Ghana is a beautiful, safe and fun destination for those craving a slightly more adventurous holiday. Relatively hassle-free, in comparison to many other African countries, Ghana is a nation of kind and helpful people, who place a high value on politeness.
Always remember to return a greeting in Ghana! The country’s tourism industry is still pretty undeveloped; however this does make for quite a cheap holiday destination. The downside is visitors may need to search for their entertainment, but it's worth the effort.
Ghana is an extremely bio-diverse place, with terrain ranging from rainforests to savanna to mountains. Stunning waterfalls can be found east of Lake Volta, the world’s largest reservoir by surface area.
Thanks to its vibrant natural habitat, some of the top tourist attractions in Ghana are its wildlife reserves; in particular, Mole National Park in the north of the country. Ghana is home to numerous species of monkey, antelope, bird, and even big cat. Unfortunately mosquitoes also plentiful in Ghana and there is a high risk of malaria so visitors will need to take anti-malarial medication.
Mirroring its natural beauty, Ghana also has a diverse society. Whilst the south of the country (where the British colonial activities were centred) is Christian, the north of the country is predominantly Muslim.
Interestingly these religious divides are reflected in the architectural styles of each region, with the north being home to excellent examples of mud and stick mosques, many of which are open to visitors. Due to the Muslim sensibilities of the northern population, tourists should take care with their dress, and cover legs and arms as they travel up the country to prevent causing offense.
The capital city, Accra, is a chaotic but exciting place to visit. However the tourist attractions here are somewhat limited, so visitors will find they can cover the highlights of the city in a day or two.
Highlights include the Nkrumah Memorial Garden, Independence Square, and the old colonial area of Jamestown, which is now one of the poorest areas of the city. If city-life is not your idea of a peaceful holiday, head west along the coast to visit the former slaving forts at Cape Coast and Elmina, or to Busua for some surfing in the Gulf of Guinea.
by Flora Tonking
Ghana Essential Information:
Major cities: Kumasi, Tamale, Takoradi
Places of interest: The former slave coast (forts at Elmina and Cape Coast), Mole National Park, the Gulf of Guinea for beaches and surfing, Lake Volta.
Time Zone: GMT (NB/ Ghana does not observe British Summer Time, so will be +1hr during BST)
Language: English (primary), Twi
Currency: Ghanaian cedi (GHS). For up-to-date exchange rates see: www.xe.com/ucc
British Embassy: visit the website for more information
International dialling code: +233