Traveling to Ghana
Yes, you have decided that you are going on holiday to Africa, to the West African country Ghana to be precise. The preparation and the fun can begin. But how do you go about organising a trip to Ghana? Can you do it yourself, or do you need to hire someone? Which travel itineraries for Ghana are the most beautiful, fun or convenient? In this blog, I will help you on the right track with itineraries.
If you are not yet sure if you want to visit Ghana on a trip, read this blog first:
can i plan a ghana trip by myself?
You can perfectly well organise your Ghana trip yourself. There is a lot of information available online. However, it is useful to filter and check the information. If you rely on the experiences of one person who once spent a month in Ghana, you can probably imagine that the information is quite limited. Also, Facebook groups are not always the most solid source of information.
It can also be wonderful to plan your trip together with an expert or have someone else arrange it completely. It is a holiday, after all! And the person who arranges it knows which routes are doable, what is worthwhile etc etc.
Should i Rent a car or use public transportation?
It very much depends on your itinerary, your attitude, your budget and the time you have in Ghana whether you want to rent a car. I’m trying to say that if you have a 2-week holiday and want to see pretty much all the tourist highlights, it’s almost impossible with public transport. When you have the mindset that the journey itself may be an adventure and when you don’t need to see ‘everything’ during the trip, public transport is definitely an option!
Self drive is actually not an option in Ghana, so you rent a car with a driver. And that can come in different price ranges. You can rent a taxi without air conditioning, or you can rent a 4×4 with an experienced driver who can also guide. And everything in between. Prices vary quite a bit, from €60 per day to €120 per day, including driver, excluding petrol.
Want to read more about public transport in Ghana? Then click here
how much spending money do i need for my Ghana trip?
This is a difficult question to answer. So many people, so many wishes.
First, it very much depends on whether you choose public transport or rent a car. Then there are many different accommodations in different price ranges, also depending on the location. And it depends on what and where you want to eat. Eating from the ‘street’ is much cheaper than eating in restaurants. The exchange rate is also another factor to consider. The Ghanaian Cedi is not always stable.
I’m going to give an indication of costs anyway. If you rent a car with 2 people for a 2-week trip, the costs are between €1600 and €2600. This includes transport, entrance fees and accommodation for 2 people. The price does not include ticket, visa and insurance. When you rent a car with more people, the transport costs per person will drop.
If you stick very closely to your budget, use public transport, eat most meals from the ‘street’ and don’t visit major tourist attractions every day, you can travel with 2 people for 2 weeks for €700 to €900.
Want to read more about food in Ghana? I wrote a blog about it.
Where to go and what to do in Ghana
Ghana is a very diverse country with beautiful sights. This African country is not very touristy, which makes it sometimes challenging to get anywhere.
Below is a list of some of the highlights:
- Beautiful beaches in the Volta, near Accra, Winneba and Busua, among others
- The slave forts in Cape Coast and Elmina are a must see. In addition, several smaller forts can be found along the coast
- The Volta region has Ghana’s highest mountain and largest waterfall
- Elephant spotting in Mole national park
Besides these more familiar sights, I would also recommend the following places:
- The beautiful lake Bosumtwi
- The Kwahu region
- The surroundings of Moon&Star guesthouse in the Ashanti region
- When you have plenty of time and a rental car the hippos in Wenchi
I could share many travel tips with you, but in this particular blog, I will share my top three.
- Don’t rely solely on Google, a lot of information is absolutely great. But far from all Ghanaians can use Google maps, the information on distances, roads and travel times is definitely not always accurate.
- If you have known me for a bit longer, you know that I consider sustainability very important. Not just ecological sustainability, but definitely social sustainability. I would like to inform you that not every accommodation in Ghana can be found on well-known booking sites and not all cool places have a website. So listen to locals and recommendations from other travellers. In doing so, book directly with the accommodations so that the income stays in Ghana!
- Use your right hand to indicate things, to pay, to greet and to eat! The left hand is reserved for less hygienic things.
THE BEST GHANA TOUR IS DIFFERENT FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL
If you love the beach and don’t want to travel too much, I can imagine sticking mostly to the coastline besides a city tour in Accra. Then there is time for the slave forts, some nature, surfing and culture.
In the Volta region, you will find beautiful nature, hilly green landscapes, many waterfalls and beautiful beaches. You can also learn more about e.g. pottery and bead making.
Time is often a factor in deciding the itinerary, as are distance and accessibility. Especially in the north, it is a bit more difficult not to travel back and forth via the same route. But does that make the trip less worthwhile? You can stop at different places on the way there and back and if you look carefully, some variation is possible.
Moreover, it is especially while travelling across the country that you see the diversity in both nature and culture. From the fishing villages in the south, to the jungle and rocky Ashanti region and then via the rolling hills and vast farms in the Brong Ahafo region to the flat savannah in the north where you can still see many round mud houses.
Making choices is challenging when planning a trip. What do you skip, what do you definitely want to see and experience? If you have already been on safari in other countries, you might want to forget the north. If you do want to go to the north, realise that it is sometimes a waste to make the entire trip to Busua because it will take up a lot of time, causing you to miss out on other wonderful experiences.
2 EXAMPLES OF A TRAVEL ITINERARY
In conclusion, I like to give you 2 examples of an itinerary.
ITINERARY FOR WHEN YOUR TIME IS LIMITED BUT YOU WANT TO GO ON SAFARI (2 WEEKS)
From Accra, take a domestic flight to Tamale to visit Mole National park from there.
From there, descend to Nkoranza via Kintampo Falls. Visit the sacred monkey village of Boabeng Fiema. Onwards, you can go to Kumasi and/or Moon&Star guesthouse in Banko.
A visit to lake Bosumtwi is definitely worthwhile.
Then head towards Cape Coast, where you can enjoy the beach, but also visit the slave forts and Kakum National park. From Cape Coast, you can go straight to the airport, or stick a few more days on the beach in places like Kokrobite.
PROGRAMME FOR THOSE WITH MORE TIME WHO LIKE NATURE, HIKING AND CULTURE (3 WEEKS)
In Accra, start with a city tour.
From Accra, head to explore the Volta. The Volta has beautiful mountains, waterfalls, beaches, Lake Volta and a monkey village.
From the Volta, travel to Ashanti where you will do the Ashanti tour. Hiking, culture, waterfalls, Ghanaian food with locals and visiting Kumasi, among others, are on the programme.
From there, visit scenic Lake Bosumtwi where you can horseback ride, canoe and enjoy yourself.
After that, proceed to Busua, where you can surf and make the most of beautiful beaches. Then you continue to Cape Coast to visit the slave forts and hike between the treetops on the rope bridges in Kakum National park.
End your holiday by relaxing at Kokrobite beach, where you can enjoy the laid-back beach atmosphere and maybe even take some drumming lessons.
love from ghana
I am Patricia and have lived in Ghana for over 13 years now, mostly with lots of happiness. I regularly write about my life, Moon&Star guesthouse, Ghana coach and Banko Women Organization. Do you want to stay informed and receive 10 handy Ghana facts and practical health tips in your mailbox?