Is Ghana a dangerous country to visit
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
There are currently warnings against unnecessary tourist trips to Ghana.
Ghana is moderately affected by COVID-19 according to official figures. Regional focuses are the Accra Metropolitan Area and Kumasi.
Ghana is still classified as a risk area.
The Ghanaian Health Department and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide current and detailed figures.
For entry, travelers must already present proof of payment for a chargeable antigen test at Accra Airport when checking in at the airport in Germany. Payment of the cost of USD 150 is only possible online at Ghana Airports. All passengers must also fill out the “Health Declaration Form” online before commencing their journey.
Furthermore, all incoming passengers must carry a negative PCR test with them, which must not be older than 72 hours before departure. The PCR test must be uploaded and certified on the Panabios portal before departure. The certification code (TT code) generated by the system must be carried with you and presented upon request at check-in. Exemplary instructions from the Kenyan Ministry of Health for using the Panabios portal and for certifying PCR tests can be found here.
Upon arrival in Accra, all passengers are tested for COVID-19 directly at the airport using the pre-paid antigen test. The test result should be available within 30 minutes. If the rapid test at the airport in Accra is negative, there is no obligation to quarantine. Travelers who test positive will be referred to Ga East Municipal Hospital for further investigation.
Transit passengers and children under five years of age are exempt from this rule.
Transit and onward travel
A certified, negative PCR test is required to leave Ghana. Certified laboratories make the results available electronically via the Panabios portal. A list of the test laboratories recognized in Ghana is also available on the Panabios portal.
The border crossings to the neighboring countries of Côte d´Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo remain closed. Onward travel to other countries is therefore only possible by air.
Kotoka International Airport Accra is open. Due to the lower demand for air travel, there are restrictions in the range of scheduled flight connections.
Restrictions in the country
Public gatherings, sporting events and conferences are only allowed with restrictions. Schools and universities are open again.
Travel within the country is possible without restrictions.
In many places (e.g. shops, supermarkets, offices, restaurants, mosques, churches) there is an obligation to wear mouth and nose protection and to adhere to distance rules.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
- Register in our crisis prevention list. If there is a change in situation, the embassy will inform Accra via this channel.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- When you return to Germany, please note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency. Place of residence. Further information can be found in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
Especially in the north (Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East) there is an increased risk of acts of terrorist violence and kidnappings, not least due to the infiltration of terrorist or criminal groups from Burkina Faso.
- Be particularly careful when traveling in the northern regions of Ghana such as the Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East and ask your local contacts about the current security situation.
- Use caution, especially in busy locations and on special occasions.
- Please note the worldwide safety information.
Protests and demonstrations can occur in Accra and other large cities, most of which are well organized and peaceful. Violent conflicts and disruptions to traffic cannot be ruled out.
In the provinces of Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East, the security situation is also affected by occasional violent clashes between local populations. A deterioration in the local supply situation is then possible due to the closure of shops and the imposition of curfews. Even if the situation has improved overall, a quick solution to these conflicts is not to be expected.
- Be especially careful when traveling to the Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East provinces.
- Find out about the current situation on site regularly in local and social media.
- Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people in large areas.
- Follow the instructions of local security guards.
The crime rate is low in a regional comparison. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and handbag theft are particularly common in larger cities such as Accra and the surrounding area. Occasional attacks occur, sometimes with armed force.
At Kotoka Airport, in the Osu business district, in the affluent residential districts of Cantonments, Labone and Airport Residential Area, theft and violent crime occur increasingly in the early evening hours and at night. Victims are often threatened with a weapon.
The perpetrators mostly use motorcycles for these attacks and for the escape. Theft and violent offenses occurred occasionally when taxis and minibuses were used (Tro-Tro). The perpetrators were then already in the Tro-Tro. These incidents mostly occurred in the evening and night, and main roads were also affected.
Luggage is occasionally stolen in hotel lobbies.
Property crimes as well as violent crimes can occur on the beaches.
At the beginning of 2019 there were individual criminally motivated kidnappings with ransom demands in Accra and Kumasi.
In the Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East there is a risk of kidnappings and assaults, including on the main traffic routes.
In Ghana there are repeated attempts at fraud (scamming) under the pretense of love relationships or marriage intentions. In personal contact with fraud gangs, there is a real risk of physical assault and kidnapping.
Credit card fraud and trickery with alleged discounts are also widespread.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Take only the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables. Do not show them in public.
- Avoid the use of credit cards as far as possible and never give them out of your hands, insist on paying with mobile terminals or stay present during the payment process.
- In larger crowds such as at airports, on the bus, in tro-tro and in taxi or Uber as well as in hotel lobbies, be particularly attentive and watch out for your valuables.
