10 Things to Know Before Travelling to Ghana for the First Time
You are welcome to come to Ghana and “Akwaaba” if you are already here. Traveling to a country where you have never visited is awesome. You are always giddy with joy, you can’t wait for the new experience, and you have so many expectations.
What am I going to do when I land? What do I say to the first people I meet? How do I make my stay memorable?
Your stay in any country you have never been to can be memorable if you get to know a few things about the country and its people before you set off.
It’s like having your girlfriend tell you all about her parents and what they like before you meet them. You are prepared, you are confident, and you are ready for anything that is thrown at you; the same way, knowing a few things about Ghana before you step foot on the land of gold and unique culture will prepare you for the adventures to come!
Here are ten things you need to know before you visit Ghana;
The Indigenes are Hospitable
Ghanaians are some of the most friendly, kind, and hospitable people in the world. When you step out in the morning, expect a “good morning” from everyone you meet, even a child. A “good afternoon” when you step out in the afternoon and “good evening” at night.
In typical Ghanaian culture, you are expected to greet people who are older than you when you meet them, and asking an older person how they are is considered rude, but it is often overlooked when you are a foreigner.
Should you find yourself standing somewhere, probably waiting for someone, you will be offered a seat and water. Foreigners are warmly welcomed to Ghana.
It is safe to say that Ghanaians treat foreigners better than they treat each other sometimes. No, that shouldn’t scare you away! We are kind people.
There are 16 regions in the country
Sixteen regions mean over 16 different unique cultures. You will be arriving in the capital of Ghana, Accra. But there are 15 other regions you can visit and explore, each with its own culture, language, taboos, and superstitious beliefs.
The number of regions in the country was formerly ten, but the sitting president, His excellency Nana Akuffo-Addo added six more regions in 2018.
We will not be giving you any spoilers. Once you arrive, you will be taken around the country to experience something new everywhere you go. There are 16 regions with different languages, but the most popular is the “twi” language of the Akan people from the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
So when you arrive don’t forget to ask someone how they are by saying “Eti sen?”. It is the most popular language, but hey, not everyone in the country speaks it.
Ghana is Safe
As a first-time visitor, your safety should be your concern. It’s just reasonable, especially if you do not know anyone here. But guess what? You are safe.
Like every other country, we have national security services, Ghana Police Service with emergency numbers 112 and 191, Ghana Ambulance Service with emergency numbers 112 and 193, and Ghana Fire Service with emergency numbers 112 and 192.
All services are overlooking the affairs of security and comprehensive health care.
In case of emergency, you can call any of these emergency numbers toll-free for assistance. Not to brag, but Ghana was ranked the most peaceful country in West Africa and the third on the African continent in 2020, considering our internal and external conflicts and many others.
Have we convinced you yet?
Amazing tourist attractions
Ghana has some of the most beautiful and unique tourist attractions on the continent. Each region in the country can boast of its attractions, from the canopy walk at Kakum National Park to the beautiful greenery at the botanical gardens at Aburi in the Eastern Region of Ghana. We also have 350 miles of tropical coastline where you can find clean and beautiful beaches for relaxation.
Our tourist attractions are just numerous. You will not be bored being here. They are many beautiful places to be and many things to do.
Private car, Uber, Taxi, “Totro,” “Pragya,” motorbike/ “okada,” all arranged according to levels of comfortability.
The first three are your best options, but for some action ad adventure, the last three should be on your list. Besides, when you get to some rural areas, you will not have any option other than to sit on a motorbike or even walk because vehicles will not have accessibility to those areas.
You can add that to your crazy experience list!
Main Occupation of the People
They are many white-collar jobs in the country, the capital especially. You will see lawyers, doctors, accountants, and more, but it is important to know that the main occupations of the people of Ghana are fishing and farming.
The country has large vegetation and rainforests and a large tropical coastline. The climate is also very favorable. We grow our foods, buy and sell. Ghana is one of the largest producers of cocoa in Africa. Our lands are also rich in minerals.
Fishing and farming are what we do in addition to white-collar jobs. And don’t get us wrong, our educational system is one of the best as well.
Many NGOs and Charity Organizations
There are many Non-Governmental and Charity Organizations you can donate to. As independent as we think we are, some people struggle to make ends meet.
There are many orphanage homes, nursing homes, and organizations to help the marginalized in society, and you are welcome to help. Osu Children’s Home, Action Aid, dream Africa Care Foundation, 21 Century Initiatives are a few.
You can’t go around in a country without knowing their currency and how much they spend. It is essential, to protect you against fraudsters and scammers. Don’t get duped. We spend Pesewas and Cedis in Ghana.
A regular Ghanaian can live on $100 for a week. Yes! A whole week. What does that tell you? Our currency is quite weak. Small amounts of dollars or pounds can mean so much in Ghana cedis.
Know your exchange rate very well before making important transactions to avoid being duped.
Food, clothes, and music
Most Ghanaian delicacies are spicy and full of carbohydrates. Don’t get us wrong, they are very healthy and delicious and give you all the energy you need. You can get street foods that are equally delicious and cheap.
Spicy meat, fried plantains, groundnuts, cooked egg with pepper, chips, and more are available on the streets. You can buy a whole meal for just $5. But if you don’t like Ghanaian food, you can always visit various fast-food restaurants in the country that serve continental dishes
Wear Ghana when you visit Ghana. Clad yourself in our beautiful kente, batakari, and Ankara clothes. Don’t forget to take some along when you are returning. And listen to Ghanaian highlife, dancehall, and Afropop music!
Just like many African countries, Ghana is still developing, and we have financial and economical loopholes. That is why when you arrive, you will see street hawkers, beggars, some bad roads, some frustrated people, some rural areas with no schools or good sources of water, but which country isn’t struggling one way or the other?!
The noisy streets and unique people are who we are, and we are working our way to becoming the best we can be. We are struggling in some parts, but we have many good things to boast of. This is us, and you are welcome.
Visit us today!
Don’t hesitate to visit us, and we hope we’re able to convince you. Come and see what we are made of, and don’t forget to share your experience.