It is vital for you to have travelers insurance when on holiday in Ghana. This is meant to cover some expenses varying from medical expenses to trip cancellation that maybe incurred while travel internationally
Prevention is better than cure as it is generally said. Therefore, it is advisable to take care of your health issues before traveling to Ghana. In Africa, mosquito is the most dangerous animal which cause malaria. It is good for casual visitors to take proper precautions against mosquitoes and malaria that some maybe carrying. You NEED the yellow fever vaccine to enter the country. There is currently a global shortage of the vaccine so I encourage you to plan a visit to a travel clinic early because it needs 10 days prior to leaving in order to be effective. The travel clinician should also prescribe malaria pills and will probably also suggest a typhus shot.
You can get into the country by any of the international flight by means of transport while those close by can choose either flight or coaches to enter into the country. The following are some of the international airlines: KLM, Emirates, Egypt Air, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Alitalia, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Royal Air Maroc, South Africa Airways, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Tap Portugal, Afriqiyah Airways, British Airways, Iberia, Middle East Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Burkina, Air Namibia, Arik Air and Air Mali.
While in Ghana, you can travel through nook and cranny of the county by various means ranging from internal flight to bus. For instance, internal flight includes, Antrak Air, Starbow, Citylink and Fly540. You can also move around by taxi which is identified by various colours with yellow on the side and taxi advertising post on top and operate 24 hours daily. Another option is the mini-buses known as trotro which serve as an independent local buses. Further, you can move by Metro Mass buses that move throughout the country. You can also hire a taxi or any other car from car rentals services and luckily we have Uber-Ghana that aid in getting cars easily for movement in Ghana’s capital. There are coaches and buses that operate within cities and even nearby West African countries such as STC coaches, VIP coaches, OA coaches, Gh-Express among others. Their fares are standard based on the route.
Within Accra, you can travel by railways too. Ghana has an extensive road network which includes highways, trunk roads and rural roads. Improvement of the roads are ongoing throughout the country.
Ghana is a tropical country. As for the weather, Northern Ghana has a rainy season from April through to October. The rest of the year is hot and dry, with temperatures up to about 38 degrees celsius while in southern Ghana, the rains last from April to June and again from September to October with general temperatures ranging between 21-31 degrees celsius. The rains are usually restricted to specific times each day during the rainy season, and are not continuous throughout the day. But due to climate changes, it can affect the changes in weather but the season still remains rainy and harmattan seasons.
Accommodation and Food
In Ghana, the people are very hospitable. Accommodation in Ghana includes hotel, guesthouse and hostels. If you have a friend in Ghana, it will be more enjoyable to experience the homestay while embarking on your tour. You can get food at affordable prices at restaurants as well as local restaurants known as chop bars. Local meals are very delicious taste. Some of the local meals are fufu, banku, ampesi eaten with soup and most of it are eaten with the ‘natural spoon’ or the hand. You can also drink from the treated packed water either in bottle or sachet since the treated water from the pipes are considered not good enough for visitors. Electricity is available across the country that can aid you in charging your laptops, phones and any other gadget that needs electricity to work.
The question is why ICT? Essential issues have been grouped here and below are the answers to them all.
- Internet: To use the Internet, you need to buy credits. Once you are connected, Facebook and Whatsapp are free and do not deplete your data usage. We recommend telling the friends and family you want to stay in touch with to download Whatsapp before you leave. If you get your SIM card unlocked (go to your network provider) then you can load credits on your phone as well. The cellular networks that works in Ghana and mostly used are as follows: Vodafone, MTN, Airtel and Tigo.
