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What You Need To Know

Accra is the capital of Ghana, on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park honors Ghana’s first president, who helped lead the country to independence. The park contains Nkrumah’s mausoleum and a museum charting his life. Makola Market is the city’s vast, colorful bazaar. Popular seafront spots Labadi Beach and Kokrobite Beach offer golden sand and high-energy nightlife.
Area: 71.43 mi²
Population: 1.659 million (2000)

Currency

  • The Ghanaian Cedi is the currency of Ghana.
  • The currency code for Cedis is GHS, and and the currency symbol is GH¢

Climate

  • Accra has a tropical wet and dry/ savanna climate with a pronounced dry season in the low-sun months , no cold season, wet season is in the high-sun months.
  • The average temperature is 26.5 degrees Celsius (79.7 degrees Fahrenheit). See the temperatures page for a monthly breakdown and the fixed scale graph.
  • Average monthly temperatures vary by 4 °C (7.2°F). This indicates that the continentality type is hyperoceanic, subtype truly hyperoceanic.

Language

English is the official language of Ghana, but not necessarily the first language for many people. The local language in Accra is Ga, but Twi (pronounced ‘chwee’), Ewe (pronounced ayvay), Hausa, and English are also widely spoken.

Getting around

On foot: Though the city is fairly spread out, Accra is relatively safe to walk around during the day (and night, in many areas). Watch out for open sewers when walking the streets.

By taxi: To flag a taxi wave your arm with your finger pointed down to the ground. On a busy street you will have many taxis driving past trying to offer you their service by honking at you. There are very few Ghanaian cabs with meters. Never get into a taxi without first asking the fare – you must negotiate how much you are willing to pay before you start the trip. It is generally 3 cedis (GHC3) within the centre of town and GHC5-7 to the airport or Accra Mall from the centre. A rough mileage rate would be GHC1.5 per mile. Try to ask someone local how much a trip to a certain location usually costs. Also make sure to haggle hard as most taxi drivers will often try to charge three times (or more) the going rate to foreigners. Relax, and don’t show urgency. If the first taxi won’t come down on his price, wait for another as they are plentiful. Do have an idea of your route, taxi drivers navigate by landmarks e.g roundabouts, traffic lights, petrol stations [not street names, and make sure you have a local simcard in your phone so you can ring someone at your destination and pass the phone to the taxi driver.

Metered taxi: The taxis are not metered. The charging system is at the discretion of the driver. She/He will charge based on the distance, nature of the road, heaviness of traffic and perhaps your looks.

Tro Tro: Trotros are usually very crowded and dilapidated minivans and minibuses that act as the city’s public transit system. They are the cheapest way to travel (fare ranges from GHC0.30-1.00), but can be very slow, especially during rush hour. TroTros travel along well known routes in the city, and stop at various points along the way (some stops have signs, others don’t). The trotro system can take some getting used to, but you can ask a local to help direct you to the right route and bus. There are several large bus and trotro terminals in the city and in the suburbs (in Accra: Tema, Tudu, Kaneshie, Circle, etc; American House in East Legon; Madina Market, etc). As a TroTro approaches a stop, a “mate” (the driver’s assistant) will usually yell out the side of the window where the TroTro is going. Many people die in trotro accidents every year, however typically those that die in trotro accidents die on highways in rural areas. Accidents causing death in Accra are relatively rare, in part due to traffic congestion.

 Health Care

  • The infrastructure of healthcare in Ghana is fairly limited. While the Ghanaian government is making progress in improving healthcare, public hospitals remain overcrowded and severely underfunded. Emergency medical services in Ghana are almost non-existent. Public hospitals in Ghana are generally funded by the government. Religious groups also play a fundamental role in providing the Ghanaian population with medical assistance.
  •  Expats can easily find pharmacies in any major town or city in Ghana. However, only certain pharmacies in Ghana are licensed to dispense prescription drugs.
  • Malaria is a serious health concern in Ghana. It is essential that expats living in Ghana are on a course of anti-malarial medication. As malaria is transferred via mosquito bites, expats should take necessary precautions such as using mosquito repellents and sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Expats experiencing any of the symptoms of malaria, including fevers, joint pains, fatigue, nausea and diarrhoea, must seek treatment at a reputable clinic.