Abseiling in Ghana

Exploring Ghana in 5 days – Everything you need to know

Exploring Ghana in 5 days isn’t easy, but this is everything you need to know to experience this rich country. I was adamant about travelling to a country I was familiar with so the experience wouldn’t be so shocking, so Ghana was the perfect choice. With this being my third trip to the country known for “The Year of Return”, as soon as I stepped into Kotoka International Airport I was greeted with the familiar “Akwaaba”.

My itinerary was full and included places in Greater Accra and the Eastern Region. My days consisted of abseiling off bridges, visits to waterfalls & botanical gardens and eating my way through Ghana with foods like Kebabs, Banku & Tilapia and Waakye.

This map was created with Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

In this mini-guide to exploring Ghana in 5 days, I will share all the activities I got up to plus, where to stay, where to eat and a lot more to help you plan your trip (solo or not).

SAVE FOR LATER!

Ghana Entry Requirements

If you’ve travelled between 2020 and now (June 2022) you know the hoops you jump through to get to your destination. Right now, international passengers and travellers coming from the ECOWAS region arriving in Ghana need to be fully vaccinated. Covid tests have also been waived, so those extra costs and discomfort that came with testing are long gone.  

Before arriving in Ghana, you’ll be required to fill in this Health Declaration Form and it should be filled out no more than three days before travelling.

For passengers exiting Ghana, you’ll be required to follow the covid – testing requirements of your destination country.

For updated information about Ghana entry requirements – read this.

Getting from Nigeria to Ghana

There are two ways to travel from Nigeria to Ghana – by road or by air.

Travelling to Ghana by road from Nigeria can take up to 17 hours or more, crossing the borders of Benin Republic and Togo on the way. It can be a great option if you plan on stopping in the two other countries on the way, but, going straight from Nigeria to Ghana (with no stops), can be both tiring and unsafe.

The 1 hour flight time makes going to Ghana by air the safer and fastest option. I went by Africa World Airlines.

I booked a private airport transfer, but Uber has a new pre-booking feature where you can schedule rides in advance. It’s a great alternative to private transfers.

How safe is Ghana for Travel?

Safety is probably the biggest worry for any solo female traveller. During the 5 days I was in Ghana, I felt very safe. I moved around in Ubers alone and walked around my neighbourhood in the evenings and not once did I feel unsafe. Of course, like in every country, you should take necessary safety precautions to have that extra blanket of protection.

  • Share your live location
  • Ensure people know where you are at all time
  • Share your ride when using ride-sharing apps
  • Always remain alert
  • Carry a safety personal alarm (particularly for solo female travellers).

How to move around in Ghana

Uber & Bolt: Ride-sharing apps are the most popular ways to move around in Ghana, they are also the most convenient. It’s important to note that if you want to use any air conditioning in the Uber or Bolt, you need to pay extra due to the high fuel prices.

TroTro: These are minibuses used for public transportation. You can get on and off them at any point, so don’t have to wait for bus stops. TroTro’s are cheap and have no set prices, meaning you pay based on the distance of your destination at the discretion of the driver. This makes them less convenient and sometimes unreliable.

Private transportation: The most convenient option, but also the most expensive. I used private transportation for 2 out of the 5 days spent in Ghana. For longer trips, booking a private transfer would make moving around much easier. Check out my cost breakdown post to see how much I spent on transportation.  

Where to stay in Ghana

When looking for accommodation in Ghana, I would recommend using Booking.com if you’re looking to stay in a hotel and Airbnb for longer stays.

When choosing areas to stay in within Accra, search for stays in Cantonments, Labone, Osu, East Legon, West Legon & Airport Residential Areas. They are known to be very secure, quiet, and clean, but also very expensive as they are home to wealthy Ghanaians.

I stayed at Somewhere Nice Hostel in Kokomlemle, Accra, which isn’t one of the wealthier areas, but it still felt very safe and is located 15 minutes away from Kotoka International Airport.

