Welcome to the center of West Africa, where fascinating cultures, breathtaking scenery, and friendly locals join together to make a trip you won’t soon forget. Ghana, sometimes known as the “Gateway to Africa,” is a country rich in history and filled with breathtaking natural beauty. This magical nation provides a wide range of attractions and activities for intrepid travelers, from the busy streets of Accra to the pristine jungles of Kakum National Park.
Because there are so many unwritten laws in the country, traveling there as a visitor can be difficult, but with the appropriate knowledge, you’ll soon be on your way. Here’s what you need to know about traveling in Ghana and getting around, whether you decide to use a ride-share service to travel from place to place or take a long-distance bus.
In this comprehensive tourist guide, Mrpocu.com will navigate through the intricacies of getting around Ghana, ensuring that your journey through this enchanting land is as smooth and enriching as possible. Whether you’re a history buff eager to explore the remnants of the transatlantic slave trade, a wildlife enthusiast seeking encounters with exotic creatures, or a cultural aficionado ready to immerse yourself in traditional rhythms and rituals, Ghana has something special in store for you.
Using Public Buses in Ghana
The State Transport Corporation (STC) of Ghana and VIP public buses are a reliable and economical option for both short- and long-distance travel within the nation, and they are pleasant even on extended trips. Moving from one location to another won’t break the bank because the four-hour trip from Accra to Cape Coast only costs about Ghc85 ($8) one way.
Some excursions allow you to buy tickets online, but the majority of tickets are sold at the bus station, so get there early before they run out. To find out what routes are available and from which bus stations they depart, visit the STC website. Many cities have multiple bus terminals, so be sure to get to the correct one. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for bags.
Using Public buses in Ghana is very safe as some of these buses get a police escort for long and late-night trips. But it is always best to travel during the daytime as a tourist.
Domestic Airways Or Using Planes
Domestic flights inside Ghana are run by Africa World Airlines (AWA) and Passion Air, with routes branching out from Accra. Takoradi, Tamale, and Kumasi are all served by many flights each day by both airlines, and Wa, Ho, and Sunyani are also served by Passion Air. The fastest way to move between regions is by air, which is usually a smooth operation even if flying is more expensive than taking the bus and has environmental expenses to take into account. Flights are conducted utilizing small Embraer and Bombardier planes. Check my article on some of the best domestic airlines in Ghana so it can help you plan your domestic flight simply. And also check out how to get cheap airline tickets to anywhere to save while traveling.
Hiring A Car And Self-driving In Ghana
Driving in Ghana is not for the timid, but if you have both your home license and an international driver’s permit, you can rent a car and drive yourself. A car with a driver can be rented for $100 to $150 per day plus petrol. Expect rough road surfaces, potholes, and a lot of wandering cattle, wildlife, and people on the backroads in Ghana due to the country’s poor road conditions. Check out my guide on renting a car in Ghan and self-driving to help you plan a complete trip.
You could find that renting a car in Ghana causes more worry than it’s worth because local drivers frequently break basic traffic laws, trucks and buses cross numerous lanes, and traffic is extremely congested in most of the country’s cities. Because most secondary roads are not paved, make sure that any car you rent has insurance that covers driving on unpaved surfaces. Offices for the major international rental firms are located in Accra.
Using Tro-tro For Budget Travelers
Most Ghanaian cities have tro-tro, which are compact minivans or buses. They operate similarly to public buses with hop-on, hop-off lanes, stopping frequently along the route to let passengers board and exit. Although prices vary depending on the route, these small cars are frequently the most affordable method to travel throughout Ghanaian cities. A 30-minute ride will cost approximately Ghc9 or more.
Tro-tros are often driven by a two-person team made up of a driver and conductor (locally called Mate or Bra Mate), sometimes known as the “mate.” The companion will shout out the name of the next stop or the final destination to potential passengers by the roadside as the driver speeds along.
