The Assin Manso Slave River in Ghana holds an irrevocable bond to the painful legacy of the enslavement era. It was from this point that thousands of slaves received their last bath before awaiting their transport to the Americas.
I visited this site recently, and I was deeply moved by the experience. A journey to Assin Manso Slave River is not just a visit, but an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the resilience of the human spirit.
If you are interested in learning more about how to visit Assin Manso Slaver River, keep reading for more tips and information.
The History of Assin Manso River
The Assin Manso Slave River, also known colloquially as ‘Nnonkonsuo’, was the place used by Europeans to transport enslaved Africans from the interior regions. These people brought here to have their last bath in African waters before being shackled and marched towards the Cape Coast or Elmina Castles for shipment to the Americas.
The river site became a significant hub for the slave trade during the 15th to 19th centuries, under the control of colonial powers. Enslaved individuals from different ethnic groups were brought here, their fates sealed by the iron chains of the slave traders. The river waters witnessed the tears, fears, and silent prayers of these individuals who were forcibly ripped from their homes. And the impact of the slave trade can still be felt in Ghana today.
Today, a monument known as the “Slave River Memorial” stands at the site, bearing the names of enslaved Africans who were forcibly transported from Assin Manso. The names were retrieved from ship logs and other records associated with the slave trade, serving as a poignant reminder of the human lives brutalized in the name of profit and economic gain.
How to Visit Assin Manso: 4 Options
Visiting Assin Manso by Guided Tour
Going on a guided tour is the best way to get the most out of your visit to Assin Manso Slave River. The knowledgeable guides provide valuable information that helps visitors to better understand the significance of the site. The guide takes visitors through the market site, the river and then to the ‘Slave Route’, which is the path taken by enslaved people as they marched towards the coast.
You’ll note that most tours include a visit to Assin Manso, along with at least one of the Slave Castles in the area, to really take you through the journey of a slave during colonial times. Below, see three of the best options for a Guided Tour to Assin Manso.
Duration: 5-6 Hours Price: $$$ Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Learn the history of the thousands of slaves that experienced the horrors of the Assin Manso Slave River and the Slave Castles. This tour begins in the morning and includes private transfers, lunch, entrance fees, and bottled water.
During this experience you will:
- Visit Elmina Castle
- Visit the Assin Manso Ancestral Slave River Park
- Visit Kakum National Park
Duration: 10-15 Hours Price: $$$
Experience both the flora and fauna of Ghana and then spend time learning the history of the slave trade here. This tour includes pick-up and drop-off within Accra, breakfast, and bottled water.
During this experience you will visit:
- Kakum National Park
- Cape Coast Castle
- Assin Manso Ancestral Slave River Park
Duration: 9-12 Hours Price: $$$
The goal of this tour is to educate travelers on the culture and history of Ghana, particularly as it relates to political and slave history there. This tour includes local transportation / pickup and entrance fees to attractions.
The two sites you’ll visit on this tour include:
- Assin Manso Ancestral Slave River Park
- Cape Coast Castle
Visiting Assin Manso by Car
Visiting Assin Manso by car is a convenient and popular option, especially if you’re coming from Kumasi or other major cities in Ghana. Begin your journey on the N8 highway from Kumasi, heading south. After approximately 36 kilometers, you’ll reach the Assin Manso junction. Make a turn at this junction and continue driving.
Signboards along the path will guide you towards the Assin Manso Slave Market and River site. Private car parks are available near the site for parking. Always ensure to observe traffic and safety rules while driving through the region.
Before you travel, don’t forget to rent your car.
Visiting Assin Manso by Private Driver
Hiring a private driver is a great way to get to Assin Manso. Unlike here in the states, it is very affordable to get a driver to take you and your party around for the day, or for the duration of your trip to Ghana. Click here to see an option for booking your private driver.
Once your driver takes you to Assin Manso, there is an option to hire an onsite guide to take you around the site.
