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Ghana Travel Advisory

Travel advisory november 20, 2023, ghana - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Updated to reflect threats against LGBTQI+ travelers.

Exercise increased caution in Ghana due to crime and violence against members of the LGBTQI+ community . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in:

  • Parts of the Bono East, Bono, Savannah, Northern, North East, and Upper East regions due to civil unrest.

Country summary:  Violent crimes, such as carjacking and street mugging, do occur. These crimes often happen at night and in isolated locations. Exercise increased caution specifically due to crime:

  • In urban areas and crowded markets
  • When traveling by private or public transportation after dark as criminal elements may use blockades to slow down and restrict movement of vehicles
  • In areas near the northern border in the Upper East and Upper West regions

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to more serious crimes.

LGBTQI+ Travelers: Ghanaian law contains prohibitions on “unlawful carnal knowledge” – generally interpreted as any kind of sexual intimacy – between persons of the same sex. Punishments can include fines and/or incarceration. Anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric and violence have increased in recent years. Members of the LGBTQI+ community have reported safety incidents that include targeted assault, rape, mob attacks, and harassment due to their identity.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Ghana.

If you decide to travel to Ghana:

  • See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for Ghana.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Areas Near the Northern Border in the Upper East and Upper West Regions – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

U.S. citizens traveling in Ghana should exercise caution while visiting border areas, in particular the northern border, and be sure to read Security Alerts affecting those areas. Due to security concerns over criminal activity in remote areas, travel of U.S. government personnel to the northern and northwestern border is currently limited.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .

Travel Advisory Levels

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18 things to know before traveling to Ghana

Christina Jane

Mar 7, 2024 • 7 min read

ghana travel policy

Whether you're a first-time visitor or returning for more, here's what you need to know to prepare for your trip to Ghana © Houssam Ghandour / Getty Images

Travelers have plenty to look forward to on their trip to culturally rich Ghana .

Welcoming Ghana is considered one of the friendliest spots in West Africa, and with its compelling history, vibrant clothing prints and flavorful dishes , tourists keep coming back for more.

Life in Ghana generally moves at a slow, relaxed pace, but it can also be chaotic and fast in different settings. Embrace the cultural differences, mass traffic and intense bargaining, and you may fall in love with the place. Whether you're a first-time visitor or returning once again, here's what you need to know to prepare for your trip to Ghana.

1. Gather the necessary documents for entry

Getting the paperwork together to visit Ghana is a process on its own and can be pricey. All visitors to Ghana must have a valid visa , and they range in cost depending on whether you apply for a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. Your visa for Ghana can take nearly three weeks to arrive unless you shell out extra for an expedited service.

A yellow fever vaccine is also required for entry into Ghana. Check with your local health department or medical clinics to get vaccinated. Malaria pills are also strongly recommended for visitors and can be prescribed by your doctor. If you can't get your hands on them before coming, pharmacies in Ghana have plenty in stock, and they tend to be a lot cheaper.

2. Carry a copy of your passport

If you plan to visit different cities outside of Accra , be sure to print a copy of your passport to keep in your bag as you travel around the country. Police stops are common, and officers are known to ask for passport information.

3. Forget you have a left hand

In Ghana, actions like eating, waving and handing an item to someone are to be done with your right hand only (sorry, left-handers!). From an early age, many Ghanaians are taught that their left hand is to be used for cleaning themselves in the bathroom. Therefore, your left hand is considered filthy and should not be used for eating and other activities. Using your left hand for gestures and main tasks is considered highly disrespectful.

Separate Ghanaian dishes laid out on a yellow-and-brown table cloth

4. Eating with your hands is a cultural practice

Soup-based meals are paired with a starch staple food like fufu or banku and eaten with your hands (remember the right-hand rule!). Be observant of how those around you are eating, embrace the culture and dig in.

5. Keep your thumbs down 

While the thumbs-up gesture in many places signifies approval, in Ghana, it shows disrespect. 

6. Always greet others 

Greetings in Ghana are a big deal, and it’s considered rude to not greet others. When you enter a room, you should say hello, good morning, good afternoon or good evening. When you meet a group of adults and greet them with a handshake, start with the person on the farthest right. 

7. Respect your elders

Respect for elders is immense in Ghana. You should not greet elders with a hat on your head. If you are wearing a hat, take it off completely or lift it halfway while extending your greeting. Give up your seat on the bus for those older than you. Crossing your legs and having your hands in your pockets in the presence of elders are gestures that are frowned upon. 

A young man leads a horse along a beach with three riders on its back

8. Be mindful of clothing cultures from city to city

Ghanaian clothing culture tends to lean more towards the conservative side. Accra is more relaxed, and you’re likely to see more shorts and crop tops. However, people elsewhere tend to cover up, so bring clothing that covers your chest and shoulders and reaches or goes past your knees.

9. Learn common phrases in Twi and other languages 

Ghana is home to many different languages and ethnic groups. Twi, Ewe, Ga and Krobo are a few of many languages spoken depending on the region. English is widely spoken, but it's important to remember that not everyone speaks it, especially once you are out of Accra and into rural parts of Ghana. Learning a few phrases in the local language is always appreciated and embraced by Ghanaians.

10. Watch your belongings

Pickpocketing and instances of petty theft might be the biggest concern you'll have in Ghana. Pickpocketing can be prevalent in crowded areas like Osu, Madina and Makola Market. Always keep your bag in front of you and away from the roadside to avoid snatching incidents. Don't carry a large amount of cash on you.

Your phone should always be in sight and accounted for. Motorcyclists in Accra are known to snatch phones out of the hands of people as they are passing by both in cars and when walking. It is wise to never stick your phone out of a car window for pictures and videos.

11. Expect the police to stop you

Police stops in Ghana occur frequently, mainly at night but they can happen throughout the day. Your vehicle can be randomly searched by officers, and they may ask for ID and search your bag. These searches usually last for about five minutes, and it is best to comply. 

Bribery is common in Ghana, and you may be asked to "dash" officers, which means tip. You can choose to give it or not as it's often only C10 to C20 (US$0.95 to US$1.90), but it may make the difference between a five-minute stop and a 40-minute one.

Police encounters in Ghana are generally nothing to worry about. Officers may have a “tough guy” attitude, but as you talk to them more, the guard comes down and they are usually friendly. 

12. Be wary of swift romantic encounters

It’s easy to meet new people in Ghana, and conversations are always flowing. People are open to new connections and tend to get close quickly at times, but be careful of fast-moving romantic approaches and those who immediately ask for favors or money. Scams are common in Ghana and can occur in romantic encounters.

