About Elmina

"We think Elmina Town offers visitors a chance to share a piece of history that unites Africa with the rest of the world, and we're proud to provide this beautiful environment from which to share that history."

Elmina has an important heritage for Ghana and there's a long-term strategy to improve the town and so we feel building and running Elmina Bay will give us a rewarding way of life whilst at the same time giving something significant back to the place of of economic growth and employment. It's scary to be starting something that we know will outlast us!

The town of Elmina is situated on a south-facing bay on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana, lying west of Cape Coast. The first European settlement in West Africa, it now has a population of around 27,000 people, mainly engaged in fishing.


The town grew around Fort St. George, built by the Portuguese explorer Diego d'Azambuja in 1482, and was Portugal's West African headquarters for trade and exploitation of African wealth. His expedition found gold and ivory and named the area "Mina de Ouro" - the gold mine. The original Portuguese interest was gold and ivory but this later expanded to include tens of thousands of slaves channelled through the trading post of El Mina.

In 1482, the Portuguese built St George's Castle, now known as Elmina Castle. This huge fortification is the earliest known European structure in the tropics. As the profitable trades in gold and slaves grew, the European powers struggled for control of the region

The Dutch seized control of Elmina Castle in 1637 and held it for 274 years until the British took control of the Castle and the Gold Coast. The town remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when it was sold to the English.

The location of Elmina made it a significant site for reprovisioning ships headed south towards the Cape of Good Hope, on their way to India. The Dutch West India Company captured it in 1637 and in subsequent centuries it was largely used for the slave trade.