Taking its name from the earliest known empire in Western Sudan, Ghana in actuality has neither direct historical connection to nor territory in common with its namesake, the Ghana Empire, whose roots stem from the eighth century AD. Some hold that the ancestors of the current inhabitants migrated to present-day Ghana from the ancient empire centuries ago, but there exists no historical document to verify or disprove this claim.
Paralleling the fortitude and tenacity of the great ancient empire, however, modern-day Ghana went down in the history books in 1957 by being a pioneer in the sphere of African emancipation, when it became the first African state to achieve independence from a colonial power. To tour the country today is to journey into a memorable countryside, where traditional tribal villages, colonial remnants and modern structures share territory and w here an impoverished people are remarkably hospitable and proud despite their many hardships.
From the fifteenth century onwards, Ghana saw no fewer than half a dozen European peoples breach her borders- Portuguese, German, French, Swedes, Danes and Angles- and each was successful in leaving a permanent mark on the Ghanaian landscape. Travellers on our Ghana tours will bear witness to some of the fascinating colonial architecture that is littered around the countryside - 42 colonial forts in varying states of disrepair yet stand within the borders of Ghana as a reminder of the country's torrid past and of the age of the ivory, gold and slave trades. As do some choice colonial sites, some ancient indigenous architecture enjoys protection under the UNESCO World Heritage List; the traditional buildings of the Asante civilization, for example, whose descendants are the Akan people of modern-day Ghana.
Perhaps there is no greater indication of Ghana's historical subjugation under a colonial power than the fact that English is the official language of the nation, even though nine other languages are classified as government sponsored and there exist upwards of seventy languages and dialects spoken across the land.