You have always dreamed of having a house in Ghana, or you just happened to end up in this beautiful country. But you like Ghana so much that you want to build a house here. It happens more often than you think! During my work, I meet all kinds of people, and therefore also people who build in Ghana. Since I am now a Ghana veteran, I am often asked for (construction) advice. For anyone who is building in Ghana while not living here, I have some tips. In this article, I will list the most important 3 tips.
Tip 1: Arrange all the paperwork before you start building in Ghana
Plots in Ghana are very popular. And it happens more often that the same plot of land is sold to different people. Make sure that when you buy building land, all papers are in order. In addition, you also need a building permit in Ghana, so arrange it as well.
Tip 2: Make sure you have money to build in Ghana
Building is an expensive business. Make sure you have enough money! The construction costs also depend on location. Both the land price and the costs for workers are lower outside the cities.
Since land is very popular in Ghana, when you buy land you get an allocation form in most cases. This indicates the period within which you must start building. Usually, this is 1 or 2 years. When you spend all your money buying the building land, but you can’t start building. Then you’ll have a problem in 1 or 2 years. The chief may even decide to resell your land.
Tip 3: Learn to trust the way of building in Ghana
People build differently in Ghana than how you are used to back home. Does this mean it’s worse? No, of course not. The same materials are not available here more often and the professionals really know what they are doing. Having said that, I don’t want to say you can’t ask or discuss anything. But give credit to the people you work with.
When you want to interfere with every detail, the builders get the idea that you don’t trust them. When your client or employer constantly watches every step you take, does this motivate you? When you let the workers do their job, you build a bond of trust with them. That trust ensures that the workers are more motivated to go the extra mile for you.
Bonus tip: Be flexible and not too strict as you build your home in Ghana
When you expect pure perfection, or everything exactly as you want in your hometown, you can. You will pay for that and you may have to ship some things to Ghana. Building is already stressful and when you want everything perfect, it becomes even more stressful. If you are a bit more flexible and look for alternatives to what you want together with the local people, you will be amazed at what is possible while building in Ghana. In addition, building is less stressful and more sustainable!
What I can do for you while you’re building in Ghana
A few years ago I had guests at Moon&Star guesthouse who are building their house in our area. The construction didn’t go smoothly and they asked me if I knew any professionals. Of course, I did, so I put them in touch. In the end, these people asked me to oversee the entire construction. That is how this started.
For these people, I am the bridge between the workers and themselves. I understand what you want to build, but I also know what the possibilities are here in Ghana. When you are building in the Ashanti region I would also like to help you in this way. If you build outside the Ashanti region, I can certainly give advice, but not oversee the work for you. The same goes for helping with the paperwork. I can advise you and sort things out for you, but I’m not going to take care of the paperwork for you.
In addition, I also help people find professionals. For example, the other day, someone wanted hanging sliding doors, but her right hand in Ghana couldn’t find anyone who could make the type of sliding doors she wanted. I knew someone and now the sliding doors are hanging!
Are you building in Ghana or do you have plans to do so and do you want me to help you?
Feel free to send me an email or schedule a non-binding orientation talk. Don’t feel burdened to make an appointment. I’m happy to help you and I’m happy to get to know you! Here you can read a little more about me.
This is what some of my clients say about my services
We hereby attest to the thoroughness, professionalism and great adaptability of Mrs. Patricia ZOER.We discovered the services of Mrs Patricia ZOER after having lost 3 years with another service provider. (Slow work, opaque and difficult communication, despite a constant financial contribution). To our great delight, we decided to work with her. After more than two years of collaboration, we can only be delighted with our choice. Mrs. Patricia ZOER shows : A very precise rigour which is expressed as much in the management of the funds entrusted to her, the choice of materials, the quality of the work, as in the logical development of the site. A great flexibility to adapt to our wishes and our financial capacity. In addition, Mrs Patricia ZOER, reports to us in almost real time, with photos, on the situation of the site.
It seems useful to us to specify that since November 2019; taking into account the current sanitary consequences; Mrs. Patricia ZOER ensures the total management of the building site, which advances consequently.
We discovered Madame Patricia ZOER’s services after having lost 3 years with another service provider. (Slow work, opaque and difficult communication, despite constant financial support). We have now been working with Madame Patricia ZOER for more than 2 years. Beyond offering a rigorous and documented service (regular updates on the progress of the work with supporting photos, anticipation of potential issues and difficulties, adaptability of the progress according to the funds), she is a real ally who helps us and allows us to have an initial contact with our future neighbours. In addition, it offers quality accommodation, which favours our integration into the region, In other words, we can only recommend her services as this meeting and collaboration has changed our experience of Ghana.
