Ghana Travel Information

Last modified: September 25, 2023
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No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You need a visa to enter Ghana. Visit the Ghana High Commission website to stay up to date and to make an online application in due course.

Dual nationality

Ghana recognises dual nationality. To avoid visa fees, Ghanaian-British nationals should register with the Interior Ministry in Ghana and get a Dual Nationality card. Production of this card at point of entry into Ghana will indicate that a visa is not required.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ghana.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Volunteering

If you are travelling to work in a volunteer programme or for work experience you should be fully aware of the terms and conditions of your stay and be sure that you will be working for a reputable organisation before you commit yourself to travel.

Residents

If you live in Ghana you should register with the National Identification Authority (NIA) of Ghana and get a non-citizen Ghana card. This applies to:

  • foreign nationals permanently resident in the country
  • foreign nationals resident in the country for at least 90 days in any calendar year
  • foreign nationals aged 6 years and above

A non-citizen Ghana card is required to apply for a residence permit, for admission into educational institutions in Ghana, for all financial transactions including opening a bank account, payment of taxes, registration of sim cards, and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals and permissions. You can complete this registration process at any one of the following places:

National Identification Authority
Tetteh Quarshie
Near Gulf House
Accra
Telephone: +233 (0) 302218080

Ghana Immigration Service
(off Ako Adjei Overpass)
Independence Avenue
Accra
Telephone: +233 (0) 302258250

VFS Global
9 Kakramada Road
Cantonments
Accra
Telephone: +233 (0) 302746212

Some branches of CAL bank can also provide this service. You should ask your local CAL bank branch if they’re able to help you. Failure to procure the non-citizen Ghana card constitutes a criminal breach.

Political situation

Demonstrations in the capital Accra are normally well policed and peaceful, but sometimes they occur at short notice and can cause disruption. See Local travel.

Crime

Most visits to Ghana are trouble free, but criminal activity does occur and can range from incidents of petty crime to opportunistic crime, to violent crime such as robbery, burglary and serious assault that can include the use of weapons. Take sensible precautions. Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables, use a hotel safe whenever possible and be particularly vigilant when withdrawing cash from ATMs.

Take care at public beaches and avoid going to the beach on your own. Theft is the main problem, but there have been isolated incidents of violent crime and sexual assault in areas popular with tourists.

Theft of luggage and travel documents occurs at Kotoka International Airport and in hotels. Make sure your passport is secure at all times and don’t leave baggage unattended. Be wary of offers of help at the airport unless from uniformed porters or officials. All permanent staff at the airport wear an ID card showing their name and a photo. ID cards without a photo are not valid. If you are being collected at the airport, confirm the identity of your driver by asking for ID. British nationals have been robbed by impostors who have approached them before the main arrivals area pretending to be their driver.

There has been an increase in street crime in Accra. If you’re visiting Accra you should be vigilant, particularly at night. Avoid travelling alone and where possible try not to walk to and from destinations. There have been cases of violent robberies involving foreign nationals who have been attacked and robbed at gun point.

There has been an increase in petty crime, like pick pocketing, bag snatching and opportunistic theft on certain roads in Accra. The main areas of risk highlighted by the police are: Graphic Road, George Walker Bush Highway, Accra Mall Roundabout, Awudome Cemetary Road, Pokuase-Amasaman Road, Teshie-Nungua road, Labadi beach area and the Kokrobite beach area. You should be especially vigilant in these areas; keep windows up and vehicle doors locked.

If you’re caught up in an armed robbery, you should immediately comply with the attackers’ demands. Those who have suffered injury or worse during such attacks have been perceived as not complying fully or quickly enough.

Most armed robberies occur at night though some incidents have happened during daytime. Be vigilant and drive with doors locked.

Make sure you lock windows and secure accommodation both at night and before you go out. There have been cases of burglaries in areas used by the international community living overseas, including Airport Residential, Cantonments, Ridge and Kokrobite.

There have been reports in the media of criminally-motivated kidnapping in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi, including targeting foreign nationals. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, or can be motivated by criminality. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.

Scams

British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa. The scams come in many forms – romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities, and can pose great financial risk to victims. You should treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who lives in West Africa.

If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to Ghana you should make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it. If the caller claims to be in distress, you should ask whether they have reported the incident (by phone or e-mail) to the British High Commission in Accra.

If you have sent money to someone you believe has scammed you and are contacted by a police officer for more money to help get your money back, then this is possibly another part of the scam. Scam artists have also been known to use the identity of officials at the British High Commission in Accra. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be an official at the British High Commission, contact the officer using the phone numbers or contact details for the British High Commission.

Local travel

As a result of occasional local Chieftaincy, land disputes and political tension, isolated inter-ethnic violence and civil unrest can occur at any time; specifically but not exclusively in the Greater Accra, Northern, Savannah, North East, Oti and Volta Regions.

Localised outbreaks of civil unrest can occur at short notice, and can become violent (sometimes involving weapons). Avoid large crowds and political protests. If you’re in these areas, you should remain vigilant, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities. If this does happen, local police may impose curfews to contain the situation. Curfews usually run from 7pm to 5am but these times can vary. The Interior Ministry may put out a press release, you should check the website.

If you’re travelling in the Upper West or Upper East regions, keep up to date with developments in neighbouring countries, including through FCDO travel advice. There are often no physical barriers along Ghana’s borders, and so the security situation in border areas could change quickly. Take sensible precautions.

Flooding is common in the Upper West, North East, Northern and Savannah regions during the rainy season (March to November). You should monitor local weather reports and expect difficulties when travelling to affected areas during this season.

If you are transiting through Burkina Faso please read the Burkina Faso travel advice

In an emergency, visitors should contact Police on 191, and follow the advice of emergency services.

Road travel

You can drive in Ghana using an International Driving Permit or a local driving licence. A UK driving licence is not valid. If you’re applying for a local driving licence from the Ghana DVLA, you must get your UK driving licence authenticated by the UK DVLA. You should carry your driving licence or International Driving Permit with you at all times when driving. An International Driving Permit is usually valid for a year and it cannot be renewed in Ghana.

Roads are mainly in a poor condition, particularly in rural areas. Street lighting is poor or non-existent. Avoid travelling by road outside the main towns after dark, when the risk of accidents and robbery is greater. Grass or leaves strewn in the road often means an accident or other hazard ahead. If you choose to drive at night be aware of impromptu police checkpoints.

Safety standards of taxi services in Ghana are often low. There have also been isolated incidents of crime taking place in all types of taxis (including licensed taxis, ‘Tro Tros’ and app-based taxi services). If you travel by taxi, we recommend you use licensed taxis, making sure to check driver IDs and the vehicle condition before you travel. Avoid travelling alone in taxis after dark.

Unlike official taxis, drivers and vehicles of ‘Tro-Tros’ and popular app-based taxi services are not centrally licensed. Driver training and vehicles standards will vary from those expected from similar service providers in the UK. Don’t use ‘Tro-Tros’ outside the major towns and cities.

Air travel

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

In 2006 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Ghana.

Sea travel

There have been attacks against ships in and around Accra’s waters. Be vigilant and take appropriate precautions.

Swimming

Swimming is dangerous on the beaches along the southern coast of Ghana due to rip tides and undertows.

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