Traveling to Ghana: Preparing for the trip

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I’m not sure how it happened but for a few friends I have become the go to person for information on Ghana. One of the main questions I get asked about is traveling to Ghana and how one should prepare. So I wrote a post a few years ago traveling to Ghana and things I felt would be helpful. I have looked the list over and added new things and insight.

Travel Shots and Medicine It’s very important to have all your travel shots and necessary medicine before you travel to Ghana. This helps keeps you healthy and safe while on your trip. For travel shots the most important ones to have are Yellow Fever and Hepatitis A and B (here in Canada we use Twinrix). You can also get a shot for Typhoid depending on where you will be visiting on your trip. Malaria medicine is very essential when traveling to Ghana. The mosquitoes in Ghana do not play so you have to be safe. Make sure to get all shots and medications weeks before your trip. Certain medication doesn’t start working in your body until after a week of use.  If you are not sure what you need to take visit a travel health clinic or a doctor that specializes in tropical medicine and health for more information.

Items to take with you

This list is based on items I usually take when I visit and if something on the list doesn’t suit your needs you can ignore it.

Suntan lotion  This is a must for me I carry SPF 50 or up. I took SPF 100 with me last year because I was visiting Tamale. Ghana is hot and sunny and I always want to protect my skin. Some people feel that because I am dark in complexion I shouldn’t use any suntan lotion but that is a big lie. Maintain your sexy and carry some suntan lotion with you.

Bug spray/mosquito repellent  Like I said earlier the mosquitoes don’t play. I have had them bite my face and one time they bit my bum (not sure how the hell that happened but it did). Carrying a spray and lotion are great at helping you not have many bites. You can use products by OFF! or anything else that works well for you.

Nausea and upset stomach medicine If you have a sensitive stomach I would suggest carrying some PeptoBismol (they make travel pills that work wonders) or Imodium. I also bring Gravol on trips to Ghana because sometimes I end up on a boat and don’t want to risk being nauseous at sea.

Plastic and reusable bags  It is a good idea to bring with you a good amount of plastic and reusable grocery bags to carry and discard items. Sometimes I would be looking for a garbage pin and couldn’t find one so that is when a plastic bag would come in handy.

First aid and relief  Bring a small first aid kit with you. On my last trip I brought Polysporin and it was a life saver when I got hurt. Oh bring ibuprofen or acetaminophen with you as well for aches and pains.

Batteries/Flashlights Ghana is having an energy crisis that leads there to be blackouts (which locals call dumsor) and it is important to carry flashlights and batteries. If you can take a flashlight that can be charged to cut down on using batteries and charge it when the power is on for use when there is no power.

Other items  I take baby wipes with me when I travel. They help in situations where I’m not near a washroom to wash my hands and wipe my face. It’s also a good idea to carry hand sanitizer. You might find a washroom but there is no soap and the sanitizer helps in those situations.

[side note] You can get most personal items at shops in Ghana, but I think it is best to bring your own so you don’t have to run around town looking for the items*

 Shoes Having a pair of flip flops helps. You can use them to walk around the house, have a pair for the bathroom and even have a pair when walking around the area. I usually get Old Navy flip flops (when they have the $1 sale) they seem to be able to handle the terrain better in my opinion. Don’t forget your sneakers depending on the activities you intend to partake in.

Clothes Ghana gets hot. Depending on where you visit and time of year the temperature can be in the upper 30 and 40 degree Celsius area. There are two main seasons in Ghana wet and dry. So depending on when you visit you have to prepare clothing accordingly. If you visit during the wet (rainy) season it’s best to have an umbrella or some rain gear like a rain coat.

Make sure you have clothes that are light and options that can cover you up for the night (to protect against mosquitoes).

That’s all for the clothes advice. Be comfortable and look good if that is what you want to do.

Places to visit It’s a great idea to plan ahead of time places you would like to visit and how far apart the locations are from each other. I’m a planner so I like to have a list and an idea of what I want to do before hand. If you aren’t sure where to visit in Ghana you could always look at TripAdvisor for some ideas and recommendations of places. Most people like to go and see certain sites like the Slave Castles, Kakum National Park or Mole National Park, and people like me are just looking for a beach to relax on.

Money  When traveling to Ghana your main options are cash and travelers check (places do accept credit but it’s better to stick with the two mentioned). When you arrive in Ghana you can change certain foreign currencies at Forex Bureaus for the local currency which is called Cedi.

 

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