Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Ghana

ghanaThe Republic of Ghana in increasing in popularity with tourists. Ghana is known as a stable country that is friendly to visitors, and offers much to see and do. Many people visit Ghana to see its historic sites and enjoy its natural resources. Ghana has gorgeous beaches, world-famous national parks, and a stunning meteor impact crater lake. The country also has a number of interesting museums, a national theater, and of course, many interesting markets for shopping. All in all, you’re sure to enjoy your trip to Ghana. As you’re planning your trip, here are some important things you should know about immunizations, entry requirements, and other considerations.

  • Immunizations. Visitors to Ghana are required by law to have a certificate of immunization against yellow fever, a virus carried by mosquitoes. You should also be vaccinated against typhoid, hepatitis A, and diphtheria. You should receive anti-malaria medication, as Ghana is home to several strains of the disease, including the chloroquine-resistant strain. It’s important that you inform your doctor that you’ll be traveling to Ghana, specifically, so that he can dispense the correct medication to fight the strains of malaria that are encountered in this particular country.
  • Entry Requirements. In addition to your immunization certificate, you’ll need to get a visa. A single-entry tourist visa should cost around $60. Don’t get your visa too far in advance, as they’re good for three months from the date of issue, not the date your visit begins. In order to get the visa, you’ll need to submit a visa application form in duplicate, a valid passport, two passport size photographs, and a return air ticket. If you’re going to be traveling with children, you should submit the child’s birth certificate, a letter of parental consent, and and a copy of the parent’s photo ID along with his or her application.
  • Money. The currency in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi (GH₵ ). The currency was changed as recently as 2007 from an older currency known simply as the cedi, and you may find that some things are priced in terms of the older (now obsolete) currency. The Ghana Cedi equals 10,000 old cedis. Because the change is still relatively recent, it’s important that you’re aware that you may come across old pricing – make sure the prices make sense before you buy. If in doubt, ask the merchant whether the price is in new or old cedis. You may find hotels that accept U.S. dollars, but it’s best not to rely on this. However, dollars, pounds, and euros can all be easily exchanged for Ghana Cedis in Ghana. Traveler’s checks can be very difficult to exchange outside of major cities like Accra and Kumasi.

It’s also a smart idea to bring a first-aid kit with you, as Ghana is a tropical climate. While the country is safe and crime is relatively low, you should also still be alert to the possibility of pickpockets and thieves in some surroundings, like a crowded market. As long as you follow some common-sense safety precautions, your visit to Ghana should be safe and enjoyable.

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