Bustling West African metropolis
Accra is a modern capital on the Atlantic coast that acts as an economical and entertainment hub. The capital of Ghana offers an eclectic architecture, testimony to its past and modernisation, as well as a vibrant nightlife and good shopping. Visitors to this growing West African city also enjoy its interesting blend of culture, beautiful coastline and local specialities.
When to visit and what to do
The best period to travel to Accra is from November to April. While temperatures are fairly constant all through the year, two rainy seasons occur, once between April and mid-June, and again in October.
The festival of Homowo is held in August-September in remembrance of the drought and famine. Another event is Panafest, a festival that is organised in different cities in Ghana including Accra.
Things to know before you go
British citizens need a visa to visit Ghana and must apply through the Ghanaian High Commission in London. Traveller's passports must be valid for 6 months or longer.
A yellow fever vaccine is needed and travellers should see their GP 6 weeks before the trip to organise any vaccines. Routine jabs should be up-to-date, as well as Hepatitis A, Typhus, and Meningitis, but also Hepatitis B and rabies for extended stays. There are some cases of cholera in Accra and a vaccine is necessary, even if it doesn't offer total protection. Malaria is also prevalent and preventive measures should be taken. Always apply insect repellent and use a mosquito net, do not drink tap water, and boil or peel fruit and vegetables.
While the official language is English, Ga is spoken in Accra. In terms of cost of living, it is much lower than in the UK. Basic restaurant meals cost about 5 GHC and beers around 2 GHC. Local specialities include Banku - a maize dumpling, and fresh peanut sauce.
Arriving in Accra, accommodation and getting around
From the airport, visitors can take a taxi to reach the city centre. Accommodation ranges from budget lodgings for about 19 GHC to luxury hotels starting at around 3,800 GHC. When it comes to public transport, taxis cost approximately 10 GHC but are not reliable as they don't know the city very well. TroTros are minibuses and are the cheapest solution but they are often very crowded. Another option is to hire a driver, who is also often a guide, to drive you around Accra.