A man stands at a market stall stocked with brightly colored and heavily patterned fabrics

13. Be sure to carry cash

When you’re in Ghana, always have some cash on you, or you may find yourself stuck. Not every establishment accepts card payments, and if they do, the POS systems are often down. ATMs are everywhere in Ghana, so getting cash is easy. You can still bring both credit and debit cards, but be prepared that not everywhere in Ghana will accept them.

Forex Bureau exchange shops will change your cash to Ghanaian cedis. Large denomination bills (100s) will get you a higher exchange rate.

14. Avoid drinking the water 

Drinking tap water in Ghana is not a good idea because there’s no guarantee that the water has gone through the proper measures to ensure it is safe. Boil your water or use a water filter before you drink it.

15. Expect weak wi-fi in most areas

Ask your accommodation about wi-fi speeds before your arrival if you plan to use it. Even if internet speeds aren’t the best where you’re staying, you can find reliable spots such as Vida e Caffè and Basecamp Initiative .  

16. Use cash for Uber and Bolt

Download Uber and Bolt before you arrive. While paying by card is an option on both apps, don’t plan on using it. Many drivers prefer cash and will cancel your ride if they find out you are paying using your card, or it could be an issue once you arrive at your destination. You can always ask the driver to stop at an ATM before the final drop-off point. 

17. Get a local phone number

Ghana is a place where verbal conversations are preferred over texting and online communication. You can get a local SIM card at Vodafone , a phone carrier at A&C Mall in Accra, so that you have a Ghanaian number. Drivers often call their passengers to find out exactly where they are.

18. Never underestimate Accra traffic 

Accra traffic is nothing to be played with. You may see an attraction that you want to check out that is only 15 minutes away from your accommodations but it might take an hour and a half simply because of the volume of traffic. It's best not to set reservations for a place if you don't have to. While traffic and delays can be extremely frustrating, you’ll have to learn to go with the flow.

This article was first published Mar 11, 2022 and updated Mar 7, 2024.

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Embassy of Ghana, Washington DC


Yellow fever vaccination requirement for travelers across the frontiers of Ghana

All persons entering Ghana must have a valid passport or Travel Document establishing the identity of the holder.


  • Citizens from the below-listed ECOWAS Member States by virtue of The Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment (PROTOCOL A /PL/5/79):
  • Burkina Faso
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
  • Sierra Leone
  • *Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China

NB: Exemptions category B above shall be for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days from date of entry.

  • All nationals of the following countries:
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda, Zimbabwe

**Children with ordinary passports accompanying holders of diplomatic, service or official passports accredited to Ghana or South Africa are exempt from entry visa requirements.


  • Holders of passports of Regional Economic Communities in Africa and the African Economic Community, United Nations and its Specialized Agencies:
  • The World Bank
  • African Development Bank

All persons in direct air side transit are exempt from visa requirement.

The following category of persons may not be granted entry visas:

  • prohibited immigrants
  • A person without visible means of support
  • An undesirable person
  • On the advice of the health authorities, an individual may be refused entry into


Individuals intending to travel to Ghana must note that;

  • the possession of the appropriate documents does not confer a right of entry;
  • travelers may be refused entry into Ghana if they fall within the category of prohibited immigrants and;
  • if they do not satisfy immigration requirements at the point of entry.

The Government of Ghana will not be financially liable for their repatriation.


  • Immigrant Quota – Persons who enter Ghana ostensibly as visitors may not be permitted to take employment.
  • No person shall be permitted to accept employment or undertake an occupation for reward in Ghana unless such employment is within an authorized Immigrant Quota (an immigrant quota being the number of non-Ghanaians that a person or firm can employ). An application for Immigrant Quota must be made to:


  • An approval for Immigrant Quota for a foreign employee must be obtained before proceeding to Ghana.

Investors to Ghana must register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). Application for the extension of visa or automatic quota must be accompanied by a supporting letter from the GIPC confirming the status of the Investor.

Investors interested in the Mining Sector must register with the Minerals Commission an approved Mining Services Company. Application for the extension of visa or Immigrant Quota must be accompanied by a supporting letter from the Minerals Commission confirming status.


It is an offence for foreign doctors, dentists, lawyers, pharmacists and other specific professionals to practice their profession in Ghana unless they register in accordance with the ordinances of their respective professions.

All professionals wishing to enter Ghana to practice one of the above mentioned professions are required to provide particulars of their qualifications to help determine their eligibility for registration.

Foreign professionals such as doctor, lawyers, and pharmacists among others must be registered in accordance with the laws of their respective professions to practice in Ghana.

Professionals wishing to practice in Ghana are required to provide documentation of their qualifications to help determine registration eligibility.

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Ghana Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

  • Packing List

After Your Trip

Map - Ghana

Be aware of current health issues in Ghana. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Updated   Global Measles April 26, 2024 Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles. Destination List: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia

⇧ Top

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

There is no longer active cholera transmission and vaccine is not recommended.

Cholera - CDC Yellow Book

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Ghana.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages traveling to Ghana.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

CDC recommends that travelers going to Ghana take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Ghana.

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Meningitis (Meningococcal disease)

Recommended for travelers 2 months old or older traveling to  areas of Ghana  that are part of the meningitis belt during the dry season.

Meningococcal disease - CDC Yellow Book

Meningitis Belt Map

In Ghana poliovirus has been identified in the past year.

Travelers to Ghana are at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus.

Vaccine recommendations : Adults traveling to Ghana who received a complete polio vaccination series as children may receive a single lifetime booster dose of inactivated polio vaccine; travelers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated should receive a complete polio vaccination series before travel. Children who are not fully vaccinated will be considered for an  accelerated vaccination schedule .

Polio - CDC Yellow Book

Polio: For Travelers

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Ghana. If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Ghana, there may be limited or no rabies treatment available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Ghana. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for all arriving travelers ≥9 months old.

Recommended for all travelers ≥9 months old.

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

  • Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance


  • Wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated freshwater streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

Avoid bug bites

African tick-bite fever.

  • Avoid Bug Bites

African Tick-bite fever


  • Mosquito bite
  • Mosquito bite


  • Sand fly bite

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Lassa Fever

  • Breathe in air or eat food contaminated with the urine or droppings of infected rats
  • Touch the body fluids of a person infected with Lassa virus or objects contaminated with infected body fluids

Lassa fever

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Counsel your patients on actions they can take on their trip to stay healthy and safe.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Ghana. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Some diseases in Ghana—such as dengue, leishmaniasis, and African sleeping sickness—are spread by bugs and cannot be prevented with a vaccine. Follow the insect avoidance measures described above to prevent these and other illnesses.

