Travel Tips Ghana

By | March 31, 2024

Travel Tips Ghana – I spent a week in Ghana and had the best time exploring Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast. Here is my guide with top tips for planning your trip to Ghana, so you can do the same!

Ghana. Glorious Ghana. I visited this african country with some girlfriends in february and since my (ahem, bomb azz) pics were on “Gram and Facebook”, you all have issues…  

Travel Tips Ghana

Too many questions! So, in the interest of transparency, I finally decided to sit down and write a blog post sharing my tips and itinerary for a week in Ghana.

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The biggest question I get from friends and followers is what prompted me to visit Ghana. if i’m honest I’m not surprised they asked. Ghana isn’t really on your “average” (Western) tourist radar.

Why is it like this? While outdated and wrong perceptions of traveling in Africa are partly to blame, it could also be because it’s not really being marketed as a tourist destination.

Think about it. African countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa have been positioning themselves as holiday destinations for years, topping the Destinations of the Year 20xx list several times and boasting active tourism boards, travel agencies and rapidly expanding tourism infrastructure.

Basically, their economy relies heavily on tourism, so the various stakeholders involved work tirelessly to ensure that people like you and me will visit. This is not the case in Ghana.

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But having been to the aforementioned destinations (click the links above to read my blog post about them!), I wanted to experience Africa without the stereotypical pyramids, souks and safari parks they are known for.

Visit a thriving African country that has yet to be touched by mass tourism (Ghana ignores the single story of poverty and conflict in Africa).

That last point is especially personal to me. Ghana was a major hub of the transatlantic slave trade, so being of African descent, my girlfriend and I traveled to Ghana to retrace the emotional, physical and spiritual journey of our ancestors.

However, even if you don’t have ancestral connections, experiencing this side of Ghanaian history is an integral part of any trip.

Travel Guide: Ghana, Africa — Lifestyledbyart

If you are planning a trip to Ghana, here are some quick facts/reminders you should know.

Ghana and Guyana are two different countries. Ghana is located in West Africa while Guyana is located on the North Atlantic coast of South America.

Ghana was once a British colony known as the Gold Coast. However, when the country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1957, it was renamed the Republic of Ghana.

The capital of Ghana is Accra, and the country’s currency is the Ghanaian Cedi. According to the exchange rate of the day, 1 US dollar equals about 5 cedis.

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When it comes to food, Ghanaians are famous for their jollof, a rice dish popular throughout West Africa. But tell this to any Nigerian and they will argue this vehemently, claiming that the Nigerian jollof is better. 😂 #challenge

Ghana is not only rich in culture but also rich in natural resources. It is the second largest producer of cocoa and gold in Africa (which is why it is called the Gold Coast). It is also rich in diamonds and oil.

Two of the most famous Ghanaians are named Kofi. Kofi Annan was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006; Kofi Siriboe is a Ghanaian-American actor (and international chocolaty/heartthrob). *fan himself*

Ghana has one of the highest GDP per capita in West Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. So what is one of your stories about impoverished Africa? You can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. *winks*

Ghana Travel Guide

As for how to get there, most international flights to Ghana depart from Accra’s Kotoka Airport. This means visiting the capital will inevitably be part of your plans.

In terms of cost: If you’re flying from North America, expect airfare to cost around $850 to $1200, depending on the departure city. Having said that, I was very lucky to get a cheap flight to Ghana paying only $750 for a NYC-Accra round trip on Ethiopian Airlines. Mind you, this isn’t direct: I had my legs stop in Lomé, Togo, and actually took advantage of that, spending two days in Togo on my way to Accra.

Nationals of most countries require a visa to enter Ghana as tourists. As visa-on-arrival services are not currently available, a Ghanaian visa must be obtained prior to travel.

However, as my friends and I discovered, obtaining a tourist visa to enter Ghana can be quite tedious, depending on which passport you hold and where you currently live.

Getting Around Ghana

Fortunately, as a Canadian passport holder living in New York City, my Ghana visa application process went very smoothly, although I had to pay extra for the 24 hour turnaround time. I paid $160 for a single entry “emergency” visa instead of $70 for a 7-10 business day turnaround time.

I filled out the necessary forms online, took two passport size photos as part of my application, and went in person to the Ghanaian consulate office in Manhattan to submit my documents and pay the fee. A day later, I went back to the office to collect my visa.

Ghana is an exciting country and well worth a visit. Even with a tight schedule, a week is enough time to visit Ghana’s most popular tourist attractions. I should know: my friends and I spent eight full days in the country and saw a lot! We split our time between Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast. Here’s what we’ve seen and heard in each region.

Accra is Ghana’s largest capital city, so there’s no shortage of things to do here. In fact, you might even be overwhelmed. The following is a good start:

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Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum. This site is dedicated to Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghanaian statesman and revolutionary who led the country to independence from Britain in 1957. He was the country’s first president and prime minister, charismatic and powerful.

Black Star Square. This important square is just a short walk from the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and the Accra Stadium. Flanked by the Independence Arch, it is the site of Ghana’s Independence Day celebrations and other major gatherings. If nothing else, the Black Star Gate is perfect for taking pictures!

Macola Market. The Makola Market is the largest in Accra and is filled with every kind of goods imaginable. Some might find the crowds, noise level and overall busyness daunting, but otherwise, the market offers a good perspective on the day-to-day life of Ghanaians. I especially love the textile store – colorful!

National Cultural Center. This market is the smaller and softer Macola market. You’ll find most of the same items here (mainly textiles and jewelry), but at much higher prices.

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Sandbox Beach Bar. After all the shopping and exploring, this beachside bar is a welcome reprieve! With peaceful views of Labadi Beach, live music and delicious grilled snacks, The Sandbox is a welcome retreat after a busy day in the city.

Boti Falls. This group of waterfalls is a two-hour drive from Accra in the Eastern Region of Ghana and should make for a great day trip. Unfortunately for us, when we got there we were told that due to drought like conditions there was no water in the falls and the site was closed! We made the long trek back to Accra with our legs between our legs, but not without taking pictures because of #vanity. ha!

Kumasi is the birthplace of the Akan culture and the birthplace of the Ashanti people and kingdoms. The Ashantis are a very powerful tribe in Ghana’s history, so I highly recommend spending a few days in this part of Ghana!

Mancia Palace. This palace complex was the official residence of King Asantehene of the Asanteman or Ashanti Kingdom. The former consists of an older palace and a newer palace, and is now used as a museum documenting the life of the Ashanti people and the monarchy.

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Adanwomase Kente Fabric and Tourist Village. This was a highlight of our visit to Kumasi! Kente cloth is a traditional fabric worn by the Ashanti people of Ghana. Although it was only worn by royals in the past, it is now loved by people all over the world. It’s not hard to see why — Kent is beautiful. In this village, you can learn how it is made and even make it yourself. Weaving proved to be a very painstaking job, although the artisans who operated the looms made it look remarkably easy.

Adinkra stamping tour. Adinkra differs from kente in that adinkra differs from kente in that the design is printed in the fabric rather than woven into it. On this trip, we learned about the process and then made our own adinkra cloth! Each symbol represents a concept or aphorism.

Frankly, visiting Cape Coast in Ghana as a person of African descent is frustrating and confusing. Ghana’s Cape Coast is dotted with impressive castles and forts