Explore Ghana

Explore Ghana
Most experienced travellers who have explored Africa will tell you that Ghana is the perfect place for “beginners.” Ghana is an extremely friendly and welcoming country, and quite modern compared to many of its neighbours. Plus it’s got all the big highlights of travelling in Africa: great weather, big wildlife, sprawling beaches, spell-bounding national parks, and plenty of opportunities to meet the locals and learn their customs.

Don’t pass up the exciting capital city of Accra. This place is laden with street food, music, markets, and art. The city of Kumasi in the north is the centre of the Ashanti Kingdom, and if you’re in town to catch the Ashanti King when he holds court in his palace, you simply can’t pass up the celebration.

But if you want to really hang with the locals, it’s worth it to head to the Cape Coast and the settlements there.

Inland you’ll find mountains, rainforest, grasslands, and more, making for prime wildlife viewing opportunities. Kakum National Park and its treetop walkway is a great place to experience all this.

Mole National Park
Cape Coast Castle

Places to Visit in Ghana

  • Accra
  • Kumasi
  • Mole National Park
  • Kokrobite Beach
  • National Museum of Ghana
  • Lake Volta

Unique Things to See and Do in Ghana

  • Visit the Cape Coast Castle, built for the slave trade
  • Take a beach trip from the capital city
  • Walk the treetops at Kakum National Park
  • Explore Nzuleo, a community built on stilts
  • Hop on a safari
  • Hike to the top of Mount Afadja, Ghana’s highest peak

Ghana Culture

Ghana is an incredibly diverse country. Its 20 million people include three major ethnic groups and many other minorities. Nearly half the population is Akan, followed by the Mole-Dagbon and the Ewe people. The minority groups mostly consist of tribes living in the north. During your travels, you’ll find it easy to meet these groups. The official language in Ghana is English, leftover from the colonial era. It’s a heavy West African dialect, however. Other than that, Ghana has more than 60 indigenous languages! Most Ghanaians speak two or three other tribal languages as well as English.

Ghana used to be divided into a caste system, consisting of royals, commoners, and slaves. Royal status is still recognized, but not slavery. Polygamy is surprisingly legal. When a woman is widowed, she is expected to marry her late husband’s brother, and he is expected to look after the children.

When it comes to art and music, Ghana is rich in both! The national dress is a hand-woven decorative kente cloth, worn by both men and women. If you’re in the market for some original souvenirs, hand-woven and hand-carved goods are in abundance. You’ll also be giving directly back to the economy, which is a big help for an impoverished country such as Ghana.

If you can arrange a trip during a local festival, come for the Akan Odwira harvest festival. There will be public feasts, and all are invited! You’ll find all Ghanaians extremely hospitable and polite.

You’ll find all Ghanaians extremely hospitable and polite.

Getting Around Ghana

First of all you’ll likely need a visa before arriving. Check with Ghana immigration. You will also need a yellow fever vaccination certificate when you arrive.

There are domestic flights between Accra and Kumasi daily, as well as elsewhere in the country. At the time of writing this, much of the rail system has been suspended due to renovations. Car rentals are cheap, but road conditions vary, and in the north you’ll need 4×4 on most roads.

Did you know…?

One monetary unit in Ghana is called the “cedi” — translated as a “cowry shell” (snail’s shell) in English. This is because Ghanians used to swap cowry shells as currency!

Cowry Shells

Did you ALSO know…?

According to the World Peace Index, Ghana is the most peaceful country in Africa.

Eating Palava sauce and plantaines
Inter City STC is the main bus company, and often the cheapest and safest way to get around. You’ll find most routes possible via this company. If you want to be daring, hop on a Tro-Tro – a shared bus that crams people in with livestock, possessions, and basically anything that fits. Taxis are in abundance, but negotiate the price before you hop in. When all else fails, hire a local Ghana guide!

Best Time of Year to Travel to Ghana

If you’re looking to escape the northern hemisphere winter, Ghana is the place to go. From October to April temperatures are hot but not too humid. This is also Ghana’s dry season, which means better travel opportunities (roads are in better shape) and fewer mosquitos. This time of year is also better for wildlife viewing.

The downside: the winds blow sand from the Sahara all around, which means if you’re looking to do some hiking in the mountains or just chilling out on the beach, visibility can be quite disrupted.

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