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Ghana include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Ghana. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Ghana’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in Ghana. Fill your malaria prescription before you leave and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Ghana may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Ghana, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

For information traffic safety and road conditions in Ghana, see Travel and Transportation on US Department of State's country-specific information for Ghana .

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

To call for emergency services while in Ghana, dial 193 for an ambulance, 192 for the fire department, and 191 for the police. Write these numbers down to carry with you during your trip.

Learn as much as you can about Ghana before you travel there. A good place to start is the country-specific information on Ghana from the US Department of State.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Remind your patients to pack health and safety items. Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Ghana for a list of health-related items they should consider packing.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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West Africa’s Tallest Waterfall, Located In The Volta Region Of Ghana.

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ghana travel policy

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
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Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccine recommendations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

  • check the latest vaccine recommendations for Ghana
  • see where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

See what health risks you’ll face in Ghana , including:

  • yellow fever

Marburg virus

In September 2022, Ghana declared an end to the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was first reported in July 2022. See more details about the outbreak and more information on Marburg virus and similar diseases . 

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Healthcare in Ghana

Medical facilities are poor outside towns. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation will be necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

FCDO has a list of medical providers in Ghana . 

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Ghana .

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

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ghana travel policy

Top Travel Insurances for Ghana You Should Know in 2024

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.

Links on this page, including products and brands featured on ‘Sponsored’ content, may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.

A West African country with diverse landscapes, beaches, forests, and wildlife, Ghana offers a rich cultural heritage and modern vibrancy to visitors and expats. Although travelling to Ghana can be an accessible holiday destination for many people, and although healthcare costs in the country aren't outrageously expensive, it's still a very good idea to arrive there with travel insurance anway, as you'll want the highest-quality healthcare you can find.

Luckily, online global insurances (known as 'insurtechs') specialize in cost-savvy travel insurance to Ghana and other countries worldwide. Our list below explores the four services we believe provide the best deals for young travellers, adventurers, everyday holidaymakers looking for comprehensive but affordable coverage, and longer-term expats.

Ghana Insurance Profile

Here are a few of the many factors influencing the scope and cost of travel insurances for Ghana:

Best Travel Insurances for Ghana

  • 01. Should I get travel insurance for Ghana? scroll down
  • 02. Best medical coverage: VisitorsCoverage scroll down
  • 03. Best trip insurance: Insured Nomads scroll down
  • 04. Best mix for youth and digitial nomads: SafetyWing scroll down
  • 05. FAQ about travel insurance to Ghana scroll down

Heading to Ghana soon? Don't forget to check the following list before you travel:

  • 💳 Eager to dodge high FX fees? See our picks for the best travel cards in 2024.
  • 🛂 Need a visa? Let iVisa take care of it for you.
  • ✈ Looking for flights? Compare on Skyscanner !
  • 💬 Want to learn the local language? Babbel and italki are two excellent apps to think about.
  • 💻 Want a VPN? ExpressVPN is the market leader for anonymous and secure browsing.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Ghana?

No, there's currently no legal requirement to take out travel insurance for travel to or through Ghana.

However, regardless of whether or not it's legally required, it's always a good idea to take our health insurance before you travel — whether to Ghana or anywhere else. For what's usually an affordable cost , taking out travel insurance will mitigate most or all of the risk of financial damage if you run into any unexpected troubles during your trip abroad. Take a look at the top five reasons to get travel insurance to learn more.

With that said, here are the top three travel insurances for Ghana:

VisitorsCoverage: Best Medical Coverage

Among the internet's best-known insurance platforms,  VisitorsCoverage  is a pioneering Silicon Valley insurtech company that offers comprehensive medical coverage for travellers going abroad to Ghana. It lets you choose between various plans tailored to meet the specific needs of your trip to Ghana, including coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and travel disruptions. With its easy online purchase process and 24/7 live chat support, VisitorsCoverage is a reliable and convenient option if you want good value and peace of mind while travelling abroad.

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 9.0
  • Quality of Service 9.0
  • Pricing 7.6
  • Credibility 9.5

VisitorsCoverage offers a large variety of policies and depending on your needs and preferences, you'll need to compare and explore their full catalogue of plans for yourself. However, we've chosen a few highlights for their travel insurance for Ghana:

  • Policy names: Varies
  • Medical coverage: Very good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, mental health-related conditions, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Excellent - but only available for US residents.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat and phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 25 to USD 150 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Lloyd's, Petersen, and others
  • Best for: Value for money and overall medical coverage

Insured Nomads: Best Trip Coverage

Insured Nomads is another very good travel insurance option, especially if you're adventurous or frequently on the go and are looking for solid trip insurance with some coverage for medical incidents too. With Insured Nomads, you can choose the level of protection that best suits your needs and enjoy a wide range of benefits, including 24/7 assistance, coverage for risky activities and adventure sports, and the ability to add or remove coverage as needed. In addition, Insured Nomads has a reputation for providing fast and efficient claims service, making it an excellent choice if you want peace of mind while exploring the world.

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 7.8
  • Quality of Service 8.5
  • Pricing 7.4
  • Credibility 8.8

Insured Nomads offers three travel insurance policies depending on your needs and preferences. We go through them below:

  • Policy names: World Explorer, World Explorer Multi, World Explorer Guardian
  • Medical coverage: Good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Good. Includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, lost or stolen luggage (with limits), adventure and sports activities, and many others.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat, phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 80 to USD 420 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: David Shield Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Best for: Adventure seekers wanting comprehensive trip insurance

SafetyWing: Best Combination For Youth

SafetyWing is a good insurance option for younger travellers or digital nomads because it offers flexible but comprehensive coverage at a famously affordable price. With SafetyWing, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you're covered for unexpected medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. In addition, SafetyWing's user-friendly website lets you manage your policy, file a claim, and access 24/7 assistance from anywhere in the world, and, unlike VisitorsCoverage, you can even purchase a policy retroactively (e.g. during a holiday)!

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 7.0
  • Quality of Service 8.0
  • Pricing 6.3
  • Credibility 7.3

SafetyWing offers two travel insurance policies depending on your needs and preferences, which we've highlighted below:

  • Policy names: Nomad Insurance, Remote Health
  • Medical coverage: Decent. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, repatriation, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Decent. Includes attractive coverage for lost or stolen belongings, adventure and sports activities, transport cancellation, and many others.
  • Pricing range: USD 45 to USD 160 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Tokyo Marine HCC
  • Best for: Digital nomads, youth, long-term travellers

How Do They Compare?

