana (then known as Gold Coast) to serve as a historical centre where the military history and might of Ashanti and Ghana as a whole could be learnt.

While other historical artefacts are kept at the museum, most of the artefacts found within the facility are related to the British-Ashanti war of the 1900. Regalia, primitive weapons used by the Ashanti soldiers, maps which belonged to the British camp are all in display at the museum.

Fittingly, the museum is located in the heart of the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi, on the Stewart Ave street.

While the museum was established during the colonial administration of the British, the building that serves as the museum was originally built by an Ashanti King in the early 1800s as a fortress to protect the royal house of the Ashanti against imminent European attacks on the royal family.

Aside showing artefacts from the famous British –Ashanti war, the museum is also home to artefact from the World War II which Ghanaians soldiers took part  on the side of the British as well as artefacts and material remains from the infamous 1966 coup that oversaw the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

British Military cemetery could also be a plus for tourists as the facility is located directly opposite the museum. The cemetery served as a burial ground for soldiers who died in the British-Ashanti War as well as British colonial administration officials.

Ashanti Home Touch Closed Down Over Bad Sanitary Conditions

Popular Kumasi-based hotel, Golden Home Touch, and its restaurant Ashanti Home Touch, have been closed down by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for unsanitary conditions in the facility.

The closure comes after Kumasi-based media house, Nhyira 104.5 FM and KMA stormed the facilities as part of a “Clean Up Kumasi” campaign to ensure a clean city.

The unsavory sanitary conditions at the hotel and, especially at its restaurant unit left authorities with no choice than to sanction it.

The washrooms looked not to have been cleaned for months with insects and rodents freely roaming in the washroom.

The kitchen of Ashanti Home Touch looked unkempt. Waste products and leftover foods had engulfed the kitchen while the machine used to pound fufu was in a bad condition and looked filthy with food residues found in it.

More disastrous, every part of the facility was filled with cobwebs, insects, leftover foods and damaged fridges which have been left to rust posing serious health problems for staff and even patrons.

The manager of the hotel and restaurant together with his deputy were arrested and the hotel locked down with a directive given that the hotel should be thoroughly cleaned up, after which an inspection would be conducted by the KMA authorities before being okay-ed to reopen for business.

On what grounds were their license renewed by the Ghana Tourism Authority?

The Timeless Okomfo Anokye Sword

The Okomfo Anokye Sword is one of the wonders of the world. The history behind the sword which is firmly stuck into the ground remains historic and one that continues to amaze people from all walks of life.

The sword which can be found at the premises of the komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi was pushed into the ground by the famous Asante priest, Okomfour Anokye. According to the history of the Ashantis, the great Asante priest pushed the sword into the ground some 300 years ago and pronounced that no human could ever remove it, stating that it stood as the symbol of the people of Asante.

While it is hard to point to any conclusive evidence that suggest that the sword has been at its spot for over three hundred years, early Europeans who arrived in Ghana in the 1800s documented and wrote about the famous sword which had become impossible to remove from the ground. The people of Asante also believe that a removal of the sword would lead to the collapse of the kingdom as the sword serves the unification symbol of the Asante kingdom.

Okomfo Anokye Sword Site
Okomfo Anokye Sword Site

The site, where the sword is found has become an important tourist attraction in Kumasi. Tourists from all over the country make trips to Kumasi to visit and have a look at the historical sword that has been stuck at one place for over three hundred years without getting weak and falling, a phenomenon which defies science and reality.

Unconfirmed reports have it that all attempts by people and even caterpillars to uproot the sword failed. Would you like to give it a try? Request for it when you visit the site.