Living In Ghana Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here.
The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
So you’ve decided to move your life to West Africa, far away from family and friends, for an unknown length of time? What are you thinking? Of course, this is something that needs careful thought. But it’s not like anyone would just uproot themselves like that without at least some research into the matter.
And that’s where we come in to help you decide whether living in Ghana as an expat is a good idea or not. First of all, you should know that the term ‘expat’ doesn’t really mean anything specific. In fact, it can be used for two different people from completely different backgrounds.
One being a badly paid worker on an oil rig in Saudi Arabia, and another being a businessman who opened up shop on the Promenade de Anglais in Nice. Obviously, having this term doesn’t mean that these two groups will consider themselves part of the same community. Or perhaps they do? But we will do our best to help you decide whether living in Ghana as an expat is a good idea or not.
Moreover, if it is, then we’ll also go over some of the issues that might arise from such a decision. Have you been searching all around to know the right place to get the guides to living in Ghana? If that sounds like a yes, look no further as we’ve got you covered. The first thing most people think about when they consider doing something like this is money, but there’s more to know.
In this article, we will walk you through the pros and cons of living in Ghana as an expat. Not only is that, but we have compiled the interesting facts, best places to visit, and many others, to mention a few. Would you love to know what we’ve unleashed for you? Continue reading to get the full details of it now.
7 Interesting Facts about Living in Ghana
Because of its location on the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana is often referred to as the Gold Coast. This moniker comes from the discovery of gold by Portuguese explorers in the sixteenth century. There are many interesting facts about living (and traveling) in Ghana as an expat. Without further ado, here are the facts.
1. Breaking the Law Is Okay
Ghana is a place where rules are made to be broken. You can get away with just about anything if you know how to talk yourself out of it. Besides, if someone cuts you off in traffic, it’s probably because they know the police won’t do anything. But, unless you report them for bribery, so you can let it slide.
2. Don’t Drink the Tap Water
In Ghana, you should always avoid drinking from the tap because untreated water has been known to cause a parasitic infection called bilharzia. Fortunately, there are plenty of bottled water brands available at pretty much any store or restaurant. Therefore, buying bottled water shouldn’t be too difficult for any expat moving to the country for the first time.
3. Masks Are Popular
Masks are seen everywhere in Ghana. In fact, they can be found hanging on the wall of many shops and homes, worn by dancers during performances, displayed as a tourist attraction. They’re especially common around Halloween time when you might find them at Walmart or Target, along with the pumpkin stencils and plastic spiders.
4. The Water Smells Weird
Because the tap water is contaminated, you’ll eventually get used to drinking bottled drinks such as soda and juice. And if you’re backpacking in Ghana, the water will be at least half of what you drink, so it can quickly get expensive. Luckily, there’s a local brand called Coco that’s easily found in any store or restaurant that you can drink for free.
5. The Service Sucks
You’ll quickly realize when you step into a local market how little the locals value time and customer service. I remember having to go to the bank in Ghana several times because their computer systems were down. This way, it took me about six hours to get one bank transaction done. Therefore, as an expat, keep in mind that the banks are pretty much the only places where you’re guaranteed to find air conditioning.
6. There Are Web Filters on Your Computer
I remember when I was working at a hotel in Ghana; I would see this message pop up every now and then whenever I tried connecting to their Wi-Fi: “This website has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority.”
I asked around and found out that websites containing pornography, hate speech, terrorism-related content, alcohol, and drug use are blocked by the government. So much for freedom of expression! Prepare for this whenever you’re planning to reside in Ghana as an expat.
7. Ghanaian Food Is Spicy
As of today, it’s no doubt that Ghanaian cuisine is very spicy and full of flavor. And this might be used to hide the fact that the meat is often not fresh. For example, if you order a chicken sandwich, it will probably contain some form of pepper sauce and maybe even sliced hot chili peppers. Some people like spicy food, but if you’re like me and can’t handle much spice, then you may want to stick to cooked vegetables.
10 Reasons to Living in Ghana as a Foreigner
Welcome to Ghana. If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you have either just moved here or are considering it. In all honesty, living in Ghana can be a challenge at times. Notwithstanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences on earth. Here, we’ve listed ten reasons why moving to Ghana is an excellent choice and has much to offer; check it out below.
1. Ghanaian People
The warmth and friendliness of Ghanaians are renowned across the world, and rightly so. From the high fives on sightseeing trips by tro-tros (local minibusses/taxis) to the ‘helicopter’ (a popular dance move in which you spin your hand above your head), it’s easy to see why Ghanaians are so popular.
People always say, ‘Ghanaians are everywhere! And this fact is true, as you’ll never feel alone in Ghana. Also, people are welcoming and friendly even if they don’t speak English, which brings me onto my next point.
2. The Hospitality in Ghana
The second thing that I noticed during my time in Ghana was hospitality. Even if you are struggling with your basic Swahili, just a smile or gesture is enough to get by most of the time. Somehow, Ghanaians manage to communicate their intentions with ease. So, moving to this country is a great choice because you’ll certainly meet friendly locals.
3. Food & Excellent Cuisine
What’s not to love? From Ghanaian Jollof rice (the national dish cooked with tomatoes and peppers) to Banku (a maize dough-based food similar to West African polenta), everything is delicious. Most of the time, dishes are cooked in oil, butter, or animal fat. If you’re looking for a healthy lifestyle, this might not be the place for you. However, don’t worry; you can still find lots of fruit and vegetables at the local market.
4. Weather in Ghana
Ghana’s weather depends largely on which region you are living in. But generally speaking, it is hot all year round! Whether you’re looking for a sun-lounger holiday or an active time, everyone will be able to find something. The rainy season (June-October) is often referred to as the ‘cooler’ time, but in truth, it can still get very hot and humid at times.
5. Adventure in Ghana
Ghana has a lot to offer in terms of adventure. From visiting local fishing villages or caves along the coast to trekking through the rainforest, there are waterfalls tucked away along miles of dirt tracks or monitor lizards in the grounds of Fort Ussher. So, if you’re looking for adventure, then Ghana is the place. In the latter, we will walk you through the tourist attractions in the country.
6. Ghanaian History
Ghana’s history dates back to 1235, and it hasn’t always been a peaceful one. From European traders fighting over the Elmina Castle in the 1400s to a period of enslavement and then finally gaining independence in 1957, Ghana’s history is fascinating. There are to know! All you need is to follow us on this platform, and we’ll serve you more about the history of the country and moving to Ghana today.
7. Language Ease and Communication
English is widely spoken throughout Ghana, but with 20 different languages, it’s easy to get immersed in local culture. Learning a few phrases is a good idea! Not only will it help you during your time in Ghana, but also when traveling to other West African countries like Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, and many others, to mention a few.
8. The Diversity
Living in Ghana is an excellent way to experience both traditional and modern Africa. From watching traditional dance or drumming at a local event to enjoying the nightlife in East Legon, you will never be short of things to do. Meanwhile, it’s quite essential to know the right place to live to enjoy the cultures.
9. Projects & Volunteering
Working in Ghana is a great way to assist the local community. For example, through teaching at a village school or working on development projects. At the same time, volunteering with Projects Abroad, such as teaching English and childcare, will help you get the most out of your experience. And not only will it develop valuable skills, but you will also make life-long friends!
10. Ghanaian Travel Opportunities
As previously mentioned, Ghana is an excellent stepping stone for traveling to other countries in Africa. Whether by plane (Ghana has many international airports) or by land (you can cross into Togo or Burkina Faso without a visa), there are plenty of tour companies who can help you to travel around the country. Whether it’s for a few days or several months, you’ll definitely enjoy living in Ghana.