Our travel to ghana

Over the years, I noticed the recurrence of certain questions from our guests.

Respond to a few practical issues around the preparation and / or a trip to Ghana is the subject of this article.

Entry / stay:

A short-stay visa must be applied for before departure at the competent Embassy of Ghana . It delivers visas for a period from one to several months, with single or multiple entry. Pricing varies based on length of stay and the multiplicity of entries.

To stay in Ghana, you will need a different visa depending on the length of your stay, less than 3 months: tourist visa (vacation, short stay). For this type of visa, the application for a "tourist visa" is sufficient at the Embassy of Ghana. It is issued by the Ghanaian representation before leaving. EUR 50 per person (price in 2013 in Paris).

 

   

From my point of view, it is unnecessary to apply for a three months visa knowing that the immigration officers upon your arrival at Kotoka Airport, will stamp your passport for a period of 30 or 60 days ... The trick is to apply for a visa for 30 days and to extend validity once there (It's cheaper and it will show you a Ghanaian administration ..

For your application, you require:

A passport valid equal to or exceeding six months minimum.

your best smile ...

As well as a free of any registration page for the visa.

An ounce of patience .. and even sometimes two ....

A completed visa application of 4 carbonless sheets from the Embassy of Ghana or 4 original and duly completed forms and signed with 4 passport photos (not a photocopy or scanned photo) , the Ghanaian authorities are very fond of picture.

Proof of travel with flight number, name of the airline stating the dates of entry and return.

You will be asked two addresses (indicate those places where you stay) and / or a copy of your air ticket to /. In some embassies they also require a testimony of hotel managements.

Finally, the yellow fever vaccination. It is essential to present your certificate against yellow fever (see health section) in order to enter the territory. For citizens of the European Union, you need a passport valid up to 3 months after your return date.

Visa renewal:

You can renew your tourist visa up to 6 months. Then you must apply for a "resident visa" after 6 months of effective stay in Ghana.

The required documents  are a valid passport and your return ticket (for tourist visas) . A copy of the e-ticket is valid. A printed letter (which is essential) explaining the reason for the extension (I love Ghana!) And 2 passport photos.

For more information, please contact embassy of Ghana.

Tip: Once in Ghana always carry a photocopy of your passport (I never show the original document).

You will be asked two reference addresses in Ghana, friends, famous people or hotel reservation. Some embassies shall conduct checks. They have already called to check the validity of reservation.

For more informations, it is advisable to contact your closest embassy of Ghana:

Embassy of Ghana in Paris :

8, villa Saïd
75116 Paris
Tél: 01.45.00.09.50
Fax : 01.45.00.81.95
Courriel : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consulate of Ghana in U.S.: 3434 Locke Lane, 77027, Houston. Tel: (+1-202) 6864520

Consulate of Ghana in U.K.13 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PN, London. Tel: (+44-20) 72354142

Consulate of Ghana in Netherlands: P.O. BOX 207 2130 AF Hoofdroorp, 2130, Heemstede, Tel: +31-23 5632929

Consulates of Ghana in GermanyDeichstr. 48-50, 20459, Hamburg. Tel: (+49-40) 372266 or

                                                      Stavanger Str. 17 & 19, 10439, Berlin. Tel:  (+49-30) 5471490

                                                      Grosse Eschenheimer Str. 43, 60313, Frankfurt. Tel: (+49-69) 284018, 284019

Embassy/Consulate of Ghana in Belgium : General Wahisin Iaan, 7, 1030 Bruxelles Tél : 32 2 705 82 20

Embassy/Consulate of Ghana in Switzerland : 11, Belpstrasse, 3000 Berne Tél : 41 31 381 78 62

Here, list of consular representations and / or embassies of Ghana worldwide.

Be careful since January 2011, the embassies of Ghana in the subregion do not deliver (or difficulty with talking and + + +) visa if you are not a resident of the country. Let me explain: traveling, arrived in Benin you say "Why not Ghana?" and if you have not taken the visa in your home country it may be problematic to get the "sesame". Unless you claim to have already paid in advance in a hotel (with the prior agreement of the hotel because everything can be verified).

Sometimes Ghanaian administrations are fussy

As if we had to demonstrate our willingness to go to Ghana ...

As if the Ghanaian government does not take into consideration the tourism potential of its own country ...


