CNN Travel Names Ghana As One Top 21 Places To Visit In 2021

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In an article published by CNN Trravel outlining the top 21 places to visit in 2021, Ghana has been featured again in the company of other places such as Paris and Egypt. Ghana is featured based on the success of the Year Of Return and the propoects of its sucessor, Beyond The Return. Read Article below to discover why one should visit Ghana:
— From the gloomy depths of a Northern Hemisphere winter like no other, it can seem futile thinking about vacation plans for the year ahead.
With most of the planet still in the grips of the pandemic and vaccines a long way off for so many of us, traveling for pleasure could be thought of as at best foolish, at worst, downright risky.
One thing we do know, however, is that this situation isn’t forever. For some of us, escape could be a matter of weeks away. For others, it could be coming in the middle, or even the end, of the year.
But it will come eventually, and freedom to explore will be back in the cards.
It’s in this spirit that CNN Travel has compiled its list of 21 places to visit in 2021. We’re fully aware that some of these destinations may remain off limits for some time to come and that embarking on a trip may not be advisable.
But in an era where tourism is part of the global language, we’ll continue to look ahead to the time when we can take our first tentative steps back out into the world and make good on those dreams we’ve been saving up.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a collection of mostly blockbuster destinations that we think are going to be high on your travel wish lists. The 21 places YOU want to go.
These are not the obscure, or undiscovered gems that often populate places-to-go rundowns (although we did throw in a couple of unexpected spots). These are the solid-gold vacation hits that everyone needs right now.
To help with getting you there, for each destination we’ve also built a separate guide to what you need to know before you go, covering entry restrictions, current Covid guidelines and safeguards, plus what kind of vacation you can expect when you finally make it.
See somewhere you like: bookmark the guide and keep checking back for updates. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest developments as they happen.
The Ghana Case: Ghana in West Africa is continuing to bank on diaspora tourism with a new campaign, Beyond the Return. Its Year of Return initiative in 2019 targeted international visitors of African descent.
Antarctica: Making the planet’s southern reaches even more enticing in 2021 is a December 4 solar eclipse that will darken the seventh continent, creating a major event for Antarctic cruise lines to trumpet. Click through the gallery for 20 more destinations to consider when the pandemic eases up:
Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
With the cancellation of the 2020-2021 Antarctic cruise season, there is a lot of pent-up desire to make our biggest travel dreams come true.
One of the most remote destinations on the planet, Antarctica is not an easy (or affordable) endeavor under the best circumstances.
Perhaps the difficulty is part of the allure — the seventh continent remains on the top of many travelers’ wish lists. The striking white desert, with its dramatic, snowy peaks and vibrant turquoise waters, as well its exotic wildlife, including Emperor penguins and Weddell seals, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Making the locale even more enticing in 2021 is a December 4 solar eclipse that will darken the continent, creating a major event for Antarctic cruise lines to trumpet.
Silversea’s Silver Cloud 11-day sailing departs on November 30, with rates starting at $20,520, with a 10% early booking discount and economy flights included.
Ponant’s offering also departs on November 30, but for 15 days aboard the first luxury hybrid electric polar-class vessel, Le Commandant-Charcot, starting from $17,790.
For those who are trepidatious about cruising, there are other options, including one from UK-based Red Savannah that transports passengers across the continent via private jet over nine days, for about $100,000. — Brekke Fletcher

Canada

Canada has a swoon-worthy landscape for every traveler.
Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Skiing, surfing, hiking, polar-bear spotting and Northern-lights sighting. Eclectic cuisine, world-class shopping, a diverse and rich culture. This is Canada.
The 13 provinces and territories that make up the world’s second-largest country by total area has something swoon-worthy for every type of traveler.
Nature lovers take solace in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and Atlantic or Pacific coastlines while sophisticated palates nosh at Michelin-starred restaurants and hole-in-the-wall mainstays alike.
Nightlife seekers will find vibrant club scenes in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, though smaller cities Edmonton and Calgary know how to play too.
The laid-back visitor has a bevy of chill choices: among them Tofino, Canada’s original hippie destination; Kelowna, a picturesque lakeside wine country; and St. John’s, one of the country’s friendliest places.
In New Brunswick, the recently opened Fundy Trail Parkway boasts wild views of the Bay of Fundy coast and the world’s highest tides.
Venture further north and it just gets wilder. Neither Nunavut nor Northwest Territories are easy to get to, but the rewards of visiting the remote regions — from the indigenous Inuit people’s artwork of the former, to the natural wonders (including unparalleled Northern Lights) of the latter — are countless.
Hot hotel openings include the anticipated spring 2021 debut of W Toronto and Halifax’s first five-star hotel, Muir Hotel. The property, set to open in August, will feature cold plunge and hydrotherapy pools with a halotherapy salt room. — Stacey Lastoe

Disney parks

If it were up to most kids, every family holiday would include a visit to a Disney theme park. There’s nothing comparable to the look of joy on a kid’s face the second they step through the gates and lay their eyes on that gorgeous castle and get their first-ever photo with Mickey.
These days, adults can’t be blamed for wanting to make a beeline to their nearest Disney park either, given the new “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” themed lands at both the Disneyland and Disney World resorts in the US — open for less than a year before the pandemic hit. In particularly high demand is the Rise of the Resistance, the most ambitious interactive attraction in Disney park history.
Disney World’s Epcot, meanwhile, has been going through a major transformation of its own, with more of these changes set to open in 2021. Perhaps most exciting is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a child-friendly ride due to open as part of the expansion of Epcot’s France pavilion in the World Showcase.
And speaking of makeovers, on the other side of the planet Hong Kong Disneyland has been going through a big one. The Asian park recently revealed its dazzling new Castle of Magical Dreams, which has been under construction since 2018 and replaces its Sleeping Beauty Castle. Part of the park’s ongoing multiyear expansion plan, it features a mix of architectural styles inspired by different cultures, while paying tribute to the multiple Disney princess stories. — Karla Cripps

