Accra - a bustling blend of old and new
Accra was the capital of the British Gold Coast, becoming Ghana's capital after independence. This vibrant city is a mix of old shanties, colourful markets, such as Makola, and impressive modern buildings. Visitors should take in the National Museum and the Danish built Osu Castle. As this is the Presidential Home and seat of government, visitors are not allowed to take photographs. Accra also has excellent shopping and a lively nightlife. Bojo and Labadi Beaches are nearby, while the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is worth a visit.
When is it good to travel to Accra?
Accra has two rainy seasons, one from April to mid-June and the second in October, but temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year, ranging from 24°C to 28°C. To avoid monsoons, travel between November and April.
The Homowo Festival takes place in August or September, before the rainy season and celebrates the end of drought and famine. Panafest takes place across Ghana in December, with the final carnival being held in Accra.
What do I need to know before I travel?
British passport holders need visas to enter Ghana, obtained from Ghana's High Commission in London. Passports must have six months validity.
Routine vaccinations should be up to date and a Yellow Fever vaccine obtained before travel. Other recommended vaccinations are Hepatitis A and B, Typhus, Meningitis and rabies. There are cholera outbreaks in Accra - vaccines aren't 100% effective so hygiene is still very important. Malaria tablets should also be taken. It is important to use mosquito nets and insect repellents and avoid drinking tap water. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled or boiled before eating, and hands should be washed frequently.
Although Ga is Accra's local language, English is the official tongue. Currency in Ghana is the Ghana Cedi (GHC), with Accra prices much lower than in the UK. Simple restaurant meals start at around 5 GHC and beers are about 2 GHC.
Typical foods in Ghana are Banku, which is a maize dumpling, and a tasty sauce made with fresh peanuts.
Accra transport and other local facts
There is an official taxi rank at Accra airport for airport to city links. Within Accra itself, taxi drivers are often unsure of routes, with trips across the city costing around 10 GHC. Trotro, or minibuses, are cheap but always very crowded.
Budget accommodation starts at around 19 GHC, while luxury hotels are from 3,800 GHC a night.