- Don't go for a walk alone after dark.
- Avoid deserted beaches.
- Lock the doors of the vehicle and close the windows.
- Observe your surroundings while driving to identify any suspicious situations of possible pursuit.
- Do not leave valuable items in the car and give preference to lighted and guarded parking spaces.
- Do not resist a robbery.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, declarations of love, profit notices, offers and requests for help from alleged friends and therefore do not travel to Ghana yourself.
- Find out about scamming at the German embassy in Accra.
Nature and climate
There is a tropical, hot and humid climate.
During the rainy seasons from the end of April to the end of July and in September and October, there can be occasional flooding in all parts of the country, including the cities, in the Northern Region, North-East, Savannah Region, Upper West and Upper East with landslides, come. As a result, roads and bridges can become impassable.
In the dry season from December to March, the Harmattan leads to sand and dust winds from the Sahara, which can also lead to traffic obstructions.
Ghana is in a seismically active zone, so earthquakes can occur.
- Follow the weather reports during the rainy seasons.
- Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
- Familiarize yourself with earthquake behavioral guidelines. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
Local and long-distance public transport is available in Ghana. Despite fixed departure points and routes, there are no fixed departure times.
Many buses and taxis are in poor technical condition. Buses from the state company STC or the private operator VIP are the most reliable and air-conditioned.
The semi-state company Metro Mass Transit is currently expanding its offer with non-air-conditioned buses in the country's metropolitan areas. Inexpensive minibuses (Tro-Tro) are often technically only conditionally roadworthy and therefore highly prone to accidents.
Ghana has a growing network of developed highways. The risk of accidents is very high due to sometimes considerable road damage, deep potholes, unlit and damaged vehicles on the roadways and unpaved sections.
Traffic or security police officers often stop vehicles because of traffic violations or to check driver's license, passport and residence permit (visa).
Taxis are available in the cities and can be used either as shared taxis or by passengers alone. There are no taximeters. When taking a taxi from the airport to the city in particular, taxi drivers try to take advantage of inexperienced visitors to the country. Occasionally, taxi drivers ask foreigners to pay the fare in foreign currency. Drivers often refuse trips when using credit cards as a payment method. When using Uber, there have been attempts at fraud when depositing electronic means of payment and credit cards.
Most of the time, the windows in the back of the car are darkened with a protective film, making them safer.
Although street names are state-assigned in Ghana, they are hardly known to the population or to taxi drivers. Well-known buildings (e.g. National Theater or the large hotels) and prominent intersections are used for orientation. In contrast to Europe, the passenger has to know the way to the destination and instruct the taxi driver. For the first trips from the airport, it is advisable to head for the well-known large hotels and then, if necessary, to be forwarded.
Taxis can also be rented by the day or by the hour. Rental cars are mostly available in the hotels.
- Always drive defensively and carefully, obey the traffic rules.
- Avoid driving overland in the dark.
- The best way to make cross-country trips by bus is with the STC or VIP.
- Avoid using minibuses (Tro-Tro) if possible.
- In taxis, always sit back and lock the doors.
- Always negotiate and agree on fares for taxis before you start your journey.
- Have enough small bills ready to change and do not pay with foreign currency.
- Use Cash only as your payment method with Uber in Accra and Kumasi.
The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license.
The Ghanaian criminal law provides for up to three years imprisonment for homosexual acts. Tolerance towards LGBTIQ people is very low in Ghana. Most Ghanaians reject this issue.
Possession, trafficking and consumption of drugs are severely punished, the minimum penalty for possession and consumption of even the smallest amounts is five years, for trafficking at least ten years in prison.
Prison sentences of up to three years are also imposed for promoting prostitution.
The photography restrictions introduced in 1982 have recently been relaxed significantly. However, it is still not advisable to take photos of military installations, troops, ministries and public buildings, trains and railway installations, ports, airports, aircraft, bridges, dams or larger substations of the power plants. There is a strict ban on photography in the vicinity of the “official seat of the head of state (Jubilee House) and the seat of the General Staff (“ Burmacamp).
- Also, ask for prior permission when taking photos of people.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Cedi (GHS). Cedis can be exchanged at the state-approved FOREX offices. The cheapest rates can be obtained for cash.
Credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels and restaurants and should only be used in exceptional cases due to the risk of abuse.
With a bank card, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs of certain banks with corresponding symbols. When withdrawing with credit cards, data including the PIN are read very often and a copy is then made, which is then misused. For financial emergencies there is the possibility of money transfer via financial transaction service providers such as "Western Union".
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for six months after the trip.
German citizens require a visa to enter the country, which must be applied for at the Embassy of the Republic of Ghana in Berlin before entering the country.