Dubai

Dubai is still open for most visitors.
Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
While vacation planning for 2021 can seem like a wild roll of the dice, a trip to Dubai is a safer bet than most. The glitziest of the United Arab Emirates is currently welcoming almost all global travelers and, with the emirate embracing thorough safety checks and protocols, you can enjoy relative peace of mind while you’re there too.
UAE flag carrier Emirates Airlines is offering free global coverage for Covid-19 health expenses and quarantine costs, while the legendary ocean-themed luxury resort Atlantis, The Palm will cover your Covid test and give you resort credit if you stay five nights or more. Its billion-dollar sister hotel, The Royal, is also set to open its doors in 2021.
The long-awaited Expo 2020 Dubai has been rescheduled for October 2021 through March 2022 and the lavish mega-event is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East. Visitors can expect world-class architecture, spectacular displays and a festival of food.
Also expected next year is the opening of the grandly named Museum of the Future, the calligraphy-adorned facade of which is already an impressive new landmark in a city known for its buildings with wow factor. — Maureen O’Hare

Egypt

Egypt’s supply of ancient wonders is seemingly limitless, and 2021 may be just the year to show them all off to a world starved for cultural discovery.
Many of Egypt’s most celebrated artifacts are finally expected to get a gleaming new home this year at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) close to the site of the Pyramids of Giza.
The museum — a monumental concrete and glass space measuring nearly half a million square meters with a price tag of over $1 billion — was conceived in 2003 and has been under construction for eight years.
While the opening date has not been set, the long-delayed museum is sure to be a huge draw. A headliner: King Tutankhamun’s treasures will all be exhibited together for the first time.
A number of sarcophagi from Saqqara — newly discovered in 2020 — will be transferred to the GEM, as will wooden coffins found in Luxor in 2019.
No doubt more new discoveries will be added to the lineup — providing a deep dive into 5,000 years of history that can also be traced by trekking across Egypt to the tombs themselves. — Marnie Hunter

France

Rolling fields of lavender or grape vineyards are among highlights of a trip to France.
Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
The bistros, boulangeries, patisseries and fromageries are reason enough to hotfoot it to France when the world starts moving in earnest.
And the rest of the things that drew nearly 90 million visitors to France in 2019 will start coming to life again too: world-class art exhibitions, elegant chateaux, towering cathedrals, medieval villages, glamorous stretches of coast and endless tangles of wine-producing vines.
With any luck, corks will be popping in June at the Bordeaux Wine Festival — the largest in Europe, and hopefully the line-up at Jazz à Juan in Antibes Juan-les-Pins in July will provide a fitting soundtrack to a summer showing signs of a return to communal life.
For a regal, live-it-up kind of stay, Le Grand Contrôle — a historic hotel in the heart of the Château de Versailles with an Alain Ducasse restaurant and indoor swimming pool — is set to open to guests in 2021. — Marnie Hunter

Ghana

Its Year of Return initiative in 2019 targeted international visitors of African descent, and Ghana in West Africa is continuing to bank on diaspora tourism with its new campaign Beyond the Return.
Land and sea borders currently remain closed, but now is a good time to acquaint yourself with the country’s hip cultural offerings, from an arts and fashion renaissance to new restaurant and hotel openings.
Adventurers can catch waves at deserted beaches at Cape Three Points, one of West Africa’s best surfing spots, and may spot some humpback whales too. Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge and is where you can see Nolan warthogs and spotted hyenas and get close to ambling elephants.
Capital city Accra has little in the way of major attractions, but remains charming and lively. For a fashionable, cosmopolitan vibe head to Osu and the area surrounding the airport, where you’ll find designer shops and art galleries. — Maureen O’Hare

Greece

Sunset over Greece’s rugged Mani region.
Barry Neild/CNN
If we do make it back to normality in 2021, Greece will have more reason than most to celebrate — it’s marking its 200th birthday. The official anniversary of when an 1821 revolution sparked a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire is in February-March, but parties and events to mark the bicentennial are expected — Covid permitting — throughout the year.
The charming port of Nafplio, in the Peloponnese region southwest of Athens, is as good a place as any to join in the celebrations — it was modern Greece’s first capital. As well as beaches and nearby ancient sites like the remarkable Epidaurus amphitheater and the imposing ruins of Mycenae, Nafplio has its own attractions, including the hilltop Palamidi fortress, a secluded beach and, especially apt for these times, a museum of worry beads.
Beyond Nafplio, the Peloponnese are worth exploring. Less touristed than many of Greece’s hotspots, they’re more set up for social distancing, especially on the wild and mountainous Mani Peninsula. That said, most of Greece, which is known to take health matters very seriously, seemed to cope well with creating a Covid-safe visitor experience in the summer of 2020, succumbing to a virus surge far later than most European destinations.
While a slow return to normal might make previously overtouristed places like Santorini worth a look in 2021, there’s no loss in playing it safe with a quieter option, like the island of Milos in the Cyclades — a plane or ferry hop from Athens. This volcanic playground has a beach for every day of the month, with more than a few to spare. — Barry Neild

Grenada

While Grenada’s nickname comes from its famous nutmeg industry, the “Isle of Spice” is packed with flavor in every way possible.
Measuring just 18 kilometers wide and 34 kilometers long, the eastern Caribbean island is made up of sandy beaches, lush rainforests and spectacular waterfalls, but it’s Grenada’s rich character that sets it apart from more well-known tropical destinations.
Although each of its seven parishes has its own very distinct charm and appeal, Grenada’s capital St. George’s, known for its horseshoe-shaped harbor and colorful houses, is undoubtedly the most vibrant and picturesque.
St. George’s is also home to many of Grenada’s top hotels, including The Point at Petite Calivigny, a boutique wellness resort, which opened in late 2020, and Silversands Grenada, where visitors will find the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean.
The island has around 45 beaches, but Grand Anse is its most popular for good reason. Spanning three kilometers, this stunning stretch of white sand frequented by both visitors and locals offers tranquil waters, fantastic views and a wonderfully serene atmosphere. — Tamara Hardingham-Gill

