10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Ghana

10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Ghana

Did you know that Ghana is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa, and also one of the fastest-growing economies in the world? If you are looking for a warm and sunny destination this winter, Ghana might be the perfect choice for you. The tropical climate, stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and friendly people make Ghana an ideal vacation spot.

But before you start packing your bags, you probably have some questions or concerns about traveling to this West African nation. What is the weather like in December? How safe is Ghana? What vaccinations do you need? What should you pack? I had all these questions too before my first trip to Ghana.

In this article, I will share 10 essential things to know before traveling to Ghana this December. Drawing from my personal experiences and extensive research, I will give you an insider’s perspective on everything from the weather and attractions to the culture, safety, and costs.

Whether you are planning a trip to Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, or elsewhere in Ghana, this article will help you prepare for a more laid-back partying experience. By the end, you’ll be equipped with my best tips and facts to make the most of your Ghanaian getaway. So grab your sunscreen and let’s start this journey together!

1. The Weather in Ghana in December

Ghana has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: rainy and dry. December falls right in the middle of the dry season, which lasts from November to March. This means you can expect mostly sunny skies with very little rain.

  • The average temperature hovers around a hot 28°C (82°F). However, temperatures can climb as high as sweltering 35°C (95°F) during the day in northern regions like Accra. The nights are a bit cooler and more comfortable.
  • Humidity levels are relatively moderate, usually ranging between 50% to 70% in December. So while you’ll feel the heat, it won’t be oppressive.
  • Rainfall is minimal, averaging only about 15 mm (0.6 inches) for the entire month. This means you can plan outdoor activities without worrying about afternoon downpours.
  • You’ll enjoy roughly 12 hours of daylight in December, with the sun rising around 6 AM and setting around 6 PM. This gives you plenty of time to explore!
  • With clear skies and direct overhead sun, the UV index is very high. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat when venturing outside to avoid sunburn.

So pack your sunscreen, hats, and cool, lightweight clothing. With hot sunny days and pleasant nights, December is a fantastic time to visit Ghana and enjoy the outdoors.

2. The Vibrant Culture of Ghana

Ghana is a diverse country with over 100 ethnic groups and languages. This rich cultural tapestry is one of the most appealing aspects for travelers.

  • While English is the official language, you’ll hear locals speaking many native languages like Twi, Ga, Ewe, and Hausa. Learning a few phrases in the local languages can go a long way.
  • Most Ghanaians are Christian, followed by Islam and traditional African beliefs. Respecting local customs around dress and behavior is recommended when visiting religious sites.
  • Known for their warm hospitality, Ghanaians will greet you with handshakes and smiles. Elders are deeply respected in the culture.
  • Ghanaians are very proud of their heritage. Experience traditional arts, music, dance performances, and annual festivals that celebrate Ghana’s distinct regional cultures.
  • Food brings people together in Ghana. Try popular dishes like fufu, jollof rice, waakye, banku, and kelewele. Accepting food from new friends is a sign of trust and appreciation.

Immersing yourself in Ghana’s diverse culture is an incredible part of any visit. Observe local customs, try the cuisine, join festivals, and bond with the people to unlock unforgettable experiences.

3. Amazing Attractions For Every Interest

With stunning natural scenery, exotic wildlife, rich history, and vibrant culture, Ghana has an incredibly diverse array of attractions to satisfy every type of traveler.

  • Beach lovers can bask on golden shores like those at Labadi, Kokrobite, Ada Foah, Busua, and Anomabo Beaches. Enjoy swimming, surfing, kayaking, or relaxing in the sun.
  • Nature enthusiasts will adore Ghana’s national parks and reserves, including Kakum National Park, Mole Park, Shai Hills, Aburi Botanical Gardens, and Wli Waterfalls. Spot exotic plants, birds, and wildlife in their natural habitats.
  • Safari goers can view incredible animals like elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, zebras, and antelopes. Join guided jeep or walking safaris for close encounters.
  • History buffs will be fascinated by historic UNESCO sites like Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, Kumasi Fort, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and Manhyia Palace to learn about Ghana’s complex past.
  • Culture vultures can experience Ghana’s cosmopolitan cities like Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Cape Coast, and Bolgatanga. Check out the markets, museums, galleries, festivals, cuisine, and nightlife.

December in Ghana 10 Days Experience (Exclusive By Gold Coast XP)

If you are looking for a memorable way to celebrate the holidays, join the December in Ghana 10 Day Experience, an exclusive tour offered by Gold Coast XP.

