Ghana or officially the Republic of Ghana is a West African state which joined the Commonwealth of Nations. It shares its borders with Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo. The south of the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. The capital city is Accra.
The climate in Ghana monsoon equatorial changing to equatorial in the south-west. It is a bit colder in the south of Ghana than in the north. The average annual temperature is +27°C in the south and +30°C in the north. There are two wet seasons: from April to June and from September to October. The best time for visiting the south of Ghana is from December to February. The tourists usually travel to the north of the country from April to October.
The official language in Ghana is English. Half of the people in the country are the Christians.
If you want to relax on a beach, go to the city of Ada on the Volta river. For active tourists, there are all the facilities for sailing and fishing. In Accra and Elmina, you will see historical and architectural monuments. If you stay in Akososmbo you can go to the Akosombo Dam.
In Ghana, there is the largest artificial water basin in the world, this is the Volta lake. In the city of Anomabu, you can visit the Kakum National Park.
On the territory of Ghana, there is an early-feudal state Ashanti. The official name is Asante Confederacy. If you visit this autonomy, you will have a chance to see historical and architectural sights, enjoy the nature of this ancient state and visit the villages of the Ashanti people. Do not miss a chance to visit the Mole National Park and enjoy wild nature.
There are no direct flights to Ghana from CIS countries. The tourists will have to take transit flights with a stop in European cities. The most comfortable routes are with a transfer in Paris, London or Casablanca. Air France, British Airways, and Royal Air Maroc offer flights to these cities. The airport of Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan accepts much more flights from European countries than the airport in the capital city of Ghana. There are flights from Abidjan to Accra three times a day.
You can get to Ghana from Cote d’Ivoire and Togo by car or by bus.
CIS and EU citizens who are planning to travel to Ghana can get a visa at the border or they can submit the documents to the Consulate of Ghana beforehand.
If the tourists want to get a visa on arrival, they should send to the e-mail of Ghana Immigration Service passport data and an expected duration of their stay in the country.
The Consulate issues a visa within 3-14 days. The visa is valid for 90 days.
Be aware that the Customs legislation of Ghana prohibits the export of the national currency. The amount of exported foreign currency must not exceed the imported sum. To export 5.000 US dollars a permission of the Ministry of Finance of Ghana is required. The same rule applies to the exported money exceeding the declared amount.
The adult travellers can bring in:
- alcohol and cigarettes for personal use;
- perfume (284 ml);
- audio and video gadgets one item per person.
It is prohibited to import:
- drugs without a prescription.
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- animals and birds (the export of parrots is strictly prohibited);
- golden jewellery with gems (without a certificate and a sales receipt);
- antiquities and handicrafts (without the permission of the authorities).
The national cuisine of Ghana was influenced by the Europe most of all among the African countries. The base of the Ghanaian cuisine is thick beef or chicken soups with vegetables, greens, starch, and hot spices.
The foodies will be absolutely delighted by a peanut soup Pepe or a soup Nkontomire made with yams, bananas and Ampesi sauce.
It is impossible to imagine the Ghanaian cuisine without Fufu, a thick mashed cassava, bananas, and yams. Fufu is served with soups in the form of balls or as a side dish for meat and fish.
Among the meat dishes, we recommend trying Yolof with rice, which slightly reminds of the Spanish paella. The tourists will like Chofi, spiced turkey roasted in tempura. If you crave for something even more exotic, try a dish from green snails.
Ghanaian cuisine is rich in fish and seafood. We recommend trying Gari Foto, this is a substantial salad with tomatoes, eggs, onion, prawns, and crabs wrapped in dough.
A typical side dish here is rice, beans, cassava paste, and roasted bananas. There are very popular local sauces which remind hot ketchup.
Those who have a sweet tooth should treat themselves to a national dish Fula. This is a thick mix of milk, sugar, and ginger. Middle Eastern sweets are extremely popular in Ghana.
Refresh yourself with a grain beverage Askenki, coffee, cocoa, tea, and fruit juices.
Among the local alcoholic drinks try millet or maize beer and Akpeteshi (something between gin and liqueur).
The national currency in Ghana is the Cedi (GHC) which is divided into one hundred pesewas. In circulation are the banknotes from 1.000 to 20.000 cedi and 50 to 500 cedi coins.
The tourists can exchange the currency in exchange offices, at banks and in Forex bureaux. US dollars can be exchanged in hotels, bars, and restaurants. Keep the slips you receive because you will be able to exchange the national currency only by providing these slips.
Credit cards issued by major international payment systems are accepted in large hotels, stores, and restaurants. Be aware that in Ghana a credit card fraud takes place very often so be very careful.
There are ATMs in large Ghanaian cities, but you will be charged 3% commission for the transaction. Credit cards are not accepted outside large cities.
You can cash traveller’s checks in exchange offices, hotels and at banks. The best rate is offered for US dollars and sterling pounds. Go to any Forex bureaux to cash large sums of money.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Ghana
Start discovering Ghana with visiting the UNESCO sites.
- Asante Traditional Buildings are a complex of 13 buildings made of wood and straw. They have been preserved since the thriving Empire times (18th – beginning of the19th centuries). The major part of the buildings was destroyed after the British colonisation.
- Forts and castles in the central Ghana district. The Saint Jago Fortress is situated in the city of Elmina and this is the oldest fortification in the district. It was built by the Dutch with the defensive purpose in 1637. Later it served as a prison, a hospital, and a resort. The Cape Coast Castle is situated in a city with the same name. It is a colonial building of the middle of the 17th century. The Elmina Castle is one of the oldest European buildings and it was used for tortures and for keeping the slaves. The castle dates back to the 15th century. Today, this castle is a museum. A death row and a stone well are still preserved there.
In Ghana, there are also six UNESCO candidate sites and the tourists should visit at least one of them.
- The Mole National Park on the north-west of Ghana. A huge territory of the park is covered with savannah.
- The Kakum National Park occupies 357 square kilometres and was founded to save the population of the antelopes, monkeys, and elephants. The park is a habitat for over 200 species of birds.
- The villages of the Tallensi people.
- Nzulezu Town which is built on the piles right in the waters of the lake with the same name.
- The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Navrongo.
- The Pilgrimage Routes of North-Western Ghana.
Some other places in Ghana which are not under UNESCO protection also present a great interest for the tourists.
- The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra, which was erected in honour of the first President of the Republic and the fighter against colonisation Kwame Nkrumah.
- The Christiansborg Castle, which is also known as the Osu Castle. This is the Danish fort erected in the 17th century to protect the slaves and palm oil sellers from the pirates. Today, this is the seat of the Ghanaian government.
In Ghana, the tourists can buy the following souvenirs and gifts:
- clay and wooden crafts;
- masks made by the local Aborigines;
- leather goods with authentic patterns;
- bijouterie in the African style.