People arriving in Accra for the first time may be a bit alarmed at the rugby scrum outside the Airport. They need to watch their possessions, especially passports, when leaving the Arrivals Hall.
Dress code is fairly relaxed, though topless sunbathing on beaches is not recommended. Ghanaians generally are very religious.
Barclays Bank operate here, but credit cards are not widely accepted.
Telephones – not enough lines and service is not good. Most business people have mobile phones. Postal service to houses non-existent unless you have a P.O. Box Number. Letters posted to UK get there quite quickly.
Electricity supplies erratic and stabilisers are essential for computers, televisions and stereo equipment. Most expats have generators. Goods bought in the UK can be used here.
Internet services are not good but new service providers are springing up.
Personal safety is not a major problem here, unlike in many other African countries. Ghanaians are generally very friendly and English is the official language. Good facilities for children, but sea bathing is dangerous because of very strong currents.
(All single occupancy, breakfast included)
Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, telephone (+233-21) 772501-5, cost $240 per night
Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra, telephone (+233-21) 775360/1, cost $205 per night
Shangri-La Hotel, Accra, telephone (+233-21) 776994, cost $120 per night
We have many good restaurants, Chinese, Indian, Italian, European, Lebanese etc as well as restaurants serving Ghanaian food. We also have an Irish Pub. Prices generally are cheaper than the UK and restaurants serving local cuisine are very cheap. Most popular restaurants are Chinese Garden, Dynasty, Imperial Peking (Chinese), Haveli (Indian), Sole Mio (Italian), Champs (Sports Bar serving Mexican style food). All are in Accra, mostly in the area known as Osu…
Shops have improved significantly in the last couple of years. Most items are now available, although it may be necessary to visit several shops. Fresh milk is not available and supplies of fresh meat are limited. Imported meat readily available though generally pretty expensive. Fruit and vegetables bought from roadside stalls. Quality varies depending on season. Potatoes are generally poor quality, but great pineapples and mangoes.
Golf, tennis, swimming, squash, rugby, football, horse riding. Only British Council library. Cinemas very poor and although there is a National Theatre, events are mainly local music and dance.
There are not a huge number of tourist attractions here, but some good beach hotels along the coast. Weekend visits to Cape Coast are popular among expats to see old forts and Kakum Canopy walkway suspended above tropical forest. Also some waterfalls up-country, and Shai Hills Nature Reserve in Eastern Region. Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, is worth a visit, particularly to see the Asantehene’s Palace.
Caledonian Society – current Chieftain Myron Reid and Secretary Pat Byrne can be contacted at the British High Commission (+233-21 221665/7010650).
Hash House Harriers meet Mondays – details from the US Embassy, Accra +233-21 775297/8).
International Players put on plays, pantomimes etc – details from Pat Byrne at British High Commission.
[All contact details correct as of original date of publication in September 2000]