This unforgettable adventure will allow you to explore Ghana’s history, culture, and natural beauty over 10 remarkable days.

With endless options across Ghana, every traveler can craft their dream itinerary. Discover amazing attractions that speak to your interests.

Man and Woman paddling a small boat
Man and Woman paddling a small boat

Some highlights include:

  • A profound journey to Cape Coast Castle & Kakum National Park to explore the history of the transatlantic slave trade and Ghana’s outstanding natural beauty.
  • Discover bustling local markets and dance the night away in Accra’s vibrant music scene.
  • Relax on the pristine shores of Ada and encounter a unique collection of African artifacts.
  • With stays at 4-star hotels and expert local guides, this is the quintessential Ghanaian adventure.
  • Bookings start from $2,800

You will be amazed by the diversity and richness of Ghana, and feel welcomed by its warm and hospitable people. I highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to experience Ghana in a comprehensive and immersive way.

4. Important Safety Tips For Ghana

While Ghana is generally safe, travelers should take some basic precautions, as certain risks do exist.

  • Petty theft is common, especially in crowded tourist areas. Secure valuables in hotel safes. Only carry small amounts of cash and avoid flaunting expensive items.
  • Use hotel taxis or registered services like Uber at night instead of walking alone. Avoid poorly lit areas. Keep doors locked at accommodations.
  • Vaccinations against malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A/B, and rabies are recommended before travel. Drink sealed bottled water and eat fully cooked food to avoid illnesses.
  • Roads are hazardous with risky driving and poor conditions. Avoid driving yourself. Always wear seatbelts in vehicles and helmets on motorbikes.
  • Flooding during the rainy season and infrequent earthquakes occur. Check weather reports regularly and follow emergency procedures advised by local authorities. Get travel insurance covering medical evacuation.

While Ghana is relatively safe, exercising caution regarding valuables, transportation, vaccinations, food, and natural events will help minimize risks and let you focus on enjoying your trip.

5. Budgeting For Your Ghanaian Adventure

Traveling to Ghana doesn’t have to break the bank. With reasonable costs, you can make this tropical destination fit many budgets.

  • The local currency is the Ghanaian cedi (GHS). As of September 2023, $1 USD = 11 GHS. Have a mix of cash and cards. ATMs and Forex bureaus are available.
  • Accommodation runs $10-200 per night. Hostels and guesthouses offer budget rates. Mid-range hotels have more amenities while luxury options provide lavish stays.
  • Eating out is very affordable. Street food and local restaurants cost just $1-5 per meal. At higher-end spots, you’ll pay $10-50 per meal.
  • Transportation won’t drain your wallet. Buses, shared taxis, and Uber run $0.50-10 per ride. Renting a car or motorbike costs about $30-50 per day.
  • Attraction entry fees are budget-friendly too at $2-10 per site. Guided tours and excursions will be $20-100 per person for day trips.

With careful spending, you can enjoy Ghana’s beauty on a budget of $50-100 per day. But with more flexibility, there’s plenty of room to indulge.

6. Essential Pre-Travel Planning Tips

Traveling to Ghana requires some advance preparation to ensure a smooth visit.

  • Your passport should have at least 6 months validity remaining from your arrival date.
  • Apply for a visa matching your travel purpose and duration. Fees vary by nationality. Obtain visas at Ghanaian embassies or online.
  • Get vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before departure and carry your vaccination certificate.
  • Obtain malaria prophylaxis from your doctor and pack insect repellent and mosquito nets. Malaria is a serious risk.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering medical, evacuation, theft, damage, and trip cancellation. Have proof available.
  • Create a detailed itinerary outlining your activities and share it with a contact back home. This helps in emergencies.
  • Book tour packages, guides, accommodations, and internal transport in advance for a stress-free experience.

7. Packing Tips

Packing appropriately helps you travel efficiently in Ghana.

  • Bring a sturdy, roomy suitcase and a daypack for carrying essentials conveniently. Verify luggage limits with your airline.
  • Pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for hot weather, like shirts, shorts, dresses, skirts, sandals and hats. Also, include some warm layers for early mornings and nights.
  • Respect cultural norms by packing modest attire like long pants or skirts for visiting mosques and rural communities.
  • Carry essential toiletries like sunscreen, medications, feminine products, contraceptives, etc. Check carry-on restrictions for liquids.
  • Bring gadgets like phones, cameras, headphones, laptops, etc., and accessories like chargers, memory cards, and power banks. Use protective cases.
  • Include a first-aid kit, flashlight, travel towels, padlocks, water bottle, and other useful travel gear.
  • Place valuables like cash, cards, and passports in concealed money belts or bags to deter theft.

