10 Things You Need to Know Before Your Ultimate December in Ghana Experience

10 Things You Need to Know Before Your Ultimate December in Ghana Experience

Did you know that Ghana is one of the most diverse and culturally rich countries in Africa? With a history stretching back centuries, Ghana has been shaped by ancient kingdoms, European colonizers, visionary leaders, and generations of proud Ghanaian people. Today, Ghana stands as a shining light on the continent – a stable democracy and economic success story.

Yet for all its modern progress, Ghana remains deeply connected to its roots. Ancient forts and castles dot the coastline, bearing witness to the transatlantic slave trade. Vibrant festivals celebrate long-held traditions passed down through the ages. Markets buzz with energy, selling handmade crafts and food that reflect Ghana’s diverse ethnic heritage.

Visiting Ghana is a chance to experience the real Africa. But traveling there in December comes with its challenges if you aren’t prepared. You may be unsure about visa requirements, necessary vaccinations, safety precautions, transportation options, weather conditions, and COVID-19 protocols. Most pressingly, you likely wonder what there is to do during this festive time of year. Where should you go? What should you see?

Not to worry – I’ve got you covered. Drawing on my many journeys across Ghana, I’ll share 10 insider tips on how to plan the ultimate trip to Ghana this December. My advice will help you navigate the practicalities while also maximizing your cultural immersion. Follow along as we delve into the diverse wonders of Ghana during its most spirited month. Get ready for a December to remember!

1. How to Get a Visa for Ghana

To enter Ghana, most travelers will need a visa, citizens of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries can enter visa-free. Travelers from some other countries like South Africa can obtain a visa on arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra. But for everyone else, it’s best to arrange your visa ahead of time.

However, there are some exceptions to the visa requirement for Ghana. If you are a citizen of Singapore, Mauritius, Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Kitts, Haiti, or Trinidad and Tobago, you can visit Ghana without a visa for up to 60 days. If you hold a diplomatic, official, or service passport from Brazil, China, Cuba, Germany, Iran, Namibia, South Africa, or Turkey, you also do not need a visa to enter Ghana.

You can apply for a Ghanaian visa through the embassy or consulate in your home country. Here are the official visa websites for Ghana’s embassy in the US and the consulate in the UK. Take a look to find details on the different visa types and categories, current fees, and step-by-step application instructions.

In order to submit your visa application, you’ll need:

  • A passport with a minimum of 6 months validity and two empty pages minimum
  • Completed visa application form
  • Letter of invitation for Business and Worm visas
  • Two recent passport photographs
  • ID card of the host in Ghana
  • Proof of accommodation like hotel booking or residential address
  • A signed undertaking that the host will comply with Ghana’s immigration laws
  • Copies of the passport bio-data page
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Estimated travel date
  • Negative PCR test within 72 hours of flight or Covid 19 vaccination certificate

I recommend applying for your Ghana visa at least 4 weeks before departure. Processing times vary, so give yourself ample time to collect the required documents. Once approved, your single-entry visa will be valid for up to 90 days.

With some advance planning, obtaining a Ghanaian visa is straightforward. Just ensure you have all the requisite paperwork ready to make the application process smooth.

2. What Vaccinations You Need for Ghana

To enter Ghana, The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Ghana:  hepatitis Ahepatitis Btyphoidyellow feverrabiesmeningitispoliomeasles, mumps and rubella (MMR)Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)chickenpoxshinglespneumonia, and influenza. So make sure to get your jab and certificate from your doctor well in advance.

Diseases like malaria and typhoid are prevalent in Ghana, so it’s worth getting vaccinated against them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or a travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure. This gives enough time to receive the full vaccine course and boosters if needed. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Getting vaccinated may seem like a hassle, but ultimately it’s for your own safety and peace of mind. Do your health due diligence before traveling to Ghana.

3. How Safe Ghana is for Travelers

The good news is that Ghana is generally very safe for travelers, especially compared to some other African nations. In fact, Ghana is often hailed as one of the most stable and secure countries in the region. Violent crime rates are relatively low, and there are few incidents of political instability or terrorism.

However, as with anywhere, you should exercise common-sense precautions. Petty theft, scams, and road accidents do occur, especially in crowded urban areas. You may also encounter power outages, water shortages, and poor internet connectivity at times.

Here are some tips to stay safe during your travels in Ghana:

  • Avoid walking alone at night. Take registered taxis or use ride share apps.
  • Keep valuables concealed and out of sight. Don’t flash expensive items.
  • Research trusted tour guides and travel agencies. Don’t follow strangers offering deals.
  • Carry a charged phone, flashlight, and bottled water when out sightseeing.
  • Obey all rules and be respectful, particularly at sacred sites. Don’t take photos of people without permission.
  • Use caution when withdrawing cash. Only use reputable ATMs in well-lit areas.
  • Bring copies of your passport/visa and keep the originals securely stored.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance for added peace of mind.

