What You Need To Know
Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region, a very important and historical centre for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in Kumasi and blends very well with modernity. There is a wide range of attractions in Kumasi.
The Manhyia Palace, the seat of the King of Ashanti and members of the royal family is situated in the northern part of the city. The Palace has a courtyard and a courtroom where matters dealing with the constitution and customs are deliberated upon the traditional council. Visitors can get a good insight into traditional African democracy, which is still very present in the customs of the people when they visit the courtyard. The meetings are open to the public.
Lake Bosumtwi, the largest natural lake in Ghana, is about 32 kilometres southeast of Kumasi. The Ashantis believe that the souls of their dead come to the lake to say goodbye to god called Twi. One theory says that the huge meteorite formed the lake. Another says that it is the crater of an extinct volcano.
Area: 98.07 mi²
- Ghanaian cedi
- Don’t use credit cards. Sad to say, credit card fraud abounds in Ghana. It happens all too frequently. Not even in the big hotels should you consider using your credit card. Convert traveler’s checks or use the ATMs, as cash is the best way to pay for your purchases. Only use your credit card at an ATM or a POS terminal, which are few and far between, anyway.
Kumasi features a tropical wet and dry climate, with relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. Kumasi averages around 1400 mm (55″) of rain per year.
The city almost features two different rainy seasons, a longer rainy season from March through July and a shorter rainy season from September to November.
In actuality, the months of February through to November is one long wet season, with a relative lull in precipitation in August. Similar to the rest of West Africa, Kumasi experiences the harmattan during the “low sun” months. Lasting from December to February, the harmattan is the primary source of the city’s dry season.
English is the official language of Ghana and is universally used in schools in addition to nine other local languages.The most widely spoken local languages are, Ga, Dagomba, Akan and Ewe.
Health and security
- There are five hundred and thirty (530) health facilities in the region. The Ghana Health Service operates about 32% of all health facilities in the region. Kumasi has the highest number of facilities of 38%.
- Health care is very variable through Ghana. Urban centres are well served, and contain most hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the country. Rural areas often have no modern health care. Patients in these areas either rely on traditional African medicine, or travel great distances for health care. In 2005, Ghana spent 6.2% of GDP on health care, or US$30 per capita. Of that, approximately 34% was government expenditure.
- Petty theft is common so be very conscious about what valuables you take with you, what you tell others (especially locals) about your travel plans (where you’re staying, what you’re going to do, what the purpose of your travel is)
- Don’t get lost :The isles leading through Kumasi Market are very narrow and criss-cross the market in every direction. Take great note of which way you are going, as it would be incredibly easy to get lost. You may be able to use one of the tall buildings outside the market as a bearing and taking note of where it is at all times.
- Kumasi market is crowded to the extreme and you could very easily fall victim to pick-pockets. Although Kumasi is not a dangerous place, take care of your belongings, don’t leave wallets sticking out of your back pocket for instance. It only takes one bad apple to seize the opportunity and then disappear in the crowd. You’d have no chance of following or ever finding them again.
- Visit Ashanti Cultural Arts Center ” Kente Cloth”: Some of the best shopping is done at this park you will like the atmosphere of artisans at work. Ashante Kente cloth is a very tightly woven double sided technique that turns out a relatively narrow, but unlimited length fabric. Kente cloth is used for sashes of various types. Kente cloth strips are sewn together to provide wider cloth.