- Electricity: Yes, but there are frequent power outages and it is scarce. We had no trouble keeping our electronic devices charged. You will be surprised at how little electricity you actually need. This will aid in charging your phones, laptops and other electric devices as indicated earlier in the accommodation. The electrical current is 200/220 volts 50hz. Three prong UK style plugs are standard, but some places use the rounded two prong European style plug, which usually will fit into a 3 prong outlet. If bringing 110/120 volt appliances (typically from North America), you will need a converter or a step-down transformer. Some appliances, such as laptops, only require a plug adapter because they have a built-in or manual switch to accept either current. To see if your appliance is dual voltage, look on the power box or plug to see if it reads 110 volts or if there is a range of 110-220v. Be advised that there are frequent power outages. Carry a surge protector or make sure important appliances are unplugged when there is a power outage. The surge when the power returns may damage your equipment.
- Money and ATM: Ghana’s currency is the Ghana cedi and pesewas. Most banks work from 8:30 am – 4pm from Mondays to Fridays. If you want to change foreign currency into the local currency and vice versa, can be done at any commercial bank, forex bureaus and hotels. Most banks have ATM that works during and after working hours. Visa cards are accepted widely in most banks, hotels, restaurants, airlines and supermarkets but some also accept MasterCard. Some of the banks you can use their ATM are SG-SSB, Barclays bank, Ghana Commercial Bank, Zenith bank, HFC bank, UT bank, Ecobank and GNbank. Before arrival in Ghana, contact your bank to know if your ATM card will work overseas and in case you need a special PIN number. Traveler’s cheque is accepted in most banks.
Things to Pack
One needs to pack things when traveling generally. If one is not traveling by private car in Ghana, you need to travel light. That is pack few things that are essential for your journey. The following will guide you in parking.
- Bags:Soft hold-all bag for excursions, Smaller travel/overnight bag or day pack for traveling and lightweight backpack if traveling via public transit.
- Clothing: White clothing is not recommended because it is impossible to keep clean. Ghana is a very dusty place. Smart-casual outfit – 1 set. Outdoor summer clothing in natural fibres – 3 sets. Lightweight cotton long pants – 2 pair: For cool evenings or to use as sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes / sandals – 1 pair each. Undershirt / singlet – not to keep you warm, but to keep the sweat from showing so much. Underwear – 4 to 6 sets. Swimwear: Only wear this at beach or poolside. Sarong or multi-purpose cotton wrap-around: useful also as sunscreen or dust cover for cameras. Towel / face cloth / bandana / handkerchief. Hat in neutral tones.Sunglasses.
- Hardware: Flashlight or head lamp / 2 sets of batteries. Camera equipment / extra lithium batteries. Dust-free camera bag (Zip-lock bag is fine). Extra battery, solar charger for phone.
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant (not anti perspirant), shaver, brush & comb, moisturizing cream, decongestant, anti-fungal. Sunscreen lotion/sun block, lip-aid and floss: these are particularly difficult to obtain in Ghana. Prescription drugs/small private medical kit (painkillers, plasters, antiseptic spray) / contraceptives / tampons. Contact lenses / lens fluid / spare glasses. Malaria tablets. Insect repellent (containing DEET is best)
- Papers: Passport / visas / travel documents. Pen / notebook / travel diary, Books / reference books / magazines / games to use during long siesta hours or delays, Cash in Cedis for personal expenses, tips & gratuities. Travelers’ cheques and credit cards are difficult to use.
- Optional: Pocket knife, Duct tape – highly versatile!, Plastic raincoat or poncho,
- Items for bartering at markets or tips for good service such as; Bandanas, hats, anything with a logo, T/shirts, old clothes or stationery and Mp3 players, cameras & flash drives have high value.
Map of Ghana
Ghana is divided into ten (10) regions with Accra as it capital. All the regions have one or two sites to boost of that depicts the untapped culture, history and wildlife which attract people to these regions to explore what they provide. Below are the regions in brief.
- Greater Accra Region: It stretches across an area of about 4,540 Km square with a coastline, which spans 220 Km² from Kokrobite in the west to Ada in the east and share boundaries with the Central region, Volta region and Eastern region. The following are some of the places to visit while in region; Kokrobite beach, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Casket Shop, W.B.E. Dubois Centre and Markola Market.
