As one of the safest countries in Africa as well as being a pan-African and international hub, Ghana is an ideal candidate for the solo traveller. An open, friendly place where people are always willing to guide tourists along, the opportunities for meeting fellow travellers and locals are numerous and easy.
In the major cities—Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Tamale—there are hubs that most tourists and international people gravitate including centrally-located bars, restaurants, and cafés. Be wary of going off the beaten track, especially late at night. Fortunately, Google Maps is efficient throughout the country to check locations. Stay in an area that is well populated and a hotel or guest house with feedback from previous guests and with staff willing to help. Ghanaians are very friendly people and willing to help out a tourist or point them in the right direction, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Unless in the centre of town, get around Accra’s neighbourhoods by local tro tro (shared minibuses) or taxi. The tro tro is the cheapest option, but be sure to confirm the destination with the bus’s first mate and ask to be told when arriving if necessary. Uber is also invaluable and often works out cheaper than most taxis that can take advantage and charge foreigners steeper rates as there are no meters.
Accommodations will likely dictate what type of Ghana experience one will have. Some hotels and hostels are prime places for meeting other travellers, such as Somewhere Nice in Accra, a lovely inexpensive but beautifully-appointed hostel not far from Osu and popular among travellers from all over the world. Staying in a budget hotel in Osu’s centre, such as Urbano, is a little less original, but being in the thick of things the gives opportunity to venture to many places and sample the Ghana nightlife. Try a drink at Republic and listen to live music or have some lunch at Tea Baa. For a more luxurious stay, indulge at the old-world Labadi Beach Hotel or the fabulous Kempinski.
Somewhere Nice, 9 Cotton Ave, Accra, Ghana, +233 54 374 3505
Urbano, Oxford Street, Osu, Accra, Ghana, +233 24 312 1950
Labadi Beach Hotel, La Road, Labadi, Accra, Ghana, +233 30 277 2501
Kempinski, Ministries, Gamel Abdul Nasser Avenue PMB 66, Accra, Ghana, +233 24 243 6000
Travelling to sites around the country is a relatively simple and safe experience. All major destinations are covered by long-distance tro tros. With no advance-booking needed, just turn up at the appropriate station at the right time, choose a car, sit inside, and wait for it to fill before it leaves. The buses run all day, and there are also larger coaches called VIP buses that are more expensive and more comfortable but a little slower. Car rental is also available with most hotels as is hiring a driver; while costly, it’s convenient for those who can afford it. Travelling around the country affords great opportunities to meet locals, other tourists, and people travelling to similar places. Things tend to be quieter and cheaper in smaller towns, and travellers can get the biggest bang for their buck without straying too far from major cities. A weekend in Kokrobite, about 40 minutes from Accra, offers an ideal place for solo travellers as it is a beach resort around a small strip of businesses in a fishing community, lovely accommodations, and live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. Many solo travellers, families, expats, and locals mingle at the laid-back Dizzy Lizzy’s, Big Milly’s Backyard, or grabbing delicious Italian at Kokrobite Gardens.
Busua in the Western Region is another lovely beach resort a little further on at Escape Three Points. Their communal-dining space and desert-island vibe seem tailor made for those travelling on their own because everyone mixes in this small, peaceful environment. Trips to HoeHo in the east, the various national parks that span the country, the experience of Akan Culture in Kumasi, and the thriving and rapidly-evolving city of Tamale can all be reached with ease; however, be aware that going to the Northern Region entails an 11-hour bus journey. All these places teem with hotels, guest houses, and hostels, and tourists are bound to meet other travellers along the way.
Dizzy Lizzy’s, Unnamed Road, Kokrobite, Ghana, +233 20 560 0990
Big Milly’s Backyard, Kokrobite, Ghana, +233 24 999 9330
Kokrobite Gardens, Kokrobite, Ghana, +233 54 639 2850
Escape Three Points, Cape Three Points, Western Region, Ghana, +233 26 721 8700
Ghana is a ripe country for exploration, and the increase in the number of people visiting—especially solo travellers—is due to the fun, lively nature of the country, the friendliness of the people, the laid-back atmosphere, and the opportunity for great adventure in a safe environment.