Ghana – Glimpsing Accra & Kumasi
Before you arrive:
VISAS: British Passport holders must have a visa enabling entry to Ghana, fees are currently £60 for a standard single entry Visa lasting 3 months, this is much improved from the previous Visa on arrival system, with long queues – In addition, business visitors require an official invitation letter from the organisation being visited, click the link below for further information:
YELLOW FEVER – Visitors must be in possession of a Yellow Fever Certificate, this is currently mandatory for all visitors over the age of 9 months. There are other health considerations and visitors should check the current recommendations, see: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/89/ghana
UK GOVERNMENT TRAVEL ADVICE: Visitors should check the UK government’s website for up to date information about travel to Ghana considerations, e.g. health and political issues, click https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ghana for further advice.
CURRENCY: The Ghanaian cedi is currently worth about 0.6 GBP, £10 GBP is worth roughly 66 Cedi. US Dollars are usually accepted in larger cities like Accra. The best advice is to check with your bank or currency provider before you travel. Credit cards are accepted in larger hotels and some guest houses, although Mastercards tend not to be widely accepted.
GETTING TO GHANA
Using KLM, flying from Newcastle Upon Tyne, connecting at Schiphol, Amsterdam, expect the journey to take around 10 hours whichever flight options you use, costs vary according to the time of year, but average at around £450 per adult. Depending on where you plan to travel, the rainy seasons occur between March, and May with a second one in September/October.
Do organise your collection from the Airport in Accra in advance if you can, particularly if it is your first visit, the airport is frantically busy and queues to get through security can be lengthy. Best then to have a representative from a transfer company waiting for your arrival rather than try to negotiate taxis etc.
STAY: There are many hotels in Accra, I stayed at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel: https://www.movenpick.com/en/africa/ghana/accra/moevenpick-ambassador-hotel-accra/
Below are images of some roadside dwellings and a basic cafe in Accra, set amidst a dusty and rocky road. The Traffic in Accra can be horrendously busy so always allow a lot of extra time for your journey. Getting to the Airport from the City can be extremely challenging given the narrow and congested approach roads.
Dusty Roadside, Accra
On route from Accra back to the Airport for the flight to Kumasi, I saw a basic wildfowl vendor’s shack, as well as a couple of vendors hawking oranges from the roadside. The vehicle to the left of the image looks barely usable. I saw a lady at the side of yet another dusty road dressing her daughters for school, brushing their hair and giving them a bowl of food. I took this to mean they were living right there.
Moving onto Kumasi (this takes less than an hour by plane) – the wait at the airport to join your flight can be significant, little wonder that Accra airport opens it’s flight gates 5-6 hours ahead of the flight departure for international flights. Below is an image taken from the window of a nearby building, these dwellings alongside the few possessions of the occupants are protected with rough barbed wire. Whilst in Kumasi, Ghana was playing in an international football game – residents crowded round any buildings where there were TVs, e.g. a local garage, from where they cheered their players with passion.
Kumasi is somwhat prettier, with its more lush vegetation and landscape, than the dusty capital city I had just left. Below is a view taken from my hotel, https://kumasi-city.goldentulip.com/en-us/, but probably best to look at current recommendations, see the latest Tripadvisor reviews: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotels-g317061-Kumasi_Ashanti_Region-Hotels.html