Interested to see how VisitorsCoverage, SafetyWing, and Insured Nomads compare as travel insurances to Ghana? Take a look at the side-by-side chart below:

Data correct as of 4/1/2024

FAQ About Travel Insurance to Ghana

Travel insurance typically covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost or stolen luggage, travel delay, and emergency evacuation. Some travel insurance packages also cover medical-related incidents too. However, remember that the exact coverage depends on the insurance policy.

No, you'll not be required to take out travel insurance for Ghana. However, we strongly encourage you to do so anyway, because the cost of healthcare in Ghana can be high, and taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of covering those costs yourself if you need medical attention during your stay.

Yes, medical travel insurance is almost always worth it, and we recommend taking out travel insurance whenever visiting a foreign country. Taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of covering those costs yourself in case you need medical attention during your stay. In general, we recommend VisitorsCoverage to travellers worldwide because it offers excellent value for money and well-rounded travel and medical benefits in its large catalogue of plans.

Health insurance doesn't cover normal holiday expenses, such as coverage for missed flights and hotels, but in case you run into medical trouble while abroad, it may cover some or all of your doctor or hospital expenses while overseas. However, not all health insurance providers and plans offer coverage to customers while abroad, and that's why it's generally best to take out travel insurance whenever you travel.

Although there's overlap, health and travel insurance are not exactly the same. Health insurance covers some or all of the cost of medical expenses (e.g. emergency treatment, doctor's visits, etc.) while travel insurance covers non-medical costs that are commonly associated with travelling (e.g. coverage for missed flights, stolen or lost personal belongings, etc.).

The cost of travel insurance depends on several factors, such as the length of the trip, the destination, the age of the traveller, and the level of coverage desired. On average, travel insurance can cost anywhere between 3% and 10% of the total cost of the trip.

A single-trip travel insurance policy covers a specific trip, while an annual one covers multiple trips taken within a one-year period. An annual policy may be more cost-effective for frequent travellers.

Yes, you can sometimes purchase travel insurance after starting your trip, but it is best to buy it before the trip begins to ensure maximum coverage. If you do need to buy insurance after you've started your trip, we recommend VisitorsCoverage , which offers a wide catalogue of online trip and medical insurance policies, most of which can be booked with immediate effect. Check out our guide to buying travel insurance late to learn more.

Yes, you can most certainly purchase travel insurance for a trip that has already been booked, although we recommend purchasing insurance as soon as possible aftwerwards to ensure all coverage is in place before your journey begins. Check out our guide to buying travel insurance late to learn more.

See Our Other Travel Insurance Guides

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Stoked to Travel

Ghana Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Ghana (2024)

Ghana, a small country on the West coast of Africa, is one of the most accessible and safe destinations in the region. And it is packed with exciting historical and cultural things to do, as well as countless outdoor adventures.

Beautiful Ghana is one of my favourite places on earth. Having spent more than six months there, it feels like a second home. From the paradise beaches in the west of the country, the remote adventures in north near Tamale or the pulsating energy of Accra. I would happily return every year for the rest of my life to soak up the life, spirit and charm of Ghana.

Ghana Travel Guide

2019 was the Year of the Return, a global campaign to encourage those with Ghanaian ancestry to return and experience Ghana.

In the 1600s, Ghana was a major part of the transatlantic slave trade, with the castle at Cape Coast being the departure point for enslaved Africans from across the continent. From here, men and women from countries across West Africa were sent in boats in perilous conditions to the ‘New World’. Last year, Ghana’s campaign welcomed thousands with African heritage to retrace the journey of their ancestors, a highly emotional and spiritual experience.

If you haven’t been to Ghana yet, then you’re in for a colourful, vibrant experience. Aspects of life in Ghana can be a little hectic, and a little frustrating at times but if you prepare well, then it may well be one of the best adventures of your life! Read on to find out more.

Essential Things to Know About Ghana

History in ghana.

Before delving into this guide, it’s important to touch upon some of Ghana’s history. Its past is very complex, and Ghana had been colonised by European nations for over 2,000 years. The country gained independence from British colonisation in 1957. It was known as the Gold Coast before being renamed as the Republic of Ghana.

Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence post-colonialism. Its president at the time, Kwame Krumah was highly celebrated for leading the nation to independence and there are many tributes and buildings dedicated to him, especially in Accra.

The flag of Ghana is red, yellow and green, with a central black star representing Ghana’s emancipation from European rule.

Cape Coast Castle in Ghana

Ancient Ghana used to occupy a larger land area, which incorporated modern-day Mali, Senegal and Mauritania. Clashes between tribes gradually drove people towards the coast. Today, the Ashanti tribe is traditionally found in the central part of Ghana, surrounding Kumasi which is the country’s second city. They learnt to trade with Europeans early, which made them wealthy and helped the Ashanti to control a large area towards the coast.

Useful facts

  • Ghana is on GMT time, which means the country has the same time zone as London. Geographically, Ghana is located as close to the centre of the world as you can be, as the country located closest to the intersection of 0° longitude and latitude.
  • The currency in Ghana is the Ghaniain Cedi. It often written as GH₵ or GHS.
  • The main resources and exports in Ghana are gold, cocoa, diamonds, oil, coffee, sugar, shea nuts and rubber. Its cocoa industry alone brings in nearly a billion pounds every year!
  • There are around 30 million people in Ghana, with around 3 million in Accra. Some famous Ghanaians are Kofi Annan, who was the secretary-general of the UN, the editor of British Vogue – Edward Enniful and footballer Michael Essien.
  • Ghana is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa, with good governance and an ambitious population that has led it to being one of the most stable economies in Africa.

Streets of Accra

  • Although there are more than 100 ethnic groups in Ghana, the Twi language of the Ashanti people is the most widely spoken language in the central and southern parts of Ghana. In the north, Dagbani is more widely spoken which is the language of the Dagoma people. Overall, there are more than 40 languages, and 70 dialects in Ghana.
  • Otherwise, most people speak English, or sometimes pigeon English. Ghana, along with Nigeria, are the only English speaking country in West Africa, as the others all speak French – a legacy of their colonial past.
  • Most Ghanaians identify as Christian, but many uphold traditions and beliefs linked to their tribal ancestry, particularly in more rural areas.
  • There is also a sizeable Muslim community in Ghana, particularly in Accra and in the north of Ghana near Tamale. Accra recently received a brand new mosque , seating more than 15,000. Freedom of Worship is a constitutional right in the peaceful nation and as such, there is little conflict or tension between different religions in Ghana.
  • Ghana has an interesting tradition in designing and building elaborate coffins. You can read more about it here . Typically, the coffin is linked to the job the person had. However, when Karl Pilkington from an Idiot Abroad visited , he chose to have a custom-built Twix Bar coffin.. These are true works of art, taking months to build and based on the belief that life continues after death.
  • Ghana has a universal health care system, which covers nearly 12 million Ghanaians. The country has some of the best medical care in Africa.

