Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Ghana.
We have been informed of a number of attempts to defraud Irish citizens through email scams. Exercise caution if you are offered a deal which seems to be too good to be true, or if an internet friendship results in requests for money.
Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in the Ghana, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Accra or the Irish Embassy in Abuja.
Other EU Embassies
You can also contact the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
Safety and security
Safety and security
We advise you to avoid attending all political gatherings as these can be flashpoints for civil unrest.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
Arising from a heightened threat of terrorism in West Africa and worldwide, there is a risk of terrorism in Ghana. Indiscriminate terrorist attacks could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates such as hotels, beaches, churches or other areas where people gather.
Most visits to Ghana are trouble-free. However, there are incidents of crime, particularly in and around Accra and the other main urban areas and particularly after dark. Therefore you should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and be careful using ATMs, particularly after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Ghana, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Abuja if you need help.
Some Irish citizens have been victims of fraud in Ghana. If a friend you have met online starts to ask you to transfer money to them or you receive an unsolicited email with a business offer, an offer to purchase commodities, or any other proposal which promises quick financial reward, please be vigilant about the potential for scams. Contact the Embassy of Ireland in Abuja, Nigeria for an assessment of the credibility of the offer before you commit any resources to any offer.
The inter-city road network in Ghana is in good condition by regional standards, but falls short of the standards available in Ireland. However, you should be extremely careful particularly in rural areas, as most roads are in a poor condition. Road travel can be extremely hazardous due to poor or non-existent street lighting. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
- You are advised to avoid travelling by road outside the main towns after dark, when the risk of accidents and robbery is greater.
Safety standards on buses and taxis are often low.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security.
If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Wave and tide patterns are often dangerous, and swimming from beaches can be hazardous.You should only do so on local advice.
If you’re taking part in extreme adventure sports (white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, etc.), make sure that these activities are covered by your insurance. You should be aware that many of these adventure sports operators are unregulated, and so take care that you choose reputable tour operators.
Local laws and customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Ghana is a conservative and religious country and you should use your common sense and respect local sensitivities. Beachwear should be confined to the beach, and wearing immodest clothing in public is likely to cause offence or attract unwanted attention.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Homosexuality in Ghana is illegal and can incur a penalty of up to seven years in prison.
Caution and discretion are advised at all times.
Photography near government buildings, military installations and airports is prohibited as is photography of military and law enforcement personnel.
Check with your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Ghana. The standard of medical care available in Ghana is good by regional standards but not as high as the standard available in Ireland. Serious accidents or illnesses may require medical evacuation to Europe.
Malaria is endemic in Ghana and can be fatal without medical attention. Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. Avoid mosquito bites by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.
A yellow fever vaccination and a valid WHO-approved Yellow Vaccination Book are required for entry to Ghana – if you can’t provide evidence of yellow fever vaccination, you may be deported.
HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS are prevalent in Ghana. If you’re engaging in activities that expose you to possible HIV infection, make sure you take adequate precautions. If you suspect that you have been exposed, you should seek immediate medical attention.
There has been a continuing cholera outbreak in Ghana. You can find more information about this disease from the World Health Organisation.
Water-borne diseases are a problem in Ghana and you should make sure you have a supply of clean bottled water at all times.
Ghana has a tropical climate leading to high temperatures and also heavy rainfall. Due to the heat it’s important that you maintain a healthy supply of clean drinking water. Average temperatures vary between 21°C – 32 °C. Rainfall in Ghana (excluding the north) occurs between April - June and September - November. Light rainfall ensues in the north between March to April and August – September.
Floods are the principal natural disasters in Ghana, accounting for many deaths. During the rainy season, heavy rains can cause flooding and make some roads impassable. You should be particularly careful when travelling during the rainy season.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish nationals need a visa to travel to Ghana. You can’t get a visa at the border, so you will need to organise it before you travel. Contact your nearest Ghanaian embassy or consulate for more information on entry requirements, including how long your passport must be valid for.
It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.