Ghana Discovery
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Ghana Discovery

Know Before You Go

For an epic trip with zero stress and infinite holy s#!t moments, get familiar with the information below. Seeing the world should be fun, not stressful, which is why we’ve written this guide for you and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.

COVID-19

To view the most up to date entry requirements for this tour, please visit this page.

Travel Documents & Tour Preparation

Complete Your Checklist
Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 617-619-1411. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.

Travel Documents

  • Passport: In order to enter Ghana, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry.
  • Visa: US and Canadian passport holders require a visa to enter Ghana. A paper or embassy visa is the only type of visa available for visitors. Typically the visa is a stamp or sticker added to your passport. You must submit your application through the consulate or local visa center. Visit the government website for details.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination: You will also be required to provide proof of vaccination against yellow fever, or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine.
  • Travel Insurance: While Travel Insurance is not required to enter Ghana, we strongly encourage all travelers to obtain coverage before departure. Check out cost-effective Travel Protection, designed to meet the needs of EF travelers here.

Tour Preparation

  • Talk with your doctor: It is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor about your travel plans. If you are taking any medications, be certain to bring enough to last throughout your trip.
  • Traveling with allergies? Let your Trip Consultant and Tour Director know of any dietary restrictions/allergies and we will do what we can to accommodate for any included meals.
  • Request a roommate: Double-check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
  • Get an international data plan: We recommend getting an international data plan for your mobile device so you can stay connected while on the road. Free Please talk with your phone provider for your best options.
    • Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars, though charges may apply and it may be slower than in the U.S.
    • Wi-Fi is not available on the bus.
  • Get the EF Ultimate Break app: Your trip's group will be able to connect on the app before you meet IRL. Don't miss out! Meet other travelers, get updates from your Tour Director, see flights and accommodations, and more. If you're having trouble, give us a call at 617-619-1411.

Arrival Information & Transportation

Flight Preparation
Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. Using your 6-digit reservation code, you can reserve your seat (this is typically available 30 days to 24 hours before departure) and check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, that’s okay, too. Regardless, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.

All flight information is online (e-ticket) via your account and the airline’s website. You will not receive a physical paper ticket from us.

  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed: Don’t worry! We design the first day of tour as an arrival day in case of flight delays or cancellations. Work with the airline to get rebooked on the next available flight, then let your Tour Director know your new arrival time.
  • If you sleep in and miss your flight: You should still talk to the airline and see if they can get you on the next available option. Tears may help in this case.

Arriving in Accra
If you booked flights with EF Ultimate Break, your transfer to and from the hotel to the airport is included. Note that you’re responsible for going through customs, gathering your luggage, and leaving the arrivals hall on your own. Your Tour Director will tell you where to meet them or another EF representative in the airport.

Your Tour Director will communicate through the EF Ultimate Break app, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is an important reason to make sure you have the EF Ultimate Break app!

If you have booked your own flight arrangements or have extended your travels before the tour dates, you will need to make your own way to the first hotel. Accommodation details will be available in your online account 30 days prior to departure.

Getting from A to B
Transfers between locations are via private motor coach, and they can take anywhere between 2-8 hours with stops in-between. Prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing.

Note: It’s a good idea to download a few movies or shows to watch sans Wi-Fi/ Cellular Data, bring a great book with you to read, or listen to music to pass the time.

Health

General Recommendations
Fact: Travel is exhilarating. And FOMO is real. So, we understand why you don’t want to miss a second of the action. But there’s a difference between maximizing your time and spreading yourself too thin. Here are some tips to stay healthy and happy on tour:

  • Sleep: Flying across the globe, changing time zones, and being constantly on the move can take a toll on your body. Make sure you get the rest your body needs. If that means missing a night out for some well-earned rest, or having a little afternoon nap, so be it. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Be Prepared: We recommend bringing a small first aid kit including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
  • Take time for yourself: Group travel is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing quite like exploring a foreign country with a group of like-minded people. That said, it’s okay to take time for yourself to relax and reflect on your experience. Here are a few mindfulness apps you can take with you on the road:
    • Insight Timer: Meditation apps are very in right now. This one is especially amazing because there are 80,000 free daily meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress.
    • What’s Up: If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed, What’s Up can help you manage these feelings with interactive games, forums, and a thought tracking diary.
    • Talkspace: No need to make appointments or commute to a therapist’s office. Talkspace gives you 24/7 access to real, licensed therapists. You can talk, text, or video chat with them right from your phone.

Destination-Specific Information
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ghana. However, we recommend you consult your physician or local travel clinic at least 60 days prior to departure for the latest updates and entry requirements. See more tips for staying healthy in Ghana:

  • As mentioned under Travel Documents & Tour Preparation, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination against yellow fever, or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine.
  • Drink only bottled water. Avoid tap water even when brushing your teeth or showering.
  • Temperatures in Ghana can often hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit – hydrate and use sunscreen!
  • Certain medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) are banned in foreign countries. Consult your physician at least four weeks prior to departure to make sure any drugs you want to bring with you are legal.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself or wash them in bottled or disinfected water.
  • Public restrooms in Ghana can be quite bare. We suggest carrying bathroom tissue and hand sanitizer with you.