Using the health centre at the University of Ghana in Accra

  • You will see Ghanaians all over wearing colourful clothes, called Kente Cloth . This is linked closely to the Ashanti Empire and is of great pride to Ghanaians. You can find local seamstresses at markets who will delight in creating you a tailored outfit using Kente Cloth.
  • Children from the Ashanti and Fante tribes are often given names based on the day of the week they was born. For example, Adowa, which means Monday. This can be either their first or middle name.
  • Soccer (football) is the most popular sport and pastime in Ghana. Any group of locals will welcome you to play – after all, football is a universal language!

Football in Ghana

  • Most Ghanaians will fiercely support a European football team (Manchester United is particularly popular) and on game days, dozens of people will gather around the screens all over.
  • There are more than 16 nature protection areas including Mole National Park in the north and Kakum National Park in the south. In these parks, there are more than 40 species of large mammals, nearly 200 species of birds and over 1,000 butterfly species.
  • In the east of Ghana is Lake Volta, which is the world’s largest man-made lake, extending over 320 sq miles. It’s so big, it can be seen from space!

Ghana Travel Guide

Getting there.

The main point of entry to Ghana is the Kotoka International Airport in Accra. This is where all international flights arrive.

Plenty of airlines fly to Accra, including Virgin and British Airways direct from the UK, and American Airlines and United from the US (from New York and Washington DC).

Other airlines flying into Accra include Air France, TAP Air Portugal, KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish Airlines and South Africa Airways.

Visa requirements

Many countries require a visa for Ghana, which has to obtained at an embassy before arriving in Accra. There are numerous African nations exempt from visas, make sure to check before arriving.

If you do require a visa, for example UK citizens, make sure to apply and begin the process well in advance of your arrival date. Make sure to check the Ghana High Commission website for the UK .

Medical requirements

All visitors to Ghana are required to have proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. Proof is normally in the form of a small yellow book, given by the nurse who gave you the jab.

No other vaccinations are required for arrival into Ghana, but it is recommended to have had the following vaccinations:

  • Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus (DPT)
  • Meningitis A,C,W,Y
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Cholera (taken as an oral sachet)

The final two, rabies and cholera, are less taken by travellers to Ghana but I highly recommend both, especially if you plan to visit more rural areas in Ghana.

All these vaccinations add up, but I highly encourage you to take these precautions before arriving.

The main healthcare challenge to be aware of in Ghana is malaria. The disease is still prevalent in Ghana, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes are everywhere. I strongly recommend taking an anti-malarial tablet for the duration of your time in Ghana, which you can arrange in your home country before arriving.

Mosquito net in Ghana

There are a couple of main choices for an anti-malarial drug. Doxycycline and Larium are the cheapest and most readily available, but both can have some extreme side effects. Malarone (proguanil and atovaquone) is more expensive, but there are far fewer side effects. I recommend Malarone but ensure to speak to a healthcare professional.

Malaria in Ghana

Ensure to use a high percentage DEET based product on your skin, especially at dusk and in the evening. I also recommend sleeping under a net, unless you are in an air-conditioned upscale hotel room. I also used a fabric spray to deter mosquitoes that I used on my net regularly.

Although Ghanaians do tend to get malaria quite often and can be quite casual about it, for tourists it can be quite extreme to our more sensitive immune systems.

Getting around

Flights: There are a handful of internal flight companies in Ghana, primarily connecting Accra with Tamale in the north, Kumasi in the centre, Tema to the east and Takoradi to the west. Although quick, I wouldn’t necessarily advise taking these flights as they aren’t cheap and remove the adventure aspect.

Trains: The railway system in Ghana has typically been quite limited but routes are improving slowly in the south of the country. The trains currently in operation are unlikely to suit traveller itineraries, and are more aimed at commuters.

Buses: This is the main way to do long distance journeys in Ghana. They are generally safe and clean. and often are air-conditioned too.

The main company is STC, which has scheduled bus services throughout Ghana – and air-conditioning onboard. Always try and buy tickets in advance, as often seats sell out along popular routes.

Another bus company is VIP which also has modern, air-conditioned buses but tend to wait to fill up, before departing.

Both these companies have safety records and run from bus station to bus station. There are other bus companies around, with more dubious safety records and older, less well-maintained buses. Other bus companies may allow you to flag them down to alight on route.

Driving from Cape Coast to Ghana

Tro-tros: These are the iconic form of transport in Ghana, despite their total lack of safety. These are old minibuses, often a bare shell with various car parts taped on. People are crammed onto these and you could be sat between all kinds of people and animals – which can make for a very sweaty and smelly journey. Tro-tros ply every road in Ghana, making them very convenient and a crucial mode of transport all across the country. Although they are dirty and uncomfortable, they are a true way to be a part of Ghanaian life and I recommend you use them.

You can join them along the road. There will be a ‘tro tro mate’ hanging out the side of the bus shouting the destination and who takes your cedi from you. Alternatively, you can take a tro-tro from a bus station where you might get to pick your seats, but you have to wait for the bus to fill before it departs. Sometimes this can take a few hours if it’s a less regular route.

Interestingly, fares are regulated by the government so you shouldn’t be overcharged. Fares are low. As mentioned, tro-tros aren’t the safest form of transport. If you are very concerned about the driving or the bus itself, then try and disembark when you can and either take another tro-tro or hail a taxi.

A tro-tro in Ghana

Taxis: The other major form of transport, particularly around urban areas such as Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi is taxi. These are easily identifiable by the orange corners.

You can flag these down on the road, or find parked taxis. Always negotiate and confirm the fare before you start driving – most taxis don’t have a metered system. You can expect taxi drivers to offer you as a tourist quite a high price, but do not be afraid to negotiate on this. If you’re unsure of what the rate should approximately be, then ask a local at a hotel or in a shop.

Another option are shared taxis, which look the same, but drive to a fixed destination which is indicated with a sign. This can be a very cost-effective way to travel from A to B, especially on a more popular route. However, like tro-tros, you will have to wait for these to fill before they depart. As there are only 4 seats normally, this shouldn’t take too long.

Finally Uber is popular in Ghana, having arrived in the country in 2016. This excellent guide here covers everything you need to know about taking Ubers in Ghana.

Climate in Ghana

Oooh, it’s hot! Ghana is located in a subtropical zone, with temperatures over 30°C all year long. The rainy season is typically May to September, and temperatures drop slightly during these months.

