Prepare your visit to Ghana!
The Ghanaian currency is the Ghana Cedi. Unfortunately you can’t change your currency into Ghana Cedi’s before arrival in Ghana.
Try one or more of the following ways to obtain Cedi’s whilst in Ghana:
• ATM. Before coming to Ghana, contact your bank or credit card company to enquire if and where your ATM card is accepted in Ghana.
For example; you can use a foreign ATM card with a Cirrus or Maestro logo printed on it at the ‘Stanbic Bank’ in Ghana. Stanbic Bank has branches in the following cities: Accra, Tema, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale, Tarkwa, Sunyani & Ho.
‘Stanbic Bank’ branches in the capital Accra can be found at various locations: For example Silverstar-tower (Airport) or opp. Ridge Hospital.
Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) accepts ATM cards with Cirrus or Maestro logo as well.
In case you wish to use ATM machines from other banks in Ghana (other than Stanbic Bank or GCB), a Visa card is required. Enquire from your bank beforehand if your visa card has an ATM option that works overseas. In Ghana, your Visa card is accepted by ATMs from Barclays bank, Eco bank, Standard Chartered bank, and other smaller banks.
• Bring along your foreign currency in cash (Euros, USD, GBP). You can change money at exchange offices (‘Forex Bureaus’) and banks. Banks normally open from 8.30 to 4pm and on Saturdays from 9 to 2pm.
• Credit card. You can use your credit card at some hotels and restaurants (Visa or Mastercard). However, to prevent unauthorized use of your card. Be cautious when using your card and keep an eye on it at all times.
Applications for a Ghanaian visa should be made to the nearest Ghana Consulate or Embassy.
• For online visa application (UK nationals only) visit www.ghanahighcommissionuk.com
• For the Ghanaian Embassy in the USA visit www.ghanaembassy.org
• For an extension of your visa (after 2 months) visit www.ghanaimmigration.org
The only immunization required by Ghanaian authorities is Yellow Fever. All others are optional. You need to discuss with your doctor or travel clinic which ones are advisable in your situation.
You may wish to bring along some first aid items such as Imodium to stop diarrhoea, Paracetamol, O.R.S. (Oral Rehydration Salt), mosquito repellent, sun cream, plasters and sterile bandages.
It is advised to use mosquito nets at night and to buy them prior to your arrival in Ghana. Note that most hotels do not provide mosquito nets. It is also advised to bring along mosquito repellent (containing ‘DEET’: indicated on the product), as well as wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evening.
If you are not taking preventive malaria tablets, you can buy inexpensive short term malarial treatments over the counter in Ghana (such as Coartem, Artesunate and smaller brands). If you buy them in advance, your treatment is at hand whenever you begin to display malarial symptoms.
Symptoms include fever, chills, aches and pains, lack of appetite, lethargy… For more information about malaria please visit www.traveldoctor.co.uk/malaria.
Good clinics frequently used by expats and foreigners are: Lister Hospital (www.listerhospital.com.gh) at Spintex Road in Accra (Tel. 00233 (0)302812 325 & 00233 (0)302812326) & Nyaho Medical Center at Airport Residential, Accra (Tel. 00233 (0)302775291 / 00233 (0)302775341).
Photographing government buildings as well as uniformed persons is prohibited. Furthermore, sellers at Accra’s main market, Makola market, do often not appreciate being photographed.
Ghana experiences frequent power cuts and fluctuations. It is therefore advised to bring along a flashlight and/or candles.
Note that in remote areas and villages, English is not as proficient as elsewhere in Ghana.
Be aware that cars in general do not give way to pedestrians; so if you need to cross a busy street, at least make a gesture to attract the attention of drivers. When you ride a bicycle, beware of taxis and small buses as they can suddenly stop or park to pick up passengers.