Hawaii

Hawaii is home to truly extraordinary beaches — and a whole lot more.
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Hawaii is underrated. This in spite of its unceasing popularity among travelers.
To be sure, it is a gorgeous place, with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and every beach seemingly prettier than the next, but its beauty goes much deeper than its preternatural appearance.
Extraordinary beaches — some even boast black and green sand (Papakōlea Beach and Punaluʻu Beach, respectively) — have their expected appeal, but visitors who take time to venture out and away from the coast quickly discover Hawaii’s charms are in every nook and cranny.
On the island of Hawaii, a must-see is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where a spectacular new eruption of Kilauea has recently drawn visitors. As is a visit to Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai, which may turn even the most reluctant hikers into avid ones.
On Maui, after a few blissful days lounging at one of Wailea’s top resorts (Hotel Wailea for adults and Four Seasons for the whole family), take the road to Hana, an epic, winding adventure where half the joy is stopping along the way — to get the perfect shot or the most delicious tropical juice.
No matter which island you choose, which beachfront accommodation or which adventure, the key is slowing down and inviting the Aloha vibes to take over. — Stacey Lastoe

Italy

Perennially popular Italy hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in March 2020, when it became the global epicenter of the pandemic — and after controlling infection rates better than most European countries over the summer, its aging population has been hit hard again by the second wave.
But nothing can dim Italy’s attraction, and as restrictions ease, this will be a time to see it at its best. Pre-pandemic, Italy’s art cities were notorious epicenters of overtourism.
But with visitor numbers not expected to return to 2019 levels for several years, for those who can make it safely, 2021 will afford the chance to see the Bel Paese in a way that hasn’t been possible for decades.
What’s more, the best known cities are trying to change tourism for the better. Having seen many of the tatty souvenir shops close in the pandemic, Venice, for instance, is focusing on promoting the city’s traditional artisans, in a bid to readjust the tourism economy before the crowds come back.
Meanwhile, Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera — one of Italy’s showstopper (and queue-heavy) art galleries — has vowed to keep entrance by pre-booking only, in order to give visitors more space, while Da Vinci masterwork “The Last Supper” is considering more same-day tickets to favor individuals rather than the big groups that usually book up slots months in advance.
Still social distancing? Italy has some of Europe’s loveliest rural towns, and its alberghi diffusi (scattered hotels) are perfect for the Covid era, putting you up in self-contained apartments dotted around villages. They’re sustainable, too, helping to support smaller places in need of tourism. — Julia Buckley

Japan

Japan is hoping to host the rescheduled Summer Olympics in 2021.
Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Though every tourism-dependent nation is certainly deserving of sympathy going into 2021, one can’t help but feel particularly moved by the plight of Japan.
This is a country that hustled hard to ready itself for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, only to have to cancel the event just as it was ready to showcase those efforts to the world.
Those postponed Olympic Games will kick off in Tokyo on July 23, 2021, giving travelers a chance to see some of the huge changes that have taken place, along with all the reasons we fell in love with the country in the first place. The food, the people, the culture … Japan has a way of embedding itself into your soul and we can’t wait to get back.
Major Tokyo additions include the Takanawa Gateway — the first new station built on the city’s key JR Yamanote train line since 1971. The area around busy Shibuya Station has also been revamped as part of a huge multi-layer makeover to cement it as the city’s entertainment, transport and business hub for decades to come. Other changes of note include wider free Wi-Fi coverage not just in Tokyo but in the entire country — including 108 Shinkansen “bullet train” stations.
Several new hotels opened this year as well, including the luxurious Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo and the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.
But there’s plenty to see elsewhere, too — particularly for theme park fans. Our top pick? The new Super Nintendo World, which is due to open at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in February 2021. –– Karla Cripps

Maldives

White sand beaches? Check. World-class dining? Yep. Incredible swimming, sailing and scuba diving? Got those too. Throughout the pandemic, Maldives has also managed to keep its borders open more than most thanks to the built-in social distancing offered by its luxurious resorts.
If anybody needed additional incentive to cross Maldives off of their bucket list in 2021, a spate of hotel openings is keeping things interesting. On deck for 2021 openings are new resorts from Ritz-Carlton, Patina, Le Meridien, Capella and Radisson Blu.
Next year will also mark a world’s-first country-wide loyalty program: the Maldives Border Miles program will allow visitors to earn points based on how often they visit and how long they stay. After all, the only thing better than visiting is visiting twice. — Lilit Marcus

Mexico

Travel between the United States and Mexico never really stopped during the pandemic.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
This US neighbor to the south was a respite for many in 2020, in spite of the closure of land borders between the US and Mexico and multiple surges in coronavirus cases.
Air travel into and out of Mexico never really stopped, owing to the country’s limited Covid-related travel requirements, plus its natural beauty, breathtaking coastlines and a wide swath of relatively under-touristed locations beyond hotspots like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Cabo San Lucas.
While balancing physical and economic health has been an uneven juggling act the world over, the fact is Mexico and many other destinations are in dire need of tourism revenue.
Looking into fall 2021, which hopefully will be a much less complicated time to visit, Mexico City will be celebrating its quincentennial, commemorating its founding 500 years ago, with most festivities planned in September to coincide with Mexican Independence Day.
Later in the fall, Formula 1 racing fans can attend the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix on October 29-31 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. — Brekke Fletcher

