North Africa

Ghana Sightseeing Places

Money

National currency: 1 cedi is divided into 100 pesewas. The name of the Ghanaian currency is derived from the cowrie shell, which was a currency in West Africa until the colonial era.

Currency abbreviation: C, GHC – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG

There are banknotes worth 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cedi. Coins worth 1 cedi, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 peseva are in circulation.

In July 2007, Cedi was launched in Ghana. Four zeros were deleted from the old cedi and the new cedi based on 1: 1 against the US dollar. The Ghanaian government expects this measure to have a positive effect on macroeconomic stability and refers to Brazil, Argentina, Mexico or Turkey, which have had positive experiences with similar programs in the past.

Exchange rate New Cedi:

Currency converter at OANDA

Currency exchange: Bringing cash in euros, US dollars or British pounds is recommended. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks, forex offices or at the reception of authorized hotels. Forex offices tend to have slightly better rates.

Credit Cards: Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted by large hotels, banks and in a few shops.

Traveler’s checks: Should be in US dollars or British pounds. However, the exchange rates are worse than when exchanging cash. American Express and Thomas Cook are the most accepted.

ATMs: Cash can be withdrawn with VISA and MasterCard cards. Many Barclays and Standard Chartered offices offer vending machines in all of Ghana’s major cities.

Foreign exchange regulations: Foreign currencies may be imported in unlimited amounts; if foreign currencies are to be exported again, they must be declared upon entry. Ghanaian currency may only be exported up to a value of 5 new cedi.

Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Many Forex offices also open on weekends.

Ghana Sightseeing Places

Health and Diseases

Vaccination protection: The Federal Foreign Office’s health service recommends protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A, and for long-term stays over 4 weeks also hepatitis B, rabies, meningococcal meningitis (ACWY) and typhoid.

A valid yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for entry. Make sure that your international vaccination card is filled in completely and in particular contains a medical confirmation of your blood type.

Malaria:The transmission takes place through the bite of blood-sucking, nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes. If left untreated, especially the dangerous malaria tropica, is often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay. If fever occurs during this time, an indication to the doctor in charge of staying in a malaria area is necessary. There is a high risk of malaria throughout the country all year round. Various prescription medications (e.g. malarone, doxycycline, Lariam) are available on the market for malaria prophylaxis. The selection and personal adaptation as well as side effects or intolerance to other medications should be discussed with a tropical medicine / travel medicine before taking them.

The predominant, more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum (85%) is said to be chloroquine and sulfadoxine pyrimethamine resistant.

To prevent mosquito-borne infectious diseases, all travelers are recommended

  • wear body-covering clothing in the evening (long pants, long-sleeved shirts)
  • Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all free areas of the body, especially in the evening and at night (malaria!)
  • to sleep under a mosquito net if necessary

HIV / AIDS: Through heterosexual and homosexual contacts and when using drugs (dirty syringes or cannulas) there is always a risk of a life-threatening HIV / AIDS infection. Condom use is always recommended, but especially for casual acquaintances.

There is a risk of transmission of schistosomiasis (schistosomiasis) when bathing and through contact with water when fishing or sailing in rivers and lakes, eg in the Volta lake and river. Chlorinated swimming pools, on the other hand, are harmless.

The dengue fever transmitted by mosquitoes occurs nationwide. Effective insect protection is recommended. Filariasis caused by insects also occurs nationwide. Travelers reduce the risk of transmission if they use effective insect protection.

Health care: Medical care in the country cannot be compared to Europe and is technically and hygienically inadequate. Adequate, globally valid health insurance coverage and reliable travel return insurance are urgently recommended, as well as taking an adequate first-aid kit with you.

Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid, Bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases), which are transmitted through contaminated food or beverages. Therefore, careful food and drinking water hygiene measures should always be carried out. In general, water should either be boiled or otherwise sterilized prior to use for drinking, brushing teeth, and making ice cubes. Milk is not pasteurized outside of urban areas and should also be boiled. Avoid dairy products from uncooked milk. Meat and fish dishes should only be cooked well and served hot. Avoid eating pork, raw salads and mayonnaise. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Travel Opportunities in Ghana

Airplane: Antrak and Citylink operate connections between Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.

Ship: The Yapei Queen ferry connects Lake Akosombo and Yeji on Lake Volta (with a stopover in Kete-Krachi, among others). The total crossing takes approximately 32 hours.

Train: daily connections between Accra and Kumasi and twice daily between Accra and Takoradi. There are few advantages to minibuses: the price is about the same and trains are much slower.

Cars: The road network in Ghana is in good condition, with a few exceptions (especially between Tamale and Kumasi). The main streets are paved, side streets often consist of slopes.

