Ghana November 12 – 20, 2020

Join us as we visit Ghana in 2020:

Highlights of Ghana / November 12- 20, 2020

Accra – Kumasi – Elmina
9 Days / 8 Nights

 

Introduction

Start Accommodation Destination Basis Duration
Day 1 Overnight Travel 1 Night
Day 2 Accra Beach Hotel Accra B&B 2 Nights
Day 4 Noda Hotel Kumasi B&B 2 Nights
Day 6 Coconut Grove Beach Resort Elmina B&B 1 Night
Day 7 Accra Beach Hotel Accra B&B 1 Night
Day 8 Overnight Travel 1 Night

 

Key
B&B: Accommodation and Full Breakfast Daily

Included

Airfare as per the itinerary; Accommodation as per the itinerary; Meals as per the itinerary; Ground transfers as per the itinerary; Scheduled Tours and Activities as per the itinerary; National Park Fees, Gate Entry and Usage Fees (unless otherwise noted in the itinerary)

Excluded

Any services not mentioned above or indicated as excluded within your itinerary; Any items of personal expense, i.e. drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc.; Gratuities for rangers/guides/drivers; Visa fees where applicable

Estimated Flights

SA 210 IADACC 540P  835A+1

SA 209 ACCIAD 1120P 600A+1 

 

Day 1 – November 12, 2020
Overnight Travel

 

Day Itinerary

Depart from Washington Dulles (IAD) Airport on your international South African Airways flight.

Day 2 – November 13, 2020
Accra Beach Hotel, Accra

 

The word ‘vim’ is Ghanaian slang for ‘energy and industriousness’ and it is this lively atmosphere that overwhelmingly permeates the nation’s bustling capital, Accra. The city offers an intriguing combination of city and village life. Affluent neighbourhoods complete with upmarket restaurants, glitzy shopping malls, and western fast food chains are interspersed with lower economic areas characterised by the bustling street culture that engulfs much of the rest of Ghana. While the city’s vibrant atmosphere and daily life is undoubtedly its primary drawcard, visitors should also take the time to visit: Osu Castle; Nkrumah Memorial Park; the raucous Labadi Beach; and the hidden alleys, old stone houses, and wonderful cliff-top harbour vistas of Jamestown. The National Museum is also certainly worth a visit and provides insight into Ghana’s fascinating history and culture from prehistory to the present.

 

Day Itinerary

Upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, you will clear customs and immigration and be met by your guide.

You will take a short tour of the beautiful and vast campus of University of Ghana and visit the infamous Oxford streets with its colorful African shops.

Afterwards, you visit the W.E.B. DuBois Centre, former home, now a museum and Center for the study of Pan Africanism.

Drive through Osu to Artist Alliance Gallery, a renowned arts venue, which has become one of the most important of its kind in Ghana.

Then onward to your hotel for check in time. Your guide, who will be with you throughout your stay, will brief you on what to expect during your stay in Ghana.

Overnight: Best Western Plus Accra Beach Hotel

Best Western Plus Accra Beach Hotel is set on the beachfront in Accra. The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped with Wi-Fi, TV, mini-bar, coffee maker, hairdryer and a safe. For guests enjoyment, there is an on-site restaurant, cocktail lounge, outdoor swimming pool with sun lounge chairs and parking facilities. For daily activities, guests can visit Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Osu Castle and Ussher Fort and Museum.

 

Included

Accommodation

 

Day 3 – November 14, 2020
Accra Beach Hotel, Accra

 

Day Itinerary

Your first full day in Ghana! After breakfast at your hotel, there will be an orientation including a lecture/discussion on Ghanaian history, culture and customs. You will also learn about staying safe and healthy in Ghana.

We set off for the tour of Accra and vicinity, passing through the economic and administrative districts.

Visits will include:

Independence Square, where you will see the enclosed flame of African Liberation, which was lit by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1961.

The Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, final resting place of Ghana’s first president. Set in attractive gardens, there is an adjoining museum, which contains photos, artifacts and an insight into Dr. Nkrumah’s life.

Adjoining the park is the National Cultural Centre, which is Ghana’s largest outdoor arts and crafts market selling traditional crafts from all over West Africa.

Jamestown– One of Accra’s most historic neighborhoods where history resides on every corner. Best known for its lighthouses (the first of which was constructed in 1875 by the British) as a navigational aid for trading vessels sailing through the Gulf of Guinea. The original structure was ruined but a larger and more improved lighthouse completed in 1921 is still functioning today.

You may visit “Brazil House” and learn about the seven Afro-Brazilian families who returned to settle in Ghana in 1836. Familiar Brazilian/Portuguese last names such as De Souza, Palmares, Azumah, Amorin, Da Costa, Santos, De Medeiros and Olympio are abundant in this section of Accra.

 

Included

Accommodation and Breakfast

 

Day 4 – November 15, 2020
Noda Hotel, Kumasi

 

Renowned for its cultural heritage the city of Kumasi serves as an important Ashanti cultural centre of the Ashanti Region in Ghana. The ancient capital of the Ashanti Kingdom features a fascinating blend of modern and historical treasures. Visitors can look forward to exploring many interesting sites and enjoy a host of wonderful activities including: browsing the fascinating open-air Kejetia Market, offering locally made goods; visiting the Jubilee Museum, which displays ceremonial garments and jewellery of the 20th-century Ashanti King; and learning more about Ashanti traditions at the popular National Cultural Centre.

 

Day Itinerary

Breakfast at the hotel and then you will depart early morning to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region. The Ashanti forms the biggest Akan ethnic group in Ghana. For centuries, they were the rulers in this region because of their well organized society.

Visit the Manhyia Place, official residence of Ashanti Kings (Asantehene) until 1974, now a museum containing treasured items relating to the Ashanti Kingdom

Later in the afternoon, visit the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, named after the former Asantehene (ruler of the Ashanti People). Exhibits include a replica of the famed Golden Stool, which is believed to have descended from the sky and is the spiritual symbol of the Ashanti people.

Overnight: Noda Hotel

Noda Hotel is situated in the outskirts of Kumasi, close to Pokupharma Fumesua along the Kumasi – Ejisu Highway. Currently with seventy-nine (79) rooms, made up of executive suites, mini suites, standard rooms, chalets with kitchenette. All rooms feature key cards, air conditioners, LCD TVs, telephones, mini bars, razor electrical sockets, a satellite TV with 14 exciting channels and wireless internet service. An elevator is also available for our guests to access all rooms.

The restaurant has all kinds of impeccable meals one can think of, be it continental, Chinese or local. Guest can enjoy themselves at the cocktail bar with assorted drinks. The terrace bar area is also ideal for those who may want to have outside view and the breeze from the swimming pool. 

 

Included

Accommodation and Breakfast

 

Day 5 – November 16, 2020
Noda Hotel, Kumasi

 

Day Itinerary

Breakfast at the hotel.  Then today you will visit Ashanti craft villages. Learn about woodcarving in the village of Ahwiaa, known for the talented craftsmen who fashion royal stools, walking sticks and fertility dolls from wood. 

Your next stop is the village of Ntonso, where artisans hand stamp patterns on cotton cloth to make Adinkra textiles.

Later, visit Adanwomase, where the famous Kente Cloth is handmade on looms in a time-honored tradition passed down through generations. Observe the Kente weavers creating the traditional Kente Cloth.

