Ghana Travel Guide 2019

Travel Team
By Travel Team 12 Min Read

From the energetic streets of Accra to the scenic Gold Coast, Ghana is continuing to make strides as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

GHANA


The Republic of Ghana – a leading West African nation with huge growth potential and a fast-expanding tourism industry. The country has illustrious antiquity, with historians estimating that its habitation dates back as far as 10,000 BCE.  

Its name, meaning “Warrior King”, was derived from the ancient Ghana Empire, previously one of the world’s most prosperous trading kingdoms. The country and its economy have retained this dependence on trade, motivated by its geographical location, with the world-renowned Gold Coast spanning its southern border.  

In more recent years, the country has become better known for its role in precipitating the fall of empire, slavery and colonialism. Ghana’s former Pan-African nationalist leader Kwame Nkrumah, now widely celebrated across country, believed that independence was fundamental to the progression of not only Ghana but the wider region.   

In pursuit of this, Nkrumah achieved national independence for Ghana on 6 March 1957, inspiring a significant number of other African nations to begin their own independence rallies in the process, 30 of which succeeded in this in the following decade.   

Having prospered in the 60 years since, Ghana is now heralded as a key success story of independent economic recovery and political reform in Africa.  

Today, the majority of the country’s commercial activity is centred in its southern regions, particularly evident in Accra – the capital city. A place portraying high energy and industriousness, Accra has a vibrant art scene and colourful markets, alongside an abundance of street food and beaches, catering to any city-goers desires.  

THE BUSINESS END


The Ghanaian economy has been thriving in recent years.  

The country’s GDP grew from $36.2 billion to $46.8 billion between 2015 and 2017, while the World Bank has predicted that this will continue to grow 8.8 percent in 2018. With this in mind, Ghana is in the running to become the fastest growing economy of the year, with its economic forecasts only bested by Bhutan and Libya.  

According to data from the World Bank released in 2017, 41 percent of the Ghanaian population currently work within the agricultural sector, making it the country’s most important sector.  

Because of the variety of climatic zones, from dry savanna to wet forest, Ghana produces a diverse range of crops including oil palms, kola nuts, timber, grains and yams and, most importantly, cocoa.  

However, despite the agricultural sector’s importance to Ghana, the recent and forecast upward economic trajectory can more readily be attributed to the country’s rich natural resource bases.  

Having quickly established export-led growth built on its thriving gold, cocoa and new-found oil markets, alongside access to diamonds, manganese ore and bauxite, the abundance of key materials is expected to continue to provide tailwinds to the national economy moving forward. 

OUT AND ABOUT IN GHANA


Ghana’s thriving culture is best reflected in Accra.  

Known for its dynamism, the capital is best encapsulated by Oxford Street, famed for its hustle, bustle and bounty of shops, perfectly showcasing the local atmosphere as a true hub of Ghana.  

Ghana’s market scene also gives a real sense of the place, namely through the Kejetia market in Kumasi or the Makola market in Accra. For those looking to soak up the local culture, these two destinations provide a great sense with their colourful sweeping stalls, selling anything from food to jewellery.  

The street food you can find here is a big part of both urban and rural Ghanaian life, with the majority of the country’s cuisine focused around regular snacking as opposed to westernised meal times. Some of the most popular options available include kelewele, koko, tsofi, fufu and tilapia.  

The aforementioned are all readily available at some of the country’s most famous beaches, namely Labadi, again located in Accra, that provides a lively atmosphere, music and bonfires.   

Away from city life, Ghana offers a range of spectacular scenery and wildlife to explore. The country is home to a variety of national parks that offer unparalleled experiences throughout its four corners, something that would likely satisfy those looking for a more rural adventure.  

Equally, the country has a range of architecture stretching across its southern edges – locations that often provide insight into the country’s extensive history. 

OUTLOOK RECOMMENDS

“One of Africa’s great success stories, the country is reaping the benefits of a stable democracy in the form of fast-paced development” 

Lonely Planet

Hospitality


Maaha Beach Resort 

Located on Ghana’s southwestern border, the Maaha Beach Resort is situated directly along the country’s Atlantic coastline.  

The resort offers picturesque views of Ghana’s stunning shore as it leads directly onto a private white sand beach, providing the ideal getaway and unforgettable experiences to all of its guests.  