While Ghana is relatively secure, following basic precautions will help ensure your trip goes smoothly. With some street smarts, you can travel safely and focus on enjoying the country’s incredible culture.

4. How to Deal with Traffic in Ghana

If there’s one constant in Ghana, it’s traffic. Especially in the capital Accra and other major cities like Kumasi, you’ll encounter congested, chaotic roads. Driving takes patience and skill to navigate around packed tro tros (minibuses), darting motorbikes, and potholes galore.

Several factors contribute to Ghana’s infamous traffic woes:

  • Narrow, deteriorating roads that can’t handle vehicle volume
  • Lack of efficient public transit leading to heavy reliance on cars/taxis
  • Increasing car ownership and urbanization straining old infrastructure
  • Disorganized intersections and few traffic lights to control flow

While frustrating, Ghana’s traffic doesn’t have to ruin your trip. Here are some survival tips:

  • Avoid commuting during rush hours if possible. Morning and evening are jam-packed.
  • Plot routes avoiding major bottlenecks like Independence Square. Check Google Maps for real-time traffic data.
  • Schedule adequate drive time for outings – almost double what’s needed without traffic.
  • Consider using tro tros or motorbike taxis which can navigate congestion better than cars.
  • Remain alert and wear seatbelts. Driving style is aggressive so expect quick stops.
  • Most importantly – stay cool and flexible! Ghanaians have lived with traffic for decades. Go with the flow.

With some savvy planning, you can minimize traffic headaches. Focus on the adventure of immersing yourself in local transportation culture. Slow down and enjoy the vibrant street life all around!

5. How to Get a SIM Card in Ghana

Staying connected with a local SIM card is crucial when traveling in Ghana. The good news is that buying a prepaid SIM card in Ghana is easy, affordable, and can save you a lot on roaming charges. You can purchase a SIM card pack at airport kiosks, shopping malls, or directly from phone shops.

Foreign Nationals who register a SIM Card with their Passports or ECOWAS Cards will have the SIM activated for use for only 30 days. This can only be extended twice more for a period of 30 days each time after re-applying and providing evidence of their extended stay to their Service Provider, a Non-Citizen Ghana Card for foreigners can also be used to acquire a new SIM card.

There are four main mobile operators to choose from:

  • MTN – The largest provider with the most widespread coverage. Offers competitive data bundles and promotions.
  • Vodafone – Solid connectivity across major cities and towns. Known for fast 4G speeds.
  • AirtelTigo – Formed by a merger of Airtel and Tigo. Large data allowances for the price.
  • Glo – The newest entrant. Smaller network but lower rates on international calls.

Once you have your SIM, top up credit at streetside vendors, stores, or online. Then purchase a data bundle appropriate for your usage – plans range from 150MB/day to unlimited data.

Following these tips makes getting connected quick and hassle-free. You’ll be snapping, posting, and calling home in no time. Don’t forget to share pictures of your Ghanaian adventure!

6. How to Get Around Ghana

Ghana offers diverse transportation options for navigating between cities and within metropolitan areas. Here’s a quick breakdown of your choices:

  • Buses – Crowded tro tros (minibuses) connect all major destinations very cheaply. Longer journeys are served by slightly more comfortable coaches.

  • Taxis – Shared taxis follow fixed routes. Charter taxis like Uber are better for custom trips. Negotiate fares upfront.

  • Ride-hailing / Ridesharing apps – such as Uber, Yango, inDrive, and Bolt. These apps allow you to request a ride from your smartphone and pay with cash or card. You can check the availability of these apps in your location by opening them on your phone and entering your destination.

  • Motorbikes – Okadas weave through traffic quickly. Drivers may be reckless though – wear a helmet and go slow.

  • Trains – Slow but scenic rail service between cities like Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi. Book tickets in advance.

  • Ferries – Cross lagoons or rivers by water taxi. Ensure life jackets provided and avoid overcrowding.

  • Flights – Domestic flights are the fastest, yet costliest option between cities like Accra and Tamale.

I recommend using a mix based on your priorities for cost, speed, and safety. For transit within cities, Ride-hailing apps, tro tros, okadas, and chartered taxis offer the best combination of affordability and efficiency.

Wherever you go, take precautions like wearing seatbelts, verifying insurance certificates, and keeping belongings secure. Ghanaians are extremely social so chat up fellow passengers too! Moving together is part of the cultural experience. With flexibility and street smarts, you’ll get where you need to go.

7. Ghana’s Weather in December

December falls squarely in Ghana’s dry season, making it one of the best times to visit. Sunny days with low humidity and refreshing breezes beckon travelers to enjoy outdoor activities.

Across Ghana, daytime highs in December range from 30-36°C (86-97°F). In Accra and coastal areas, expect hot afternoons around 32°C (90°F) cooling to 23°C (73°F) at night. The north is warmer on average.