 

Included

Accommodation and Breakfast

 

Day 6 – November 17, 2020
Coconut Grove Beach Resort, Elmina

 

Located along the south coast of Ghana, the fishing port of Elmina is best-known for its beautiful beaches and serves as the capital of the region. It is also known as a historical slave trading port and offers visitors a glimpse into the tragic history of the slave trade. Visitors can learn more about the area’s past by visiting a number of fascinating sites including: the 17th-century Fort St. Jago, the Elmina Java Museum, the Dutch Cemetery and Elmina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482, it is the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

 

Day Itinerary

After breakfast, we will complete the tour of Kumasi before departing late morning to Cape Coast. En-route stop at Assin Manso.  See the burial site of two former slaves from the U.S. and Jamaica whose remains were re-interred in August 1998 during Ghana’s first Emancipation Day celebration. You will see the ‘Slave River’ where captured Africans were washed before being confined in the Slave castles to await shipment to the Americas and the Caribbean. This was the final transit point for enslaved Africans before being washed and stored in the slave castles to await shipment to unknown lands.

Continue visit to the Elmina Castle, originally known as St. George’s Castle. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this castle was the first European structure built in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Explore the grounds and rooms full of haunting history.  Stroll down to the beach for a memorial ceremony where you will throw bread into the waters in remembrance of those who died in the middle passage.

Elmina Castle

The Elmina Castle, showing centuries of the slave trade is a beautiful historical importance as it is known for being the earliest European construction in the Gulf of Guinea and is the oldest castle in sub-Saharan in Africa. The castle is situated in the town of Elmina located close to the Cape Coast. The castle gives visitors a clear glimpse of the living conditions of the slaves that were held captive at the fort. 

 

Overnight: Coconut Grove Beach Resort

Coconut Grove Beach Resort is set on the oceanfront in Elmina. The resort’s guest rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, TV, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, telephone and a refrigerator. For guests enjoyment, there is an outdoor swimming pool, clay tennis courts, basketball court, gym and an 18 hole golf course. For daily activities, guests can explore the resort’s mini animal sanctuary or spend the day at the beach and horseback riding.

 

Included

Accommodation and Breakfast

 

Day 7 –  November 18, 2020
Accra Beach Hotel, Accra

 

Day Itinerary

After breakfast at the hotel, visit Kakum National Park.  Here you will see birds, butterflies, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the forests with over 40 species of mammals including monkeys and the reclusive forest elephant.

Proceed to the canopy walk, a 1000-foot long, seven-bridge walkway with viewing platforms that reach heights of over 150 feet above ground.

Later in the afternoon, you will visit Cape Coast Castle and the Castle Museum for a guided tour. Cape Coast Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the infamous “Door of No Return”.

Continue to Accra, arriving late afternoon.  

Activities

Kakum National Park

The Kakum National Park protects an undisturbed virgin rainforest in Ghana and is located approximately 33 km north of Cape Coast. The park is a haven for nature lovers with a wide variety of flora and wildlife, including seven primate species, over 500 species of butterflies, and around 250 bird species. The Diana monkey, giant bongo antelope, yellow-backed duiker, and African elephant are the most notable endangered species protected by the park. Visitors will especially enjoy the 3-km-long stretch of sandy beach which provides an excellent site for swimming, sunbathing, and bird watching. 

Cape Coast Castle

Cape Coast Castle is a fortification in Ghana. The Castle was built for the trade in timber and gold; later it was used in the trans- Atlantic slave trade. Slaves were kept in dungeons in the castle before they were loaded onto ships to be sold to their slave masters. This gate of no return was the last stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Overnight: Accra Beach Hotel

 

Included

Accommodation and Breakfast

 

Day 8 – November 19, 2020
Overnight Travel

 

Day Itinerary

Breakfast at the hotel and a full day at leisure to explore Accra.  Your driver and guide will assist you with recommendations and any last minute shopping etc you may wish to accomplish.  Then later this evening, you will be returned to the airport for your flight home.

Included

Breakfast

 

Day 9 – November 20, 2020
End of Itinerary

 

Day Itinerary

Arrival back to Washington Dulles (IAD) Airport.

