Thanks for checking out the documentary!

Now, it’s time to start planning a trip to Ghana — woot, woot! Here’s your guide to get started.

Happy Travels!

- Meshia

.

Akwaaba!

Over the last 7 years, I’ve lived and traveled extensively across 14 African nations.

In planning my own travels and trips for individuals and groups, I discovered just how difficult it is to find practical, updated, and relevant info on travel to Ghana and other African nations all in one place. Frustrating, right?

So, I decided to create this guide to help you plan your trip with less stress and more ease. The pages to come are filled with all the practical info you need and want to know before you make the trip!

Hope this helps! Can’t wait to see and hear about your trip.

Yours in epic adventures and delicious fried plantain,

Meshia

Interested in learning more about me? Head to: meshiacherie.com

HI! MESHIA, HERE.

411 + faqs:

MY FAVE WEBSITES

TO FIND & PURCHASE FLIGHTS

Traveling to and in Africa is definitely an investment. After traveling to 14 African nations over the last 7 years, I’ve learned a thing or three about getting to and around without spending an arm and an ovary. Here goes:

  • Save money towards your trip every month. Pro tip: open a savings account that offers interest on your account balance monthly. Capitol One 360 and Ally are my picks.

2. Explore travel reward cards and loyalty options, here’s a super-detailed guide.

3. Use the websites to the right to plan your flights strategically.

Airfordable is a game changer! It allows you to pay for your flight in installments. Oh, and it’s founded by a Ghanaian-American!

Google Flights is the ultimate search tool if you have flexible travel dates. You can search by month which allows you to see which dates have the cheapest fare prices.

Hopper is an app that tells you when to book and when to wait based on alerts you setup.

The Flight Deal is the BEST site to find deals and ninja-like travel hacks. Pro tip: book the deal as soon as you see it; deals and special offers expire quickly. This is where the savings account comes in handy.

Kayak is the O.G. flight search engine. There’s tons of options, their customer service is great, and you can book flights directly on the site.

SkyScanner.net is best for finding flights on local airlines for in-country flights. Save per se, the local airline’s actual website.

411 + faqs:

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Yes! - make sure it’s valid for the next six months. U.S. CItizens, follow the instructions here to apply for or renew your passport.

Do I need a passport?

Depends on which passport you’re using to enter Ghana. If you are a U.S. citizen, you need a visa. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, head to ProjectVIsa to see if Ghana requires visas from citizens of your nation to enter. Pro Tip: if you plan to visit Ghana more than once in the next few years, apply for a multi-entry visa to save both time and money.

Do I need a visa?

Ghana is in the GMT time zone (Greenwich Mean Time)

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/. Tip: use your cellphone’s ‘world clock’ feature to keep track of time at home and at Ghana all in one place.

What is the time zone?

TIMEZONE

A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travel to Ghana. To learn more about health recommendations ahead of your trip, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s fact sheet on Ghana.

Do I need vaccinations?

VACCINATIONS

Ghana is made up of 10 regions. Accra is the capital city and it’s where you will fly into. More info on the airport here.

Yes! Ghana is lauded as one of the safest countries on the continent. However, use the same personal security precautions that you would at home. Petty theft does occur frequently during high travel seasons. Leave super valuable and flossy jewelry at home. Keep all other valuables on your person or in a hotel safe.

Stay informed about travel advisories and warnings issued by the U. S. State Department. Visit their travel website and register your travel at: www.travel.state.gov or contact them by phone at 1-888-407-4747.

IS GHANA SAFE?

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Yes, travel insurance and travel medical insurance are essential. It should cover personal injury, medical expenses, rescue and repatriation (including the flying doctor service) in the event of medical need/death, cancellation, curtailment and cover for loss or damage to personal belongings (including valuable items such as photographic equipment).

Read your policy details carefully and bring a printed copy of your coverage with you. Compare your options here: Insure My Trip. My favorites are: WorldNomads and Seven Corners. Also, check with your credit card to see what insurance coverage they offer as well.

all about the money

Ghana’s currency is the Cedi.

