The friendliness of the Ghanaian people is legendary. It is hard to find a people anywhere in the world as open and as outgoing as the Ghanaian’s.
But it’s not just the warmth of the people that draw people to Ghana. Ghana is blessed with miles of golden palm fringed beaches, most completely untouched by tourism. Travel inland just a few miles and you will hit the green interior. A belt of lush green forest runs across Ghana. It once almost covered the entirety of the country before mass logging, but it’s now home to a fascinating collection of birds, plant life and the elusive forest elephant.
Travel yet further north and you will hit the dusty sub-Saharan savannah grassland, which for many is the gateway to journeys further north through Burkina Faso, Mali and the mysterious Sahara desert.
Our base in Ghana is the coastal town of Cape Coast. Cape Coast is famous around the world for it’s university and it’s heritage. It is home to old slave forts and other colonial relicts.
Our base Cape Coast is conveniently located close to the beautiful coastal towns and fishing villages, which make interesting weekend visits. The spectacular Kakum National Park is also a short journey away. Here those with a head for heights can take the walkway through the lush green canopy of this rainforest reserve.[accordion clicktoclose=true scroll=true][accordion-item id="accomodation" title="Accommodation"]
During your time with us in Ghana, you will be staying with other volunteers in our house in Cape Coast. It is possible to stay with local families if you prefer but please let us know when you apply.
Whether you are teaching, on the journalism placement or working in hospitals, all the volunteers stay together in the same house which means that you are never too far away from someone to socialise with in the evenings or travel with at weekends. Usually, four to six people will share a room in the accommodation.
The standard of the accommodation will basic (please see the pictures on this page) and not be what you are used to at home so please don’t expect all mod cons, but it will be clean and tidy.
The house has running water and electricity, but please be aware that Ghana’s electricity mostly comes from a massive hydro-electric plant at Lake Volta. It is not unheard of for the electricity company to simply cut supply when water levels in the lake are too low!
There will be someone there to look after the house and they will cook your meals which means that if you can’t quite get used to Ghanaian food then they can cook something similar to what you are used to at home.
Cape Coast is centrally located for all our projects in Ghana. Travelling around this fairly small town is easy whether you are teaching or on a medical project, you placement will be easy to reach by tro-tro (small mini bus) or even by walking.
Our team in Ghana will be on hand during office hours if you have any general queries and only a phone call away outside office hours if there’s something much more urgent.[/accordion-item][accordion-item id="location" title="Location"]
Highlights – Ghana
The cost of the programme in Ghana includes drumming lessons. Music is an integral part of Ghanaian culture so learning a bit about music in Ghana will give you more of an insight into the Ghanaian way of life.
Weekends are free and, depending on how many volunteers are overseas with you, you are based in the same accommodation, which means that you can easily go travelling at weekends. Our location in Ghana means that you are close to some of the Ghana’s most popular attractions.
Kakum national park, home to our conservation projects in Ghana is a short drive away. The forest reserve at Kakum is famous for it’s canopy walkway. Those with a good head for heights can literally walk through the canopy of the rainforest thanks to a walkway that spans the tops of the trees. Those without a head for heights can wander the numerous trails that run through the forest, some that have been renovated by Global Volunteer Projects conservation volunteers.
Also within easy reach is the coast. Great if you just want to chill out and relax by the beach and watch the fishermen land their days trawl. The coast is also home to the colonial forts. Many of the forts were used during the sinister trade of slaves from Ghana and it’s well worth taking the tour around these forts to learn a bit more about Ghana’s colonial past.
Further afield, you can visit the vibrant capital city Accra or fishing villages along the coast. Time it right and you might be lucky enough to visit one of the villages during their annual festivals.
Further north, you can journey to the capital of the Ashanti Empire at Kumasi, visiting the huge market for souvenirs to take home. It’s this market where you’re likely to find the best deals on Ghana’s famous Kente cloth as well as numerous hand carved crafts.
Those with a bit more time on their hands can journey further north to Lake Volta or the game reserve in Mole.
The Climate in Ghana is hot and humid at most times of the year. Temperatures will regularly reach 30 degrees centigrade during the day and will not drop much below 25-28 degrees at night.
From November the Harmattan winds blow dust from Northern Africa. This usually lasts into January and February. It doesn’t really have much impact on the coastal regions but can make the air dustier than usual and you will find that most things quickly adapt a thin layer of terracotta red dust!
Ghana will see a short period of rain, usually around June followed by longer rains around September or October. The rains are unlikely to be a deluge, most of the time they are a short sharp period of intense rainfall. The rain tends to dampen the dust, clear the air and drop the temperature so it can be quite a pleasant change to the heat and humidity.
You will have weekends free to travel and visit the sights so do take some spending money for food, accommodation and souvenirs.
Exactly how much to take is a matter of great debate but most who have travelled to Ghana recommend that you could probably get by allowing £50-75 per weekend spending money. If you can, take a little extra just in case to allow for emergencies or those ‘must have’ souvenirs.
You cannot get Ghanaian currency outside of Ghana so it’s best to take your spending money as travellers cheques or cash. Credit and debit cards are not widely accepted in Ghana. You can usually draw money out on credit and debit cards from most banks in Ghana but this can be a slow and laborious business.
Travellers cheques are the safest way to carry your spending money to Ghana as they can be easily replaced if lost or stolen. In our experience we’ve found that American Express travellers cheques offer the best service but most travellers cheques are accepted. It’s probably best to avoid ‘Thomas Cook’ travellers cheques as some banks do not accept them.
However, do take a debit or credit card (preferably a Visa card) and some cash with you as travellers cheques are difficult to change (often requiring hours of queuing in banks).
You can take cash as sterling, Euros or US dollars. All are easy to change in Ghana.
All international flights arrive in the capital city Accra (airport code ACC), and there are a reasonable number of airlines to choose from. From London, British Airways is often the most convenient, flying direct to Accra every day. From UK regional airports, KLM is also convenient, flying from various UK cities via Amsterdam, again every day. We advise you to shop around, however, as competition is strong and deals change on a daily basis.[/accordion-item][accordion-item id="team" title="Meet The Team"]
Country Director – Eric Essuah
Our office in Ghana is headed by the very experienced Eric Essuah.
Eric has lived in Cape Coast for most of his life and has been arranging projects in Ghana for the last six years. During that time he has built up a number of very strong contacts at hospitals and clinics around the Central Region.
Over the last six years, Eric has built up a wealth of experience arranging worthwhile placements and looking after volunteers when they arrive. Eric is usually the first person you’ll meet at the airport and he does a very good job of helping you get used to life in a new country and very new culture.
Once he’s helped you settle in and find your bearings, Eric is always on hand to help if you’re feeling a little homesick or have any other problems. He’s incredibly approachable and will often go out of his way to make you feel comfortable and to ensure that you get the most out of your time in Ghana.[/accordion-item][/accordion] Photos from our projects in Ghana (on Facebook, opens in new tab)