New Zealand

“Otherworldly” — a term often applied to New Zealand’s eye-popping, Hobbit-friendly landscapes — has taken on new meaning when it comes to this South Pacific jewel.
Unlike vast swaths of the rest of the world, many of life’s normal activities have resumed in New Zealand, thanks to one of the globe’s most successful pandemic responses
The island country of five million has all but stamped out coronavirus, logging just over two dozen Covid-19 deaths. While its borders are closed to most travelers at present, we expect a lot of pent-up demand from people in all corners of the world salivating over images of its boundless terrain and return to relative normalcy.
Who doesn’t need a bit of forest therapy in Waiheke right now? Or some star-gazing on Stewart Island? The world is still wide and wonderful and this country serves nature up on a heaping platter with rich ties to local Māori culture and history. — Marnie Hunter

New York City

It’s a good time to explore New York’s fascinating neighborhoods on foot.
C. Taylor Crothers/Getty Images
Start spreading the news, reports of New York City’s “demise” have been grossly exaggerated. While the city has no doubt been adversely affected (what place hasn’t?) over the last year, the city that never sleeps has high hopes for a better 2021.
A lot of New York’s best offerings remain accessible, despite the ongoing pandemic (two major closures still in effect as the new year dawns are Broadway and indoor dining). And while New York City is rarely referred to as an “outdoor wonderland,” the truth is the best way to experience the city is walking through its distinct neighborhoods, maybe even with a slice of pizza in hand.
One of the best views of lower Manhattan can be seen while strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge, and New York City’s waterfront and parks are always there for you to explore.
Some seminal cultural institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, can be experienced with timed-ticketing — and without the usual crowds.
To add to the excitement, there are two highly anticipated luxury hotel openings.
Luxury brand Aman will make its New York debut in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, with 83 rooms, a 65-foot swimming pool, Japanese and Italian restaurants, cigar bar and rooftop terrace with views of Central Park, which is just a short stroll away.
All the way on the West Side, along the Hudson River near the High Line, the new Six Senses New York is slated to open inside The Xi — two new twisting towers designed by architect Bjarke Ingels. The brand’s first North American hotel boasts 136 rooms and suites and a spa spanning 45,000 square fee with a vibroacoustic meditation dome. — Brekke Fletcher

Singapore

Most travelers don’t want to spend any more time in an airport than they have to. But Singapore’s Changi is no ordinary airport.
While the rest of the world was hunkering down at home, Singaporean locals were paying to hang out at Changi, whether it was co-working in one of the lounges or glamping alongside the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Changi Jewel, which opened in 2019.
The coming year is a chance to fall back in love with travel, and a visit to the Lion City should rekindle that romance.
Beyond its spectacular airport, the city-state is home to a UNESCO-listed botanical garden, one-of-a-kind Peranakan culture, and some of the world’s most spectacular luxury hotels.
Its food scene is a major highlight — whether visitors opt for $5 Hainan chicken rice from a hawker stall or $500-per-plate Michelin-starred fine dining, nobody ever goes home hungry. — Lilit Marcus

Spain

Barcelona has taken time out to reevaluate its tourism offering.
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Spain, with its miles of picturesque sandy coastline and vibrant historic cities, has always been an unmissable travel destination.
Barcelona’s Las Ramblas may have been emptier than usual this year, while the party ground to a halt in the beach bars of the Balearic Islands, but Spain’s tourism hotspots are preparing to wow visitors once again.
Barcelona, like other European cities plagued in recent years by overtourism, has taken the time out to reevaluate how visitors can continue to enjoy the city without making it uninhabitable for locals.
The Balearics, meanwhile, are repositioning themselves with far more than iconic nightlife: secluded bays, a plethora of wildlife and sumptuous Mediterranean meals enjoyed al fresco will be the top attractions for visitors when they return.
Plus, by next summer, Spain’s fiestas — outdoor parties featuring fireworks, parades and celebration — might be back, and what better way to mark new beginnings than toasting 2021 under the Spanish sun? — Francesca Street

Thailand

For more than a century, Thailand has woven its spell on the masses with its glittering temples, fiery food, stunning beaches and mountainous landscapes.
All of that’s still there — plus a little more. The country has been heavily promoting domestic tourism in recent months, meaning there’s been no shortage of new hotel and restaurant openings — particularly in the capital, Bangkok.
The city’s historic riverside Charoenkrung area recently welcomed two new luxury hotels — Capella and the Four Seasons Bangkok — while nearby Yaowarat — aka Chinatown — continues to evolve with the addition of wonderfully eclectic bars and boutique hotels. One of our favorites is gallery/bar/restaurant Baan Rim Naam, which sits in a 200 year-old riverside warehouse in the Talad Noi neighborhood.
For those with their eye on Thailand’s south, the government is reportedly considering reopening Maya Bay, which has been closed since 2018 as part of a program aimed at reviving the area’s decimated corals.
Though not yet confirmed, the stunning cove made famous by “The Beach,” the 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may welcome visitors in mid-2021, but with strict visitor caps. — Karla Cripps

United Kingdom

The UK has plenty of beautiful scenery, including the Lake District.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
“Plague Island” isn’t likely to be top of anyone’s travel hot list, but let’s try to see past the unfortunate sobriquet applied to Great Britain by The New York Times after a new strain of virus led to many countries severing travel connections with the UK.
The first place in the world to approve the coronavirus vaccine will hopefully, by the coming summer, have shaken off its notoriety. What should emerge is one of the world’s top tourism offerings, but very different.
The UK’s recent Brexit from the EU will see the country’s tourism sector happier than ever to see foreign visitors, particularly given that those arriving from Europe may face more bureaucracy than before to travel here.
Brexit, plus the financial impact of the pandemic, may mean many Brits choosing to staycation this year, although some may splurge on an overseas escape after months of enforced lockdown. But the good news for foreign visitors is that a widely expected slump in the pound should make the UK great value for money.
While the country may seem like a small collection of islands, it still offers wide open spaces for those still wary of crowds. There are the hills and waters of the picture-perfect Lake District, the dramatic coastline paths of Cornwall and Wales, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and even the pretty scenery at the end of London’s Underground lines. — Barry Neild

