From Biking to Hiking: Brussels Airlines’ Groundbreaking Journey through Ghana’s Heartland

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A vibrant entourage of nearly 100 hikers and bikers, representing Brussels Airlines (Lufthansa Group), descended upon Ghana on February 2nd, 2024, igniting an exhilarating adventure set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Volta region. In a historic twist, this year’s expedition, traditionally known as “Bike in Africa,” expanded its horizons to include “Hike in Africa” for the very first time. The spirited group was welcomed with traditional dancing and jubilant music, graced by the presence of Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), alongside key staff members. As part of the welcome, all participants were presented with Ghana branded hand-made wrist bands and in addition the leaders of the teams were decorated with beautiful hand-woven kente stoles.

 

The biking leg of the journey has seen fervent cyclists from across the expansive Lufthansa Group embarking on a challenging odyssey encompassing five stages. Their expedition commenced in Akosombo, a charming locale situated approximately 100 kilometers north of Accra, Ghana’s bustling capital. Meanwhile, the hiking contingent explored and camped at the scenic Shai Hills National Park and concluding alongside their biking counterparts in Akosombo.

On February 3rd, 2024, the cyclists embarked on their voyage with a scenic boat ride across the Akosombo River, before conquering the terrain with a rigorous ascent up the hills towards Ho. Simultaneously, the hikers commenced their day with an invigorating morning hike out of the serene Shai Hills Natural Reserve, their overnight abode. Transported to Amedzofe, Ghana’s highest village, the hikers embarked on two distinct 3-kilometer trails, one leading to Ote Falls and the other meandering through lush indigenous forests.

The following day saw the cyclists traversing a challenging uphill route from Ho to Biakpa, ultimately descending to their overnight sanctuary at Mountain Paradise in Biakpa, affording them a majestic vista of Mount Gemi. Subsequently, the cyclists embarked on a scenic descent from Mount Gemi, followed by a bus transfer to Mount Afadjato, where they partook in a local village tour, inclusive of a visit to a traditional distillery.

February 5th dawned with the cyclists conquering Mount Gemi, relishing a technical yet awe-inspiring downhill journey. A portion of the group paused en route to visit Leklebi Fiape Primary School, fostering memorable interactions with the enthusiastic school children. Following lunch and a brief respite at the Big Foot Safari Lodge, the group embarked on a 2.8-kilometer trek to the magnificent Wli Falls, where they rendezvoused with the hiking cohort for a joint aperitif. Amidst the backdrop of cascading Wli Falls, they exchanged anecdotes while sipping fresh coconuts, their campsite nestled near the falls’ base. A mesmerising spectacle ensued as thousands of bats emerged from the rocks, swirling overhead.

True to tradition, the expedition intertwines adventure with corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, in collaboration with help alliance, the aid organization of the Lufthansa Group. Concurrent with the sporting endeavours, participants will partake in Design Thinking workshops, fostering innovation and generating employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Notably, Bravehearts Expeditions LTD, a local enterprise specialising in tourism development in the Volta region, and Wasteman Ghana, a company dedicated to recycling plastic waste into sustainable materials, have been selected as CSR partners.
To ensure seamless coordination, dedicated support teams, inclusive of medical professionals and a media contingent, will accompany both biking and hiking groups, ensuring every moment of this extraordinary journey is captured and documented.

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Campaign To Promote Domestic Tourism Tours Central & Western Regions

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as part of its ‘Experience Ghana, Share Ghana’ campaign has visited Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle, and Elmina Castle in the Central Region, and Nzulezu, Bisa Aberwa Museum, and Ankasa Resource Reserve in the Western Region.

The move by the GTA is to encourage domestic tourism in the country and market both popular and unfamiliar tourist sites domestically and internationally.

Speaking on why Ghanaians need to visit castles and forts in Ghana, Robert Morgan Mensah, Head of Education at the Castle, said it is important to learn about Ghanaian history and to honour the memories of those who suffered during the slave trade.

“It is fascinating to learn about the different powers that occupied and fought over the same piece of land over the centuries. The dungeons, governor’s residence, tunnels, and other areas give visitors a glimpse into the harsh realities of the transatlantic slave trade. It is again significant to know the symbolism of the Door of No Return and the Door of Return and the role the castle played in the propagation of Christianity in Ghana”.

Benjamin Amoah, a tour guide trainee at Elmina Castle, also noted that visiting the castle offers a chance to appreciate the architecture and craftsmanship that have survived for over five centuries.

At Kakum National Park, Mr. Samuel Dunkwa, Assistant Wildlife Officer with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, revealed that the park has a gift shop where visitors can purchase locally made clothes, jewelry and artifacts.

“Currently, Kakum National Park has diverse plant and animal species, with more than 100 mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, such as the canopy walkway, nature walks, treehouse camping, and watching butterflies. There are also recreational facilities like a children’s park and an amusement park where visitors can host small programs. The park has restaurants that serve delicious local food and a gift shop where visitors can purchase locally made cabins, clothes, and artifacts. The waiting area is also well-furnished and equipped with movies of animals in their natural habitat”.

