Ghana has witnessed so much during its long history. Formerly known as The Gold Coast, it was marked by several European superpowers including Portugal, Britain and Denmark. When gold was no longer profitable for them, they turned to enslaving people.

Ghana won independence from Britain in 1957, and it’s one of the most stable nations in Africa. During your trip to Ghana, add these five important sites to your itinerary.

Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast Castle attracts many visitors each year. It started as a Portuguese trading post before assuming a darker purpose.

The dungeons were packed with slaves who eventually were shipped to the New World. The slaves passed through “The Door of No Return” only once. It’s a place of somber reflection where guests can honor the memory of the ancestors.

Elmina Castle

This trading post is oldest European building south of the Sahara. Similar to Cape Coast Castle, it witnessed the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the two are only a 30 minute drive apart. Tens of thousands of visitors make the journey to Elmina each year.

Kakum National Park

Book a walking tour through this beautiful national park. The earlier you go, the greater the likelihood of avoiding crowds. Enjoy access to camping areas, a wildlife education center and the main attraction: the rain forest canopy walkway. From here, enjoy unparalleled views of the flora and fauna above and below.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

Located in Accra, this park is the final resting place of one of the key figures in Ghana’s fight for independence. It underwent an extensive renovation since it opened in 1992. The idea behind the renovation was to bolster Ghana’s tourism.

At the reopening ceremony, President Nana Akufo-Addo said that Kwame Nkrumah’s burial site “must be appropriate to his status as the outstanding Pan-Africanist of this generation” and for his contribution to the liberation of Africa from colonialism and imperialism.

Aburi Botanical Garden

The garden is a 45-minute drive from Accra. This is the place to go when you need a break from the high-energy and crowds of the capital. Take pictures of the many varieties of trees, and keep an eye out for the birds and butterflies.