Uruguay

As neighbors Brazil and Argentina have struggled to contain the pandemic, laid-back little Uruguay has kept infection rates down — and as South America starts reopening for travel, that will serve it well.
Not that this is some kind of consolation prize; Uruguay has always had a huge amount to offer visitors, but as the continent’s second smallest country, it has often been dwarfed in the tourism stakes by its behemoth neighbors.
The current summer season (December-March) has effectively been canceled, with the government vowing to keep borders closed to stop infection rates rising. But once they reopen, there’s a huge amount to discover.
New to Uruguay this year? You’ll be blown away by its Atlantic coastline, with some of the most pristine beaches you’ll ever have seen — and a superb variety of accommodation, from beachside glamping to lagoon-floating cabinschi-chi country retreats and architecturally cutting edge bungalows, plonked in the middle of a vineyard.
Punta del Este is one of the Americas’ buzziest beach resorts, while Jose Ignacio, an hour up the coast, is a boho (but exclusive) resort. Carmelo, near the Argentinian border on the River Plate, is a laid-back weekend destination for Argentinians. It’s known for its wine — and the once-quiet Uruguayan wine scene is going from strength to strength.
Much of the buzz is around Jose Ignacio and Garzón, just inland, which is seeing a crop of vineyards opening up, like Bodega Garzón — owned by billionaire Alejandro Bulgheroni — Bodega Oceánica José Ignacio, plus Viña Edén and Sacromonte, both in nearby Pueblo Edén (tour the vineyards or try their wares at Solera, Jose Ignacio’s superb wine bar).
New for 2021 will be Costa Garzón, linked to the Bodega — a new coastal development with a restaurant by celeb chef Francis Mallmann, beach club, hotel and private lots — and pretty hotel Posada Ayana, which, in November, will unveil a Skyspace by James Turrell — the renowned artist’s first freestanding work in South America. — Julia Buckley
Keep an eye on our individual destination guides for updated information on openings, travel rules and more.
An earlier version of this story misidentified the capital of the UAE.

GIPC, GTA and GUBA organise ‘A Taste Of Ghana: Rock Your African Print’ to showcase rich Ghanaian culture

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Accra, December 23, 2020

As an endeavour to showcase the rich Ghanaian culture and promote local businesses, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), and GUBA is organising ‘A Taste of Ghana: Rock Your African Print’, on the 28th of December 2020, at the Accra Polo Club.

 

A Taste of Ghana is a unique event that aims to project the beauty of Ghanaian culture and heritage. Bringing together Ghanaians and the African Diaspora, the event will primarily foster an informal networking session for all attendees, and to also encourage the support and patronage of Made in Ghana products.

 

The array of activities for the days’ event will include live music sessions, fashion shows and performances, while vendors will also be on site showcasing various authentic and delicious Ghanaian dishes, local drinks, art, and fashion items.

 

Touching on the significance of the event, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr Yofi Grant said “Ghana has always been recognised as a country with rich cultural heritage and gained even more traction following the recent year of return initiative which welcomed lots of our people within the diaspora. I therefore look forward to this event creating avenues to harness opportunities between indigenes and diasporas for the benefit of the nation “.

 

Buttressing the comments of Mr Grant, the CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman added that “beyond the fun and rich cultural experience, I believe we can leverage such events to continuously promote tourism in Ghana and create business opportunities for Ghanaians”.

 

Keeping with the celebration of Ghanaian culture, and the obvious title of the event, patrons are encouraged to come “Rocking an African Print.

 

The event is scheduled for 2pm to 10pm and patrons can look forward to an interesting time with friend and family while experiencing and capturing the sights, feels, sounds and tastes of Ghana.

 

A Taste of Ghana is a Beyond the Return Initiative, sponsored by Absa Bank Ghana,  Ghana Export Promotion Authority and Ghana EXIM bank. It is also partnered by The BridgeZone and powered by E-volution.

 

 

 

For enquiries, tickets, and information, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/133744464293

About Grow, Unite, Build, Africa

GUBA Enterprise is a social enterprise organisation dedicated to the advancement of diaspora Africans and Africans back home through various socio – economic programs and initiatives.

The organisation has various brand activities namely: GUBA Awards, GUBA Foundation, GUBA Trade Expo, GUBA Careers, GUBA Diaspora Card, GUBA Tours and Rock Your African Print.

Contact: Claudia Andrews

Email: [email protected]

 

About Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is a Government agency, responsible to encourage and promote investments in Ghana, to provide for the creation of an attractive incentive framework and a transparent, predictable, and facilitating environment for investments in Ghana.

 

About Ghana Tourism Authority

The Ghana Tourism Authority is the public service agency in charge of regulating tourism in Ghana through marketing and promotion, licensing and classification of tourism facilities and services, research, and development.

Photos: Kotoka Airport Receives First Passengers After Re-Opening

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Yesterday, September 1, 2020 the Kotoka International Airport received about 200 passengers arriving on three (3) separate flights since President Nana Addo announced the reopening of Ghana’s Airport. This comes on the heels of the recent certification of Ghana as a #SafeTravels destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

As announced earlier, passengers went through to COVID-19 tests at the Upper Arrival section of Kotoka International Airport (KIA) where 70 cubicles had been set-up to test passengers for COVID-19. Passengers were seen going through the process smoothly without hitches.
At the main Arrival Hall, the demarcation was also in place to allow for social distancing amongst arriving travelers.

One of the latest addition to the processes at the airport is the introduction of automated Health declaration forms for passenger use. Passengers could be seen keying-in Health details on electronic systems provided as part of the processes.
With these initial flights, it is expected that the numbers will increase stemming from the increase in demand for Ghanaian Visas at some of the Embassies and Consulates for Beyond The Return and December In Ghana.
Also, departing Accra yesterday were two private jets and Tap Portugal Airlines where passengers observed COVID-19 protocols put in place.
At the airport yesterday were members of the Ghana Airports Company Limited Board led by the Chairperson, Madam Oboshie Sai Cofie and officials of the Ministries of Health, Aviation, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to observe the facilitation process.

