Boasting historical hot spots, diverse wildlife, and plentiful national parks, Ghana is the ultimate West African destination. You can visit the hungry hippos, see crocodiles lazing in the sun, or walk through the lands of elephants and wildebeest (really). Beyond the mainstream tourism sights which draw thousands of visitors each year, you can get off the beaten track and get an authentic experience like no other.
Get inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travelling, backpacking or take a gap year in Ghana.
Present day Ghana has been inhabited since approximately 4000BC. Many tribes co-existed with none showing real dominance until the 1600’s, when the Ashanti Kingdom rose up as the most powerful in the land. Much of their wealth was derived from gold. At this time, Kumasi, the centre of the kingdom had amenities comparable to those in Europe. Portuguese, French, British, Swedish, and Danish explorers all arrived on Ghanaian shores.
Colonial powers built forts or castles, which were a transit point for commodity trading, the most notable commodity being slaves. Some of these castles are still standing today (Cape Coast and Elmina castles have been preserved, and you can visit the museum and old slave holding rooms in each). The Ashanti played a major role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the abolition of slavery in 1821 finally ended the Ashanti dominance. Ghana later became a British colony. Then, led by a charismatic leader Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana became the first African country to gain independence in 1957.
Nkrumah’s popularity declined before long, and he was removed by a military in coup in 1966. Government struggles remained until 1992 when democracy was officially introduced. Today Ghana is a peaceful West African country making considerable inroads to development.
"Arriving in Ghana, the first thing that struck me is how friendly and welcoming the people are. Everyone wants you to enjoy what their country has to offer, and will do anything to ensure you have the best experience possible. You are welcomed with open arms, with people greeting you in the street and often stopping you to have a friendly chat." - Marc, UK
Wet season is late April to October. Dry season is November to late March. There is no best time to plan a trip here as all year is really is pleasant temperature wise and quite hot. We recommend going from January to June. First, because July and August is the rainy season and it is possible to get malaria caused by a mosquito bite which is a disease that is very common in West African countries. Secondly, because it is the time when there are more international visitors.
Ghana is a very underrated gap year destination and also less touristy destination compared to others in Africa, this means you will get a really authentic experience. On our website we list programs for students, graduates, non-students, career breaks and for people just wanting to do something different.
Ghana is a destination to visit if you are seeking a unique experience away from the tourist crowds, it is also a great value for money country. Most international flights arrive into the capital - Accra, this is a city with a hive of activity and lots of historical sites to visit. Some Ghana gap year programs are located in coastal places like beautiful Esiama where the ocean meets the land and one of the most scenic places in the continent. You might not expect it but Ghana has gorgeous beaches, lush National Parks, various cultural and tourist sights, bustling cities and wildlife.
Trips can be booked in advance through our website, most have flexible start dates meaning you can join most weeks / months of the year. This experience will take you out of your comfort zone and see you completing an ultimate challenge.
There are so many things you should add to your Ghana travel itinerary including:
If you are planning on traveling and moving around Ghana alone or independently here are some tips:
Ghana has a stable government but please check latest travel advice before departing. Malaria can be an issue in this country and please check available vaccinations / medication. Walking out of the Kotoka airport in Accra, you might be accosted by several bulky men, demanding money for ‘protection’ on the walk across the eerily lit car park to our taxi. Usually these people are friendly, but nevertheless unknown faces so keep your wits about you. Also it is advised to ‘ignore anyone who asks for your cedis’ (Ghanaian currency). Even though this is a developing country Ghanaian people are very friendly in nature and you shouldn't encounter any problems, people are likely to greet you with smies and occasionally children might utter a high pitched shout – ‘Obruni!’ (Akan for ‘white man’). Check for vaccinations prior to departure.