(symbol: ₵), code: GHS

Banknotes come in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Ghana Cedi.

The Ghana Cedi is subdivided into 100 Pesewa. Coins come in denominations of 1 GHS and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 Pesewa.

*currency exchange rates subject to fluctuations*

411 + faqs.

1 GHS = 0.20 USD*

1 USD = 5.00 GHS*

Currency rates change daily so it’s best to get currency once you arrive in Ghana. You can either withdraw from ATMs using your debit card or exchange US dollars at a Forex Bureau. If you choose to withdraw from the ATM, you’ll incur fees from both the Ghanaian bank and possibly your home bank. Again, remember to alert your bank of your travels prior to arriving in Ghana. Pro tip: Golden Tulip Hotel’s Forex Bureau in Airport City usually has the best exchange rates in the city. I’d make this the first stop after leaving the airport.

So, how do I get Ghanaian currency?

Yes and no. CASH rules everything around Ghana! Pro tip: don’t rely on credit cards as the sole source of your spending money as very few merchants accept them. Mastercard and Visa are the most widely accepted. AMEX and Diner’s Club are not accepted. Bring credit cards for emergencies and backup. Remember to alert your credit card company that you’re traveling prior to departing from home.

Can I use my credit card?

This depends on your spending habits, but I recommend $60 USD/day or $600 USD/trip. If you are looking to purchase gallery pieces or do lots of shopping, I suggest bringing more money.

How much money should I bring?

Yes, please. Any time you are happy with a service, a tip is greatly appreciated. What may be considered little monetarily to the average traveler may be considered of great value to the local community. There is no customary tip percentage within the country. I suggest that you budget $5-10 per day.Tips must be paid in GHS.

Should I tip?

411 + faqs:

411 + faqs:

tech and electronics

Most of your accommodations in Accra should have Wi-Fi available BUT please understand reliability and speed have its challenges. Outside of the city, WIFI is limited. If you’re staying longer than 10 days, consider getting a personal MIFi router from MTN, Surfline, or Vodafone.

WHAT IS THE ELECTRICITY/VOLTAGE?

Ghana uses 230V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type D and Type G.

You will need to bring converters/adapters to plug U.S. electronic devices into power outlets in Ghana.

Adapters are available for purchase at superstores, Amazon or may be purchased in Ghana. Those available in Ghana are often cheaper but lower quality.

I NEED WIFI. HOW DO I GET IT?

Ghana uses different cell phone networks than the United States. Check to see if your provider offers coverage in Ghana before you leave home. T-Mobile does work in Ghana, however, the coverage is spotty.

If your phone is unlocked, SIM cards are 10 GHS ($2 USD). With a local sim, you may purchase a mobile data plan on a local network provider for the duration of the trip. In order for this to work, your phone will need to be UNLOCKED. Choose from 4 network providers: Tigo, MTN, Airtel or Vodafone.

WILL MY PHONE NETWORK WORK IN GHANA?

To call Ghana from the United States, dial +233 (the country code for Ghana), then the area code (without the initial 0) and the local number. For local calls within Ghana, start with the area code (with the initial 0).

CALLING FROM US LOCAL CALL

+233 30 123 4567 030 1234567

WHAT’S THE DIAL CODE?

G Plug

D Plug

411 + faqs:

language + communication

Twi: εte sεn? (eh-teh sen)

Pidgin: how be? // how you dey?

HOW ARE YOU? // HELLO

Due to colonization by the British, English is the official language of Ghana. It’s used in all legal, administrative and official procedures and documents.

Although, English is spoken widely - much of it is Pidgin English thus It is important to note that many Ghanaians may not speak English in the same manner as an American English speaker. Therefore, to facilitate ease of communication and understanding, speak slower.

There are 70+ local languages. The most widely spoken are: Ga, Hausa, Akan Twi and Ewe.

Accra: Ga/Twi/ Hausa/ Ewe

Kumasi: Akan- Asante Twi

Central Region: Akan Fante

Eastern and Volta: Ga, Ewe, Akan Asante Twi

Twi: εyε (eh-yeh) // bɔkɔɔ (boh-kooh)

Pidgin: I dey oo ( I day oh)

I’M FINE. // I’M COOL.