I’m working on my laptop with socks on, trying to figure out what I want to tell you about Ghana. Until I suddenly thought…. I’m behind my desk with socks on. I’m sure some people think this is weird to read. Because isn’t it always hot in Ghana?? No, hahahahaha. It’s time for me to write about the weather in Ghana.
I get more questions about the weather, questions like; Does it rain every day, all day during the rainy season? What is the best time to travel to Ghana? Is it always warm in Ghana? Now you can google those questions and then you will find a lot of information. But I wouldn’t be a Ghana expert if I didn’t want to say anything too;)
And I’m going to take a different approach in this blog. After all, there are plenty of boring articles about the weather in Ghana! First I will answer the questions and then I will go to my gallery looking for photos of each month in the year and I will add them in this post. So you can get Ghana’s climate visually. I have to mention that I live in the Ashanti region, between the mountains and the temperature here is different than in the north of Ghana or Accra.
What is the best time to travel to Ghana?
When I Google this is usually there from December to March, because then it is dry. Read the advice of Responsible travel, for example. Some people even say that you should avoid Ghana in the first rainy season, which is from April to July because your holiday would literally fall into the water. The second rainy season is in September and October.
My advice on the best time to visit Ghana is a bit different. Firstly, you don’t always have the choice when you have time to travel. Secondly, the climate in Ghana is changing and you can no longer set the clock on the dry season and the rainy season. And thirdly, if you want to enjoy beautiful views, then the dry season is the worst period to travel through this country. You’ll see it in the pictures!
Does it rain all day during the rainy season?
No, definitely not. Although I have to say that this June month is quite wet. But it certainly doesn’t rain all day. And when you do end up in a tropical shower, is that so bad? The advantage of travelling in the rainy season are the beautiful skies and the showers are refreshing. Climbing the mountains in the Volta region, but also those in my area is a lot easier. And the views are beautiful. Click here to read more about the Prayer mountain I have a view of as I write this article.
Some heavy showers do bring an occasional flood, mostly in certain areas in the cities.
Is it always warm in Ghana?
No, definitely not! Me wearing socks today prove that. During the dry season, there is a period of harmattan. A dry and warm desert wind, temperatures rise to around 40 degrees Celsius during the day, but in the evening it cools down to below 20 degrees Celsius. You can imagine that’s pretty chilly. And also during the peak of the rainy season, this year in June, it can cool down quite a bit in the evening.
During the transition between seasons, so in November and the end of February and March, it can quite hot in a damp way. When you have planned a trip in which you will go hiking and climbing a lot, make sure to go early in the day.
Ghanaian weather in pictures
Fog and dust in January
In January, the mornings are fresh and foggy. When the fog clears away, it does not become brighter because of the dust particles that the harmattan wind spreads
The weather in Ghana in February is unpredictable
February is always a bit unpredictable. Normally the harmattan wind stops, but it is still dry season. Usually there are a few huge showers in February, which are accompanied by a lot of thunderstorms. This year it was very strange, the harmattan stayed on for quite a long time and even came back after such a shower. At the end of February 2020 it was extremely hot. I was pretty busy with Ashanti tours for Moon&Star guesthouse and we had to drastically change the program due to the extreme stuffy heat. In the photos you can see a menacing sky and poor views from the mountain.
March in Ghana; the rain is in the air, but it doesn’t come out
This was a damp and hot day in March. Especially in the afternoon, it is often very hot. But even at night, it doesn’t cool down.
The long rainy season officially begins in April
April gives the occasional shower. So sometimes we have to run and quickly bring in the laundry for the rain. We also had a wonderful hot day on the water last April.
Radiant skies and beautiful views in May in Ashanti
So many websites say that you should not come to Ghana in May because of the many rains. At least that wasn’t right this year. Beautiful clear skies and nice views from the mountain. In the mornings it is usually a bit foggy. But from 8:00, it clears up. The sun is very bright at this time of year. In other words; Shawls and lots of anti-sunscreen in May
June in Ghana, cold nights and lots of rain in the afternoon
Every cloud has a silver lining. That’s no different in Ghana! So despite the cold nights and tropical showers at the end of the afternoon and in the evening we have many wonderful moments in terms of the weather! As you can see despite the rain still many blue skies and beautiful weather.