VanefSTC offers relatively reliable buses to all major cities in Ghana. There are also a few bus companies that run similar routes, but often use older buses. You can get anywhere with the so-called Tro-Tros. Tro-Tros are mini buses that as many people as possible are stuffed into. The advantage: as a passenger you can stop the Tro-Tro anywhere (there are no bus stops) and they are very cheap.

It is possible to rent a rental car with or without a driver from international (e.g. Avis, Hertz) and local companies, but the rental fee is high. Night driving should be avoided. The greatest danger on Ghana’s roads are Ghanaian drivers, their driving style can at least be described as sporty… Documents: International driving license is recommended, but is not a requirement.

City traffic: The traffic in Accra is served by private companies that use practically everything for transport: they drive with small buses (Moto-way), also with Tro-Tros and buses with wooden bodies (Mammy Wagons). There are also taxis and shared taxis that negotiate the fare here beforehand.

Highlights in Ghana

The National Museum in Accra shows a large collection of Ghanaian art and a memento of recent history: the statue of Kwame Nkrumah, the “father” of independence. The Makola Market at the Kojo Thompson Road is selling a huge street market where traders from around their products. In the Center for National Culture to traditional arts and crafts can bargain for.
Aburi is located 38 km north of Accra in the Akuapim Hills. The sanatorium built in the 19th century (now a rest house) is a clear sign of the refreshing climate in the mountains. The botanical garden was also created during the colonial period and shows an impressive collection of subtropical plants and trees.
The small animal sanctuary Shai Hills Game Reserve is 50 km from Accra and can be easily reached by car.
Ada is a beautiful holiday area at the mouth of the Volta river. Anglers can catch barracudas and nile perches here. Nearby is the Salt Marsh of the Songow Lagoon, which is known for its diverse bird life.

Kumasi is the historic capital of the Ashanti. The cultural center with a museum largely devoted to Ashantis is very interesting. In the “Living Museum”, which consists of a Ghanaian farm and a replica village, you can see goldsmiths, potters and sculptors working according to traditional techniques. The weavers who manufacture the well-known Kente fabrics are also interesting.
The Owabi Nature Reserve is close to Kumasi. Further to the northeast is the Boufom Wildlife Sanctuary with the impressive Banfabiri Falls. The gold mining town of Obuasi can be found in the south.
Akosombo is the former workers’ settlement for the Volta dam. The largest artificial lake in the world was created through this dam. A car ferry ride to Kete Krachi takes a day; a three-day trip to the northern capital Tamale is also possible.

The Mole National Park is certainly the most beautiful animal reserve in Ghana. You can (and should) roam the park on foot or by off-road vehicle, but must always be accompanied by a guide. The tours are planned so that antelopes, monkeys, buffaloes, warthogs and the elephants can be seen up close. In the camp you can camp or stay in bungalows. At the park entrance there is a motel with a restaurant. Only a few kilometers away is the Larabanga Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ghana, which was built in the traditional West African style.

The fish market in Dixcove and the 17th century British fortress on the west coast of Ghana are worth visiting. Nearby is Busua, a wonderful sandy beach with palm trees and high Atlantic waves. However, like almost all of Ghana’s coast, swimming here is difficult to dangerous because the waves create a strong current. But there are small bays that allow safe bathing. Elmina (“the mine”) was the first Portuguese settlement. The completely preserved fortress tells of this period to this day.

In the coastal region near Cape Coast and Takoradi you can find evidence of colonial times. Cape Coast, the former capital of the “Gold Coast”, is dominated by a castle in which slaves were held before the crossing to America. Today the Cape Coast Castle is home to the West African Historical Museum.

Ghana history

Early history to independence

In the pre-colonial period, the area of ​​today’s Ghana comprised a number of independent kingdoms, including Gonja and Dagomba in the north, Ashanti in the interior and the fantasy states along the coast. In 1482 the first European fortress was built by Portugal near Elmina. Trade in Europe was based primarily on gold and slaves, intense competition for trade advantages in the region soon developed between the European powers. With the decline of the slave trade in the 19th century, only the British, Danes and Dutch kept their fortresses on the Gold Coast. The Danes (1850) and the Netherlands (1872) withdrew in the face of the threats posed by the Ashanti Empire, but the British remained and allied themselves with the Fanti States against the Ashanti.

In 1874 the British defeated the Ashanti and established the Gold Coast colony in the coastal region. In 1896 and 1901 there were again fights between the British and Ashanti, after these conflicts Great Britain also declared the Kingdom of Ashanti a colony.In the same year, the Northern Territories, a region north of Ashanti, were declared a British protectorate. After the First World War, part of the German colony of Togoland was handed over to the British for administration. These administratively linked it to the Gold Coast colony. Nationalistische currents in the Gold Coast began in the period between the world wars and intensified after the Second World War. Kwame Nkrumah of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) has become the leading nationalist politician. In 1951, Great Britain recognized a constitution drawn up by Africans, and general elections were held. The CPP won overwhelmingly and Nkrumah became prime minister.

