Ghana may not be at the top of everyone’s list of holiday destinations, but perhaps in the future, it should be. It is a country of remarkable beauty, culture, colour, food, and music, especially highlife.
While the tourist numbers may not reflect how welcoming Ghana is to visitors, there is evidence to suggest this will change. There has been a gentle but steady rise in the number of tourist arrivals each year to the country, and 2020 looks to be following the same trend.
According to statistics website, Statista, 2019 saw over 1.1 million international visitors to the country. This was a record for Ghana, and it was hoped 2020 and this year would build on that.
Unfortunately, as you well know, the pandemic arrived, and early last year tourism was curtailed swiftly. However, time has now moved on, and while not everything is perfect, there is hope next year will be better.
Perhaps, after reading about Ghana, you may believe too that it is the most tourist-friendly country in Africa.
Is Ghana a safe and friendly country?
The first concern anyone usually has when considering a new holiday destination is whether it is safe. This is a normal concern and it would be a strange person who just hopped on a plane with no worries about where they were headed.
Research is always a good idea before heading to another country, and not just to check it’s safe. If you don’t do some reading, how will you know that the best jollof rice is from there?
Well, on to more serious matters. The World Population Index places Ghana as the fourth safest country in the whole of Africa. It is beaten only by Malawi, Botswana, and Mauritius.
Is it true that Ghana is safer than where you come from?
Well, when it comes to travel destinations, the same report from The World Population Index made some interesting statements.
According to the report on the safest countries in Africa, Ghana came out as a safer travel destination than certain western, South American, and Asian countries. Ghana was ahead of France, the UK, South Korea, Greece, Argentina, and many more.
When it comes to Covid, however, Ghana is suffering from the same problems as the rest of the world and trying to find its way back to normality.
What can a tourist expect from Ghana?
The first thing you will notice is the heat. If you’ve ever been to Bangkok and remember the first moment you walked out of the air-conditioned airport, then you’ll have an idea what will hit you.
The next thing you may notice is that English is widely spoken. This dates back to colonial times, but it isn’t the only language there. Ghana is home to about 80 different languages, but not all are widely spoken. Around 11 are taught in schools.
The lifestyle is simple and laid back. People don’t rush in Ghana, perhaps because of the heat? Expect things to move at a slower pace, which means being served in shops and restaurants sometimes too. Just go with the flow.
A tourist can expect some beautiful, varied countryside, busy cities, and nightlife too. Plus, there are some stunning beaches.
What is the nightlife in Ghana like?
If you are the sort of tourist who likes to take in some of the action at night, and a few drinks, then Ghana won’t disappoint. There are bars, clubs, lounges, and casinos for night owls to enjoy.
First, though, you need to know the differences between these venues. If you want to visit a casino then you can enjoy over 1,500 slot machines in Accra alone within 9 gaming venues. Any casino lover will be happy playing poker, slots, and blackjack here.
Bars, lounges, and clubs differ slightly. If someone says they are taking you to a club then it means you are going dancing. If they take you to a bar, then it is for drinks. A lounge is the same as a bar, however, it may serve food, whereas a bar won’t.
Is Covid a problem for tourism right now?
Land and sea borders with Ghana are closed now, but entry is available for visitors through Accra.
Anyone flying into Kotoka International Airport needs to have a negative test result for Covid within the last 72 hours. They will also need to take a further test for $55. The results will be returned within half an hour.
The US CDC Travel Advisory recommends anyone travelling to Ghana be fully vaccinated.
This was true at the time of writing, but anyone considering going overseas to any destination should look for up-to-the-minute travel news.
What is the internet like in Ghana?
Tourists make some assumptions when they travel to foreign destinations, and one of them is that the internet will be the same as back home.
Unfortunately, one area that Ghana is behind compared to some western countries, is its internet. Most people access the net through their mobile phones, so if you visit Ghana, it may be a good idea to buy a local SIM card.
Purchasing a SIM means that you can carry on accessing your social media, or enjoying your normal activities. This includes online gambling as Ghana has legalised this activity. A visitor can access LVBET through their mobile device and place sports bets without any problems.
What are the beaches like in Ghana?
Ghana has a fabulous stretch of coastline. It extends for about 350 miles which means that if you can’t find a good spot on a beach, you must have gotten lost.
There are beaches where you can just lounge and do nothing, then there are the ones where you will be surrounded by life. Hopefully, Ghana’s tourism will soon be revived, and part of the key to that is domestic travel.
Labadi beach in Accra is a favorite destination not just for tourists, but for locals and native travellers too. If you want somewhere more remote then head to Cape Three Points.
Two things to note about Ghana and its beaches, there is world-class surf there which may surprise you. The second thing to know is that there are strong currents, and no matter how beautiful the beach is, take care in the sea.
What is the food like in Ghana?
Top of many people’s holiday lists is to try the local food. Ghana won’t disappoint. Especially if you like a little spice.
Fish, meat, corn, cassava, beans, rice, and spice, will appear on most menus you look at. Some meals are suitable for vegetarians, and there are dishes with octopus, fish, and goat, too.
As you are probably aware joloff rice is a favourite in Ghana, but there are many traditional dishes for you to try. One that seems to be popular with many who try it is kelewele.
This dish is often sold as a snack and combines some ingredients that you may never have considered at home. Plantains are fried with garlic, ginger, and peppers, to provide a savoury but sweet dish that many can’t resist.
Things are starting to look better for next year’s tourism, and there is a summit to kickstart getting visitors to Ghana and Africa in general. Africa’s Travel and Tourism Summit took place in September of this year, and hopefully, Ghana will be on the tourist map again next year.
If you visit Ghana, you will see bustling city life, lively nightclubs, stunning beaches, amazing markets, and eat some fantastic food. All washed down with a Star beer.
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