Below you can see 2 videos that illustrate how things can go at the other times.
Blue and grey skies in July
July 2020 was warm, with little rain and beautiful blue skies. But it wasn’t too hot to play a game of badminton! But in July it can also rain a bit. This year, July starts as we are used to grey and blue skies alternate. The temperature stays below 30 degrees Celsius almost every day.
Ghana Weather in August
Usually we have a break from the rain in August. Not many more night showers and dry days. The humidity is still quite high, which can make some days feel a bit hot and damp.
September weather in Ghana
September can be pretty hot. The rain is trying to come. Once it comes, there can also be drizzly, gloomy grey days full of drizzle. The good news is that the day after such a typical Dutch day in Ghana, is usually bright blue and nice and warm.
The last remnant of rainy season in October
Most rain in October falls at night. The view during the day is usually clear and it is not extremely hot.
In November, the transition from rain to dry season
The transition from the rain to the dry season brings heat. And occasionally thunderstorms at night.
chapped lips during dry season in Ghana
In December, sometimes even the end of November, the dry season begins. And the harmattan is also just around the corner. The harmattan is, as mentioned, a dry desert wind. Get lip balm and body lotion! You can buy shea butter locally and this works great! During the harmattan everything is dry, including the skin. The mornings start fresh, but when the wind starts it quickly gets warm. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon the wind will lie down a bit and it will cool down quite a bit. Beautiful landscape photos are difficult to take during this period. Foggy in the early morning and then surrounded by dust. Also, everything is a little less green in December.
My conclusion; Don’t let the weather in Ghana stop you from booking your Ghana trip!
Whatever month in the year you want to come, just come! As mentioned, the climate is changing worldwide and every month has something beautiful! Almost every month is good for radiant blue skies! Do you want to prepare well for your trip to Ghana? Then read this article about good preparation!
Click on the photo to receive these 10 fun facts about Ghana and the Ghana coach updates
If you only eat in restaurants during your Ghana trip, you miss out on a lot…. After all, you can get to know the locals by eating with them. But what do they sell on the street? And what can you eat? Is it safe? Is there vegetarian food?
In this blog, I will list for you what kind of food is sold on the streets of Ghana. The list will not be complete, I can write a whole book about food in Ghana. Please let me know in the comments if I forgot your favorite dish!
What food is sold on the street in Ghana?
Snacks (Most snacks are sold from wooden/glass boxes that the vendors carry on their heads)
Bofrot – A kind of pastry ball (vegetarian)
Doughnut- A round fried ball that tastes slightly different from bofrot (vegetarian)
Sweetpie – A crispy version of the doughnut (vegetarian)
Meatpie – A savory cake filled with meat, fish, or egg, sometimes fried and sometimes baked in the oven. It is quite dry and not vegetarian
Koose – A kind of cake made from beans (gluten-free), you can buy it from the porridge sellers
Kele wele – Small pieces of plantain that are spicy seasoned
Bankye krakro – Deep fried balls made of cassava (bankye) and onion
Spring roll – A spring roll, sometimes filled with fish and cabbage and sometimes with beans
Fanice, fan yoghurt, fanchoco – ice creams in bags
Plantain chips, watermelon, bananas with peanuts
Various local drinks are also sold on the street. A few examples are sobolo (red-colored ginger drink), cold tea (cold chocolate milk) and brukina (made from milk and millet)
Breakfast in Ghana
Rice porridge, oatmeal, and corn porridge are sold at stalls in the morning. They cook the porridge without sugar and milk. This is added when you buy it, so you can also buy this porridge when you eat vegan. Unless you bring a container, they sell it in plastic bags.
Bread with omelet and coffee, chocolate, or tea. I really think this is a delicious breakfast. For example, you order 1 Cedi bread and they bake the egg while you wait. Pay attention when you order coffee or tea, before you know it there is a lot of sugar and milk in it!
Meals – rice dishes
Rice with stew, you can buy this with various additives such as macaroni/spaghetti, salad, egg and chicken, fish and meat. The meat is often cooked along with the stew, and they also use maggi cubes with prawns. This applies to all rice dishes that you can buy from the street.
Jollof rice, tomato rice that you can buy with chicken, egg, meat or fish and salad if desired
Fried rice with chicken, a kind of fried rice served with some salad and shito
Waakye, a dish of beans and rice, served stew and shito (pepper sauce with fish). If desired, you can buy macaroni/spaghetti, meat, fish, egg, salad, and gari (ground roasted cassava).
