Forever haunted by the ghosts of the past, Cape Coast is one of Africa's most culturally significant spots. This former European colonial capital, originally named Cabo Corso by the Portuguese, was once the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa. At the height of the slave trade it received a workforce from locations as far away as Niger and Burkina Faso, and slaves were kept locked up in the bowels of Cape Coast's imposing castle. At the shoreline, slaves were herded onto vessels like cattle, irrevocably altering the lives of generations to come.
Today, Cape Coast is an easygoing fishing town with an arty vibe, fanned by salty sea breezes and kissed by peeling waves. Crumbling colonial buildings line the streets, seabirds prowl the beaches and fishermen cast nets where slave ships once sailed. Many travellers use Cape Coast as a base to explore Kakum National Park, Anomabu and even Elmina.