Experiences > Historical attractions > Africa > Slave trade in West Africa

Location: Ghana Benin Senegal Gambia

Ghanaian Coast Castles

Over 20 castles were built along the Ghanaian coast by the colonial powers from the 15th century to protect their interests and for use in the slave trade. The castles at Elmina and the Cape Coast are of particular note, the latter being the centre of British administration in Ghana.


The town of Ouidah is the spiritual home of voodoo and was an important centre for the slave trade, remembered today at the old Portuguese fort. The voodoo culture is evidenced at the Python Temple, an important site for Ouidah's ancient snake cult.

Island of Gorée

The island of Gorée, off the coast of Senegal opposite Dakar, is a small and peaceful island which was once the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast. Approximately 20 million Africans passed through the island on their way to the Americas between the mid-1500s and the mid-1800s. The architectural remains today include the grim and cramped slave quarters and the elegant houses of the slave traders. These now house museums and serve as a reminder of this shameful period of human exploitation.

James Island

James Island is located at the mouth of the Gambia River. Along with related sites along the Gambia River, it played a key role in European colonisation and exploitation in Africa, particularly in relation to the slave trade. The ruins on James Island include a fort, slave house and governor's kitchen.

Travel to Slave trade in West Africa

Organised group tours: Click here to see 4 tours to Atlantic Coast which may include Slave trade in West Africa.