“The media must play a role in lifting the image of Africa”
By Joel Savage
For so long, the African continent is portrayed by the western media, as a troubled continent plagued by wars, ethnic problems and sicknesses, including the Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome(AIDS) therefore keeping so many desiring tourists off the continent. I took a positive step to visit Ghana, formally called the Gold Coast, in West Africa. This is the account of my visit.
AT KAKUM NATIONAL PARK. The park is a semi-deciduous rain forest, which covers 360 sq km, north of Cape Coast. The park, which is now the best place for tourists attraction, was formally managed by the Forestry Department for timber. Thanks to the scientific research group, which carried a wild life research and found the place quite satisfactorily for tourism. Hence the timber extraction came to an end. Since then the United Nations Development programme started its funding, with other financiers such as UNSAID, financing its develpment through Mid Western Universities Consortium for international activities.
Beautiful fauna likely to be seen are elephants, bongos, duikers, antelopes and a wide variety of birds. Recently natural scientists in the country, counted close to 400 different species of butterfly, with discovery of two, which can not be found in any part of the world. Be part of those walking through the forest on the Kuntan trail. The trail leads tourists to the park of traditional medicines. trees, and plants. Some of the trees are the Kuntan tree. The cover of the tree is used to treat fractured bones. It’s biological name is Uapacca Guiniensis.
Others are Kaku, its hard wood is used for constructing railway lines and “Bediwunia” (Incest) used for pomade and fumigation of rooms. The two-kilometre guided walk through the park is painstakingly explained by guides, the significance of each tree, as the tourists walk through the trail. When tired and exhausted, dear tourists, please do not worry where to take a rest. There are rest points, spaciously built and designed with some of the woods in the forest. The most important information to tourists who visit Kakum Park is, no matter how beautiful one finds anything in the trail, it is strictly forbidden to be taken out. Due to the explanation by the guides to the tourists, the trail walk usually takes about two hours.
At the administration block, the skull of the elephant, horn of the bongo and various sample of species of butterfly are beatifully displayed. There is a restaurant and also the African gift shop, which has indigenous art works. Going to Kakum National Park, is not a difficult drive. Out of the city of Cape Coast, towards Jukwa, the giant sign board reads ” You are welcome to National Park”
HANS COTTAGE BOTEL: On a large acre of land is a man made lake, approximately about three acres. Dwelling, drinking and dining places neatly on the water, give the best view of fishes and live crocodiles. The place is Hans Cottage Botel. It is beautifully, geographically located that, during weekends, tourists going to Kakum National Park, have to stop-over, likewise those from Jukwa to Cape Coast. They rest, dine and sleep till the next morning. The forex Buraeu, the antque, souvenir and African shops are open to all.
Tourists that come to the botel, see the worth of their money. The well trained cooks from the polytechnics in the country, and a foreign cook give their clients the best French cuisines, continental and African dishes, making Ghana a show piece in West Africa. The axiom “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” might have originally been conceived by a domestic idealist, who knows the truth. Touring the cottage, without bird-watching, crocodile-viewing and drifting, could make your visit very dull indeed. Boat riding for adults is very moderate and children pay less to watch the crocodiles without any danger.
Tourists enjoy the activities of the crocodiles, when being fed with loaves of bread. Then finally comes the “Monkey trail” The name doesn’t mean that only monkeys could be seen in the trail. There are other beautiful animals and birds tourists could find, if only you are capable of waking up, as early as 6am. Hans Cottage Botel is truly an ideal place for tourists in Ghana.