Tamale and the wider northern Ghana region is hotter and more arid, with temperatures typically in excess of 35°C.

Climate in Ghana

Wifi and Local SIM cards

Wifi is plentiful in Ghana, and phone sims are cheap.

I would recommend getting a local SIM, even if your trip is just a week. The main providers in Ghana are Vodafone and MTN, and you pick up a sim for either at the airport or at the Accra Mall. You can then top-up your SIM easily at local stores across the country. After paying for the data you require, you receive a small piece of card where you can scratch off the silver bit for a code to enter in your phone.

More recently, the local app ExpressPay has created an easy way to top up mobile phone SIMs or make money transfers to trusted contacts.

Ghanaians love WhatsApp, and like other countries in Africa, you may find it easier to communicate with your favoured taxis drivers by WhatsApp, for example.

Money in Ghana

As mentioned, the main currency is the Ghanaian Cedi, and the smaller pesewa. I would always advise to keep some Cedi on you, and do not expect places to take cards.

ATMs are found across the country, with the main banks being Stanbic Bank and GTBank.

Water and Electricity

Tap water is not safe for drinking, and I recommend using a bottle or sachet of water for cleaning teeth too.

Plastic sachets of water are sold all over Ghana and are very cheap – just 10 pesewas each (one tenth of a cedi). They contain purified water, but some brands are better than others. Try and buy water sachets that are Ice Cool, Ice Pack or Everpure brands. You’ll know by taste if any of the water is of poor quality – it will either taste muddy or metallic. Don’t drink!

In terms of running water and sanitation in Ghana, most of Accra will have access to clean water. Water is generally provided in huge water tanks, which can tend to run out. When the supply becomes limited, you will need to use buckets for showering and washing clothes. If you’re staying in upscale hotels, this isn’t likely to be an issue and they will have backup reserves.

Bucket shower in Ghana

Western style toilets are available all over Ghana, but poorer or more rural areas may have more hole-in-the-ground style toilets. Just keep tissues and hand sanitiser on you, just in case!

Western toilets in Ghana

For electricity, load shedding is common across the whole of Ghana. Accra, as the capital is more likely to have 24 hours of electricity in a day, but all other places will experience a degree of load shedding.

Larger hotels and companies are very likely to have their generators to ensure guaranteed electricity. If the power cuts, they don’t always kick in instantly and there may be periods where you’re sweltering indoors. I used to find I would be drenched in sweat in the middle of the night when the power turned off the ceiling fan and I was under my mosquito net. Sometimes I’d get up and poor a bucket of cool water over my body and hair in order to cool down and get back to sleep.

Local language to learn in Ghana

‘Obruni!’ – this is probably the first word to learn. It means foreigner in the Akan language. It’s not an offensive term at all, and is often said with affection too. Do not be surprised if people shout ‘Obruni!’ at you in markets! And so you are aware, ‘Bibinii’ means black person.

TV Interview in Ghana

‘Chale’ – means friend or mate. It’s common for a Ghanaian to greet you with ‘Chale!’

‘ Abeg ‘ – means please, in pidgin English. It’s common to hear this in the markets when negotiating a price.

‘ Akwaaba’ – means welcome. You may hear this all over as people welcome you the country more broadly, or arriving in a village. I heard this a lot less after a few months, so I felt like I successfully looked like I had (somewhat) assimilated myself into Ghanaian life!

‘Medaase’ – thank you!

‘Chop’ – casually refers to roadside or stall food, or ‘to chop’ is to eat.

Customs and etiquette in Ghana

Customs and Etiquette

The left hand is considered rude and offensive, never pass anything with your left hand. Always use your right hand to pass or receive anything.

Pointing at people is considered rude, as is the thumbs up sign.

A common way to greet friends, or Ghanaians you’ve got to know is to do a handshake, followed with a hand twist and a click of the finger. Don’t worry, you’ll learn it in no time.

Ghana time is a real thing. It’s not uncommon for Ghanaians to be late by even as much as 2 hours. They even tease each other about how bad Ghanaians’ timeliness can be!

Ghana Travel Guide

Food in Ghana

Although Western food is often available, Ghanaian cuisine is delicious and essential to try on any length trip to Ghana.

The main staple foods are cassava and plantain, particularly around Accra and southern half of the country. In the north, the staple food is millet.

Throughout the country, yam, maize and beans are also cooked with. In Accra and the coastal regions in Ghana, tilapia is the main fish. You’ll see it being cooked on the streets and it is served up with many types of dishes.

Ghanaian food can be quite spicy. If you don’t like hot food, then say no to ‘ shito sauce ‘, an extra spicy sauce dolloped over your meal.

Fufu and groundnut soup

Some key Ghanaian dishes to try:

Jollof Rice – one of the most famous dishes! And the centre of many contests between Nigeria and Ghana as to who makes the best Jollof Rice! It is a tomato and rice dish, served with a fried chicken and shito sauce.

Waakye (pronounced Wacchee) – this is another rice dish served with beans. It isn’t often too spicy and is delicious with fried plantain, and other sides such as spaghetti, hard boiled egg and fish or chicken.

Banku – this is a dumpling made of a mix of fermented corn and cassava dough. You will often find this dish with stew and tilapia.

Fufu – similar to banku, this is boiled pounded cassava and plantain. It is often served in soups, like a groundnut soup. You take a piece of fufu dough, dip it in the accompanying stew and eat it! It’s delicious. This was my favourite dish in Ghana, I loved it. Sometimes goat is added to the soup, but you often say no goat pieces if you prefer.

Enjoying Ghanaian cuisine

Chichinga – mmm, Ghanaian kebab! This is a popular street food and is normally a mixture of chopped vegetables and a protein source, such as chicken or goat. This normally isn’t too spicy, although they do sometimes put a spicier paste called suya on it before grilling. Just ask them to stop before they cover the kebab.

Red-red – this vegetarian dish is mild bean stew and is delicious with a side of fried plantain. This is great for those who don’t like spice.

Plantain – similar to a banana, but larger and definitely more delicious. Plantain can be boiled, fried or cooked. It can be enjoyed as crunchy crisps too, easily purchased at local stalls.

Bofrot – these are delicious fried balls, that are doughnut-like in texture and taste. I was hooked as soon as I discovered them.

Food in Ghana

So there’s my Ghana travel guide, covering all of the essential things to know before visiting Ghana. As you can see, it’s a safe, peaceful and vibrant country, with some of the friendliest people on the planet.

Whether you’re visiting Ghana for a holiday, a volunteer trip, to visit family or to study abroad, I hope this guide is useful. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have on Ghana and put you in touch with locals I know, for example local tour guides.

