10 things I wish I knew before going to Ghana
Are you looking for a new and funny adventure? If you are bored of ordinary travels and looking for something completely different, then you should travel to Ghana.
Are you ready for going to Ghana? Does this excite you? Do you want to know interesting things about Ghana? What do you need to know to make your time in Ghana more efficient and unforgettable?
1. But first, where is Ghana?
What are the interesting things to know about Ghana? Ghana, or officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in the west of the African continent. While the country's neighbours are Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Togo, there is the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) to the south. Living as a British colony for many years, Ghana is also known for being the first country in Africa to gain its independence. Consequently, this makes the country one of the places that make us wonder even more.
2. Is it safe to travel to Ghana?
Ghana is one of the most peaceful nations in Africa! According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, Ghana ranks as the fourth most peaceful country in Africa and the fourth most peaceful country in the world. While many other African countries participated in civil wars and wars with neighbouring countries, Ghana was able to maintain a relatively stable peaceful state. So yes, it is one of the safest countries in Africa.
3. Geography of Ghana
Geographically, the country is divided into three parts as the coastline region, rainforest region, and savannah region, and it is divided into five natural areas in terms of surface structure. These areas are low plains, Ashanti highlands, Akwapim-Togo Range, Volta Basin, and high plains. In the southern part of the country, the highest points of the country are located on the Akwapim-Togo Mountain Range, starting from the capital Accra to Togo, and there are dense rainforests on the mountain hills and slopes.
An area of 158,000 square kilometres, which corresponds to 66% of Ghana's land, is fed by the Volta River source. In the lower parts of the river, the Akosombo Dam has been artificially created with the superficially largest water body on Earth. There are also many rivers originating in the Ashanti region and pouring into the Atlantic Ocean throughout the country.
What are the most important things to know about Ghana? More precisely, about the nature of Ghana? There are many plant and animal species throughout the country. Tropical rainforests in particular cause biodiversity. However, while the rain forests, which have been destroyed in recent years, occupy an area of 85,000 square kilometres in the 20th century, this rate has decreased by more than half in this century to 40,000 square kilometres. Forest loss at the level of 1.7 per cent is experienced annually throughout the country.
The rainforests, which have an evergreen colour, are in a location covered with trees that can reach a height of 50 meters, a thickness of 3 meters, and can reach 300 years. Baobab trees, which are usually found alone, are observed in the savannah regions, and many palm trees are seen along with the Mangrove forests in the coastal areas.
The wildlife in the country is very diverse. In addition to tropical bird varieties such as parrots, hornbills, eagles, woodpeckers, guinea fowls, and pigeons, many migratory bird flocks can be observed in these lands. There are also many types of waterfowl on the banks of rivers and wetlands. Many mammals live in Ghana. Lion, leopard, elephant, civet cat, bison, hippopotamus, buttoned pig, and many antelope species are especially seen in the savannah. Also, ape species such as chimpanzees, many varieties of macaques, and baboons can be frequently observed.
The Atlantic Ocean shores of Ghana constitute one of the points where the world's richest marine species are found.
5. Important places and historic buildings
What are the interesting things about Ghana? Especially important places and historic buildings to get to know their history and culture before going to Ghana.
Independence Square (Black Star Square) is located on the borders of Accra, the capital city of the country. Independence Square, also known as the most crowded and lively spot in the city, is one of the important points where you can observe the local life in the country. You can spend an hour around this square during the day.
Osu Castle was built by the Danes in the 1600s. This historical castle, also known as Fort Christiansborg, has been demolished and rebuilt many times over the years. When you go to this historic building, which has become one of the important touristic addresses of the city of Accra today, you can feel like a garden of a huge villa rather than a castle.
Ghana National Museum
The National Museum of Ghana is one of the right addresses for those who want to learn about the local culture and historical texture of the country. You should not leave this country without visiting the National Museum, where you can see precious historical artefacts, sculptures, and items of daily life.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Memorial
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park), named after Kwame Nkrumah, the country's founder and first president, is also home to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. The Kwame Nkrumah Monument, designed by Don Aurthur, is one of the landmarks of the city of Accra.
