Travel guide to Ghana

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In this extremely hot country you can experience city life, beach life and safari life. The inhabitants are said to be among the most friendly and generous people in the world - so do expect a warm welcome when visiting Ghana.

Facts

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Local name
Republic of Ghana
Capital
Accra (1,100,000)
Size
238,537 square kilometres
Principal Languages
The principal language is English, yet Ghana also has 25 widely spoken local dialects - the main one being Akan - spoken by approximately 45 % of the population.
Principal Religion
Ghana is the African country with the most Christians, but also many Muslims may be found. Moreover ancestor worship and animism are quite popular, and so is a general belief in reincarnation. Please note that every tribe has a belief of their own.
Inhabitants
18,887,626 (1999)
Government
Republic
Geography
With its long coastal area Ghana allows you to experience a varied landscape of lagoons, rivers, deltas and large lakes, with Lake Volta (at 8,480 square kilometres) as the largest artificially created lake in the world. However Ghana also invites you to experience the Savannah, rainforest and beautiful large valleys.

Travel preparation

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Best time to visit

The most perfect time of year to visit Ghana is from December to February when the weather is dry and daily temperatures vary between 27 and 36 degrees Celsius. The only thing disturbing the idyllic summer period is the warm and dry north-eastern wind, blowing almost entirely throughout the period from January to February. July and August also have dry weather, yet this time of year is rather hot. From April to June the rainy-season dominates.

Literature

Lonely Planet West Africa

Local conditions

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Currency

Cedi, 1 Cedi = 100 pesewas

Net cafes

Internet cafés are not easily found in Ghana. The country has many connections to the Internet, but they are not always available for tourists. However, you may use the Internet in for instance Accra.

Tipping

In exquisite restaurants, tips up to 10 % may be added, otherwise it is not necessary.

Timezone

Ghana is on GMT. Please notice the change between summer and wintertime. (During summer time, Ghana is one hour ahead of GMT).

Weight and Measures

In Ghana, the following units of measure are used: Weight: Kilos Temperature: Celsius Distance: Kilometres Capacity: Litres

Photography

As a rule of thumb you are advised to ask people before taking their picture. You should avoid taking pictures of official buildings, airports and military equipment without prior permission.

Drinking water

Do not drink the water from the taps i Ghana. Buy bottled water instead.

Electricity

Electric current operates on 220 volts AC, 50 cycles.

Behaviour

For traditional personal hygiene reasons your left hand is not usually used publicly - so it is not appreciated if you touch food, accept or give anything with your left hand.

Business Hours

Shops are open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Office opening hours are from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Food and drink

In Ghana you will find various seafood on the coast. Soups are very popular in Ghana, and you will also find delicacies like "red-red" - a bean dish, and "fufu" - a very delicious boiled and mashed vegetable bun.

Disabled travellers

Ghana is not a very easy country to travel in when disabled.

Holidays

New Year's Day, 1 January Revolution Day, 4 June Republic Day, 1 July National Farmers' Day, 6 December Christmas, 25 and 26 December Revolution Day, 31 January Other, not fixed holidays Eid al-Fitr /End of Ramadan) Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) Good Friday Easter Monday

Accommodation / Hotel

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Camping

The national parks offer possibilities of camping, but some precautions should be taken due to the wild animals. In some areas it is recommended to bring an armed guide.

Hotels

In most cities, you will find hotels in all price categories. You are advised to book in advance if visiting Ghana around the large festivals.

Hostels

Youth hostels are connected to several Christian organisations, among others: YMCA, YWCA and the Calvary Methodist Church in Accra.

Local transport

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Planes

Ghana Airways is the national airline company, also providing domestic flights between Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. Other companies of domestic flights can be found at a fair price and for smaller destinations.

Bus

Busses are available between all larger cities.

Trains

The cities of Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi are connected by a railroad a couple of times per day. Going by train is free of charge for children under the age of three, and until the age of 11, it is 50 % off.

Taxi

More than 300,000 taxis are available in Ghana.

Car rental

You may rent a car in for instance Accra, Tamale, Sunyani, Kumasi and Cape Coast, but please notice that it is rather expensive. You may also rent a car including a driver.

Boat or Ferry

You may sail from Tema to harbours in Nigeria, The Ivory Coast, Cameroon and South Africa.

Other Transport

Small vans, the so-called tro-tros are very popular throughout the country.

Special conditions

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Wearing camouflaged clothing is illegal in Ghana.

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