Rainfall is minimal, though brief afternoon showers do occasionally occur. Humidity levels also drop during the dry season.

Pack for hot, sunny weather but also bring lightweight layers for cool evenings. Breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen work best. Don’t forget sun protection like hats, sunscreen and sunglasses. Bring insect repellent too.

As anywhere in the tropics, weather can be unpredictable. Check forecasts and plan for both sun and occasional rain. A little wet weather won’t dampen exploring Ghana’s natural and cultural wonders during this prime time to visit.

8. Ghana’s COVID-19 Requirements for Entry

Ghana has managed to keep COVID cases relatively controlled through public health requirements for entry. Here are the current regulations:

  • Present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before your departure flight to Ghana.
  • Fill out a Health Declaration Form online before arrival. Print or save a copy on your phone.
  • Take a mandatory COVID antigen test upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport. The cost is $50 USD, payable by card or cash.
  • Show your COVID vaccination card indicating full vaccination. Unvaccinated Ghanaian citizens or residents can receive a jab on arrival.

I recommend booking your pre-departure PCR test and on-arrival antigen test early to ensure availability. Print or download your test results and declaration form to have on hand.

Bring your vaccination card or proof of vaccination – both physical and digital copies. The Ghana Health Service verifies all documentation so have it ready to breeze through arrival procedures.

Stay up-to-date on requirements by checking Ghana’s official COVID-19 website. With some preparation, you can comply with protocols and focus on enjoying your Ghanaian adventure.

9. Best Things to Do and See in Ghana this December

Ghana shines in December, with perfect weather to explore its fascinating history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural sites. Don’t miss these remarkable experiences:

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

If you are looking for a way to celebrate the end of the year in style, you should consider joining the December in Ghana. This tour is exclusive by Gold Coast XP and it will be an unforgettable adventure.

You will get to explore the bustling markets of Accra and the tranquil shores of Cape Coast. You’ll also get to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about the history and significance of Ghana.

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.

December in Ghana – 3 Days Experience

Another way to explore the beauty and diversity of Ghana is to book Gold Coast XP‘s 3 days experience for December in Ghana, which offers a unique way to spend your December holidays with family and friends.

You will travel to Hohoe, a town in the Volta Region, where you will experience the aesthetics and tranquility of nature. You will hike through scenic trails and camp in the Wli mountains, where you will wake up to breathtaking views of the sunrise

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 tour will be more than just a trip; it will be an experience that will enrich your mind, body, and soul. You will discover new places, meet new people, and create new memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the ultimate December in Ghana experience. Book your spot today!

10. Booking With a Reputable Travel Agency

While independent travel in Ghana is certainly possible, I highly recommend booking through a reputable local travel agency. They can facilitate an amazing hassle-free experience you may not get otherwise.

Some of these Reputable Travel Agencies are:

1. Kenpong Travel & Tours

Kenpong Travel & Tours is one of the leading travel agencies in Ghana. They specialize in offering different types of services.

Their services include; tour packages, check-in and arrival services, hotel reservations, ticket drop and vehicle rentals.

Contact address: Near Saudi Arabia Embassy Airport Res. Area Accra

Phone: 0303 932550, 0303 932551, 0303 932552
Email[email protected]

2. Secure Travel and Tours

Secure Travel and Tours is one of the leading Travel Agencies in Ghana. They specialize in providing airline tickets, transport, travel insurance, tour, hotel reservation, visa assistance and hotel booking services required by corporate, domestic and worldwide visitors.

Contact Address: Sefakor House, Opposite Control Shell Filling Station, Dansoman, Accra, Ghana.

Phone: +233 (0) 204444220
Email[email protected]

3. De-Genesis Travel & Tours Ltd

De-Genesis Travel and Tours is one of the most trusted travel agencies in Ghana. They specialize in providing individual and group to leisure clients. They also provide opportunities for individuals to work overseas.

Products and services provided by De-Genesis Travel and Tours will initially include airline ticketing and reservations, student exchange programmes, visa advisory services, car rentals and overseas work placement.

Contact Address: P.O.Box AN 11465, Accra North, Accra, Ghana.

Phone: +233276169369, +233240875247

Benefits of using a travel agency include:

  • Expert guidance on top sites and hidden gems from agents on the ground
  • Insider access to deals on flights, hotels, tours, and transport
  • Customizable trip planning catered to your interests and budget
  • Help obtaining visas, making reservations, and arranging airport transfers
  • 24/7 support in case of changes, cancellations, or emergencies
  • Privileged entry and tours in some locations only available through agencies

I hope these insider tips help you plan an incredible trip to Ghana this December! With the right preparation, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable cultural immersion and festive holiday experience.

Ready to start your Ghanaian adventure? 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

Prepare yourself for an amazing adventure in Ghana during this festive season. I can’t wait to show you the wonders and charms that make Ghana so memorable!

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