Ghana: It's Not A Holiday Hotspot, It's An Experience
Monday, January 16, 2017 • 9 comments
Most people who love travel have been to New York. London, Paris and so on. But if you’re looking for somewhere that’s a little off the beaten path, then Ghana could be the perfect place for you. The small, West African country has an incredible amount to offer, both in terms of culture as well as adventure. In Ghana, English is the official language, thanks to the country’s colonial roots. And because of its location between Togo and the Ivory Coast, the country has a rich trading heritage, especially in precious metals.
The country does have its tourist areas, but the vast majority of Ghana is a rural wilderness, interspersed with areas where people still live traditional lives, far from the reach of modern technology.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you might want to visit Ghana.
The Diverse Culture
The culture in Ghana is very diverse, just as it is across the whole of Africa. There are six major ethnic groups in the country, each with their own unique identity to explore. Often, individual groups have their own dialects and languages, meaning that any trip to the country can be highly eclectic. City life in the south of the country is dramatically different to rural life in northern Ghana. In the east of the country, visitors can stay at the Sirigu Women’s Organization for Pottery and Art where the traditional Ghanaian crafts are kept alive.
The Volunteering Opportunities
Despite its mineral wealth and growing economy, Ghana is still a very poor country. As a result, many people volunteer in Ghana, helping the country to develop. Volunteering is probably the best way to experience the country. You’ll feel like an active member of the community helping to build a better future for the country and its citizens. There are all sorts of opportunities to volunteer on projects, ranging from building orphanages and hospitals to teaching children maths and English. Many organizations have set up programs which allow Westerners to travel to the country and use their knowledge to benefit the local people.
The Ghanaian Welcome
Ghana is a land of contrast. But it’s also a place famous for its warm and welcoming people. For many people who come from more reserved cultures, these welcomes can feel overwhelming. You’ll probably hear chants like “obruni” which means foreigner. In Ghana, it’s also socially acceptable to ask for a person’s phone number on the first meeting, and then to get a call later on in the day to see how you are. If you’re not comfortable getting up close and personal with the locals, it might be worth going somewhere else where the population is less forthright.
Ghana is a hiking paradise, thanks to its unique location between the Sahara desert and the African rainforest. The most popular hiking destination is the Wli Falls, the highest waterfalls in the whole of West Africa. It’s a good idea to pack a bathing suit so that you can take a dip in the lagoon that sits at the base of the falls.