Ghana has always been a special part of Africa – a different Africa with a wide range of attractions and facilities. It dazzles you with its historic past, and charms you with that natural beauty which envelopes you wherever you go. Indeed for the astute traveller, Ghana is that unexplored destination which abounds in an unbelievable array of exciting attractions, succinctly distinctive and peculiar to each of the ten regions of Ghana. There are miles and miles of sun drenched and unspoilt beaches to discover as well as national parks which boast of unique flora and fauna. Undisputedly, however, Ghana's greatest asset is its people who are renowned the world over for their warmth, cheerfulness, and hospitality.
Ghana is a tropical country, lying between latitudes 4° and 11° North of the equator and with a coastline stretching over 540 km. Its southwestern part is located within the warm wet forest zone similar to the Amazon. Accra, the capital, is located in the dry equatorial zone. Kumasi is in the wet semi-equatorial region while further north is the tropical continental savanna. Northern Ghana has a rainy 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 range between 21° ~32° C.
Ghana has modern telecommunication facilities as well as first class seaports and a modern international airport in Accra. Recent development of modern hotels, convention facilities and theatres has made Ghana, Africa's newest tourist and convention destination with Europe and the United States as its biggest markets. Kotoka International Airport in Accra seems set to become a significant hub linking flights between these areas with much of West, East and Southern Africa. There are over 10, 000 hotel rooms in about 703 hotels, including 3, 4, 5 star hotels. There are top class restaurants, wildlife parks, and safe streets.
Centuries of tradition of the people of Ghana and the diversity of the distinct ethnic groups have created a rich culture that is the splendid legacy of modern Ghana. To the people of Ghana, the traditions of their ancestors are still an important part of their daily life. Traditional chiefs have historical authority over tribal and family matters. They are also custodians of land belonging to their respective clans or groups. The nation’s diverse culture is depicted through its many exciting festivals, which are held throughout the year. These reflect the rich history and culture of tribal life in the regions.
Information on the festivals of Ghana as well as all the heritage sites, eco-tourism locations and recreation spots can be accessed from www.touringghana.com/festivals.asp
A tourism visit to Ghana requires the issuance of a tourist visa for non-ECOWAS nationals. The international airports of Ghana are serviced by many of the world’s major airlines. There is currently yet no direct flight from Benin to Ghana. Among the major airlines that fly to Ghana are: Egypt Air, Ethiopian Air, Kenyan Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM-Air France, and Emirates. There are also a number of regional airlines.
A health certificate showing that you have yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Ghana. You may consult your doctor well in advance of your visit to begin regular anti-malarial treatment.
The currency of Ghana is the Ghana cedi (GH¢) and pesewas, which comes in denominations of ¢1.00, ¢2.00, ¢5.00, ¢10.00, ¢20.00, ¢50.00. Coins come in denominations of 1p, 5p, 10, 20p, 50p and ¢1.00. Foreign currency can be freely exchanged at any Foreign Exchange (Forex) Bureau in the country. Apart from Forex Bureaux, some commercial banks also exchange foreign currency. Banks are normally open from 8:30am to 3:00pm, Monday through Thursday and until 4:00pm on Friday.
All banks and Forex Bureaux accept travellers’ cheques although the rate of exchange may be slightly lower than in cash transactions.
The most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, Diners, Master Card, and Visa. Your card may be used for payment at nearly all airlines, leading hotels, and major supermarkets.
Hotels and Tour Operators
Ghana offers a wide range of hotel accommodation for her growing economy and tourism industry: cosmopolitan, metropolitan, town and country hotels and park lodges of varying comfort, elegance and convenience abound. Ghana’s hotels are classified according to international star rating system with 5 star as the highest and one star the minimum internationally acceptable quality. In addition, there are local budget hotels. Information on hotel accommodation can be accessed from the Tourism Authority’s website at: http://www.touringghana.com/accommodation/accommodation.asp
Travel Agents and Tour Operators, licensed by the Ghana Tourist Board are available to facilitate your travel to Ghana and provide you with ground tour services as well. Licensed travel and tour operators can be contacted via the website at: http://www.touringghana.com/toursandtouroperators.asp. Indeed, with traditional towns and villages, rich and distinct heritage, history and culture of our people in all ten regions of Ghana, sandy beaches along the coastline lined with coconut trees and resorts for the comfort of leisure tourists, community-based ecotourism sites across the country, Ghana is a country worth exploring.
Official Tourism website- www.touringghana.com
A short tourism video on Ghana- www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrxBv0wQMS0