Be aware that chloroquine-resistant malaria is widespread and you must take sufficient malaria protection including mosquito avoidance, mosquito repellants, and chemical prophylaxis. Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into the country.
It is strongly urged that a traveler request vaccinations against Hepatitis A & B, Cholera and Typhoid fever if they are planning to travel within the country.
There is a very high risk of meningitis in the northern third of Ghana which is a part of the Meningitis belt of Africa. This applies especially during the dry windy periods from December to June. A polysaccharide vaccine is available for Meningitis types A, C, Y and W135.
What Electrical current is used in Ghana?
For the most part, there are two types of electrical sockets (outlets) used in Ghana: the “Type G ” British BS-1363 and the “Type D” Indian (old British BS-546 5 amp “small”) sockets. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it’s crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for both types. Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
Primary Socket Types: British BS-1363, Indian
Is the water safe for drinking?
Drinking water from the tap is not generally considered to be safe, so choices include plastic bottled water (eg. Voltic, 1.5 liter, appx. GH₵1.00), boiled or filtered tap water, and “pure water” sachets. These sachets are filtered and come in 500 ml. portions. Many foreigners prefer bottled water.
At least one study has suggested bottled water to be the safest choice. Although “pure water” sachets are more easily accessible, 2.3% of sachets tested were found to contain fecal bacteria. If you want to play it safe, stick with carbonated beverages or bottled water.
Are Credit Cards accepted in Ghana?
There are many Forex Bureaus in Accra, and a few in the other major cities. It is very difficult to change travelers cheques and certainly almost impossible outside Accra and Kumasi, unless you change them at a major bank. Barclays has branches in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and even Tamale where you can change travelers cheques. Expect lines. VISA cards are accepted at major hotels and there are ATMs in Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast which accept VISA. Be aware that the Cape Coast cash machine is frequently empty. At the main branch of Barclays Bank in Accra you can get a cash advance on your VISA or MasterCard provided you have your passport with you.
What language is spoken in Ghana?
English is both the official language and the lingua franca between Ghana’s many peoples. English speakers will have no trouble communicating their needs anywhere in the country; Ghanaians usually speak English quite fluently, albeit with some quirks. Official government documents are in English, but there over 40 distinct languages spoken in Ghana including Twi/Fante in the Ashanti and Fante regions, Ga in Greater Accra, Ewe east of Lake Volta, Dagbani, and so on. “Obruni”, the Akan word for foreigner, which literally means “white man”, is generally shouted at any tourist in the more heavily trafficked areas, black or white, male or female. This gets tiresome.
In the northern regions and among Ghanaian Muslims in general, the Hausa language is also used as a lingua franca.
Two signed Ghana visa application forms plus one copy. Two recent 2 x 2 passport type photographs, in color, front view and with a plain/white background. Affix one photograph to each Ghana visa application in the upper right hand corner by staple or glue.
Improperly completed Ghana visa application forms may delay the processing of your Ghana visa.
Letter Of Invitation from Ghana:
Applications submitted in New York require a letter of invitation from the host in Ghana including full residential address and telephone number as well as a copy of the hosts Ghanaian ID, Passport or Ghana Visa if staying with a friend or relative OR Attestation from Hotel duly signed by an accredited staff member, confirming the reservation (Note: unsigned email communication is not accepted).
Proof Of Departure:
Computer generated flight itinerary from the airline or a travel agency or copy of airline tickets. A signed letter on the travel agency’s letterhead confirming round-trip booking may also be acceptable.
What is the currency of Ghana?
Ghana Cedi was redenominated in July of 2007. The new “Ghana Cedi” (GH₵) equals 10,000 old cedis. During the transition period of six months, the old cedi is known as “cedi”, and the new cedi is known as “Ghana Cedi”. Be aware that most Ghanaians still think in old currency. This can be very confusing (and costly). Ten thousand old cedis are habitually referred to as ten (or twenty, or thirty). This would, today, be one, two, or three “new” Ghana cedis. So always think whether the quoted price makes sense before buying or agreeing on a taxi fare. If in doubt ask whether this is new cedis.
US Dollars are accepted by some of the major tourist hotels, but you shouldn’t rely on this. As in all West African countries, older dollar bills will be rejected by banks and Forex bureaus. If you intend to take dollar notes make sure that they are all from the 2007 series or above. Euros ,dollars and UK pounds in cash are the most useful currencies to take with you and are easily and safely changed at numerous a/c booths open to 9pm.
What are the working hours in Ghana?
On the average, business hours are international. During weekdays 8am to 6:30 pm with one hour break from 12pm to 2pm, Saturdays 8am to 1pm, for shopping and some banks, On Sundays most commercial shops are closed. Government instuitions close 5pm and do not function before 9am. Banking hours are 8:30am to 3pm.
What to wear?
Appropriate tropical lightweight clothing for warm weather, good quality sunglasses and hats are absolutely necessary, when you stay in Ghana. Dirt paths and busy streets require sturdy sandals and other shoes that ventilate the feet and protect them from heat and dirt. In the past, older folks were not very happy to see woman dressed in shorts or trousers (slacks), these days however, trousers are worn by older women themselves.
What are the customs regulations?
- 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 1 pound of tobacco
- 1 Quart of wine
- 1 Quart of spirits
- Half pint of perfume
- There is a limit of 1,000 Ghanaian Cedi-GHS local currency which can be legally exported out of the country. Foreign currency equalling 5000USD can also be exported from the country.
- All travellers embarking in Ghana will need to pay a 50 USD Passenger service charge for international flights and a 1 GHS for a domestic flight
- Illegal drugs
- Explosives and Ammunition – unless permission has been obtained
- Knives and deadly weapons
- Counterfeit money
- Pornographic material
- Diseased animals and animal carcasses
- Plants and seeds – unless permission has been obtained
- Foreign soil
How safe is Ghana?
Ghana is currently a very safe, stable country with relatively low crime levels compared to other West African countries. Take sensible precautions but be assured it is quite safe.
Bywel’s bar in Osu is a frequent hangout of expats on Thursday nights meaning that it is target for muggings. Be sure to leave in a large group and enter a taxi immediately upon exiting the bar.
Do be aware that both female and male homosexuality is illegal.
Cases have also been reported of people snatching mobile phones in the streets. Avoid using your mobile phone out in the open if you do not absolutely need to. You may run the risk of having someone snatch it from you.
What are the Entry and Exit Formalities for Ghana?
A valid passport and Ghana visa are required for tourist travel to Ghana.
Original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay in Ghana, with at least one blank visa page available for Ghana visa stamp. Amendment pages in the back of the passport are not suitable for a Ghana visa.