From the name Cape Coast you can already picture a beach – and that means: ocean waves bathing the sandy shore as the sea-cool breeze gently caresses the palm trees in the tropical sunshine. But this city is much more than just another town with an inviting coastline. This is a city with a history that chronicles one of the darkest crimes of man against man – the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
According to legend, Cape Coast was founded in the 15th century as a small fishing village by Oguaa, a hunter who subsequently named the village after himself. When the Portuguese arrived in 1471, they named it Cabo Corso which means the short cape. Cape Coast became the biggest slave market in West Africa, with captives arriving from as far as Niger and Burkina Faso at the height of the slave trade. It shores became the departure point for slaves who were kept in Cape Coast Castle, before being packed into ships like sardines, literarily and sent to the Americas.
Today, the tokens of the slave trade remain in the city with the castle declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Several important personalities have taken a tour of the castle in the past few years. In 2009, American president, Barack Obama visited the castle with his family.
Beyond the slave history, Cape Coast has remained the fishing port it started as. The beaches are still there with the waves beckoning on you to come take a dip in the waters and refresh yourself.