Where to eat in Ghana

There are endless restaurant options within and outside Accra. Here is a list:
  • Jamestown Coffee Company: I visited on a Sunday morning for a light snack (smoothie) and it’s a lovely place to do some work while having a coffee or brunch.
  • 233 Jazz Bar & Grill: If you enjoy live music; and live bands, this is the spot. If you’re going on a night out, you can start your evening here – get some dinner before continuing your night. The food is average, but the music and ambience are very welcoming.
  • Hillburi Resort: If you’re in the mood for somewhere outside Accra that’s a little upscale to spend your afternoon, Hillburi is it. You can eat and pay to use the infinity pool. It’s a great place to end your day after exploring the Eastern Region.
  • Ozzy’s Beach Palace: This is one place I would go back to repeatedly. It’s a beachfront property with beautiful aesthetics and affordable food.
  • Sandbox Beach Resort: Go to Sandbox for its aesthetics only. The food is expensive and isn’t worth the price. One visit is enough.
  • Osikan Beach: I had my first taste of some flavourful Banku & Tilapia with Shito here. It’s a beachfront property, with amazing views.
  • Bloom Bar: This was on my list to visit, but I couldn’t with my limited time, but the reviews have seen are great, so I will be trying it out when I go back to Ghana.
  • Kukun Café: Another café on my list that I couldn’t visit but will be trying out on my next Ghana trip.

What to do in Ghana: 9 activities you can’t miss

Ghana is more than Accra. There is so much to be seen and experienced both inside and outside Accra, here is an extensive list of activities I did/ places I visited and some activities on my list I couldn’t do:

  • Abseiling: if you’re up for an adventure, abseiling the iconic Adomi Bridge should be on your itinerary. The adrenaline you feel while reclining down the side of the bridge is a feeling you won’t forget.
  • Waterfall Chasing: Wli Waterfalls, Boti Falls, Asenema Falls, take your pick. Ghana isn’t lacking in the waterfall department. I could only visit Asenema Falls (the closest to Accra), however, Wli Waterfalls (the highest waterfall in West Africa) is a must-see.

Tip: if you visit during the dry season, there’s a possibility the falls may be dry.

  • Accra Tour: I took a tour with CyCy a travel planner in Ghana. She handled the planning from beginning to end.
    • Osu Castle: was built in 1661 and used as a slave castle for most of the 1800s.
    • Black Star Square & Black Star Gate: A symbol of Ghanaian freedom.
    • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum: the resting place and museum of Kwame Nkrumah, the president who fought for Ghana’s freedom.
    • Accra Arts Centre: from shopping to a traditional drumming experience, this market centre has it all. Make sure you negotiate the cost of whatever you buy because the prices will be increased to “tourist prices”.
  • Aburi Botanical Gardens: is known for its extensive rows of beautiful palm trees.
  • Shai Hills Resource Reserve: This reserve has everything from game viewing (antelopes & zebras), hiking, and rock climbing to glamping.
  • Legon Botanical Gardens: an outdoor space with various recreational activities like; canoeing, canopy walk, cycling, bird watching, fishing, and a high rope obstacle course.
  • Kakum National Park: This park is known for its 7 suspension bridges forming a 333-meter long canopy walkway, another adrenaline-pumping activity.
  • Elmina Castle: a Unesco Heritage Site built as a slave trading post. It holds a very important history that needs to be heard. A visit here can be grouped with a visit to Kakum National Park.
  • Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary: visit the 200 Mona monkeys inhabiting the forest surrounding the village of Tafi – Atome.

Best time to visit Ghana

The “best” time to visit Ghana depends on you. Here is a breakdown of the weather to help you plan your trip accordingly.

The rainy season is from May to September (it rains heavily nearly every day during these months), however, these are off-peak travel months so things are less expensive and places are less crowded.

October to April are the dry season months (it rains less than 2 days in the month and comes with a lot of sand and dust), these months are peak travel months.

December & January are the months with numerous parties and concerts (they are also the most expensive months). January to March are the best times to go game viewing in Mole National Park in Northern Ghana.

P.S: contact me here to help you plan your trip to Ghana

*The information in this post is accurate at the time of writing. Make sure you carry out extra research in case any of this information has changed.

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