- Central Region: It is the former British Colonial seat of government until 1877 and covers the area of 9881 km square. It shares boundaries with the Greater Accra Region to the east, Western Region to the west and Ashanti Region to the north. It is seen as the center modernity in Ghana thus the name central. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, Brenu Akyinim Beach and Dutch Cemetary.
- Western Region: The region extends between the Central Region to the east and La Cote d’Ivoire on the west and Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions on the north. It spreads across an area of about 23,921km square. The region has 192 km stretch of tropical beaches on the Atlantic Coast . It is another region rich in heritage demonstrated by the numerous forts. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Nzulezu Stilt Village, Fort Sebastian, Busua Beach, Ankasa Nature Reserves and Fort Metal Cross.
- Ashanti Region: The Ashanti Region of Ghana is a Kingdom of gold, history and culture with an area of about 24,390km squares. The Region lies within the south-central part of Ghana and occupies a central portion of modern Ghana . The area is the hub of the ancient Kingdom of Ashanti , and still the heartland for all Ashantis. It is bounded by Western Region, Brong Ahafo Region, Eastern Region and Central Region. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Craft Villages, Lake Bosomtwi, Cultural Centre, Kejetia Market and Manhyia Palace.
- Eastern Region: The Eastern region covers an area of about 19,938km square. It covers an area of hilly landscape, which is marked solely by graceful highlands. The various portions of the landscape are named after the people who occupy them. The region share bounded by Central Region, Ashanti Region, Greater Accra Region and Volta Region. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Boti Falls, Aburi Botanical Gardens, Tetteh Quarshie Farm, Kwahu Mountains and Volta Lake.
- Volta Region: The Volta Region shares its eastern border with Togo and western with the Volta River and lake, the southern border is the Atlantic Ocean and the northern border with the Northern region of Ghana . The region stretches from the coastal plains along the Atlantic Coast up to the arid lands of the north. It is the fourth largest region which covers an area of about 20,572km square. It was originally part of the German colony of Togo but became a part of Ghana in 1956 when the mandated British territory chose to become an integral part of today’s Ghana . Ho is the regional capital. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Wli falls, Mount Afadjato, Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Mount Gemi
- Brong Ahafo Region: The geographical centre of Ghana is located in this Region. It was originally part of the Ashanti region, it covers an area of about 39,557km square making it one of the largest. It borders to the north of the Ashanti region and western region its western border is Cote d’Iviore and southeastern border are Volta and eastern regions respectively and the north with northern region of Ghana . Sunyani is its regional capital. The following are some of the places to visit while in the region; Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Village, Kintampo Waterfalls, Hani Archeological Site and Digya National Park.
- Northern Region: The region is the largest in area of all the other regions of Ghana . Travelling through the region gives the unique pleasure of discovering distinct changes in landscapes and architecture which is different from those in the south. The traditional mud-walled buildings which are similar to those found in Mali and Burkina Faso provide interesting side trips. Tamale is the regional capital and some of the places to visit while in the region are; Mole National Park, Larabanga Mosque, Nalerigu Defence Wall, Bui National Park and Salaga Slave Heritage Site.
- Upper East Region: It covers an area of about 8,842km square, which constitute about 3% of the land area of Ghana . It is located in the north eastern part of Ghana . The region is bounded in the north by the republic of Burkina Faso , in the west by Upper west region, in the south by the Northern Region and in the East by the Republic of Togo. Bolgatanga is the capital of the region. The following are the places to visit while in the region are; Paga Crocodile Pond, Historical Mud-Church and Tongo-Tenzug Shrines.
- Upper West Region: The Upper West Region has a different feeling, as a more traditional region. The administrative centre of Wa is also the seat of the Wa Naa, the Paramount Chief of the Walas. The magnificent palace still stands as stately as it did when it was first built in the 19th century. The uniquely styled traditional village houses of round mud-walled structures connected by walls forming large compounds are well adapted to the demanding climate of this region. The following are the places to visit while in the region; Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary, Wa Naa’s Palace and Gwollu Slave Defence Wall.