 

LAND  & AIR 
USD $2,999.00 per person* 
Single Supplement USD + $475.00*

 

Travel Information

Ghana is often referred to as ‘Africa for beginners’ and for good reason. It is a friendly and largely safe country with locals who typically speak excellent English and are usually eager to help first time foreigners find their feet on African soil. This spectacularly scenic nation boasts an exquisite tropical coastline and some exceptional national parks providing a haven for some unusual flora and fauna. The capital, Accra is a thriving metropolis complete with bustling markets, luxury hotels and a lively nightlife scene. Pack your itinerary with visits to gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, ancient forts, historical castles, and quaint fishing villages. Whether you are seeking a relaxing beach vacation or are keen to immerse yourself in the fascinating ancient cultures of this nation’s diverse ethnic groups, Ghana offers a unique and compelling African experience.

Banking and Currency

Currency

Ghana Cedi (GHS; symbol ¢) = 100 Ghana pesewas. Notes are in denominations of ¢50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of ¢1 and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 pesewas.

The import of local currency is limited to the amount previously taken out of the country and declared. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, but must be declared upon arrival. The export of local currency is limited to ¢1,000. The export of foreign currency is limited to US$5,000 or equivalent. None of this is likely to have any practical implication for tourists.

The exchange rate system has been liberalized and foreign currency is freely available through authorized dealers including banks and foreign exchange bureaus. The US dollar is the most widely recognized currency, and smaller bills often fetch a poor rate compared with US$50 or US$100 bills.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 08h30-16h00; some banks also open Sat 08h00-12h00.

Credit and debit cards are accepted by some leading hotels, restaurants, banks, businesses and upmarket shops in Accra, but are seldom accepted elsewhere in the country, and fraud is quite common. In large urban areas such as Accra and Kumasi, a safer bet is to draw local currency from one of the many ATMs that accept international credit cards. By far the most widely accepted type of card is Visa. MasterCard is also accepted at some outlets, but other brands, including American Express and Diners Club, are near useless in Ghana.

In large urban areas such as Accra and Kumasi, ATMs accepting international Visa cards (and occasionally MasterCard) are common.

Travelers checks are close to useless in Ghana. One of the few places that will exchange them is the head office of Barclays Bank in Accra and Takoradi, but it seems likely this facility will eventually close too.

Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Domestic services between Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale are operated by Starbow (www.flystarbow.com), Fly540 (www.fly540africa.com) and Antrak Air (www.antrakair.com).

Formerly very expensive, domestic flights are now quite affordable and a viable alternative to traveling by bus or car.

Car hire services are available in Accra but there are few outlets, and hiring a car can be rather expensive, with or without a driver. However, the only way to reach most sites of interest in Ghana is by road, whether you rent a car and driver, or catch public transport. Be warned that all commercially available maps of Ghana (as well as those issued by the Survey Department in Accra) are seriously out of date, or riddled with inaccuracies, or both. These maps are fine for general orientation purposes, but can’t be relied upon fully. Urban roads are generally good, but roads can be in poor condition outside of the towns.

The speed limit is 50kph (31mph) in towns and 80kph (50mph) outside of towns. Seat belts are compulsory and drunk driving is illegal. A UK driving license is theoretically valid for 90 days, but you are less likely to be queried by bribe-seeking officials if you carry an International Driving Permit.

Taxis are available throughout Ghana.

Traveling by coach is usually the best way to travel between major centers. The market used to be dominated by the State Transport Company (STC), which still operates along most major surfaced routes, but better and more reliable air-conditioned services are now provided by operators such as VIP, VVIP and OA.

The usual form of transport on minor routes is minibuses or vans. These break down into two broad categories: newer air-conditioned vans known variously as Fords, Stanbics or Yutons, and older and less comfortable bangers called tro-tros (or sometimes lorries). In small towns and villages, public transport generally arrives at and departs from one central terminus (usually referred to as the ‘station’, or ‘lorry station’).

Larger towns usually have several different stations. Most road transport doesn’t operate to a fixed schedule; vehicles simply wait at their designated station, and leave as soon as they are full. This can seem quite chaotic to first-time visitors, especially where departure points are decentralised, but it is actually quite efficient and straightforward. Local transport is cheap, too, though unfortunately the standard of driving is poor.

