Beat the Crowds to Ghana
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 7:44 AM CDT
President Obama and his family tour the Cape Coast Castle, a former slave-trading fort, in Ghana last weekend.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – President Obama's visit has put Ghana in the spotlight and anybody planning to follow in his footsteps should aim to visit while it's still off the beaten track, travel consultants tell Forbes. The West African country surrounded by volatile neighbors has long been considered a peaceful "diamond in the rough." People in the travel biz say it's the overlooked gem of African tourism, although visitor numbers are swiftly rising.

Five-star luxury is in short supply outside the capital, but boosters say its culture, history and natural beauty—as well as its famously hospitable people—more than compensate. "Ghana is the birthplace of slavery and a little rough around the edges," says one travel consultant. "But if you want to be adventurous and have bragging rights saying that you've been there, experience it before the masses."