Located in the Ellembele District, Maaha Beach resort is at the heart of the country’s stunning landscape, in close proximity to Ghana’s diverse cultural and historical sites.  

With 135 rooms, each offering premium amenities including free wifi and 24-hour room service, guests can enjoy some of the best hospitality on the market.  

The resort even features two leading restaurants that provide free breakfast and the ultimate fine dining experience in the evening. 

Accra City Hotel 

Accredited as an esteemed four-star hotel, Accra City Hotel offers premium accommodation and associated amenities to travellers from all over the world.  

Located within the centre of Accra’s business and entertainment district, just 15 minutes away from the Kotoka International Airport, the hotel is perfectly positioned to cater to a range of travelling desires.  

Alongside 196 rooms, two major restaurants and a modern bar, the building features six fully equipped meeting rooms, each able to host 100 guests for conferences, meetings, or other events.  

With Oxford Street in Osu, Makola Market and the Accra Arts Centre all within walking distance, Accra City Hotel provides the perfect opportunity to explore the vibrant city and experience its culture with ease. 

Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Alisa 

Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites is a 199-room luxury hotel positioned centrally within Ghana’s world-renowned capital, close to the city’s thriving commercial district, major tourist attractions and the Kotoka International Airport.  

The building houses an indoor guest pool, a fully equipped gym and spa, alongside a range of other select features that make it the hotel of choice for tourists of all backgrounds. 

The African Regent Hotel 

Featuring stunning African-inspired decor, the African Regent Hotel really reminds you of where you’re staying.   

Standing as a luxury hotel in central Accra, guests can enjoy exquisite rooms, a relaxing spa and food from an internationally acclaimed chef.  

A stone’s throw from the Accra shopping mall and Accra Polo court, the hotel is often the primary choice for world leaders, celebrities and high society. 


Much like the majority of Ghana’s infrastructure, most of the established transport networks are situated throughout the country’s southern regions.   

Ghana has a range of key rail networks stretching in and between Accra, Kumasi, Awaso and Takoradi, providing critical links between the country’s main settlements.  

However, whilst the presence of railways may be appreciated, vehicle-centric transportation methods are the most widely used, with the country’s road networks stretching a total 40,000 kilometres, reaching the majority of the population.   

A common but unique method of travel by road is tro tros – privately owned minivans that hold approximately 20 people, making up a significant proportion of the country’s public transport network.  

With a lack of timetables and maps attached, tro tros can be confusing and daunting for those used to a more rigid western culture but are all part of the experience and are particularly handy for short journeys.  

Tro tros are present alongside taxis and standard bus and coach services that are better recommended for longer trips and excursions due to being safer, more reliable and more comfortable.  

Equally, air travel is recommended as an option for extensive journeys, with the country’s four commercial airports being the Kotoka International Airport, Sekondi-Takoradi Airport, Kumasi Airport and Tamale Airport. 

LANDMARK ATTRACTIONS

Cape Coast Castle


“The Cape Coast Castle has served as the West African headquarters of the president of the Committee of Merchants; the seat of the British governor; and a school. Open to the public, it is currently a historical museum with a Ghanaian arts and crafts gift shop, and it is the regional headquarters of Ghana Museums and Monuments Board” – Ghana Museums 

Wli falls


“Ghana’s tallest waterfalls, the Wli falls stand amid an exquisite landscape of rolling hills, forests and bubbling streams. The falls are most impressive from April to October, when you can hear – and feel – the flow of water thundering down” – Lonely Planet 

Independence Arch


“The sculpture is a nod to Ghana’s acclaim as the ‘Black Star of Africa’: it was an inspiration to other African countries vying for independence and the Flame of African Liberation, lit by Nkrumah, still burns strongly nearby”  
– Timeout 

Monument & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Independence Square has stands that have 30,000 seating capacity. The square boasts two monuments: the Independence Arch and the Black Star Monument, also known as the Black Star Gate. A statue of a soldier faces the Independence Arch symbolising the Ghanaians who lost their lives fighting for Ghana’s independence. 

Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum


“This is a place you wouldn’t want to miss during your stay in Ghana, since the transition of Gold Coast to Ghana happened on this same location. Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, is what some scholars call  
the “genesis” of the actual history Of Ghana” – Touring Ghana 

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine
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