Are you considering travellng down to ghana or consider spending your vacation in Accra, here is all you need to know about coming over;
HOW TO GET TO GHANA
Several international airlines, operate regular scheduled flights from Ghana to major cities in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Required by all.
Visas are required by most non-residents except ECOWAS nationals. Ghana Missions and Embassies abroad will assist in issuing individual as well as group visas.
Yellow fever vaccination required by all exept infants under one year.Please do not forget to bring your health Certificate which shows that you have a yellow fever vaccination. You are also advised to consult your doctor well in advance of your visit so that you may begin the usual anti-malaria treatment.
Bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean and on the West by La Cote d”ivoire, the East by Togo and the North by Burkina Faso. Ghana is a tropical country. The South Western part is located within the warm wet forest zone similar to the Amazon. Accra, the capital, is located in the dry equatorial cones. Kumasi is in the wet savanna. It lies between 4° and 11 ° North at the equator and has a coastline of 540 km.
Northern Ghana has a range season from about April to October. The rest,
of the year is hot and dry, with temperatures up to about 38°C. In Southern Ghana the rains last from April to June and again from September to October. Generally temperatures are between 21 – 31°C. The rains are usually restricted to specific times each day during the rainy season; they are not continuous throughout the day.
Packing the Right Clothing
Since the climate is warm and tropical all year round be sure to pack light washable cotton clothing and casual wear. Do not forget your sunglasses and comfortable walking shoes. There are no restrictions on what men and women may wear. Slacks and shorts for both sexes are permissible.
If you are bringing along any electrical appliances, they should operate on or be adaptable to 220 / 240 volts. Electric outlets in Ghana accept either 3pronged, or sometimes 2-pronged. British or Continental European type plus or converters.
Ghana’s currency is the cedi which comes in denominations of GHC 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins come in denominations of 1 GHC and also 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p & 1 pesewas. Foreign currency can be freely exchanged at any Forex Bureaux in the country.
Apart from Forex Bureaux, some commercial banks also exchange foreign currency. Banks are normally open from 8:30 am to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some banks also operate on Saturdays from 09:00 – 14:00 GMT . Most large commercial banks will also have automatic teller machines located outside and available during and after hours. Most will take VISA and a few other check cards.
All banks and Forex Bureaux accept Traveller”s Cheques although the rate of exchange may be slightly lower than for cash transaction.
The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa and Mastercard. These cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, banks and businesses . Your card may be used for payment at most all airlines, leading hotels and major supermarkets. However be cautious when using your credit to avoid fraud.
Tipping is permitted in hotels, restaurants, etc. It is rarely added to the bill. Whenever it is not added the quality of service should dictate your generousity to the waiter, taxi driver, porter, tour guide, etc.
Most major hotels also have business centres which provide secretarial and courier services. You can make long distance telephone calls within the country. Collect calls to the USA, Europe and Asia are also available. USA direct dial is 019900 and UK is 0194.
Most cities and towns have facilities for night life such as cultural centres to theatres, cinema houses, discotheques, pubs, street cafes and casinos. Consult your hotel reception for what is on and where to go.
Modern private and public hospitals and clinics are available in all cities and big towns. Tourist should contact travelers’ medical insurance companies to cover any medical contingencies while away from their home countries.
Barbers and Hairdressers
They are available in Salons and most hotels.
Available in most hotels.
Safe but it is advisable for visitors to use bottled drinking water which is available for sale in hotels and super markets.
Restricted Areas for Photography and Filming
Seat of Government, High Commissions / Embassies and Military installations.
Kotoka International Airport
Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is located in Accra. It is the major entry point to the country and is accessible from any part of the globe.
KIA also has FAA approval for Category 1 in Safety and Security Oversight.
Ground Transport: To and From KIA
Although most people travel to the airport in their private cars, taxis and hiring cars are available at the airport for travellers’ convenience.
Public Pool Taxi
There are other taxi services from point to point at fixed charges per individual passenger. This allows other passengers to join in the same vehicle. You can also charter taxis at negotiated rate.
Airport departure lounge is located after security control. Facilities include a Duty Free shop, restaurant, bar and a seating area. Ghana Airways has the “Akwaaba” lounge for its first/business class passengers.
State Protocol Lounge is for use by Senior Government Officials/Diplomats and V VIP’s.
State Protocol Lounge again available for use by the previously mentioned personnel’s.
Greeting is an important social function that marks an open heart and mind. It also expresses one’s concern for the other. Refusing or failing to greet another person may indicate that you do not care for the other’s welfare.
Do not forget that the smile is also a form of greeting. Please make an effort to pick up some of our simple vernacular greeting forms and win our hearts over.
A handshake is a popular way of greeting in Ghana, especially among males. When you shake hands, please apply the same hand pressure as is offered.
When you are shaking hands with a number of people, start from the extreme right and proceed towards the left.
Use of the Left Hand
The left hand has limited functions in Ghana. In fact the use of the left hand for certain activities is considered an anathema. That is one reason why, when our men wear traditional cloth, we throw the fabric over the left hand. In particular avoid receiving or giving, gesticulating in speech, waving at a person or pointing things out with the left hands.
If you are naturally left handed, it is not your fault, and it is no offence. But you can avoid public embarrassment of complications by giving something (e.g. your guide book, camera, souvenir etc.) with the left hand.
Our chiefs enjoy receiving foreigners and interacting with them. There are etiquettes that you need to observe. When you are invited to greet a chief or the king, for example, move up towards him and stop short a point from where he is seated, stop and bow. He may graciously invite you to come for a handshake.
On formal occasions, we do not speak directly to the king, or chief, for that matter communication at the royal court is a three-way affair through a spokesman (linguist) called “Okyeame” who replicates the conversation. The visitor faces the Okyeame and delivers his message to the chief. The chief gives his reply or response to the Okyeame who renders it to the visitor. It is that simple and interesting. This has been our practice from time immemorial.
N.B. Normally, visitors to our palaces have to make customary offerings of friendship to their royal hosts. This consists entirely of drinks: Aromatic Schnapps, Gin and or money, the amount and quantities depending on the size or enthusiasm of the group.