Ghana’s International Air Borders Opens September 1, 2020

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President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his sixteenth update on enhanced measures to defeat the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, announced the reopening of the country’s borders by air.   After several weeks of thorough work, the president said he was satisfied that it was safe to open. “I’m glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday 1st September 2020,” he said in his address to the nation.

 

All international airlines have been informed and briefed on the protocols that have been put in place to keep the country’s continued proactive measures against the spread of the virus.  It was noted that the first few cases were imported from travellers arriving in Ghana and that the country will remain vigilant to prevent this from happening again.

 

There have been protocols put in place to maintain Ghana’s dedication to prevent new importations of the virus with the open borders.    Any passenger arriving in Ghana must have a copy of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in their country of origin.  They must have completed the test within 72 hours of travel.  All arriving passengers in Ghana must we wearing face masks as they disembark, and they will undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing at the airport terminal.  The fees for the test would be the responsibility of the passenger.  Results would be available within 30 minutes and those who test negative are free to go to their destination and must observe all covid-19 precautionary measures.  Those who test positive would be handled by health authorities.

 

Ghana’s borders have been closed since March leaving many travellers stuck both in and out of the country.  There are also several diasporans who had trips planned to Ghana that were cancelled or postponed. Many of them have been anticipating the reopening of Ghana’s borders. The border reopening is welcome news to those who have been anxious to either leave or return to Ghana.  The president added that borders by land and sea are still closed to human traffic until further notice.

Ghana receives global Safe Travels Stamp from World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

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Ghana has become the latest recipient of the world’s first-ever global Safe Travels Stamp, (formerly safety and hygiene stamp), launched recently by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The stamp created by the WTTC in May this year, allows travellers to identify destinations and businesses around the world which have adopted the global standardised health and hygiene protocols.

A statement issued by the WTTC which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector said the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has welcomed the Safe Travels Stamp, which places the safety and hygiene of travellers as a top priority.

The WTTC President & CEO, Gloria Guevara said: “Our Safe Travels Stamp continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted to see even more popular countries and destinations from all corners of the world adopt our global health and hygiene protocols.

“The stamp also recognises the introduction of new measures by governments around the world which positively impact the Travel & Tourism sector, and to that end, we applaud the government of Ecuador for implementing new measures at Quito airport.

“The continued success of the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp demonstrates its importance not only to countries, destinations and businesses around the world, but crucially travellers, and the millions of people around the world who work in and depend on, a thriving Travel & Tourism sector.

“The stamp is critical to re-establish consumer confidence in our sector and ensure travellers can rest assured that enhanced standards of hygiene are in place and they can once again experience ‘Safe Travels’.”

Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said: “We are delighted with this milestone of a Safe Travels Stamp for Ghana. Since March 21, 2020, when our borders were closed, we have worked on creating a safe environment for our Tourism and Travel practitioners. The protocols we have put in place are borne out of a shared responsibility to create a hygienic and safe destination.

“With the gradual easing of restrictions, we believe these measures will boost confidence in our tourism and hospitality sector. We congratulate the WTTC for instituting these Safe Travels protocols which is a welcome addition to the tourism industry.”

Since the launch of the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp, destination countries and cities, around the world have now adopted WTTC’s new protocols, including holiday heavyweights such as Tunisia, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Kenya, Mauritius and Dubai.

As part of its Safe Travels protocols, the worldwide measures provide consistency and guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 world.

The protocols were devised following the experience of WTTC members dealing with COVID-19 and based on guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Source: Graphic Online

Ghanaians and Diasporans Come Together to Remember George Floyd in Memorial Service

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Friday June 5, 2020 – DuBois Centre Accra

Together with the Diaspora African Forum, the Beyond the Return/Year of Return team, Ghana Tourism Authority, the African American Association of Ghana, the Diaspora Affairs Office, members of the diaspora community and some Ghanaians, a ceremony was held in memory of George Floyd, the African American who was killed by police in the United States.  Floyd’s killing was captured on video and has sparked protests and rallies from people of all races around the world.

The memorial service in Ghana was held on the grounds of the W.E.B. Dubois Centre on the morning of Friday 5thJune 2020.  Floyd’s name was also memorialized on the wall at the Diaspora African Forum, where other people from the diaspora have their names forever remembered.  The service shed light on the negative experiences of African Americans and all black people from around the world, due to racism.

Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, delivered a message that resonated with the diaspora community. She spoke of the injustices that face black communities not only in America but in other parts of the world. “We gathered to pray and remember as Martin Luther King said, ‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere,’” she said. “We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home, Ghana is your home. African is your home. We have our arms wide open, ready to welcome you home,” she said with her arms spread, “…Africa is waiting for you.”

 

Ambassador Erieka Bennett, Head of Missions at the African Diaspora Forum, spoke of the pain felt by black people because of the ongoing injustices.  Coming together was important in remembering not only George Floy, but the many others who have lost their lives in a senseless way because of systemic racism.  “We have got to touch the conscience of the world to stand with us now,” Ambassador Bennett said.

 

Our brothers and sisters of African descent have suffered the long-lasting effects of racism, which is rooted in the history of the enslavement of Africans.  Last year, Ghana commemorated the 400-years since the first documented ship of enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony, which is now Virginia, U.S.A.  Thousands of African Americans and others from the global African family, travelled to Ghana to commemorate and to honour the resilience of the African spirit.  It’s only natural, that we stand in support of our global African family as they face struggles and fight for change.  Our community also acknowledges that many Ghanaians and other Africans also live in America and other parts of the world where they too are victims of the same systemic racism

 

Rabbi Kohain, Executive Director for PANAFEST Foundation, was one of the speakers during the memorial service.  “This is not a fight just for African Americans, not a fight just for African people, but it’s a fight for humanity,” Kohain told the media after the service.  He spoke on how important it was for Ghana to perform this exercise because other African countries often take their lead from Ghana, having been a country known for its Pan Africanism. “The justice that we seek is a justice that sees every human being equal before the eyes of the law.  It’s not just about specific individuals but about the systemic institutions that have supported racism,” he said.

