Lake Bosumtwi, Kumasi, Ghana © Stig Nygaard
Kumasi is the traditional home of the Ashanti people and is a rich cultural centre. The city is also celebrated for its diverse flora and sometimes called 'The Garden City' as a result. Kumasi is situated near Lake Bosumtwi on land which was probably once covered in rainforest. It is an old and proud African city which rose to prominence in 1695 and took on the British in several Anglo-Ashanti wars. The city is a royal stronghold with an active king to this day.
There are many cultural and historical attractions and landmarks in the city and some great traditional markets to explore. The Manhyia Palace, which was built in 1925 and now houses an interesting museum, is well worth a visit; it was used as a royal Ashanti residence until 1974 and still contains the original furnishings and a collection of royal artefacts. The National Cultural Centre Complex is set in lovely grounds and includes a model Ashanti village, craft workshops where you can watch local artisans at work, an art gallery, a souvenir shop and a number of other small attractions. The Armed Forces Museum in Fort St George (1820) is a delight for those who like military history and paraphernalia. The massive Kejetia Market is a must for visitors, but they should go prepared for an overwhelming ocean of commerce and colour. Other attractions include the Okomfo Anokye Sword, the Asantehene Palace and St Peter's Cathedral.