Boti Falls (Boti Falls), a natural wonder located 17 km north-east of Koforidua, has a fascinating appearance. These waterfalls, about an hour and a half away from the city of Accra, also create unique frames for photography enthusiasts. This place, where two waterfalls, thought to symbolize a woman and a man, flow, is one of the most popular places in the country.
Another reason for going to Ghana is to travel to Accra. Accra, the capital city of Ghana, is Ghana's gateway to the world. Accra, one of the most modern cities in Africa, is Ghana's commercial, industrial, and cultural centre.
Accra is located in the Savannah region. In Accra, where the tropical climate is dominant, the annual average temperature is 26.8 degrees. The hottest month is March with 28 degrees and the coolest month is August with 24 degrees.
7. What is the best time to travel to Accra Ghana?
It can be visited every season except May - mid-July, and mid-August - October, which are the rainy season. In cold periods, humidity is higher than in hot periods. If you can afford not to enter some parking areas, you can go during the rainy season.
8. Where to stay when you travel to Accra?
Guesthouses and budget hotels are common in Accra rather than 5-star hotels.
Accra Hostels: Aplaku Guesthouse, Wolton Guesthouse, Crystal Hostel, Sikasso Beach Hostel, Pink Hostel International
Accra Budget Hotels: Alisa Hotel 3*, Mensvic Palace Hotel 3*
Accra Luxury Hotels: Labadi Beach Hotel 5*, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel 5*, Golden Tulip Hotel 5*, Novotel Hotel 5*
Where can you have a delicious meal during your travel to Accra? The most famous of their local dishes are Fufui Kenkey, Banku, Ampesi, Garito, and Tsintsinga (Ghana Kebab). As a snack, Kelewele and Tatale are widely consumed. Local alcohol production is also made. Akpeteshie gin containing 40% alcohol, Palm wine, and millet wine called Pito can be tried. There are also non-alcoholic wines of their production; Asaana (Egyptian wine), Lamujii (Ginger wine). nasty and Regal are 2 restaurants offering local food. Apart from that, there are many cafes and bars.
Ghana also has a very lively nightlife. Most nightclubs are free to enter. You can listen to hip-hop, R&B style music, and dance.
Festivals and celebrations are also the most important part of Ghana's culture. There are many festivals for many ethnic groups. Homowo, Odwira, Aboakyer, Dodoleglime, Hogbetsotso, Tedudu, Deza, and Sandema are its various festivals. Birth, a transition to puberty, marriage, and death are also celebrated with various rituals. Each celebration is like a separate festival. The most important festival in Accra is the Homowo festival held in August and September. Isn't it amazing?
What about shopping in Accra? Are there any good places to visit and shop for yourself, family, and friends as a keepsake? Handcrafted wood carvings, colourful paintings, local clothes, and African dolls are the best gifts to buy. Aid to Artisans Ghana, Loom, and Woodi Boutique are the main shopping places. Mokola Open Market, on the other hand, is both a beautiful market where you can find everything and an ideal area to take photos and socialize with the locals.
In the end, we know the answer not only to the question "Where is Ghana?", but also to the "What is the best time to travel to Accra, Ghana?", "Where can you spend quality time in Ghana?" "What are the different and unexpected things about Ghana?" and many other questions. You can have the chance to see the impressive tourist attractions and natural beauties of this magnificent country. Set off without waiting any longer to mingle with nature and friendly people!
Nargiz loves sharing. Gradually, she learnt to direct this feeling by sharing what she experienced and read with her readers. Nargiz started her career way by writing short stories and articles and aims to publish her book in the future. She believes that by writing we express ourselves and leave memories for future generations. Her favourite gift is a book. She wants everyone to contribute to her future library. She is very interested in art and learning new languages. If she expressed herself in one sentence, that sentence would be: "I am a 12-year-old Madridista who wants to watch a REAL MADRID game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium while being in Madrid during the world trip I dream of one day."