 

“Ghana has taken the leadership role on honouring and doing this…and we want to thank the Minister for the wonderful message she gave,” said Ambassador Erieka Bennett. “The message is ‘We are one’ regardless of where you’re from, if you are a black person you are an African and that’s the message, we want people to understand.”

Akufo-Addo deserves to be praised for “Year of Return” initiative – Ablakwa

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, has commended President Akufo-Addo for implementing the ‘Year of Return” initiative, ABC News can report.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, December 3, Mr. Ablakwa said Ghana has attracted considerable interest and high-level visits from Africans in the diaspora since the President made the declaration.

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”Mr. Speaker, it is most appropriate to commend our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for declaring in September, 2018 that this year – 2019, shall be observed as the: “Year of Return, Ghana 2019.” It is trite knowledge that 2019 marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in the United States of America” the North Tongue MP told the House.

”Since this proclamation, it is fair to note that Ghana has attracted considerable interest and high-level visits from Africans in the diaspora, perhaps taken such Pan-African pilgrimages to the next level since President Jerry John Rawlings institutionalized the PANAFEST celebrations in 1992,” Okudzeto Ablakwa extolled.

Mr. Ablakwa was also full of commendation for President Akufo-Addo for conferring Ghanaian citizenship on 126 Africans in the diaspora. He noted that the country has done very little to take advantage of the provisions of the constitution that permits diasporans to be given such honour.

”Mr. Speaker, kindly permit me to also highlight the conferment of citizenship on 126 Africans in the diaspora by the President last week. The House will recall that last year I made a statement urging the State to make greater use of this provision in our laws,”

”Since the days of the exceptional intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois and that great poet Maya Angelou were granted citizenship, it remains my humble view that we have not made impressive effort to leverage this opportunity even though I acknowledge that in 2016 President John Dramani Mahama granted citizenship to 30 Africans in the diaspora,” he said.

In September 2018 in Washington, D.C, President Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019’ for Africans in the diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora.

A number of African Americans, including Steve Harvey, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Jai White, Anthony Anderson, Idris Elba, Jidenna, Samuel L Jackson and Deborah Cox have already visited Ghana as part of the initiative.

Source: ABCNewsgh.com

Photos: Year Of Return Kumasi Carnival Held

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Over the weekend the maiden Global African Diaspora Kumasi Carnival 2019 was held in Kumasi. There was so much energy and the connection between the Caribbean Diaspora and local Ghanaians was strong. Powerful words were spoken by many about staying connected.


Supporting the event was Miss Trinidad & Tobago UK who said for her “Ghana feels like home”.

This is the first, and organisers hope to continue it as an annual event and celebration that attracts travellers every year.

A group from Suriname was there and made some strong statements about coming back home to Ghana and wanting to be embraced by Ghana.

Just before the procession began, the Suriname group wanted to express themselves.

It carnival procession ended with Street Fair and a variety show in the evening.

Year of Return: Over 250 to visit Ghana for historic Jamestown to Jamestown Homecoming

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Since President Nana Akufo Addo declared 2019 the ‘Year of Return’ inviting all people from the diaspora to visit Ghana, thousands have already come with lots planning return visits.

The Year of Return Secretariat and the Adinkra Group are preparing to receive another over 250 people for this year’s ‘Jamestown to Jamestown’ event. The group will begin their tour on August 18, 2019, in Washington DC with a bus ride to Jamestown Virginia (Colonial National Park) for a prayer vigil and candle lighting ceremony marking the 400 year anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arrival and honouring the memory of all those stolen from Africa over 400 years ago.

They would then continue to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture designed by Ghanian architect Sir David Adjaye on the National Mall before departing for Ghana.

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark this anniversary. As an official event of the Year of Return, Jamestown to Jamestownis a spiritual, historical and reconciliatory journey in commemoration of the 400 year anniversary. Some highlights of the journey for the participants include:

  • Ancestral Healing Ceremony at Jamestown, Accra

  • Business, Investment & Development Summit

  • Black Tie Gala

  • AfricanAncestry.com DNA Reveal Ceremony

  • Cape Coast and Elmina Castle Visit

  • Assin Manso Last Bath Slave River

  • Akwasidae Festival @ Manhyia Palace in Kumasi

The Jamestown to Jamestown event is one of the certified ‘Year of Return’ events set as a spiritual, historical, and reconciliatory journey from August 18 – 28, 2019 from Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown, Accra to commemorate the 400 year anniversary with a week-long series of events during the Year of Return, Ghana 2019.

Your Survival Guide While in Ghana for Year of Return

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Written by Ivy Prosper

The anticipation when you land at Kotoka International Airport is like no other.  The feeling that you’ve arrived home is one way many have described it. Undoubtedly when you walk out of the plane and feel that warm tropical West African sun on your face, you know that ‘you’ve arrived’.  

As you make your way through the airport you’re already thinking about everything you plan on doing while you’re in Ghana. Remember that being in another country, there are a number of things you have to consider.  It’s not going to be similar to being back home. Be patient and willing to adapt to the environment. It will make your visit much more pleasant.  

There are a few key things to note during your stay in Ghana.  When it comes to currency, in Ghana it’s the Cedi (pronounced ‘see-dee’).  There are 100 pesewas to one Cedi (Just as there are 100 pennies to one dollar).  The value of Ghana’s currently fluctuates quite frequently, as a result there are some businesses that will operate in U.S. currency.  It’s best to check with the bank and forex bureau for the latest exchange rates.