Please make sure to also check out my detailed post on all of the best things to see and do in Ghana, covering all the key regions.

If you’re planning to visit any other African nations, then make sure to check out my other guides, covering Zambia and Zimbabwe , Botswana , South Africa and Morocco .

If you’ve enjoyed this guide to Ghana, then please do share using the below links!

Wanna see more? Check my Instagram  here , my Facebook  here  or my Twitter  here !

Disclaimer: My time in Ghana was entirely paid for by myself. There was no involvement from the tourism board or any local companies. This is an independent guide.

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Amazing! Really makes me feel like going back home.

Great Blog.Thanks for Sharing.

I really enjoyed this blog piece. ‘Nice one!

Ghana looks amazing! I definitely feel like it’s a country that isn’t seen on a lot of travel blogs – so it was very cool to read about it!

Thank You!!

You nailed it, Claire! I really enjoyed reading this piece on Ghana. And it’s so nice to see your genuine appreciation and love for my homeland.

Hi you make it sound fantastic place to visit , going there myself with my Ghana and girlfriend ..Thanks for the wonderful insight of the country .Best wishes on your travels . Steve .

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Ghana’s tourism sector focusing on diaspora and business travel

Ghana | Tourism

The tourism sector in Ghana has rebounded significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic, showing strong potential for growth over the coming decade. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) have invested heavily in a variety of marketing campaigns aimed at diversifying Ghana’s visitor markets. This has helped attract a large number of the diaspora population to Ghana during the Year of Return and Beyond the Return campaigns; visitors to the niche tourism sector, including ecotourism; and more business visitors for meetings and conferences. New investment in Accra’s hotel infrastructure is expected to prepare the capital for an influx of tourists as the government continues to focus on the diversification of Ghana’s tourist source markets, setting its sights on the UK and Europe. Furthermore, private sector investment is trending upwards with the number of formal licensed tourism facilities increasing by 6% in 2022, with 323 newly registered projects.

Structure & Oversight

MoTAC oversees the industry and is responsible for policy formulation and the development of tourism-related activities. In recent years, the ministry has concentrated on sustainable tourism, with a focus on culture and creative arts. The GTA is one of 13 agencies under MoTAC. It is responsible for promoting the sustainable development of the industry domestically and internationally. The GTA manages the regulation of tourism businesses through marketing promotion, as well as the licensing and classification of tourism facilities and services. It aims to transform Ghana into the leading tourist destination in sub-Saharan Africa by 2028.

MoTAC introduced the 15-year National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2013-27 in 2012, aimed at enhancing infrastructure, diversifying tourist attractions and improving the visitor experience. The plan aims to make tourism a key driver of economic growth, employment creation and revenue generation. The government hopes to use the strategy to encourage private investment to expand the sector through improved infrastructure, marketing and promotion, human resource development and technological advancement.

In April 2023 the GTA held its Golden Jubilee Celebrations at a ceremony held at the Accra Tourist Information Centre, under the theme “Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism Development 50 Years and Beyond”. Stakeholders from MoTAC, the Ghana Tourism Federation and the latter’s affiliate associations, such as the Ghana Progressive Hotels Association and the Tour Operators Union of Ghana, attended the event. At the event, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the minister of tourism, announced that MoTAC and the GTA will collaborate to develop a tourism sector that contributes to Ghana’s GDP, focusing on providing a training and skills development scheme for 6000 hospitality workers to improve service delivery.

Performance & Size

The government initially allocated MoTAC a budget of GHS115.7m ($10.5m) for 2022. Mid-year, it was revised to GHS112.7m ($10.2m) as part of overall cost-cutting efforts. The revised allocation included GHS58.7m ($5.3m) for staff, GHS32.7m ($3.2m) for goods and services, and GHS21.3m ($1.93m) for capital expenditure. Looking ahead, MoTAC projected a higher budget of GHS260.9m ($23.7m) in 2023, driven primarily by anticipated increases in goods and services, as well as capital expenditure.

In 2022 Ghana generated $2.5bn in foreign tourism revenue, according to the GTA’s “2022 Tourism Report”. International visitor arrivals rose from 623,523 in 2021 to 914,892 in 2022, slightly below the government aim of 1m. Domestic tourists totalled 937,087, marking a 55% increase from 2021. In the first half of 2023 Ghana recorded approximately 500,000 tourist arrivals towards its annual target of 1.2m, with aspirations to generate $3.4bn in revenue and create 150,000 new jobs that year. According to a March 2023 report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Ghana’s tourism sector is forecast to provide nearly 964,000 jobs by 2032, accounting for 5.7% of all jobs. The government hopes to attract 2m international tourists annually by 2025 and achieve a revenue of around $5bn a year by 2025.

In addition to developing its leisure tourism segment, Ghana has made strides in business tourism in recent years. In 2021 the GTA established a meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) bureau to promote Ghana as a business tourism destination in West Africa. In 2022 Ghana also became a member of the International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA), the largest global meetings industry network.

The global MICE tourism market was valued at $645.7bn in 2022, which is expected to rise to around $1.6trn by 2032. In 2021 almost 30% of visitors travelled to the country on business. The increase in demand for business tourism facilities in Ghana has encouraged hotels to adapt to cater to business visitors. The capital city of Accra has become the main business and MICE tourism destination in West Africa, with a hotel project pipeline that reflects the needs of business tourism.

Visitors & Source Markets

In 2022 the primary sources of visitors to Ghana were the US (118,369), Nigeria (72,789), the UK (47,962), and India (22,261). As of the most recent data available from the first half of 2022, the age distribution indicated that 33.9% of visitors were 18-29 years of age, 32.4% were 30-39 years of age, 21.3% were 40-49 years of age, 10.3% were 50-59 years of age, and 0.3% were over 60 years of age. Major European, US and Gulf carriers regularly operate flights to Ghana from major cities around the world (see Transport & Infrastructure chapter).

During the GTA’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations, stakeholders underscored the pivotal role of the Ghanaian diaspora, notably from the US and the Caribbean, in promoting the country as a tourist destination. This was evident in the 2019 Year of Return campaign, marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. The year of homecoming events helped to attract revenue of almost $2bn, according to MoTAC. However, subsequent pandemic setbacks in 2020 prompted MoTAC and the GTA to refocus on the diaspora through a decade-long initiative named Beyond the Return, launched in December 2019.

Hotel Infrastructure

Hotel properties are expanding, particularly in Accra. In recent years Ghana’s hotel occupancy has been steadily rising. Hotel occupancy for 2021 averaged 50% in five-star hotels, 42% in four-star hotels and 18% in three-star hotels. In 2022 the occupancy rates for four- and five-star hotels rose to 45% and 65% on average, respectively, while threestar hotels experienced a twofold increase to 36%.