Twi: Mε pa wo chεw (meh-pow-cho)

PLEASE // I BEG YOU

Medaase (meh-dah-see)

THANK YOU

Akwaaba!

WELCOME!

Bruh // Dude // Friend

CHALE!

Chop (I go for chop)

TO EAT

Okay (yohh)

YOO

suggested packing list.

the following items are not obligatory just recommended. If you are a prepared-for-anything kind of traveler, then start checking boxes. If you are a light packer, then feel free to pick and choose. Remember to check your airline’s baggage rules and limitations.

CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

  • bathing suit/ bikini/ trunks
  • lightweight scarf or wrap for the ladies
  • lightweight cardigan/jacket
  • comfy clothing for treks and activities
  • casual clothing for daytime activities: lightweight and modest
  • summer chic night out attire: tops, dresses, shorts/slacks/linen/jeans for men, skirts/shorts for women in any length longer than daisy dukes
  • undergarments and socks
  • Footwear: flip-flops/slides for the beach and shower, comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals, comfy heels/wedges for women, a pair of closed-toe, hard-bottomed soles for men, sneakers for outdoor activities, swim shoes (if desired)
  • Pajamas
  • accessories (nothing too flashy)
  • Sunnies and hat to block the sun
  • Small daypack/bag

VITAL DOCUMENTS:

  • Passport with Ghana Visa
  • digital copy of passport (in email or the cloud)
  • Flight information printed
  • Insurance information (travel and medical)
  • Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination
  • Debit/ Credit Cards

HEALTH, SAFETY, & BEAUTY:

  • any prescribed medications
  • malaria prophylaxis
  • Over-the-counter medications: creams, remedies for minor aches, pains, allergies, and skin irritations.
  • Sunscreen
  • insect repellant with DEET or essential oil mixtures of Lemongrass, Neem, Eucalyptus, and Citronella
  • feminine hygiene products
  • toiletries: deodorant, Toothbrush and toothpaste,

razor and shaving cream, after shave, facial cleanser and moisturizer, body lotion/cream, Perfume/cologne

  • hair-styling products, accessories, and tools: brush, comb, hair ties, clippers, flat iron, shampoo, conditioner
  • Eyeglasses/contact lenses, if necessary

TECH & MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

  • small umbrella
  • small flashlight/led lantern
  • towels: beach towel and face towels
  • cell phone and charger
  • camera and charger
  • tablet/laptop and charger
  • portable power bank
  • adapters and converters
  • favorite snack foods
  • favorite adult beverage from duty free
  • cards/dominoes/board game
  • open mind and open heart
  • curiosity
  • fun

Cocoyam Leaves, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Cabbage, Onions, Cassava, Yams, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, White Potatoes, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Bell Peppers, Lettuce, Dandelion, Okro (Okra), Shallots, Garlic, Cloves, Basil, Parsley, Coriander (Cilantro), Mint, Corn, Ginger, Butternut Squash, Garden Eggs and Eggplants, Mushrooms

FRUIT

Rice, Millet, Sorghum, Wheat, Cowpeas (Black-Eyed Peas), Groundnuts (Peanuts), Cashews, Sesame Seeds, String Beans

GRAINS + LEGUMES + NUTS + SEEDS

Each tribe and clan from the north to the south and from the east to west has its own diverse traditional dishes. Foods also vary according to the season, time of the day, occasion, and economic status.

Ghanaian main dishes are organized around a starchy staple such as rice, fufu, banku/etew, kenkey/dokonu, tuozafi, etc. and accompanied by a veggie-based sauce, stew, gravy or soup with fish, snails, or meat.

In Southern Ghana Regions, staple foods include cassava and plantain. In the Northern parts of the country, main staples include millet and sorghum. Yam, maize and beans are used across the country as staple foods. Crops such as peanuts and cocoyam are also important in local cuisine. With the advent of modernization and colonialism, imported crops such as rice and wheat have been increasingly incorporated in Ghanaian cuisine. As Ghana, continues to globalize, so do it’s dining options. There’s options for herbivores, pescatarians, and carnivores alike.

