A Glimpse Into Ghana’s Slave History on the Cape Coast

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Some years, the M/V Explorer docks in Takoradi, which is much closer in proximity to the Cape Coast. Due to a too-short berth Takoradi granted the ship, our Semester at Sea itinerary was changed to dock in Tema instead, which was a bit of a shame only because there were so many small fishing villages surrounding Cape Coast that I could have spent days exploring—but at the very least, we did get the chance to learn about Ghana’s slave history and tragic past.

Instead, while exploring Cape Coast Castle, I wandered outside the Door of No Return and down the stairs to find a whole fishing culture thriving just below the slave dungeons.

According to Wikipedia, Cape Coast is the capital of the central region of Ghana and “from the 16th century, the city has changed hands between the British, the Portuguese, the Swedish, the Danish and the Dutch.”

The area is also home to one of the leading teaching and research universities in the country, though all I saw of it was this one bustling sliver of coastline.

I’m hoping next time I sail with Semester at Sea—and yes, I very much plan to come back again if they’ll have me—we’ll arrive in this section of Ghana instead. Accra was perfectly fine, but I enjoyed the peek into small town Ghanaian life much more.

 

COMMENTS
  • September 30, 2011

    your photos really give a sense of the atmosphere of the fishing village, and the day. thanks.

  • September 30, 2011
    Anne

    If you go very, very early in the morning, you can see the fisherman leaving for the day. And later in the day, you can see them coming back in with their catch. I love the colors of the flags and the fishing nets.

    I stayed at the University when I was there, and the campus is quite lovely.

    You might’ve mentioned it earlier, but what was your favorite food? I loved the kelewele. And how about drinks? I’d never had Fanta Limon before being in Ghana, and it was so good, but harder to find than orange. Also, Alvaro (pear or pineapple – they were both good!).

    • September 30, 2011
      Kristin

      I liked EVERYTHING I had there! It was all delicious. I’m so seafood-ed out that I primarily had chicken dishes with rice and about 100 plantains on the side for every meal =)

      Funny about the Fanta: I’m not much of a soda drinker, but Scott ordered a Fanta (orange), and it looked so delicious and refreshing that I ordered one, too. Then mine came out and it was yellow, and I was so perplexed. It was good, but I still think I prefer the orange!

  • September 30, 2011
    Ris

    What is that seafoam green? Nets? That’s…craziness.

    • September 30, 2011
      Kristin

      Nickelodeon slime! Or nets, one.

  • September 30, 2011

    Those are some incredible photos. The shot of the flags & fishing nets with the hills in the background is great!

  • September 30, 2011

    I love the way you manage to find intimacy and the heart beat of life in your pictures. Even without knowing what’s going on, there’s so many stories that you managed to capture. Love it.

    • October 1, 2011
      Kristin

      I do struggle with photographing people. I don’t want to offend or to show up in THEIR home and shove a camera in THEIR faces, so I try to stand back and photograph from afar. I don’t know if that makes it any better or not…

  • September 30, 2011

    Wow! what amazing images. You captured the true life of these people. They are colorful, yet, you can see the hardships in their lives.

  • September 30, 2011

    Lovely. Simply lovely. If MY mind is overwhelmed with all that you’ve been experiencing, I can only imagine that yours is ready to EXPLODE. (In a good way!)

    • October 1, 2011
      Kristin

      Tell me about it! It blows my mind that thus far we’ve only visited three ports and still have 11 to go!

  • September 30, 2011
    Jen

    What an amazing group of beautiful colors and such a sense of place in these pictures. I am so enjoying following your Semester at Sea trip.

  • September 30, 2011

    I’d love watching those women in their colourful batik clothes – you’re not short of local colour there

  • September 30, 2011

    Lovely shots of people going about their lives – I particularly like the one of the mother with the sleeping baby strapped to her back.

  • October 5, 2011

    These pictures are gorgeous! I hope you go again as well. 🙂

  • October 10, 2011

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photos! I will go with you next time! 😉

  • April 15, 2013

    Oh my gosh love this post – Ghana was my first backpacking destination nine years ago and this has bought back lovely memories 🙂

  • March 25, 2014

    Hi… I came across with your blog through surfing and I can say that I got something good to read… Your blog is really very good and informative…

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