Ghana is a country on the western coast of Africa, known as the Gold Coast, which borders Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Ghana is Accra, on the Atlantic coast, and which is also the largest city.
Ghana was first visited by the Portuguese the 15th century and was claimed by several European nations until 1874, when the British established control and created the British Gold Coast. The Republic of Ghana was a British colony from the 19th century until Ghana declared independence in 1957. It was the first sub-saharan African nation to do so.
The currency in Ghana is the Ghana cedi. The Ghanan economy is one of the strongest in Africa, having been through a period of relative stability and good governance. Its economy has made it one of the regional powers in West Africa. Ghana has an economy heavy in natural resources, like industrial minerals, precious metals (like gold,) and hydrocarbons. Another strong export is cocoa, and Ghana is likely to be the world’s top cocoa producer before 2017. Ghana has an economic plan, entitled Vision 2020, to transform itself into a developed country by 2020 -2029, and then into a newly industralised country between 2030-2039. If it succeeds, Ghana will be the first developed African country, excluding South Africa.
Ghana lies a few degrees north of the Equator, which means that it has a fairly mild climate. Much of the country is tropical, while a small portion in the south is a monsoon climate. Ghana has a dry season and a rainy season, although between north and south Ghana, this does vary by a month or two. In general, the temperatures don’t fall under 27 degrees Celsius or go above 32 degrees Celsius. The geography is varied; the coastal region is known for its white surf beaches while inland there is are plains and rolling hills. Ghana is home to the world’s largest manmade lake, Lake Volta. It is in the eastern part of the country.
Budget hostel accommodation in Ghana can be found in Accra, the capital. Unlike in other West African countries, you can find traditional European-style hostels in Ghana. In remote parts of the country, however, consider a guesthouse, pension, or bed and breakfast as backpacker accommodation can be rare. Once you have your hostel accommodation sorted, you can set out to explore this vibrant African country.
Travellers to Ghana who are keen outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the various hikes to waterfalls - including the tallest waterfall in west Africa - mountain summits, and more. There are several National Parks in Ghana; Kakum, Mole, and Ankasa are the three most popular with foreign visitors. Ghana also has some UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most well-known are Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, and Fort Christianborg; these were originally built by Swedes or other settlers for trade but soon appropriated for the slave trade. They held the slaves before they were transported to the Caribbean or the United States slave markets. Now, they are historical sites. Other popular destinations for travellers are the wildlife parks; Ghana has seven national parks, two wildlife sanctuaries, and five coastal wetlands. A nature reserve and six source reserves round out Ghana’s protected areas.
Whatever you choose to do in Ghana, you will enjoy it!
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Ghana hostels. Welcome.