If you are looking for a cultural adventure in Africa or a safe English-speaking country in West Africa, it is difficult to argue for a different destination than Ghana.
While we do not have a central wonder like the Pyramids in Egypt, or the density of wildlife as in eastern Africa, we do have many varied regions and cultures. This gives you the ability to have many different experiences within only one country – saving you on flights and visa applications. There are many reasons to visit Ghana!
1. Friendly People
Ghana is certainly the most welcoming country in the region, and according to Forbes magazine, was ranked the 11th friendliest country on earth. (The survey, conducted by Forbes in 2010, is the most recent Forbes survey to include Ghana.) In 2017, Jumia Travel, an online travel service, also gave Ghana recognition for being among the most friendly nations on earth. There is no other country in Africa that is so welcoming and hospitable. Her people are truly the #1 attraction of Ghana.
2. History & Ancestry
From the ancient kingdoms and trade routes to the arrival of Europeans, there are thousands of years of history and a Diaspora of millions from over 300 years of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
3. Natural Scenic Beauty
You will not believe what your eyes will see! Beautiful beaches, lakes, rivers, lagoons, waterfalls, highlands, virgin forests, sacred rock formations, and sahelian bush and desert.
4. Cultural Experiences
Traveling in Ghana allows you to interact with people and participate in cultural experiences. You will receive welcoming greetings every place you step. This is a much different experience than so much of tourism in Africa which is oriented towards a safari experience.
Ghana is also one of the safest countries in Africa. While crime may be rampant in some other tourism destinations in Africa, it is an uncommon occurrence in Ghana, and visitors rarely have any problems regardless of where they travel. Guns are illegal in Ghana, so gun violence is almost nonexistent.
The sense of being Ghanaian first is strong in Ghana, which gives our country a sense of identity unique to many countries in Africa. There are very few instances of inter-tribal or religious conflicts that plague so many of our neighbors.
6. Stable Democracy
We have a history of a stable democracy. Unnoticed in much of the world was our 2008 Presidential election, which was so incredibly close – and botched in one constituency. It was like the American election dispute of Bush v. Gore. Emotions were high as the lone constituency of Tain had a re-vote – and handed the Presidency to the opposition. The international media barely noticed because all this was done peacefully and in an orderly fashion with no violence or public disturbances that would have occurred elsewhere is such a situation.
7. English is Spoken Here
In all of West Africa, there are only five English-speaking countries: Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Of these five, if you wish a safe country, stable democracy, and tourism infrastructure, then Ghana is clearly the place to travel.
8. Yes, and Wildlife too!
Yes, you have the ability to visit wildlife in Ghana. But please realize that we are not the destination of choice for a big-time safari adventure.
There are no giraffes or zebras or leopards living anywhere in Ghana. Lions exist here, but you would never see one. However this lack of predators makes for a unique experience because you can safari on foot in Ghana!
Elephants and hippos are in Ghana, but require a long drive (2 days minimum) to access the different wildlife parks where these animals are located. These animals are best seen during the dry season, as abundant water allows the wildlife to disburse widely.
More accessible are the many birds and butterflies, as well as monkey sanctuaries, crocodile ponds, and parks with antelope and baboons. Marine turtles can be found nesting on some beaches (Oct-Dec) and whales sighted at the correct season.
Consider the tourism policies of your destination. For example, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority of Tanzania had a goal of attracting 1 million visitors to Ngorongoro National Park in 2010. This is an incredible number of visitors, making humans one of the most populous animals of the Ngorongoro National Park!
Then there is the example of Botswana, which has taken the opposite approach. By relying on a small number of well-paying visitors, Botswana has a very successful implementation. But this has raised the cost of a holiday in Botswana to a level that most people cannot afford.
We feel that Ghana has found a sustainable balance between these two extremes.