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Kumasi

Lake Bosumtwi, Kumasi, Ghana © Stig Nygaard
Lake Bosumtwi, Kumasi, Ghana © Stig Nygaard

Kumasi is the traditional home of the Ashanti people and is a rich cultural centre. Some call it 'The Garden City', in recognition of its diverse flora. Historically speaking, this old and proud African city rose to prominence in 1695, taking on the British in several Anglo-Ashanti wars. It has an active king to this day. Travellers will find many cultural and historical attractions and landmarks in the city and some great traditional markets to explore. The Manhyia Palace is well worth visiting. Built in 1925, it was used as a royal Ashanti residence until 1974 and now houses an interesting museum. It 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 visitors 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 colour and commerce. Other attractions include the Okomfo Anokye Sword, the Asantehene Palace and St Peter's Cathedral.