HERBS + VEGGIES + SPICES

411 + faqs: what do Ghanaians eat?

Mangos, Bananas, Sweet Apple (SourSop), Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Tangerinas, Avocados, Tomatoes, Pineapple, PawPaw (Papaya), Watermelon, Coconut, Alasa, Plantains, Cocoa, Cucumber, Guava, Passion Fruit, Yellow Melon, Yooyi (Velvet Tamarind), Star Fruit

Tilapia, Snapper, Herrings, Barracuda, Grouper, Lobster, Prawns, Dry Fish + Shrimp, Ghanaian Smoked Salmon and Tuna, Sea Urchins, Snails, Crayfish, Chicken, Goat, Beef, Pork, Grasscutter, and Bush Meat

MEAT + SEAFOOD

asaase paa

“the earth is good”

  • Turn off lights + AC when leaving your room.
  • Be conscious of your water usage.
  • Where possible, use towels for more than one day.
  • Place waste in garbage bins and not on the ground.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag.

traveling with an environmental consciousness

Please be kind to the environment + local resources.

Small actions can make a big difference.

Here’s a few tips:

Books about Ghana

vibez.

Be

Creative

with

Design

to watch:

Ghana - History, Culture, and Arts

Handwoven Kente

Adinkra Cloth

Mudcloth

Batakari

Batik

Wax Print (Ankara)

TEXTILES

FASHION

MUSIC

FOOD

Jewelry:

(leather, beads, brass, silver, gold)

Bags (clutches, leather bags, wallets, backpacks, raffia)

Ready-to-wear

(traditional and contemporary designers)

Shoes (covered with wax print)

Hand-carved drums

Traditional Guitars (Kora)

Highlife Records

Axatse (rattle or maracas)

Xylophones

Fresh Spices and Herbs

Organic Superfood Powders (Baobab, Moringa, Tigernut)

Organic Honey and Fruit Spreads

Organic Chocolate

Organic Dried Hibiscus Flowers (sorrell)

NATURAL HAIR &

BODY GOODS

ART AND HANDICRAFTS

Shea Butter & Oil

Black Soap (Alata Samina)

Moringa Oil

Coconut Oil

Baobab Oil

Neem Oil

Organic Soaps

Shampoo & Conditioner

Contemporary Art pieces

Woodcarvings

Keychains

Home decor

Wax print covered notebooks

#madeingh:

souvenir + gift ideas

Convert any currency in seconds with the tap of just a few buttons.

Up-to-the minute notifications about security wait times, flight delays, gate changes, amenities and things to do near your terminal.

helpful apps + websites.

Stay in touch with friends and family while without paying for SMS. All you need is a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Keep track of your expenses in multiple-currencies. Great for keeping track of cash.

Make postcards and greeting cards from your trip photos.

Easy professional photo editor.

a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Easily convert units of measurement. Super helpful when fabric shopping and at the market.

Allows you to send money from your US Debit card to a person or merchant’s mobile money account in Ghana.

Move around with a little more ease than a taxi.

Need help beyond this guide?

Beyond this guide, here's how I can help you…

Are you a DIY’er and planning a trip to Ghana solo, with friends or family?

  • Book a one-on-one call with me to get expert advice and insider tips! Ask as many questions as you’d like in 45 minutes. After our call, you’ll receive a recording with everything discussed for you to replay as many times as you’d like. Investment: $49.95 per call. Book here.

Not ready or able to travel just yet? No worries, I got you. Wander with me, no passport required. Shop my curated collection of artisan made goods from across Africa. New items added monthly.

Have a super specific or personal travel question? Due to a high volume of requests, I’m unable to answer personal questions via email.

Email

Web

Instagram

@meshiacherie

Use #meshiataughtme to share your trip photos and videos with me.

let’s stay connected!

Mek we go!

(let’s go)

Hope you have an

epic trip, Chale!

Ghana Travel Planning Playbook (Updated) - Google Slides