For travelers with VTE (visa touristique de l'entente), or rather who would have had the chance to "track down" one, it is not valid for Ghana unlike all the neighboring countries (Togo, RCI, Burkina Faso).

 

On site:

"Any traveler arriving from a country hosting an embassy of Ghana without a visa on its territory is subject to the risk of being immediately repressed." Warning on the website of the Embassy of France in Ghana. Besides the risk of being fired, the visa you can get at the airport is around 150 USD and subject to prior agreement with immigration Accra services. Then ... As anywhere in Africa, everything can be discussed.

Let's go for palavers! Akwabaa in Ghana!

It is possible to obtain an extension of stay for a maximum of three months from immigration in Accra (tel..0302 66.47.57 ) and also in Sekondi-Takoradi. Beyond a stay of more than three months, a residence permit is required (normaly. ..).

For more information, it is advisable to contact the Embassy of Ghana. 

Detailed map of Ghana :


Opening hours of borders:
 
With Togo, Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso : from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m. 

Money, exchange :

It is advisable to bring dollars (U.S.) or euros that can be exchanged against Cedis. The exchange can be done in a forex bureau.

On arrival at the airport, you'll find one in the baggage arrival hall, the rates charged are quite correct. The exchange rate can sometimes be negotiated depending on the amount of the transaction. Worth knowing that in general the exchange rate is more interesting with large denomination notes (over 50 Euros or USD).

Debit or credit cards: :

Visa card is seldom used for current payments (normal commission rate is around 8%!). It can be used to withdraw money in A.T.M.'s (in larger cities and no more than 200$) or directly to a bank teller with passport. 

Visa card :

Barclays bank
CAL Bank
EcoBank Ghana
GTB Ghana
SG-SSB
Standard Chartered Bank
UBA Ghana Ltd


Beware, as in most of West African countries,  

Mastercard is almost unknown in Ghana.

Few banks accept it :

Standard bank
Ghana commercial bank
Intercontinental bank

 Never pay or give money with the left hand that is reserved for intimate activities (toilet). Paying with your left hand can be seen as an insult and I know something about it! Left handed I have to think about every time (well, okay, sometimes I forget ...).

Photos and videos:

Usually you should ask permission before filming and photographing people (common sense, common sense ...) or public buildings.

Many government buildings are prohibited from taking picture without written permission.

It may happen that you are asked for money in exchange for a picture because many Ghanaians are convinced that their images are used for commercial purposes in the countries "obrunis" from beyond the horizon.

Gold, diamonds:

Beware of gold purchase to other organizations than "Precious Mineral Marketing co.ltd" (or against any written or oral proposal to transfer funds or suspicious transaction). Sometimes you might meet illegal miners (called here galamseys) who will make attractive proposals, but only at first sight.

Besides the fact that these products are extracted in horrendous conditions (human and ecological), they are often false or in part. Let me explain, the precious metals are often mixed with others.
Caution is advised.

Before departure: Consult your doctor (and your dentist) and subscribe to an insurance policy covering medical expenses and repatriation, if it is not already included with your credit card, which is often the case. 

Malaria:

This parasitic disease is transmitted by mosquitoes (Anopheles mosquitoes, especially Anopheles  ladies who wake up in the dark). Prevention requires the use of personal protection measures (sprays, creams, electric diffusers, mosquito nets. ..).

Wearing long pants in the night proves to be an effective prevention, combined with repellent sprays.

To these actions you must add a adapted to each individual : you should better go to a counseling center for travelers. Treatment should be continued or not, after returning to Europe or North America for a variable length depending on the product. Classification: Zone 3. During your stay, and during the two months following your return in case of fever, medical advice should be taken quickly to implement as soon as possible to a possible malariacure.

Consult a center of international vaccination, rather than your family doctor (which are quite unfamiliar with tropical diseases and this is normal) and even less on web forums where everyone thinks he's a doctor , making hazardous prescriptions, at best, at worst completely false, and in any case not suitable for everyone.

 


As I am living in Ghana, before going back to France, I buy Lonart or Coartem, efficient medecines that you can buy in any pharmacy and that you can't find in the West, that don't cost more than very few dollars. You may not take prophylaxis if you stay in infected areas more than 3 months. Artefan is also a very good treatment that costs less than a dollar.

Be sure to check the expiry date of medicines and even open the box, just to make sure they did not suffer too much of moisture. Take these drugs with lots of sugar because they absorb glucose from the body, so do not hesitate on sweet drinks, jams ..

If fever or symptoms similar to flu-like symptoms, do a test called thick drop (there are also self-tests) in the hospital or the nearest clinic.

Warning, if you discover a malaria on your return, the attitude of doctors is always made of panic extended with some misunderstanding in practice with background frame: Africa = disease. I just experienced this recently. Anyway malaria is not innocuous especially the actual strain in Ghana, falciparum that may cause brain malaria..

 The faster malaria is treated, the less damage it makes. Do not wait!

Vaccinations:

Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory, it is valid for 10 years (to practice in an approved center).
Updating your diphtheria-tetanus-polio is recommended. Considering the regular occurrence of epidemics of bacterial meningitis vaccination against meningococcal meningitis A and C is recommended. Other recommended vaccinations (depending on length of stay and hygiene conditions): typhoid, viral hepatitis A and B. Vaccination against rabies may also be offered in some cases.

 

Phone:

The country code for Ghana is + 233 . If you are calling from abroad a Ghanaian mobile, you will need to remove the first zero number. Example: the number of your correspondent is 020 73 73 579, so you will have to dial: + 233 20 73 73 579.

It is recommended to use local operators such as vodaphone, mtn and also tigo, airtel, much cheaper than with your Western chip, overpriced.

For this, use an unlocked phone or if it is not this can be done locally for a small fee.

Depending on the speed of internet connections (the most appropriate in this case are vodaphone and mtn, airtel), it is possible to use Skype (free for skype to skype and cheaper to mobile).

Be careful the landline numbers have changed in Ghana, here are all the new codes.

Useful Numbers:
 
Medical facilities in the country are poor. There are few ambulances or ambulance services. The ability of emergency services is very limited and almost non-existent outside of major urban centers. Hospitals recommended for first aid:

1) Accra
 
 Military Hospital - Tél. : 030 2 77.61.11.
 Trust Hospital - Tél. :  030 2 77.67.87, (021) 77.71.37.
 Nyaho Clinic - Tél. :  030 2 77.52.91, (021) 77.53.41.
 North Ridge Clinic - Tél. :  030 2 22.73.28. 

2) Kumasi
 
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital - Tél. :  032 20 208119

3) Takoradi/Sekondi
 
Effia Nkwanta Hospital - Tél. : (031)20 23.151.

By clicking on this link, you'll find more adresses.

 

 Emergencies: : 999.
 Police : 191
Ambulance : 192
Fire : 193
 Ghana National Fire Service : 66.49.37.

Turista and me! and me!

To prevent intestinal disorders, so quick to ruin a trip, it is always advisable to drink bottled water. You can find it everywhere in Ghana. It is sold in bottles. You can also find filtered water sold in plastic bags by girls shouting "Peee Wataa"(i.e. Pure water) "nsu".

Be careful to choose the water in printed plastic bags and sealed industrially and not only filtered water sold in plastic bags of lesser quality, produced by the inhabitants.

Avoid "fresh" fruit juices  that are sold on the roadside or on the beach, made under sanitary conditions which are often "adventurous".

It is also important to wash hands before eating and to consume hot meals .

Electricity:

The voltage is 220 or 230 volts, 50 Hz. Electrical sockets are usually 3 flat pins (same as in U.K.), round or flat, but you will succeed most of the time to connect your devices with a European adapter, found everywhere here . You may experience "light off" ie power outages, although the electricity coverage the country is rather good performance.


Equipment:

A large travel bag and a small backpack containing personal belongings during the day,
A very light sleeping bag or a bedsheet, a sprayed mosquito net, if you sleep in a tent or outside,

Light clothing, cotton and linen exclusively

(Some can de made for you in Ghana at very affordable prices and it will run the local economy)

Anticipate a sweater for some evenings that can be chilly. Long and loose clothes rather light colors are particularly suited against heat and mosquitoes in the evening,

A scarf is always useful, for example, to protect from dust but also sun or rain.
A hat,
Sunglasses,
A towel,
A swimsuit,
Closed walking shoes,
A torchlight or headlamp.

 

   

You can also check the updates posted by Philip Briggs (Bradt travel guide Ghana, the most comprehensive on the country), based on the information given by the travelers.

For more information, see also the links page

If you have any questions / queries, you can contact us

 

We wish you a very nice trip in this peaceful and welcoming country!