Guess who provides the cocoa beans to Cadbury, one of the best chocolate companies in the world? It is none other than the sub-Saharan African country, Ghana. Ghana is not only popular for its chocolate, but also its famous tourism destinations. Here is our Ghana tourism guide with visiting Ghana tips and travel information.
Ghana translates to “Warrior King” in the Soninke language, a language commonly spoken by the people of West Africa.
Located along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, Ghana is bordered by Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Ivory Coast in the west. The city of Accra is the capital of Ghana.
Ghana, previously known as “Gold Coast”, has always been famous for its gold, diamonds, oil and chocolate. Here’s Jaunt Monkey’s Ghana tourism guide that explains the important tourism facts of this west African country.
How to get in and around Ghana?
You can reach Ghana by flight. The Kotoka International Airport is located in the capital city, Accra. You can reach by road if you’re from one of the neighboring countries such as Togo or from the Ivory Coast.
Visiting tip #1: Keep in mind that countries of West Africa do not issue visa on arrival. Make sure you’ve got your visa approved before travelling.
Once you’re in Ghana, you can take flights between the main cities, use taxis or buses or even take the local trains. Another mode of travel is by using the Tro-Tro.
A Tro-Tro is the term the people of Ghana use to refer to any mini-van like vehicle that carries people and even livestock in huge numbers from one place to another, more like a share-taxi. One of the better service chains that provide Tro-Tros goes by the name of City Express.
Where to stay while you are at Ghana?
A Ghana tourism guide cannot be complete without mentioning some of the accommodation options in Ghana. You can find a lot of budget accommodation in Ghana. Be sure to choose one in a good locality. If you’re looking for high-end accommodation then some of the best ones are:
- Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra
- Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, Accra
- Holiday Inn, near the airport in Accra
Some other hotels that provide good accommodation at reasonable prices are:
- Ellkin Hotel Ltd.
- Oriental Hotel Osu Branch
- African Regent Hotel
The native language of the people of Ghana is English. So you won’t have much trouble finding your way around in Ghana.
The currency used locally in Ghana is the Ghanaian cedi. Make sure you have enough money in the local currency. Otherwise, head over to the nearest Forex and get your money exchanged for Ghanaian cedi right away.
Visiting tip #2: Despite the fact that their new currency has been in use for almost a decade, you may find some shopkeepers still using the old currency. Be careful while handling money.
What to eat and drink?
If you’re a foodie, then Ghana offers a wide array of traditional food to delight your taste buds.
Do not miss on dishes such as Banku made from fermented corn and Fufu consisting of pounded yam, plantain or cassava.
The staple food of the people of Ghana is mainly yam, beans and maize.
What to do in Ghana?
One of the most popular tourist destinations is the Cape Coast Castle. Back in the 16th century, this building was a trading lodge. In those days, a trading lodge was used to keep slaves before they were shipped to other countries. However, now this is a well-maintained museum.
Visiting tip #3: While greeting the locals, use your right hand (else, it is considered disrespectful).
Another famous place of interest in Cape Coast is the Kakum National Park. A rare experience here would be the rainforest canopy walkway, nearly 100 feet high, which is found in only a few countries. The park offers bird watching tours, medicinal plant spotting tours and many more. By just taking a casual stroll around the park you will get to know more about the wildlife, flora and fauna of Ghana. The park can also offer you the feel of African forests.
Lake Volta or Volta lake is another destination among the beautiful places of Ghana to visit. Lake Volta is a large reservoir in Ghana with a surface area of 8,502 square kilometers. The lake that is originated because of the Akosombo Dam lies along the Greenwich Meridian. Akosombo dam is approximately 100 kilometers from the capital of Ghana.
Visiting tip #4: Carry mosquito repellent creams with you since mosquitoes are common in these areas.
Some other beautiful places are the Mole National Park and the majestic Wli waterfalls.
You can go on biking or walking tours to the neighborhoods of Accra, to observe the architectural designs and construction of the buildings here.
James Town Lighthouse Akosombo Hydro plant in Accra are two other major attractions in Ghana. When you are in Accra, you can easily visit these two tourist spots.
Plan a trip to the picturesque Lake Bosumtwi, a huge meteorite lake with the mountains surrounding it.
Take a boat trip across the River Densu to get one of the most peaceful spots in the country, the Bojo Beach. Sip on a refreshing drink and enjoy the cool breeze from the sea on a sunny day.
Another famous tourist destination is the Asante Traditional Buildings which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a historic complex consisting of 13 buildings built during the rule of the Ashanti Kingdom. These earthen buildings reflect the artistic nature of the people of the Ashanti Kingdom.
There is also a famous monkey sanctuary named Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in the city of Tafi.
Another interesting place you should definitely visit is the International Stingless Bee Centre. It is located near the Kakum region. It is basically a sanctuary for the world’s smallest bees. It is also an internationally recognized research center.
Pay a visit to the W.E.B Dubois Centre which is the resting place of William Edward Burghardt DuBois, an American born social activist. It is a complex consisting of 4 main buildings – an administrative building, the Marcus Gravy guesthouse where he stayed and the tombs of Dr. DuBois and his wife.
Go for a pleasant stroll to the Aburi Botanical Gardens located in south Ghana, occupying an area of 64.8 hectares. It is said that these gardens played a significant role in the emerging cocoa production.
You could also visit a beautiful forest reserve located in the Greater Accra region, named Shai Hills Resource Reserve. It is one of the few wildlife reserves of Ghana.
Ghana also has a large amusement park located in Kumasi, called the Rattray Park. Take time off and play some golf at their well-equipped golf arena. The park’s dancing fountain is quite a beautiful sight at night.
If you want to shop a bit, then you should go to the Marina Mall, one of the best shopping malls in the country. Don’t forget to visit the Kejetia Market which is the largest open-air market in West Africa. You can buy traditional jewelry, pretty sandals, beautiful cloth pieces, woodcarvings and many other souvenirs.
There is simply no end to the list of places you could visit in Ghana! Go on, pack your bags and head over to Ghana to have a wonderful time!
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com