8. Top Destinations To Explore

With amazing diversity, Ghana offers memorable experiences across its regions.

Accra – The vibrant capital has urban attractions like Independence Square, Makola Market, the National Museum, and Labadi Beach.

Kumasi – The cultural heartland features the Manhyia Palace, Kejetia Market, Kumasi Fort, and sacred Lake Bosumtwi.

Kakum National Park – A rainforest with a canopy walkway, nature trails, and diverse wildlife like elephants, monkeys, and exotic birds.

Cape Coast – Historic coastal town with iconic Cape Coast Castle, museums narrating the slave trade era, and incredible beaches.

Mole National Park – Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge, home to elephants, antelopes, lions, warthogs, and over 300 bird species.

9. Enjoying The Nightlife And Parties

After the sun sets, Ghana comes alive with vibrant nightlife across its cities. Popular nightlife hotspots in Accra include Osu with its bars, clubs, and restaurants, and Labadi Beach with beach clubs hosting concerts and festivals.

Kumasi offers lively nightspots like Vienna City bar/club complex, View Bar & Grill rooftop lounge, and Basement Nightclub playing reggae and dancehall beats.

For laidback partying, check out spots in Cape Coast like Oasis Beach Resort, Castle Restaurant & Bar inside Cape Coast Castle, The Container Club in a shipping container, and more.

In Ghana’s cities, locals and tourists mingle over drinks, food, and music at casual bars or dressed up for high-energy clubbing into the night.

December in Ghana – 3 Days Experience

Make the most of your December holidays with Gold Coast XP’s exclusive 3-day tour to experience the highlights of Ghana.

Travel to the scenic Volta Region and the tranquil town of Hohoe. Hike through breathtaking trails in the Wli mountains and wake up to majestic sunrise views. Camp under the stars and get immersed in Ghana’s natural beauty.

Man and Woman having fun Jet skiing
Man and Woman having fun Jet skiing

Some highlights include:

  • Experience thrilling sports and activities at Akosombo, the town on the Volta River, and stay at the luxurious Peninsula Resort.
  • Enjoy a two-day adventure in Hohoe, where you will hike, camp, and glamp in the Wli mountains, surrounded by nature.
  • Visit the Tafi Monkey Sanctuary and interact with friendly monkeys, while learning about their culture and conservation.
  • Marvel at the Wli Waterfalls, the largest waterfall in West Africa, and swim in its clear water or admire its beauty.

This quick getaway is the perfect way to explore Ghana’s diversity and make memories with family and friends this December. Don’t miss out on Gold Coast XP’s exclusive holiday tour!

10. Embracing The Experience

Visiting Ghana is an opportunity to open your mind and indulge your spirit of adventure. Expect some culture shock as you encounter different customs, languages, and beliefs. Keep an open mind, observe local etiquette, and try using basic phrases in the local language.

Infrastructure can be unreliable. Prepare for power cuts, water shortages, or canceled plans. Pack patience and humor to take it in stride.

Immerse yourself fully to create wonderful memories. Capture stunning sights, bond with friendly locals, keep a journal, and share experiences with loved ones back home.

While challenging at times, Ghana rewards visitors who approach it with flexibility, cultural sensitivity, and wanderlust. Don’t over plan – embrace the unexpected and enjoy each moment.

After reading this guide, you now have a solid understanding of the key things to know before traveling to Ghana in December. From packing tips to safety information, I’ve provided you with insider details to help you plan an amazing trip.

Visiting Ghana is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant, multicultural country with incredible natural beauty, fascinating history, and warm hospitality. By being informed and respectful, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

If you’re excited to book your Ghanaian getaway, don’t hesitate any longer! Visit Gold Coast XP today and book any of our tours, activities, events, or stays. Book – December in Ghana 10 Days Experience and December in Ghana – 3 Days Experience

One response to “10 Essential Things to Know Before Travelling to Ghana”

  1. Janine says:

    Having lived in Ghana for sometime and visited often, I can relate to te everything written here. . It’s most definitely a vibrant place to be and once you pop you can’t stop. Great article!

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