While planning a vacation, it isn’t too often when you hear people choosing Ghana as a part of their bucket list. But in fact, Ghana offers plenty of unique and worthwhile experiences and incredible destinations to explore that most people are unaware of. Ghana is one of Africa’s true success stories where you can enjoy the rich culture, lively cities, sunny beaches, hinterland, tons of wildlife, and incredible hospitality. In 2010, Forbes ranked Ghana as the 11th friendliest country on earth.
Ghana is home to a bustling market, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife and allows you to have different experiences within one country. It is known as the “Gold Coast” of Africa famous for its extensive gold reserves. There are many fascinating historical sites and museums to visit and at every turn, you’ll find markets, amazing food, and wonderful music. You can also explore a combination of natural landscapes, and bustling coastal cities with traces of traumatic history. So, if you’re looking for a destination for a cultural adventure in West Africa, Ghana is sure to be the best place to go.
Ghana is officially known as the “Republic of Ghana” is located in the subregion of West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ghana is considered the “Gateway to Africa” due to its strategic position. It is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Togo in the east, Burkina Faso in the North, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana has diverse geography ranging from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.
Based on the United Nations data, the current population of Ghana is around 30.42 million comprised of a variety of religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Around 71.2% of the population is Christian, 17.6% is Muslim and 5.2% has traditional faiths. Ghana is the 47th most populous country in the world.
Ghana is a multilingual country with about eight languages spoken in the country with every ethnic group has its own distinct language. English is the official language of the country and is widely understood by the people. French is also in the process of becoming one of the official languages. From other indigenous languages, Akan is the most widely spoken and mutually intelligible language.
Accra is the capital of Ghana and the largest and most populated city in the country. It is the educational and economic center of the country and contains all important banks, trading firms, open markets, and Accra Central Library. Accra has paved roads and is considered the transportation hub of the country. The most famous places to visit are Aburi Botanical Gardens, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Makola Market, Bojo Beach, Osu Castle, and more.
Ghana has a rich culture and traditions. Ghanaian society believes in living life at a slower and relaxed pace and people are given more importance than schedules. It’s considered rude to talk directly about business and people exchange pleasantries before initiating the business talk. People are generally very hospitable and welcoming and you’ll receive greetings in almost every place you visit. You can freely interact with locals and participate in cultural experiences. The traditional garments in Ghana are Kente and Ghanaian smock. Women usually wear short sleeved top with long skirt and men often wear long smock or tunics over pants.
The Ghanaian cedi is the currency of Ghana which is represented by the sign GH₵. One cedi is alienated into one hundred pesewas. The denominations of cedi and pesewa in circulation range from ₵1 to ₵5,000 for notes and ½ P to ₵500 for coins. The most widely circulated denominations of currency notes include GH₵1, GH₵2, GH₵5, GH₵10, GH₵20, and GH₵50.
The Ghanaian cuisine is really diverse and includes various kinds of seafood, and an assortment of soups and stews mostly prepared with meat, fish, and vegetables. Banku and Komi are famous corn meal-based staples that are eaten with fried fish and pepper sauce, made from raw red and green chilies. Some of the most popular traditional dishes that will introduce you to the scope of Ghanaian food includes Jollof rice, a pot dish of rice, Waakye, a medley of beans and rice, Red-red, Fufu and goat light soup, Tuo Zaafi, a sticky bread, and Omo tuo, another traditional Ghanaian food made with rice.
Ghana has a vast array of mammals, reptiles, marine species, and insects some of which have attained conservation status because of a decline in number. The wildlife has spread across the country and includes 724 species of birds, 221 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 225 mammalian species. Ghana forests account for 83% of the total number of butterfly species. The commonly occurring species are
Elephants, Monkeys, Hippos, baboons, bats Antelopes, and Buffalos. Some species of crocodiles’ and Marine turtles are declared as threatened species.
Ghana is a democratic republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. It has a two-party system whereby the president is both head of the state and head of the government whereas the legislative power is exercised by both the parliament and government. The current president of Ghana is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Tourism in Africa is more oriented towards safari but in Ghana, you can experience a variety of cultural activities and get to experience their culture, customs, and traditions. Ghana has a warm tropical climate, diverse wildlife, and the largest waterfalls in west Africa. Ghana receives a huge number of visitors every year from Asia, Europe, and North America. The major tourist attractions in Ghana include Wli waterfalls, Kintampo waterfalls, Lake Bosumtwi, Lake Volta, World Heritage Sites, National Parks, and nature reserves.
Ghana is also home to one of the most notable castles such as Cape Coast Castle, and Elmina Castle, which are declared as World Heritage Monuments by UNESCO.
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