Accra has extensive bus and taxi services operated by the private sector. There is an abundance of taxis in the towns. Prices are reasonable. Drivers do not generally expect tips. Other ways of getting around, for the more adventurous traveller, are tro-tros (minibuses), which are usually far less comfortable than taxis.

Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Water sources should generally be regarded as being potentially contaminated, and water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Inexpensive sachets and bottles of purified water are readily available throughout the country. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

International food is available in most large hotels and many restaurants serve a range of local traditional foods. In Accra there are also restaurants serving Middle Eastern, Indian, South East Asian, French and pretty much every other international cuisine you can think of. The country’s largest concentration of eateries lies along and around the main drag through Osu – known locally as Oxford Street – where you could literally eat somewhere different every night for a month. Fast food outlets are also well represented in upmarket areas such as Osu and the Accra Mall.

Outside of Accra, a fair selection of cuisines is represented in the likes of Kumasi, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast and Elmina. The most popular international cuisine is Chinese, which seems to find its way onto even the most unimaginative hotel restaurant menus.

Alternatively, wherever you are in Ghana, local food can be eaten in small restaurants known as ‘chop bars’, where you will generally be served with rice or a local staple together with a portion of meat or vegetable stew. Almost as ubiquitous (except in a few small and very Islamic settlements in the north) are small local bars known endearingly as ‘spots’. These usually serve inexpensive chilled lager-style beers in 750ml bottles (brands include Guder, Bell and Club, all with an alcohol level of around 5%) as well as inexpensive draught beer (called bubra) in the south. 

Tipping is permitted; it is not usually included in the bill.

Climate and Weather

Ghana has a typically tropical climate thanks to its proximity to the equator and low elevations – the entire country lies below 1,000m (3300ft). Daytime temperatures are high throughout the year, approaching or surpassing 30°C (86°F) on most days, and humidity is also very high, especially along the coast. Temperatures tend to drop to around 20°C (68°F) drop at night, more noticeably in the relatively dry north than the humid south. The most temperate part of Ghana is the highlands area flanking the Volta Basin, which is often pleasantly cool after dusk.

There are two rainy seasons: from March to July and from September to October.  Rainfall is highest in the south, with some areas receiving in excess of 2,000mm each year, but the drier north more typically receives about 800mm annually. The capital Accra, together with the coast running east to Togo and Benin, lies within the Dahomey Gap, a tract of savannah that receives relatively little rain and divides the Upper Guinean forests (running westward from central Ghana) from the Lower Guinean forests (running southward from Nigeria southward to the Congo). A noteworthy climatic phenomenon is the Harmattan winds, which blow in from the northeast from December to March, bringing dust from the Sahara and reducing visibility to as little as 1km (0.6 miles).

Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Light and loose is the way to go in this humid tropical climate. Bring light trousers or skirts made of a natural fabric such as cotton, combined with a stash of cotton T-shirts, and plenty of socks and underwear, also ideally must be made from natural fabrics to prevent fungal infections. Ghanaians are relatively relaxed about dress codes, but women should keep their shoulders covered and wear a skirt below the knees in the predominantly Muslim north. One sweater or sweatshirt should be adequate, since night time temperatures are seldom chilly. As for footwear, a good pair of walking shoes with solid ankle support is a must, but you’ll also want sandals. If you forget anything, don’t stress: there is a massive used-clothing industry in Ghana, and having new clothes made from local fabrics is quick and affordable.

Electricity and Plug Standards

For the most part, there are two types of electrical sockets (outlets) used in Ghana: the “Type G ” British BS-1363 and the “Type D” Indian (old British BS-546 5 amp “small”) sockets. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it’s crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for both types.


Electrical sockets (outlets) in Ghana usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance is not compatible with 220-240 electrical output, a voltage converter will be necessary. 

 

Deposit is $300 per person. Email surrealjourneystravel@gmail.com to confirm your spot!