 

Payment Methods

First, Ghana is primarily a cash and mobile money society.  If you’re travelling from countries like Canada, the United States., Britain, and parts of Europe, this isn’t something you’ll be used to.  Cashless systems are commonplace in other countries, but in Ghana cash still dominates. The other form of payment that is quite common is the use of Mobile Money payment systems.  If you’re not familiar with Mobile Money, that’s the service provided by all the telecom companies for users to be able to send money to others using a virtual wallet attached to their phone number.  It can also be used to make payments at some vendors. You can inquire about registering once you get a local SIM.  

When it comes to the use of Credit and Debit Cards, most hotels and restaurants in areas where tourists frequent usually accept this form of payment.  Some retailers in the shopping malls and plazas will accept card payments also. Visa is most common, with some accepting Mastercard. American Express (AMEX) is rarely accepted in Ghana. 

 

Transportation

Getting around as a tourist is one of the biggest concerns for travellers when they are in a new country.  You have a few options to move around while you are in Ghana.  

 

Taxis

In Ghana Taxis are stationed and driving around nearly everywhere you go.  They typically honk their horns in the hopes of getting a passenger. Taxis in Ghana don’t have a formal Meter calculating the fare.  Rather it’s negotiated. Before you board a taxi, it’s important that you negotiate and agree to a fare before the ride begins.  

If you want air conditioning they will often charge you a higher fare because they will say it consumes their fuel, but most don’t have the A/C working anyway.  

 

Uber

Since Uber came to Ghana in 2016, they offer a good alternative to taking the regular taxis. Currently they are only available in Greater Accra and Kumasi.  You don’t need to think about giving directions, like you would in a taxi, because of the mapping system used for the app. However, drivers often call passengers immediately after making a request to ask for directions.  This practice should be avoided. As a tourist, you’re not likely to know where you are going and it’s best to let the driver know you’re not familiar and to please follow the map system.  

Paraglide

In African countries, Uber has a Cash option for payment.  Because Ghana and other African countries are largely cash-based societies, many drivers prefer cash payments.  If you look at the app upon opening while you’re in Ghana, you will see the option to change your payment to Cash.  This will facilitate your travel with Uber. 

 

Bolt (formerly Taxify) 

In 2017, Taxify (now Bolt), entered the market.  As one of Europe’s popular rideshare services it grew rapidly as a competitor to Uber. 

If you don’t have this app already, it’s a good idea to download it to use while you’re in Ghana.   When Uber is extremely busy, this is a good option. They offer promotional discounts to new accounts and are often less expensive than Uber.   The downside is that they are only available in Accra and slow to respond to customer concerns and reports of issues with the ride or driver. 

Yango

This is the latest ride sharing service to enter the Ghanaian market.  Newly launched in 2019, the app is so new that there are not as many drivers available as with the other rideshare services.  This could potentially cause a delay when requesting vehicles. They are also only in Greater Accra.

 

Eat Ghana Fufu and Goat Light Soup

 

Trotro Vans

Everywhere you look in the streets of Ghana you’ll see those 16-passenger vans loading people.  These are called ‘trotros’. The most widely used form of public transportation in the country, they are also the least expensive and least comfortable option.  They fill the vehicles to capacity and sometimes over capacity with children sitting on the laps of adults.  

These vehicles have no air conditioning and stop everywhere, even non-designated places, resulting in longer durations of trips. If you join one of these vehicles at a station, remember that they will not depart until the vehicle is full.  This could also cause you delays in travel if it takes a long time to load. 

The mate, is the person who collects the fare and is often seen shouting out the window trying to get passengers for the vehicle.  If you’re not familiar with Ghana, this can be the most confusing form of transportation. 

Metro Mass Transit

The Metro Mass transit buses only depart from certain stations and operate Monday – Friday during business hours.  Some stations have Saturday operations too. To board this bus you need to have a Metro Card. It can be purchased and then loaded with money for your fare.  You would tap the card upon boarding the bus and your far is automatically deducted. Visit their website for more info at www.metromasstransit.com.gh

Health Care

Although Ghana has gone through some great developments, there are still challenges in its health care system, especially in public hospitals which are overburdened.  Foreigners often prefer to be treated at private hospitals. There will be a cost associated with it and there tends to be better care than in the public hospitals. Most require a registration fee on your first visit.  There are fees to see the doctor and for every test that may be giving to you. It’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance or to check if your existing policy covers you while in Ghana. 

Malaria is common in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Most travellers decide to take anti-malaria medications before arrival aimed at protecting your from contracting the illness.  However, if you find yourself feeling sick, pay attention to your symptoms. Often times when an individual has flu-like symptoms it’s assumed you have Malaria.  There are over-the-counter treatments available at every pharmacy, but it’s advisable that you get tested before starting a dosage of medication. All pharmacies have tests for Malaria, however note that they are not as accurate as getting tested at the hospital. 

 

Safety

Image courtesy 197travelstamps.com

Because of mainstream media’s portrayal of African countries, sometimes safety is a concern for travellers when they come to Ghana.  You’ll be pleased to know that Ghana is one of the safest countries in Africa. It’s been listed on many tour sites as being within the top 10 safest countries in Africa. 

Ghana experiences the same types of crimes that many high travelled nations do. Pick-pockets and petty theft can occur, so it’s important to keep an eye on your valuables; especially electronic devices like mobile phones, laptops and cameras.

Due to some reported incidents with ride-share services, take precautions by confirming that the driver of your car matches the profile in the app.  The same goes for the make, model and plate number of the vehicle. Should you experience things not matching, don’t board the car and report it immediately to Uber/Bolt/Yango.       

These tips should help you while you’re enjoying your time in Ghana.  It’s a beautiful country with so much to explore and wonderful people who are willing to guide you as you navigate your way around.