Based on the most recent data from the 2022 International Air Travellers Survey, covering the first half of 2022 and based on interviews with 1511 international arrivals at Kotoka International Airport during that period, 41.2% of visitors stayed in private homes, 32% in hotels, 19.4% in guest houses, 4.4% in corporate houses, and 3.1% in other forms of accommodation. In terms of perception of hotel facilities, 20% rated them as excellent, 69% as good, and 10% as average.

Plans were launched in 2023 for two new hotels in the Cantonments suburb of Accra, home to several embassies and around a 10-minute drive from Kotoka International Airport. In February of that year, UAE-based Aleph Hospitality signed an agreement to operate The Pelican Hotel Accra-Ghana, marking the group’s first entry into Ghana. It was set to open ahead of the 2023 African Games, hosted in Accra in August.

Hilton announced its entry into Ghana with the new Hilton Accra Cantonments, expected to open in December 2023. This hotel is part of Hilton’s plans to double its portfolio in the Middle East and Africa regions through to 2028. The hotel will have 145 rooms, several restaurants, a gym, spa and outdoor pool, as well as 900 sq metres of event space including a ballroom, seven meeting rooms and an executive boardroom.

Visitor Attractions

Business tourists tend to plan their trip around the capital city of Accra, but there are several other popular cities across the country. Ghana is home to 538 km of Atlantic coastline with numerous beaches, national parks and wildlife reserves. Tourists can visit beach resorts for sun and sea tourism, as well as participate in water sports or ecotourism activities. Ghana has a tropical climate with year-round average temperatures between 21°C and 30°C. The rainy season runs from March to July and from September to October, while the rest of the year is mainly dry. This makes it attractive to tourists wanting to escape colder climates in the winter months.

Historical sites include more than 30 historical forts and castles built between the 14th and 18th centuries by various European empires. Kakum National Park, spanning 360 sq km in the southern rainforest, hosts endangered species and one of Africa’s three canopy walkways. In the north, Mole National Park, Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge, covers 4849 sq km.

Closer to Accra, the Shai Hills Resource Reserve attracts eco-tourists with 31 mammal species, 175 bird species and hundreds of butterfly species. The Bunso Arboretum, two hours from the capital, features over 110 species of birds and 30 butterfly species. Ghana’s waterfalls, including Wli, Kintampo and Boti Falls provide additional ecotourism attractions. Greater marketing emphasis on Ghana’s diverse natural and historical sites could drive both leisure and business visitors to explore regions beyond Accra.

Niche Markets

In recent years, MoTAC and the GTA have promoted several new tourist activities to encourage travellers to visit destinations outside of Accra, with varying success. In 2019 the GTA launched the Cocoa Ecotourism Initiative to promote cocoa farms across the country as tourist attractions. As of end-2022 Ghana is the second-biggest cocoa-producing country worldwide, following Côte d’Ivoire. In recent years the country has joined several international cocoa schemes to promote fair trade production, with more sustainable agriculture and better compensation for workers in the industry.

The GTA, the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Cocoa Processing Company and other government agencies hosted Chocolate Week at Expo 2020 Dubai in February 2022. This was complemented by a business of chocolate summit that same month in Accra. The Chocolatarium was attended by 120 chocolatiers, and featured panel discussions on financing and marketing cocoa products.

The marketing campaigns for cocoa-based tourism have encouraged tour agencies to offer cocoa farm visits and chocolate tastings. In 2021 the GTA invested in upgrades to the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre to attract visitors. A 2022 study showed that there was a high willingness from cocoa farmers to participate in agri-tourism to generate additional income. However, a bigger international marketing push could help promote Ghana further as a chocolate-producing tourist destination in a similar way as has been seen in Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

In 2021 MoTAC launched the Visit Ghana website and mobile phone application. The app allows tourists to book tours, order food, book site visits, reserve hotels and other accommodations, rent cars and pay for tourist services.

In April 2022 the GTA launched the 2022 Destination Ghana: Open and Ready campaign to attract tourists. Having focused its attention primarily on the US and Caribbean diaspora in previous years, the GTA aimed this initiative at the UK and Europe. The UK is a large tourist source market for Ghana, with a sizeable diaspora population. The campaign promotes a wide range of tourism activities, from historical sites to adventure and ecotourism, as well as business and MICE tourism.

Most recently, MoTAC marked Ghana’s tourism month in September 2023 with several events. The launch was held at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park at the end of August 2023, with participants from across the sector. The popular city park, located in Accra, is a tribute to the country’s first president and holds significant cultural and artistic significance. The event was aimed at attracting domestic tourists, promoting sustainable tourism and making Ghana the preferred destination in West Africa.

Owing to several marketing campaigns undertaken by MoTAC and the GTA, Ghana has begun to diversify the sector. It is now drawing a large number of visitors from the diaspora population, leisure tourists and business travellers. MoTAC’s focus on improving the quality of the hospitality segment through the licensing of establishments and staff training schemes is expected to further strengthen the sector. In addition, government efforts to attract tourists from less established source markets such as the UK and Europe are expected to boost visitor numbers in the coming years.

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    The travel advice is Exercise a high degree of caution to Ghana. Ghana is Major restrictions for travel. Get travel ban, restrictions alerts and advice before travelling to Ghana. Ghana is part of Africa with main city at Accra. Its Developing country with a population of 28M people. The main currency is Ghana Cedi. The languages spoken are English.

  22. Travel Advisory: Reconsider travel to Ghana due to COVID-19

    The Department of State renewed its Travel Advisory for Ghana on February 16, 2021. The advisory can be found here and is also copied below for your convenience: Reconsider travel to Ghana due to COVID-19. Read the Department of State's COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for ...

  23. Ultimate Ghana Travel Guide

    Welcome to my Ghana travel guide. In this guide, I explore everything you need to know before you travel to Ghana, from visa, vaccination, money and ATMs, SI...

  24. Travel Insurance

    Our travel insurance is offered by Allianz Global Assistance, a worldwide leader in travel insurance with presence in over 66 countries. Call us today for more information. Enjoy Travel insurance from Allianz Ghana which caters for all the unforeseen inconveniences that could affect your travel for pleasure or business outside Ghana.

  25. Ghana's tourism sector focusing on diaspora and business travel

    Government and policy-research delegations; Diplomats and expatriates; ... According to a March 2023 report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council, Ghana's tourism sector is forecast to provide nearly 964,000 jobs by 2032, accounting for 5.7% of all jobs. The government hopes to attract 2m international tourists annually by 2025 ...