Some Travel Tips

Ghanaians in general are known to be hospitable and welcoming, the first thing you see meeting a Ghanaian is the teeth with that warm smile. English is the official language and is widely spoken and understood across the country.
Safety

Within the major cities, adhere to the following:

  • Don’t walk alone apparently in deserted areas, especially in and around the cities. It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups.
  • Don’t display large sums of cash in public places. Be aware of the possibility of pick-pockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas.
  • Make photocopies of the first few pages of your passport, air ticket and other important travel documents.
  • Be much careful when crossing roads because most drivers don’t regard pedestrian crossing, and ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage before leaving home.
Health

There are modern medical facilities in the major cities nevertheless it is advisable to have health insurance policy before leaving.

Bilharzia: The bilharzia parasite is found in many lakes, streams and rivers on the continent. Avoid swimming in them!

Vaccinations for cholera, tetanus and yellow fever are advised. Malaria is virulent in Ghana. Take prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continue two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.

Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is perfectly safe. Bottled water is readily available in the bigger towns.

Electricity

Power supply is 220/240 volt 50 cycle. Plugs are usually 13-amp 3 pin square British

Banks

There are numerous banks in the major towns as well as many bureau de change. Hours of business vary from bank to bank, but most are open from 0830h to 1600h, Mondays to Fridays, and 0900h 1230h on Saturdays. Hotels and lodges change money outside these hours. Banking services are also available at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

Credit Cards, Cash and Traveler's Checks

International credit cards are accepted by most restaurants, stores, hotels, lodges, car rental firms, etc. However, many small shops in rural areas will not accept them. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are mostly accepted.

Currency

Currency unit is in Cedis and Pesewas, comprising notes and coins. Coins are in denominations of 1 to 50 pesewas and One cedi coin. Bank notes are in denominations of 1 to 50 cedis notes. Importation of foreign currency is unlimited and does not have to be declared on arrival. The importation and exportation of Ghanaian currency, however, is illegal.

It’s best to come into the country with either Travellers checks or dollars or pounds which can be exchanged at any of the many Bureau de Change in the main Towns. If you are offered an exchange on the black market at the borders, exercise extreme caution as they are notorious for cheating you without you even realizing it.

Clothing

Lightweight casual clothes especially cotton fabric can be worn all year round, with a jacket or sweater for early hamattan mornings and evenings. A sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellant are a must. Bring a hat, good walking shoes and sun screen. Don’t forget swim wear and binoculars. Some city restaurants and clubs have dress codes – casual jacket and tie for men, informal dresses for women.