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Duration: 10 days - Group Size: 6
Location: Ghana
Starting Price: $1,698
Single Supplement: $645
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About This Tour
Panafest is a biennial festival hosted in Ghana to celebrate designed to promote the ideals of unity and development and to celebrate and display the art and culture of African people. The festival is held for the enjoyment of Africans, people of African descent, and for all who are committed to the wellbeing of Africans both on the continent and in the Diaspora. The festival involves historical reenactments and drama, cultural drumming, dancing and much more. Panafest unites individuals and groups through arts and culture, and by highlighting the rich traditions of a people that have survived through years of change, innovation and movement. As a part of this experience, you will have the chance to visit beautiful parts of Ghana including rainforests, sites of ancient Kingdoms, traditional villages, markets, infamous dungeons and historic castles.
  • Traditional Ghanaian welcoming ceremony
  • Accra city tour
  • Traditional naming ceremony
  • Kumasi city tour
  • Visit to Manhyia Palace Museum
  • Visits to the Ashanti craft villages
  • Tour of Elmina Castle
  • Experience candle light procession and midnight vigil to commemorate slaves who died during the middle passage
  • Attend the Emancipation Durbar of Chiefs

Day 1

(24th July) Akwaaba - Arrival
Arrive in Accra, Ghana. Transfer from the airport to your hotel for a fantastic traditional welcome ceremony, including cultural drumming and dancing (for daylight arrivals only), pouring of libations, welcome drink and orientation. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or by the pool soaking up the African sun. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2

(25th July) Accra City Tour
After breakfast, check out of hotel and embark on a sightseeing city tour of Accra. You will drive through the administrative and economic districts of Accra, the capital of Ghana. This city is well over 100 years old and has a blend of colonial and modern architecture that summarize her history. You will visit the W. E. B. Dubois Center for Pan African Culture, the place where Dr. Dubois (an American academic and civil rights champion) spent the last two years of his life working on a Pan-African encyclopedia under the invitation the first Ghanaian president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Next, you will visit Independence/Black Star Square and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, significant landmarks in the city which are of immense historical and cultural value. Lunch will be on your own in a local Ghanaian restaurant. The Accra tour will end with a visit to the Arts Center, where you will have an opportunity to use your bargaining skills to shop for artifacts from Ghana and West Africa in an open-air market.  Overnight at your hotel in Elmina.

Day 3

 (26th  JulyVillage Naming Ceremony
After breakfast, depart for a scenic drive to a beautiful village located on the lower course of the splendid Volta River. There, you will have the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the paramount Chief and elders. Enjoy traditional drumming and dancing with villagers and participate in a special naming ceremony, where you will be given a customary African day name. Take a walk through the village to experience how the residents carry out daily life. Observe a demonstration of pottery making, the main occupation of the women in the village.
Return to Accra, where you will spend the remainder of the day at leisure or depart for a visit to Ghana’s unique shopping destinations. Visit Aid to Artisan Ghana (ATAG) and SunTrade for crafts, Mawuli Okudzeto for beautiful unisex African clothing, or one of the new shopping malls for a shopping spree! For those who would prefer to relax, spend the day by the swimming pool soaking up the African sun.
Join the group for “kasa” (talk time). Kasa provides an opportunity to learn more about Ghanaian culture or simply talk to each other and share impressions of the tour experience. Kasa discussions are led by your tour leader or tour guide. (This activity is optional)
 

Day 4

(27th July) Accra - Kumasi
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, then depart Accra for Kumasi. En-route, stop for lunch at a local restaurant on your own. Upon arrival in Kumasi, check-in and relax for the remainder of the day.
 

Day 5

(28th July) Kumasi (Asanteman) City Tour
After breakfast, depart for a tour of Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire. Explore the legend of the famous Ashantis at the Manhyia Palace Museum. There you will get a sense of a day in the life of an Ashanti ruler (Asantehene). At the museum, you will also obtain firsthand information on the legacies of the Ashanti kingdom, a regal history that dates back to 1700 and is told with relics and artifacts.
Enjoy a drive through the city of Kumasi to view monuments dedicated to the memory of the great Ashanti people.  End the day’s you’re at the National Cultural Center, featuring the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum and the studios of various potters, brass and batik makers.

Day 6

(29th July) Ashanti Craft Villages — Elmina
This day is devoted to visiting the three famous craft villages in the Ashanti Region: Ahwiaa (the wood carvers’ village), Ntonso (the home of Adinkra) and Bonwire (the Kente weaving village).  You will have the opportunity to see how West African crafts are made and buy directly from the artisans who make them. After lunch, depart for Elmina.

Day 7

(30th July) Elmina — Day at Leisure
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and spend this day at leisure. Choose to spend the day relaxing on the beach or by the swimming pool. If you are feeling adventurous, explore the bustling seaside town of Elmina by embarking on walking tour of the town. Elmina was the first point of European contact in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was once the most cosmopolitan city in tropical Africa. Climb the Jago Hill to Fort St. Jago, which was used by the Dutch as a post to snatch Elmina Castle from the Portuguese. Tour the colonial Dutch cemeteries and allow yourself to be thrilled by the colorful Asafo (Fanti traditional soldiers) Posts and their philosophical symbols. Return to your hotel for overnight.

Day 8

(31st July) Memorial at Elmina Castle, Reverential Night
This morning you will visit Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482 and originally known as St. George's Castle. This castle was the first European structure built in Sub-Saharan Africa. Explore the grounds and rooms full of haunting history. Stroll down to the beach for a memorial ceremony where each participant will throw bread into the waters in remembrance of ancestors. A wreath with a candle is solemnly cast out to sea a respectful moment of silence is observed in remembrance of those who died in the middle passage.
After lunch, savor a walking tour of Elmina. The rich history of this colonial town is captured in its buildings. They tell the stories of the people of Elmina and their interaction with those who came from outside West Africa. Visit the colorful Asafo houses, which were used as a place for warriors to prepare mentally and spiritually before going to war. They are wonderful examples of how art is used in daily lives of Africans.
After dinner, you will have the opportunity to participate in “Reverential Night.” There will be candle light processions and a vigil to commemorate the Africans who died in the slave trade. There will also be a moving ceremony and re-enactment of the slave passage through the “Door of No Return,” followed by a midnight declaration of Emancipation Day. This is the highlight of the Panafest celebration. Overnight at your hotel.

 

Day 9

(1st August) Emancipation Durbar At
Assin Manso
After breakfast, check out of your hotel for a drive through the former slave route to Assin Manso. This was the final transit point for enslaved Africans before being shipped off to the new world. You will have the opportunity to visit the slave dungeons as well as the final resting place for two ancestors whose mortal remains were returned from the USA and Jamaica and re-interred in Ghana.
The Emancipation Day Celebration is opened with a Grand Durbar of traditional Chiefs and people of the Central Region. Witness this grand, colorful and spectacular event that showcases the pomp and pageantry of Ghana's traditional rulers, dressed in rich Kente and adorned in glittering gold jewelry. Discover the African rhythm in you as you dance to the beat of the 'fromtomfrom' drums. Return to your hotel for farewell.
Join the group for “kasa” (talk time). Kasa provides an opportunity to learn more about Ghanaian culture or simply talk to each other and share impressions of the tour experience. Kasa discussions are led by your tour leader or tour guide. (This activity is optional)

Day 10

 (2nd August) Elmina — Accra, Departure
After breakfast, depart for a scenic drive back to Accra. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. In the evening, transfer to the airport for check-in and departure