The application is submitted online via the Embassy of Ghana, after which fees have to be transferred and complete application documents including the passport must be sent to the Embassy of Ghana in Berlin by post or in person.
The visa fees charged are displayed during the electronic application; general information on the embassy website is not relevant in case of doubt. As a rule, applicants will not receive any further notification if the paper documents have not been submitted in full or the fees have not been paid in full.
Processing generally takes ten working days or, in the case of "express visas", three working days from receipt of complete documents and fees at the embassy.
Even if a visa is issued for more than two months, it is automatically limited to a validity of 60 days upon entry. If necessary, an extension must be applied for in good time at the Immigration Service with two passport photos.
If you intend to stay longer than the visa is valid or if you visit one of the neighboring countries during your stay, a visa extension or a so-called re-entry visa is required.Both must be applied for in good time at the Ghana Immigration Service.
An illegal stay (beyond the validity of the visa) is sanctioned with a heavy fine and generally leads to the refusal of future visa applications.
The Ghanaian visa must still be valid to leave Ghana.
There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.
The import and export of the local currency is generally prohibited. Ghanaian nationals and foreigners with long-term residence permits are allowed to import up to 5,000 GHS. Foreign currency can be imported without restriction, but must be declared. The re-export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon entry.
Items for personal use as well as items for professional use may be imported duty-free. For personal use, 2 liters of wine and 1 liter of spirits, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco as well as 250 ml eau de toilette and 60 ml perfume can be imported. Unaccompanied baggage must be reported directly on arrival at the airport so that it can be imported duty-free. Current lists of goods that are subject to the import ban or require an import permit, as well as customs tariffs, are available from the Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive Service.
Export permits are required for antiques and precious metals, among other things. For more information, please contact CEPS.
To import pets, an import permit from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is required, which must be submitted upon presentation of an official veterinary health certificate, an international vaccination pass such as the EU pet ID card and proof of a valid rabies vaccination, which was carried out at least 30 days and a maximum of 12 months before entry. and an official veterinary blood test result (for dogs) is issued.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
Ghana is an area infected with yellow fever. A yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for all persons older than nine months for entry and is also medically advisable. A one-time yellow fever vaccination is accepted.
Travelers under 4 weeks of travel time should have full poliomyelitis (polio) vaccination with booster vaccinations every 10 years. According to the WHO, residents and long-term travelers over 4 weeks are recommended to have a booster vaccination 4 weeks to 12 months before departure, see information sheet on poliomyelitis.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A and polio are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies and meningococci (ACWY).
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Dengue viruses are nationwide by diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see information sheet on dengue fever.
- To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anophelesMosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous tropical malaria in particular is often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see Malaria leaflet.
- If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see the doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.
There is a high risk of malaria tropica, which almost exclusively occurs throughout the country, all year round, see Standing Committee for Travel Medicine (StAR) of the DTG.
To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts).
- Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body, during the day (dengue) and in the evening and at night (malaria).
- If necessary, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.
Depending on the travel profile, in addition to the necessary exposure prophylaxis, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is also useful. Various prescription drugs (e.g. atovaquone proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine) are available on the German market for this purpose.
- Discuss the choice of medication and its personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medication with a tropical medicine or travel medicine specialist before taking it.
- It is recommended that you bring sufficient supplies with you.
HIV / AIDS
HIV / AIDS is a relevant problem in Ghana. Through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions, there is generally a high risk of HIV transmission.
- Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.
Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene, most diarrheal diseases and also cholera (see below) can be avoided. Therefore, to protect your health, please observe the following basic information:
- Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
- If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you're out and about.
- If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
- Cook or peel food yourself.
- Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
- Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
- If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.
Cholera is transmitted through insufficiently treated drinking water or raw food and can therefore be avoided through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Only a small part of the people infected with cholera get sick and of these in turn the majority with a comparatively mild course. The indication for a cholera vaccination is only given very rarely, usually only in the case of special exposures such as working in the hospital with cholera patients, see information sheet on cholera.
- If necessary, seek advice from a tropical or travel doctor with regard to your risk profile.
Lassa viruses are mostly transmitted through contact with excretions from infected rats. The consumption of field rats (bush meat) or contact with feces or blood from infected people can lead to infection. The lassa fever outbreak that began in some West African countries in December 2017 has now claimed its first death in Ghana. The last major outbreak of this hemorrhagic (bleeding) fever occurred in 2011 in the Ashanti and Eastern regions.
The majority of infections are asymptomatic. A severe course is characterized by swelling of the face and larynx, a tendency to bleed (hemorrhage) and neurological symptoms up to shock and multiple organ failure. The mortality rate in severe cases is 15%.
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