Ghana Cedi (GHS)
Being placed just north of the equator Ghana enjoys warm weather year-round, is mostly tropical and experiences two main seasons (wet season and dry season). In northern Ghana, there are two rainy seasons: April – June and September – November. While South Ghana experiences its rainy season from April to mid-November. The tropical climate of Ghana is relatively mild for its latitude. A dry dessert wind, blows in northeast Ghana from December to March, lowering the humidity and causing hot days and cool nights in northern part of Ghana. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 28°C.
English is the official national language, and it is widely spoken as a result of the country’s long links with Britain. A total of at least 46 African languages and 76 dialects are spoken in Ghana, generally divided into the Akan, Mole-Dagbani, Ewe and Ga language groups.
West Africa is well known for its vibrant music scene, and arguably Ghana has been a key innovator when it came to styles that combined traditional African sounds with foreign influences. From the 1990’s onwards a new style of Ghanaian music was established referred to as ‘Hip-Life’ which is basically hip-hop in the Ghanaian dialect and lending from traditional Ghanaian rhythms and beats.
Ghana is football crazy. It’s the country’s most participated and watched sport, if you get a chance to catch the ‘Black Stars’ (Ghana’s National football team) play don’t pass it up, the atmosphere is electric! Ghana is 2nd in the Africa Cup of Nations overall rankings after winning the competition 4 times and finishing runner-up 5 times.
Ghanaian cuisine is typically simple, but flavourful. With many meals consisting of thick, well-seasoned stews usually partnered with rice or boiled yams. One of the most popular stews is okra, fish, bean leaf (or other greens), forowe (a fishy tomato stew), plava sauce (spinach stew with either fish or chicken), and groundnut (peanut), one of the country’s national dishes.
Spices feature heavily in the preparation of most Ghanaian dishes. Cayenne, allspice, curry, ginger, garlic, onions, and chili peppers are the most widely used seasonings. Onions and chili peppers (along with tomatoes, palm nuts, and broth) help to make up the basis for most stews.
All international flights come through Ghana’s largest and busiest Kotoka International Airport based in capital (Accra). Ghana’s other airports include Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani. A host of international airlines fly direct regularly also, with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct from London to Accra with a 6 hour 30 minute flight time, Delta serves Accra daily from the New York City (JFK), KLM flies daily from Amsterdam, Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Emirates from Dubai. Additionally Africa World Airlines cover Ghana’s internal domestic flight routes.
STC is the main coach company. They operate long distance domestic and international services. Probably the safest way to travel long distance, and are also pretty quick compared to other options, although even on these services breakdowns are reasonably frequent. STC operate between Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Cape Coast and other main cities. ‘Express’ or ‘Air-conditioned’ services are quicker and a lot more comfortable than the ordinary services and are now available on the Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Tamale, Accra-Bolgatanga routes.
Roads are variable. In Accra most are fairly good. Significant improvements are being made on the main road between Accra and Kumasi. Most of the roads outside Accra apart from the major ones are dirt tracks. The road between Techiman and Bole is particularly bad and should be avoided if possible. For travel on most roads in the North of the country a 4×4 is required, a saloon car will cope with some of them in the dry season but is not recommended. Also it should be noted that cars with foreign registration are not allowed to circulate between 6PM and 6AM. Only Ghanaian registered vehicles are allowed on the road at this time.
There are rail links between Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi.