Travelling in Ghana is never a “regular”-trip. You will face challenges, small issues or even want to go give up. You can perfectly do a “sunbathing and resort”-trip in Ghana, but if you want to see more than beaches and swimming pools you have to get out of your comfort zone and go on adventures. Whether you join our group tour, book a private tour with guide or decide to go on your own, there are some useful skills and character traits and we will share them today with you.
First of all, this probably won’t be a surprise. The stereotype says it all. But yes, you will need patience during your trip through Ghana. Sometimes it can take hours for a bus will fill (so depart), your food might take longer because the ingredients have to be bought or someone can show up later because (s)he was in huge traffic. You also need patience in case the electricity is off for a while, or the water isn’t running.
Our advice? Just wait. Try to find yourself something to kill time, change your schedule a bit or just patiently wait. Stressing will definitely not make things work faster, and it is already hot enough so just don’t. Even if you are normally at home not patient, you will learn this in Ghana. You have to. It is the only way to get through it.
Because humour is always important. It can be an ice breaker for a conversation. It can solve a silly issue. It can save you in an awkward conversation. Just joke around, but only make appropriate jokes of course.
We think because you are reading this, this isn’t a difficult skill for you. Lots of Ghanaians speak English (our your guides do too), so you don’t have to worry about learning a new language before you come. Of course it is nice if you try to speak the local language a bit.
English is also necessary for applying for your visa, the immigration process at the airport and just communicating with other people in general. Your English doesn’t have to be perfect at all. Jennifer learned (to speak) English in Ghana, and once you are interacting with Ghanaians as well as tourists from different nationalities you will understand everyone has an accent. And there is nothing wrong with having an accent.
This is a bit in the same category as patience, you will have to need this. Just like when you travel in any other country, things will go different then expected. And all you can do is adjusting, and go with the flow. This really is the only advice we can give you. If you try to do it your way anyway, you will only frustrate yourself. We have experienced this ourselves multiple times, but sometimes it is what it is. And actually, our best memories come from not planned or unexpected moments. It are these situations that will make your trip different than others.
Again in the same category: find solutions. There is not running water to bath? Ask for tank water and a bucket so you can do a bucket shower. You are a vegetarian and there are no meals for you on a menu? Ask the chef to make you something special.
It is really important to not give up. There is a reason why you chose Ghana. Because it is not so touristy, it is pure, raw and not discovered. That comes with issues as well. Especially if you are in areas where people are not used to foreigners, you will need your resourcefulness to make yourself a stay that fits to you. It isn’t impossible at all, but it is your responsibility too to make the best out of it. To make it great.
This one depends a bit on what kind of trip you like to have. If you go for a rented car with driver, sleeping at resorts, eating in fancy restaurants and all the other services you are used to from at home, you don’t need to be fit. But if you like an adventurous trip it can help to be fit.
Beside for climbing a mountain or a long hike on the beach, you might also have to wash your clothes by hands and some trotros are not really comfortable for longer trips. Also in those cases you need adaptability.
Another thing you need to be fit for: the heath. Because of the heath your daily rhythm might be different than normal. Maybe you wake up early in Ghana, and sleep early too. Especially the first days you have to get used to the heath, the food and just the whole experience. You don’t have to be a fitness boy or girl, but a bit of strength and endurance are very helpful.