On his part, Sam Isaac, Tourism Officer in-charge of Ankasa Reserves Area, said that the Ankasa National Park offers visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of Ghana’s nature and unique wildlife. “The park is easily accessible by road and can be visited as a day trip or as part of a longer trip to the Western Region. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers, bird watchers, and anyone interested in exploring Ghana’s rich nature”.

The team further visited Nzulezu, a community noted for its distinctive architecture, with houses built on stilts above the water. The community is also known for its traditional fishing practices. It has its own school, church, and clinic, and residents rely on the lake for transportation, food, and water.

Finally, the team made a stop at the Bisa Abrewa Museum, a private Pan-African Museum that showcases the rich history and culture of Africa and Africans in the diaspora. It features over 200 artifacts, including statues, arts, pictures, and vessels made of gold, bronze, and brass, some of which are 400 years old.

The Domestic Tourism campaign is under the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) being undertaken under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

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GTA Begins ‘Experience Ghana, Share Ghana’ Campaign Regional Tours

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Tourism Ministry has begun its regional tourist visits as part of efforts to promote ‘Experience Ghana, Share Ghana’ Campaign and encourage domestic tourism.

The team has over the last two weeks visited Aburi Gardens, Bunso Eco Park, and Akwamu Fie in the Eastern Region; Shai Hills Resource Reserve in the Greater Accra Region, and Amedzofe Walkway, Mount Geme, Wli Waterfalls, and Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in the Volta Region.

Speaking on the purpose of the tours, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Akwasi Agyeman said the visits are part of the activities geared towards deepening the domestic tourism agenda in Ghana.

“Ghana is blessed with a rich blend of beautiful landscapes, historical relics and traditional cultures across all its regions. As part of the activities outlined for the Experience Ghana and Share Ghana Campaign, we are embarking on these tours across the country to highlight the beautiful tourist attractions, their insights and activities.”

“Promoting Domestic Tourism is a tool to increase tourism revenues, job creation, infrastructure development, cultural preservation, and poverty reduction. Therefore, I encourage Ghanaians to have fun experiencing Ghana which will in the long run contribute to the country’s economic growth”, he urged.

Mr Agyeman revealed that the team will visit other tourist sites in Central, Western, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, Upper East, and Greater Accra Regions.

Mr. Asare Frimpong, Facility Manager at Bunso Eco Park noted that visitors who come to the place will enjoy the purest form of oxygen in the arboretum, health insights and adventurous sporting activities.

Making a stop at the beautiful Aburi Botanical Gardens, Emmanuel Klottey, a tour guide admonished Ghanaians to visit the Garden to have a feel of its rich history, and to learn about the medicinal properties of plants and tree species in the garden. At Akwamu Fie museum, the team was educated on the rich history of Akwamu and the story related to shifting alliances and conflicts between the Danes and the Akwamu people.

On the next journey to the Volta Regional Tour sites, the team on their way visited the magnificent Shai Hills Resource Reserve to observe the scenery, the fascinating animals, hike and explore the Mogo cave, and finally visited the museum. They also had the Amedzofe Canopy Walkway experience and visited Mount Gemi.

The next journey was to the highest waterfall in West Africa; the breathtaking Wli Waterfalls after crossing 9 bridges, the falls gushing through the mountains into the stream was such a beautiful scene to behold. The team further journeyed to Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Cultural Village to experience the wild but playful Mona monkeys.

The Domestic Tourism campaign is under the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) being undertaken under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

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President To Launch Domestic And Regional Tourism Campaign To Stimulate The Tourism Industry

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PRESS RELEASE

ACCRA: 31ST MAY, 2021 

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and other tourism industry players will launch a Domestic and Regional Tourism Campaign on Tuesday, 1st June, 2021 at the Labadi Beach Hotel.

 

The campaign which is designed to accelerate the pace of tourism recovery through a renewed focus on domestic and regional markets will be launched by H.E. Nana Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana. It will create awareness, boost domestic tourism expenditure and revive  culture of travel among Ghanaians. Key industry players including the Tourism Trade Associations, Media, Diplomats, Parliamentarians and several other public figures will be in attendance. The event will be streamed LIVE on the Ghana Tourism Authority Facebook page (@ghanatourismauthority).

 

The campaign is themed: #EXPERIENCEGHANA #SHAREGHANA.

 

As part of the campaign, industry stakeholders are offering discounted packages including tours, accommodation, transportation and mouth-watering prizes to enable the public experience all that Ghana has to offer in terms of tourism. Some of the activities earmarked include:

  • Travel Share and Win Campaign where people are expected to travel to anywhere in Ghana and share their photos and videos on social media to get a chance to win prizes. Other activities include:
  • Discover, Write and Win
  • PANAFEST/Emancipation
  • Taste of Ghana (Gastronomy Fair)
  • Meet In Ghana Travel Show
  • See Ghana on STC and VIP coaches
  • December-In-Gh.

The campaign is expected to run for the next 18 months.

 

Ghana Tourism Authority

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