It’s been a bit quiet on here of late, hasn’t it?
Apologies for the radio silence on here. It’s been a bit hectic on the life side recently, and I’ve just returned from the Motherland and cannot wait to tell you guys all about it (albeit with the slightly size inconvenient, portrait iPhone photos).
So for those who are new here, I’m ethnically Ghanaian, and used to live there for a couple of years when I was younger. There was a time when I used to visit every year or so but as I got older, the visits became less frequent as the plane tickets increased in price. This year for my 30th birthday, I decided to go back for eight days to see my extended family. As I hadn’t been back in 10 years, I was a bit nervous to say the least.
My goal was to try and create some awesome visual content to document the trip. Outfit photos, lifestyle vids and pics and all that other stuff, so I could create somewhat of a travel guide/post but…it hasn’t quite turned out like that. You see, it’s not really a good idea to have phones and cameras out in public a lot of the time due to street crime etc, so I didn’t use my mirrorless camera at all for this trip and instead, created a Ghana highlight category on my Instagram stories, so check that out if you want a little taste of what I got up to!
Ghana…The friendliest place ever
You ask anyone their first impressions of Ghana and they’ll tell you right off the bat that the people are ‘extremely friendly’ and hospitable. Ghana has an excellent reputation of being accommodating and super friendly. It’s not uncommon to walk down the street and be greeted by strangers with a friendly ‘good afternoon’ or ‘you are welcome’. Hospitality, respect and the art of generally having good manners is something that has been expressly ingrained into our culture and we have been taught from a young age to always respect our elders and be kind to others. Going to places and having everyone say hello to you (sometimes with a salute) may take some getting used to – especially if you live in a Western city where we all just generally ignore each other in public lmao.
Facts and Figures
- Ghana – like most of Africa – is pretty expensive to visit plane-wise, so make sure you secure your tickets months ahead of time. Be expected to pay up to £800 per person for return tickets, however you can get the tickets for cheaper if you secure them during sale time, or if you don’t mind taking a connecting flight. British Airways is currently the only direct flight to Ghana, with other companies such as KLM, TAP Air Portugal and Brussels Airlines running connecting flights from Heathrow and Gatwick (or your nearest airport – check Skyscanner!)
- The flight time is between 6 hours 15 minutes and 6 hours 45 minutes, and Ghana is one hour behind the UK.
- The average temperature is between 31-33 degrees celsius. Don’t bother taking shoes or boots. Honestly. You can even go so far as to not even wear makeup. It’ll slide right off. It’s HAWT.
- Ghana only has two seasons as opposed to our four: the raining season and the dry season. The dry season starts from August – March, and the raining season is from around the end of May to August. It doesn’t necessarily mean it rains every day, but it’ll be a lot cooler.
- The national currency is the Ghanaian Cedi, however you can also use American Dollars there too. At the moment, the pound is significantly strong against the Cedi, so you’ll definitely get a lot for your money there. 10 Cedis = £1. 40 (at least check).
- I would advise to visit for AT LEAST 10 days or two weeks. Ghana is a huge place, with almost too much to see and experience. From visiting the coastal scenes in the capital city of Accra, taking a tour of the famous Elmina Castle in Cape Coast or visiting cultural hub Kumasi and the gorgeous suspended gardens in Akosombo, there’s a LOT to do, so plan accordingly.
- In terms of spending money, I reckon about £150 a week would do it (excluding hotel or AirBnB spend).
- There are options to choose from in regards to transport. The safest ways to get around (aside from having a friend or family member drive you) are Ubers and TaxiFi (a Ghanaian based taxi app). If you already have the Uber app, it’ll automatically work when you arrive in Ghana, and is INCREDIBLY CHEAP to use. The most I spent on an uber ride was around £2.15, and that was for a six mile trip.
- Get your injections! You have to have a yellow fever injection (and the card to prove it) or you will be refused entry into the country. You’d also need to get anti-malaria tablets too.
Food, family and fun times
As I stated earlier, I came to visit some family that I hadn’t seen in years and so I spent the majority of the time visiting family. I had planned to visit the Cape Coast to see Elmina Castle, but as my trip was so short, I had to unfortunately leave it out. What I loved about going back was being able to get into the amazing traditional street food that I had missed. Ghana’s diet is very carb-heavy you see. From rice, fermented maize to yams and plantains, the diet is rich, authentic, tasty, and filling.
When visiting other countries (especially “third world” countries), people will often tell you to stick to restaurants and not to eat street food, but in Ghana, you’re heavily encouraged to tap into the street food because it’s INCREDIBLE. Ugh. I’m salivating as I write this tbh. One can never really recreate the food at home and it pains me so much.
There are a host of things to do when you’re here. Unfortunately as my trip was mostly family-based, I didn’t have a lot of personal time to explore things on my own, but here are a few things you can get up to in Accra!
- As it’s a coastal city, you can roam the beaches to your heart’s content. Labadi beach is a very popular tourist attraction. Just don’t pay to ride the donkeys I’m pretty sure they are subjected to cruelty by their owners. 🙁
- The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum – the final resting place of Ghana’s first President. It’s also a beautiful place to take pics!
- Labadi Beach Hotel. A great place for meetings, drinks and dinner. Very fancy, much nice.
- Bloom Bar. The place to go when you’re in Accra – it’s a vibrant atmosphere full of mostly young creatives.
- The National Museum of Ghana
- Visiting the shea and cocoa farms in the Northern part of Ghana
- Akosombo gardens
- Cape Coast Castle
- Cocoa Lounge restaurant in Accra (it’s not an *attraction* but they do great food!)
All in all, Ghana is a very chilled, relaxed country and I’m sad that I couldn’t stay for longer in order to do a proper travel diary, but family innit? They take priority I suppose! If you do think or plan on going, hit me up on social media and we can have more of a chat about it!