Ghana

Ghana

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following districts: Accra, Yendi, Tamale, and Bawku Municipal

The Republic of Ghana is a developing country in western Africa and borders Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo and the Gulf of Guinea. The government is a constitutional democracy with a president as chief of state and head of government. Ghana has a population of about 24.6 million people and is a country of great diversity with over 50 ethnic groups. Although English is the widely-used official language, there are over 70 languages and dialects.

In 1957, Ghana was the first country of all Britain’s African colonies to be granted independence. The country’s independence was followed by a series of dictators, coups and many ethnic clashes. However, in the last 25 years, there have been improvements in the economy, democratic elections, and reductions in poverty rates. Ghana has been actively involved in peacekeeping and has sent troops to Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, and Rwanda.

Ghana is comparatively stable compared to other African countries in the region, and tourism is a growing part of the economy. Travellers can visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Elmina Castle and Cape Coast Castle. There are many beautiful beaches along the coastline and also national parks to visit, such as Kakum National Park and Mole National Park.

Currency GHS: Ghana cedi
Language English
Capital Accra
Recent Alerts 4
Latest Alert October 20, 2020 - COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in Ghana (20 October Update)

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Ghana. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Ghana.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for hepatitis B virus exposure in Ghana.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Ghana, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Malaria

Malaria risk exists throughout the year in the entire country.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of yellow fever transmission in Ghana. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

Meningitis

Outbreaks of meningitis may occur in Ghana during the dry season (December to June).

Cholera

Outbreaks of cholera occur frequently in Ghana.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in this country and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever may occur in this country.

Zika Fever

There is an increased risk of this disease in this country.

African Tick Bite Fever

There is an increased risk of this disease in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Ghana.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

Meningitis Vaccine

Vaccination against meningitis is recommended if travelling in Ghana during the dry season, December to June.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Ghana.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Anti-malaria medication is recommended for travellers going to Ghana. Recommended medications are atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Ghana

Emergency Numbers

191 or (0302) 77-36-95, 77-39-06 or 78-73-73
192 or 0302 772 446
193

These numbers may not be answered reliably or can take only a limited number of calls at a time. You may need to inquire with your own country’s embassy for instructions in case of a personal emergency in Ghana.

Personal Safety

Ghana has a relatively low crime rate compared to other countries in Africa and most travellers have no safety or security problems in this country. However, street crime and violent crime do occur. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. There have been reports of petty theft, pickpocketing, purse snatching, scams, etc. in tourist areas, markets, and beaches. If possible, travel in groups and avoid travelling at night. The usual travel precautions apply, such as keep two copies of your valuable documents in two separate places, avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

Luggage and travel documents have been stolen at the Kotoka International Airport. Keep your luggage and documents with you at all time. Be cautious about unsolicited help at the airport, as thefts have occurred by individuals posing as airport staff. Airport personnel wear identification cards showing their name and definitely a photograph. Some reports indicate individuals have posed as police officers and have stolen money from foreigners. Reports also indicate individuals will pose as the traveller’s driver or contact and then attempt to get money from the traveller. If you are being met at the airport, you should confirm the identity of the person sent to meet you.

Ghana cedis cannot be exported, and it is illegal to conduct currency transactions with private citizens.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in Ghana and homosexual activity could result in a prison sentence.

Taking photographs of what could be considered sensitive sites is prohibited, including military sites, bridges, Accra’s international airport and government buildings. To be safe, get permission to take pictures.

It is prohibited to wear military or camouflage-type clothing. Dress conservatively in respect for local customs.

Penalties for possession of illegal drugs and other drug offences are severe in this country. It is illegal to possess pornographic material and to smoke in public.

The incidence of road accidents is high in Ghana. Road travel may be dangerous due to poor road conditions, lack of road lighting and signage and reckless driving. Exercise extreme caution in rural areas where roads may be unpaved. Do not travel at night due to the high risk of robberies and carjackings. Avoid taking taxis or privately owned minibuses ('tro-tros').

Always stay with a guide when entering wildlife reserves. Seek the advise of local authorities if wanting to swim at a beach; strong currents may make swimming dangerous.

Traveller should note that electricity and water shortages could occur, especially during the dry season (November-March).

Travellers with respiratory concerns should note that from December to March, the Harmattan (sand and dust filled winds) blow from the Sahara and may present a risk to the traveller's health.

Flooding during the rainy season (March-November) can cause severe infrastructure damage and even loss of life.

Areas To Avoid

Due to an unstable situation between local ethnic groups, there is a risk of violence in the following areas in northern Ghana: Bimbilla, Bawku, Yendi and Tamale municipality. Curfews may be imposed in these areas.

Exercise a high level of caution in Accra due to the risk of violent crime and the risk of theft from homes.

Political Unrest

Protests and demonstrations do occur in major cities in Ghana. Sitata reminds travellers to minimize risk by avoiding large public gatherings and demonstrations due to unpredictability of these situations. Monitor local news for reports of roadblocks or curfews, etc.

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