Busua and Mfuma - Beautiful Beaches
The beaches at Busua are among the most famous in the country and are an important touristic area, especially for the twin city Sekondi-Takoradi, which is not far away. This has been the case for many decades, long before a relevant infrastructure for tourists was established here. The times when running electricity and water weren’t available in the villages of Busua and Mfuma are not too long ago. But the special location with beautiful beaches and a sea without dangerous currents attracted tourists from abroad relatively early. It is hardly surprising that today when the infrastructure is much better developed the settlement of various lodges and restaurants has increased rapidly. Luckily, when I was there, the number of people was very limited and I remember this corner as totally relaxed.
Nevertheless, you could also observe some surfers on the water and some restaurant owners really wanted us to taste their offers. As in the other coastal towns fishing is an important industry here and the coastline forms the usual image of colorfully painted boats and their colorful flagging. But this picture also fits almost kitschy beautifully into the surrounding landscape of wide beaches and a green overgrown hilly landscape in the hinterland. Unsurprisingly, the Europeans have also built a fort on this site, which today allows visitors a beautiful view of this landscape near Mfuma. A special highlight is the small bay which is located directly at the foot of the fort, which houses a tiny tower on a small island, which offers the topping for this magnificent view.
Fort Metal Cross
The Fort Metal Cross, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located on a hill on the outskirts of Mfuma (Dixcove). The fort was renovated in the 1950s and is in very good condition. If you are in Mfuma you shouldn’t leave out this place because only the view from up here on the fishing village and the beautiful bay is unbeatable.
But the history of the fort is also particularly interesting as it perfectly illustrates how changeable the conditions on the West Coast of Africa were in the 18th and 19th century. The construction of Fort Metal Cross began in 1683 by the British. However, the completion took almost 10 years, mainly due to the fact that only 15 km away Brandenburg-Prussia had also begun the construction of a fort called Groß Friedrichsburg. The Brandenburgers had a strong ally in the region with a man named Jan Conny. He was arguably a pretty wealthy trader with a private army of supposedly up to 15,000 men. With this he attacked the Fort Metal Cross twice in 1712 but could not conquer it against an alliance of British, Dutch and their African allies, but nevertheless could do great damage to the walls.
In the 19th century the history of the fort finally took off. In 1826 the British gave up the fort for four years before reoccupying it, before ceding it to the Dutch in 1868 as part of a larger agreement. However, they had great difficulty in taking possession of their new property as the surrounding Fanti Empires and smaller peoples joined together to the so-called Fanti-Confederation and successfully defended the fort against the Dutch. This painful defeat was arguably the main trigger for the Dutch to finally start their entire withdrawal from the Gold Coast soon after. Out of this situation, the British occupied Fort Metal Cross again in 1872.
This fascinating history and good preservation ensured that the fort was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.