Visiting Assin Manso by Public Transportation
For those who prefer public transportation, visiting this historical site is still accessible and affordable. From major cities like Kumasi or Accra, one can take a tro-tro (public minibus) or state-run bus to the town of Assin Manso. The public buses usually have specific routes and schedules, so it’s advisable to check these details beforehand. Once you arrive at the Assin Manso bus station, the slave market and river site is a short taxi ride away. Using public transportation not only supports the local economy, but it also offers an authentic experience of daily life in Ghana.
Assin Manso | Site Overview
The Slave River is nestled within a picturesque landscape, with lush greenery and a serene atmosphere. Visitors start at the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Assin Manso Slave Market, where they learn about the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The site is well-structured, with clear signage and paths that guide visitors through the site landmarks. Upon arrival, you’ll see the ‘Slave Market’, a symbolic representation of where slaves were auctioned. From there, a short walk leads to the ‘Slave River’, where enslaved Africans had their last bath before their long, harrowing journey to the coast.
In this river, you will be given the chance to stand in the waters and contemplate the experience of the ancestors that came before us. I did this on my visit there, and this was a powerful and moving reminder of my own history.
The highlight of the site is the ‘Slave Route’ – a path that recreates the final walk of the enslaved people. Walking this route, you will feel an eerie sense of the past. Along the way, you will encounter commemorative tombstones of two repatriated enslaved Africans from New York and Jamaica, Crystal and Samuel Carson. These tombstones serve as powerful symbols of the millions of lives lost to the slave trade.
In addition to the historical landmarks, the site also has a museum that provides deeper insights into the history of the slave trade. The museum houses various artifacts and interpretive displays, educating visitors on the brutalities of the era.
Where is Assin Manso Located?
Assin Manso is located in the Central Region of Ghana. The site is situated approximately 36 kilometers north of Kumasi, one of the country’s major cities. It is easily accessible via road, making it a frequent stop for those interested in understanding the historical context of the African diaspora.
What is the Best Time to Visit Assin Manso?
The best time to visit Assin Manso Slave River is during the dry season, from November to April. The rainy season in Ghana typically runs from May to October, which can make getting around difficult. It is important to note that the site is closed on Mondays to allow for cleaning and maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Assin Manso Slave River
Assin Manso is best known for the significant role it played in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This site housed the last bath, a river where enslaved Africans were given their final bath before being transported to the coast for sale and shipment. It is now a symbol of remembrance, offering visitors insight into this dark chapter of history.
The slaves had their last bath in the river at Assin Manso, known as the Slave River. This was part of the brutal ritual prior to their sale and shipment across the Atlantic during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The best way to see Assin Manso Slave River Park is to plan a guided tour, which provides historical context and a deeper understanding of the site. Tours typically include a visit to the slave river, the burial sites of enslaved Africans, and an ancestral wall with names of repatriated Africans. It’s also advisable to visit during the Emancipation day celebration held every year on August 1st, as it adds a unique cultural experience to the tour.
Assin Manso Slave River is located in the Central Region of Ghana. Specifically, it is situated in the Assin South District, which is about 40 kilometers from Cape Coast. This significant historical site continues to attract numerous visitors due to its poignant role in the trans-Atlantic slave.
In Summary | How to Visit Assin Manso Slave River
Visiting Assin Manso Slave River is a poignant reminder of the indomitable spirit of human beings. It is a journey that takes us back to a painful part of our history, but also serves to inspire us to keep moving forward towards a better future.
If you’re looking for a tourist site to truly experience the culture of Ghana and learn about its past, a visit to Assin Manso Slave River should be on your list. I found it to be one of the most moving travel experiences I have personally had to date, and I suspect you may feel the same.
I hope you have successfully learned how to visit Assin Manso Slave River, and get there with as little trouble as possible.
Looking for More Posts on Ghana?
- One Week in Ghana
- Tourist Sites in Ghana
- Historical Sites in Ghana
- Where to Eat in Accra
- Is Ghana a Third World Country?
- Accra to Cape Coast Castle: The Best Way to Travel
- The Best Places to Visit in Accra
- The History of Cape Coast Castle
- The History of Elmina Castle