Ghana’s Independence

On March 6, 1957, Ghana, named after the medieval West African empire of Gana, became an independent country within the Commonwealth of Nations. At the same time, the population of the British Togoland decided to become part of Ghana. In 1960, Nkrumah declared Ghana a republic and himself as president for life. After a referendum in 1964, all opposition parties were banned and later many government critics were imprisoned. Nkrumah pursued an anti-colonial, pan-African policy and was increasingly unfriendly to the West. Falling cocoa prices and poorly financed large development projects led to chaotic economic conditions. In 1966, Nkrumah was deposed by a military coup. The National Liberation Council (NLC) was used to rule until the restoration of a civilian government.

Relations with the Western powers improved, and in 1969 the NLC transferred power to KA Busia, who was elected under a new constitution. The government under Busia was struggling with unemployment, unpopular currency devaluation and severe inflation. In 1972 there was a bloodless coup d’état under Colonel IK Acheampong. The constitution has been suspended and a National Redemption Council (NRC)was used as a government. The Council took a neutral course on foreign affairs and focused on the development of the Ghanaian economy. The high foreign debt was brought under control and imports restricted. The state also controlled mining and timber companies that had previously been in foreign hands.

In 1978, however, Acheampong was forced out of office by a group of officers. Low wages and high unemployment led to a series of strikes that further disrupted the economy. Formerly one of the most prosperous countries in West Africa, Ghana’s economy declined sharply. The government lifted the ban on political parties in 1979, but denied potential leaders the right to participate in politics.

The Rawlings Years

In 1979, Air Lieutenant JJ ​​Rawlings overthrew the government and handed over power to Dr. Hilla Limann. The international community disapproved of Rawling’s actions, Nigeria stopped delivering crude oil to Ghana. Poor economic conditions, press restrictions and allegations of corruption led to population dissatisfaction.

Rawlings took power again in 1981 and increased its political control throughout the 1980s. He received economic support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and in the late 1980s the economy started to grow significantly. In 1992 the government announced a new constitution and lifted the ban on opposition parties. The same year, Rawlings won a controversial presidential election. 1994 were in ethnic conflict in northern Ghana, several thousand people were killed and many more displaced. In the 1996 elections, which were generally considered fair, Rawlings won again. Ghana’s economic upswing continued until the late 1990s. According to the constitution, Rawlings was unable to stand for re-election in 2000. The New Patriotic Party candidate John Agyekum Kufuor won in the December elections. His party achieved almost an absolute majority in parliament. The ruling National Democratic Congress was voted out primarily because of poor economic development. There was an economic improvement under the Kufuor government, but poverty remained widespread in Ghana. In December 2004, Kuffour was reelected and the New Patriotic Party won a majority in parliament. In September 2007, northern Ghana experienced the worst flooding in decades, especially along the White Volta.

For constitutional reasons, President Kufuor was no longer able to stand for election in the 2008 elections. Nana Akufo-Addo won the first ballot in December, but missed the absolute majority. In the next runoff election, NDC politician John Atta-Mills won 50.23 percent, Akufo-Addo only 49.77 percent.

Accra in Ghana

The economic center and Ghana’s largest city is Accra. The city’s main economic sectors are textiles, chemicals, plywood and food.
In the fifteenth century, the Ga founded the city of Accra so that you could trade profitably with the Europeans. Since Accra offered the natural conditions for a port, a fortification was built around the city by the European powers in the sixteenth century.
So in 1605 the Dutch became Fort Ussher, the Swedes 1657 Christiansborg and, last but not least, the James Fort built by the English in 1673. In Accra in the nineteenth century there was a jealous, a Danish and a British district. In 1862 an earthquake destroyed most of the city of Accra, including the European forts.
In 1899, the port of this city was one of the largest on the African west coast due to its steadily growing trading activities. The country’s final economic center became Accra after the construction of the Sekondi-Takoradi railway line.

Attractions

One of the most famous sights is Christiansborg, built by the Swedes around 1657, which is the current seat of government. In the National Museum of Accra you can learn a lot about the centuries-old culture of the country and the steady development of the city. One of the most medically developed clinics in West Africa can be found in the suburb of Accra, Korle Bu. Here is the medical university clinic, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. It is the only burn wound center and radiotherapy center in the region.

Beaches

The Laladi Beach in Accra is an absolute magnet for holidaymakers. People like to walk barefoot through the fine, warm sand of the beach and enjoy cooling off in the azure sea. Or you can just sit on the beach and watch the hustle and bustle. Wild dance parties with various DJs often take place in the evenings and at night.