Safety

With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Tour Director or your Trip Consultant if you need a helping hand. Keep these extra tips in mind so you can #travelsmart:

  • Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box. Refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
  • Petty crime such as pick-pocketing and purse snatching is fairly common in bigger cities. Always watch your belongings and keep an eye out for one another.
  • Use the buddy system. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
  • Before you go out, grab a business card at your hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
  • Try to avoid taxis after dark as robbery, pickpocketing and petty theft can be ample in Ghana. Always have a buddy with you!
  • Be smart about alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met.
  • Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411

Women in Ghana

Female travelers in Ghana may face treatment different from what they are used to back home:

  • Local women tend to dress modestly, especially in rural areas. Visitors aren’t expected to dress like Ghanians, but showing respect for the local culture goes a long way.
  • Female travelers should be prepared for some degree of cat-calling and harassment in Ghana. EF Ultimate Break and the Tour Director will do everything in our power to prevent and preempt this kind of behavior. We understand it’s easier said than done, but ignoring most verbal harassment is usually the best policy. Act confidently and keep walking forward, but always exercise caution and stay with a buddy or group.

LGBTQ+ Community

Same-sex relations are illegal in Ghana, and being found guilty can result in lengthy prison sentences. And though there aren't technically any laws regarding gender identity, this is often conflated with sexual orientation and can also lead to time in prison. Discretion while in Ghana is highly advised.

Packing

Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (typically 27" x 21" x 14") but note that years of customer feedback tells us that the lighter you pack, the better. Double check the luggage size requirements on your airline’s website, but we recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag.

You may need to carry your suitcase where buses and elevators cannot. See more packing tips below that will help you become an international, carry-on-suitcase, jetsetter.

Packing Suggestions

  • 1 light jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals to keep cool during city sightseeing
  • 3-4 pairs jeans / shorts
  • 5-7 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
  • 1-2 nicer outfits for the Welcome and Farewell Dinners, or a night out
  • Underwear and socks
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Phone or camera
  • Passport. We also recommend that you make two color photocopies of your passport. Leave one copy at home with a friend or relative, and bring one copy with you, keeping it separate from the original documents.
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash

Electronics
We recommend a universal adapter; the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com) for this trip.

Money & Tipping

We at EF will help facilitate any testing requirements while on tour, however it is the travelers responsibility to pay for these tests and it is our recommendation that you budget roughly 150 USD total. Please note that non-boosted travelers may be required to do additional testing to enter places such as restaurants, and/or major attractions.

Budgeting
Budget around $80-$100 per day for meals, drinks, souvenirs, and tips or extra activities.

Remember that you know your spending habits best and not everyone’s spending habits are the same. These recommendations are based on a traveler who says yes to any and all activities while on tour.

Managing Money
The currency of Ghana is the Ghanaian cedi (GH₵). The best places to exchange cash in Ghana are foreign exchange bureaus (Forex) and they can be found easily in the major cities. The further outside of Accra you go, the less common Forexs will be.

  • Cash is king in Ghana! Not every establishment accepts card payments, so having cash on hand will be helpful as you make your way through your trip.

Tipping

  • For your Tour Director, we recommend tipping $44-$66 at the end of the trip if you feel inclined.
  • Tipping is not customary, but in restaurants and where there is table service, a tip of 5-10% is common.
  • It is not necessary to tip taxi drivers.

Local Life

Family is of the utmost importance in Ghana, and the warmth and hospitality you would associate with it is extended to visitors. Respect is also incredibly important, so read on for some tips to help ease yourself into this culture.

  • Though there are countless native languages spoken across Ghana, English is the official and most widely-spoken language.
  • Ghana is very hierarchical, with age, experience, and status contributing to the regard a person is held in. This is why the elderly are thought of so highly.
  • Greetings are important in Ghana, especially pertaining to elders. Not greeting someone could be considered an insult. And while you may see some more elaborate handshakes between locals, a regular handshake is perfectly acceptable.
  • Avoid performing most actions with your left hand, including shaking hands, eating, and handing an item to someone. The left hand is considered unclean, and using it for such actions could be taken offensively.
  • It's considered a cultural practice to eat with your hands, so do not be surprised if you see locals enjoying soup-based meals along with a starch only using their hands.
  • Respect for elders is immense in Ghana and don't forget to take off your hat when greeting!
  • Traffic is no joke in Accra, so make sure you have a book or a movie to watch when you are transferring between activities.

Food & Drink

You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for delicacies you must try while in Ghana:

  • Banku: Mixture of fermented corn dough and cassava dough and served with soups, stews, sauces and more.
  • Waakye: A traditional dish made with rice and beans, served with sides like fried plantain, grated cassava and avocado.
  • Tilapia: This is a delicacy among Ghanaians and is one of the more popular grilled fish served in Accra.
  • Kelewele: This is a fan favorite dish made by frying soft plantains, soaked in peppers, ginger and garlic.
  • Omo tuo: Also known as rice balls; comprised of soft boiled grains that are rounded and served in a variety of soup.
  • Jollof rice: One of the most popular dishes throughout Western Africa. This dish is made by cooking rice in a tomato stew.
  • Kenkey: A dumpling-like dish served with fried fish and pepper sauce.
  • Akpeteshie: The national spirit of Ghana and is not professionally bottled, but rather pour into unlabeled, used bottles. This drink is not professionally advertised in Africa, but continues to be very popular due to its low price.
  • Chocolate: Made with premium Ghana cocoa beans. You will never want another Hershey bar again!

Free Time

If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. You can also talk to your Tour Director on tour and they can help you get enrolled. If you’d like to plan something else during your free time, connect with your Tour Director before doing so; they sometimes arrange extra activities for the group during free time. Prices for these optional excursions will increase on tour, so please check your online account for available add-ons.

We’re so glad you chose to travel with us and are now part of the EF Ultimate Break family! We'll look for your post-card in the mail, and your #thisisultimate tags on Instagram. Cheers to the Best. Trip. Ever.

Bon voyage!

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