Visitors may find it challenging to use tro-tro since it can be difficult to know where to get off if they are unfamiliar with the area, but it is simple to see where minivans are pulling in to pick up passengers. Simply extend your index finger to signal that you want to board and inform the buddy where you’re going so he can let you know when it’s time to get off to flag one down. It is best to also ask the person sitting next to you to help you reach your destination. Locals are ready to help you if you ask politely.
Carry tiny bills with you because the mate might not have change for larger amounts and the fares are low. Remember that tro-tros frequently stop, which can lengthen travel times dramatically. Additionally, they are frequently crowded and lack air conditioning. It’s normally better to stay away from the seats up front next to the driver because collisions are relatively likely and seatbelts are uncommon.
Using Traditional Taxis
In Ghana, regular taxis are the most expensive kind of transportation. You will need to haggle for a fare because they are not metered, and drivers frequently charge more for visitors. When you tell the taxi driver where you’re going, they’ll offer a fee, which you can accept or try to haggle down. Read my guide on Ghana travel guide to help you know the ins and outs of Ghana and help you plan a budget-friendly trip.
Although it is generally safe to utilize taxis, many people prefer to use Uber or Bolt instead because these apps allow you to share your location with trusted friends in real-time and display a map of the trip as it is happening. Checking the fare on Uber or Bolt as a benchmark for how much you ought to be paying for a conventional cab is a smart habit. The fare will, however, always be greater for a taxi than for a rideshare because taxi drivers determine their own prices.
The Use Of Online Taxis
The most popular rideshare apps in Ghana are Uber and Bolt. While rideshare prices are typically lower than those of traditional taxis, they can be expensive during rush hours ( you can choose not to share and it’s still cheap anyway). Because they make it simple to find a cab for a set fare, these platforms are typically the most effective method to travel around.
Download both apps to compare prices and choose the provider offering the best deal for that specific trip as they frequently vary. Be sure to have enough cedi on hand to pay for your ride because Uber and Bolt drivers prefer cash. Your journey can keep getting canceled if you attempt to pay with a card through the app while drivers look for other passengers prepared to pay cash.
While Bolt is available in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Cape Coast, Uber is only available in Accra and Kumasi. If the driver agrees to take you, rideshares can be used for intercity travel in addition to local journeys. The driver may ask you to pay twice the published fare if your final destination is in a place where Uber and Bolt are not currently available because they won’t be able to pick up another passenger on the way back.
Motorcycle Taxis, Or Okadas (Illegal but legal)
Okadas, or motorcycle taxis, are common in Ghana and are used frequently by residents. You can find groups of local bikers waiting for passengers in crowded places like markets; just tell them where you need to go, haggle over a fare, and you’ll be on your way. It’s best to only employ motorbike drivers you know or those your hotel recommends because drivers are unauthorized.
It should be noted that okadas are not the safest option in Ghana; some tourists prefer to avoid them because of the high frequency of accidents, particularly in Accra and other major cities. The distance the driver is willing to travel will determine whether or not it is possible to take an okada to another city. Driving conditions are less frenetic and okadas are safer farther north in Tamale. To evaluate how at ease you’ll feel utilizing these vehicles to travel around, observe the driving habits of the area.
Using Tuk-tuks Or Pragya
Some Ghanaian cities, most notably Tamale, have tuk-tuks, which are compact, three-wheeled vehicles that are very effective for getting around and have a fabric canopy supported by a metal frame that provides some shade and traffic protection. They are known as “yellow yellows” by people from northern Ghana, but they are actually several different colors. A passing tuk-tuk driver can be signaled by waving or raising a finger (with your right hand), which will cause them to stop and negotiate a fare with you.
Trains In Ghana
If you are looking to experience trains in Ghana then that is fine to try. But if you are looking to get to your destination, then it is best to avoid using trains as your means of transport as you visit Ghana. The country has a poor train system and I don’t recommend it to any tourist looking to get the best out of their trip to Ghana