by Sumurye Awani
on April 28, 2017
from Accra, Ghana
Assin Manso Slave River, Cape Coast Castle, Canopy Walk
I’m going to share my experience in Cape Coast through pictures with detailed captions.
Our first stop was the Assin Manso Slave River. It was the place where slaves would have their last baths before going to the castles. Our tour guide did a good job of telling us background information regarding the history of the transatlantic slave trade, when the various European countries arrived to this part of the West African coast, how slaves were captured and what happened to them after they bathed here. We walked to the river where the slaves were bathes but the entrance of the place had pictures that depicted the process of the slaves being captured, walking to this place to bathe, being branded, heading to the castle, and then being put on ships. It was an informative and eye-opening experience.
The words read: The Last Bath. It depicts men while still in chains washing themselves in the river.
The words read: Punishment for slaves. There is a contraption placed over the mouth so that the person cannot speak.
Our second stop was the Cape Coast Castle. Honestly, it was quite the experience and very emotional. At one point, I almost started crying. Our tour was 45minutes long and led by a man named Sebastian. He did an excellent job of breaking down what happened at the castle, how many people it held (1,000 men and 500 women), what the forms of punishment were (death for men and isolation for women), what happened in the cells, how slaves were fed, the role the church played, the various European powers that owned the castle, and the movement of The Door of No Return. It was an excellent learning experience and I learned things that I didn’t know. For example, a majority of slaves in the Cape Coast Castle were Ghanaians and sent to the Caribbean islands specifically Jamaica. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if many Jamaicans traced their roots back to Ghana. The church was built on top of one of the male dungeons which meant that the male slaves could hear people worshipping God, praising him, and exalting him. The children that were a product of the white men raping the female slaves were taken care by their father and allowed to learn to read, learn, etc. It was such a learning experience and I’m so happy that we had the tour guide that we did because he put everything in context in a beautiful way.
View of the Cape Coast Castle. You can see the cannons on the left side and the majority of the structure on the right side.
Another view of the Cape Coast Castle.
Our last stop was the canopy walk at Kakum National Park. It’s a beautiful green space that is well known for their canopy walk. The canopy walk has seven different levels that increase in altitude as you continue. It is definitely a bit scary but also fun! You’re able to see so many trees (even touch them!) and get a bird’s eye view of the park.
Our trip to Cape Coast was our last trip. It was an amazing trip and I am so happy that they saved it for last because it was such a learning experience. I hope others who have the chance will be able to visit all of the sites that I visited including Cape Coast.