Bring a tray when you buy food from the street in Ghana
I really love waakye, I order my waakyewithout shito (often very spicy), with gari, spaghetti, salad, egg/fish, and avocado.
As you can see from the photo, plastic is used a lot in Ghana to wrap food. In the past, people used mostly natural materials to wrap and serve food. Mostly leaves as you can see on the picture above this article.
There are many voices in Ghana trying to convince the vendors to go back to using these natural packaging materials. But while that is not happening yet, as a traveller you can of course just take a storage container with you when you buy food.
Meals – Ghanaian lunch and dinner
Fried yam, plantain, or sweet potato, you can order it individually and they serve it with a pepper sauce, you can order chicken /fish separately. Yam is a bit like a potato in taste
Beans, you buy this with fried plantain, gari, sometimes with fried onion and stew
Kenkey, a ball of fermented corn flour wrapped in corn leaves. The taste is slightly sour and it is sold with pepper sauce, shito, and okra sauce, usually with fish. There is also a kenkey type that is packed in banana leaf, this variant is fermented longer.
Cooked yam and plantain with stew and fish, meat, or chicken
Banku with peanut soup and meat or fish. Banku is a (light) sourdough ball of corn and cassava flour
Rice ball (omo tuo) with peanut, palm nut soup or okra stew and meat or fish
Indomie, noodles with vegetables and egg
Chopbars and local restaurantsin Ghana
In the chopbars and local restaurants you can buy many of the above dishes and sometimes also the frequently eaten dish fufu. In the north of Ghana you can see more Tuo Zafi (TZ), made from cassava flour.
Vegetarian and vegan food in Ghana
When you don’t have your own kitchen at your disposal or are in a place like Moon&Star guesthouse, where we are used to dietary requirements and adapted cooking, it is quite difficult to eat vegetarian. Vegan food is almost impossible. I do have some tips, because almost impossible is not completely impossible!
In Ghana there are not many people who eat vegetarian, in cities like Kumasi and Accra you can find some vegetarian restaurants/shops and in the big supermarkets they sell meat substitutes and the like. Jennifer from The Ghana traveller wrote a blog about vegetarian restaurants in Accra.
Some tips on vegetarian and vegan food from the ‘street’, this is a bit friendlier for your budget
Most food vendors think food is vegetarian when there is no meat left in it. But as written, most stew (sauce) is cooked with meat/fish in it and one uses broth cubes based on meat / fish.
Fruit is available almost everywhere in Ghana, pay attention to eating a lot of mangoes, these can affect the intestines quite a bit.
There are a number of food items that you can buy ready-made that are vegetarian/ vegan;
Bread (note a lot of bread in Ghana contains milk, butter and egg)
Fried yam/plantain (They mostly fry it in the same oil the fish is usually fried)
Koose is a tasty and healthy vegan bean snack
Some spring rolls are vegan, ask the seller if they are filled with beans
Rice and waakye, buy this without the stew when you are very strict. Maybe you can buy (vegan) ketchup or another sauce in the city. You can also add (raw) vegetables yourself or ask for the salad.
Fried rice without the meat and shito, note there is egg in fried rice.
Beans, you can also buy the beans from someone and add them to the rice you bought from another seller.
Kenkey, but not with the shito or okra sauce. You can only order the pepper.
You can buy gari and mix it with vegetable milk (powder), water and sugar or fruit.
Is street food in Ghana safe?
I’m the first to admit that I’ve gotten sick from street food in Ghana. But I have also been sick of restaurant food in both Ghana and Europe. If you choose not to eat from the local stalls, you miss out a lot. Traveling and getting to know, experience, and experience a country is so good through meals.
A few years ago, the local chefs often used ‘wrong’ water during cooking. But now they use treated water (pure water) and salt to wash the vegetables. A very old tip, which still works is to see if there are many people buying from the stall you want to buy from as well.
Are you coming to Ghana soon and want to know more about this beautiful country? In the blog, ‘Effective Ghana preparation; Well begun is half done!’ I share 5 useful facts about Ghana that will definitely come in handy for you during your Ghana adventure!
As you have read before, we no longer offer volunteering at Moon&Star guesthouse in Ghana. But you are certainly welcome with us during your gap year or sabbatical. But what can you actually do when you spend your gap year in Ghana at Moon&Star guesthouse and with my guidance? I’ll tell you more in this blog.
Would you like to read more about ending volunteering in the traditional sense of the word via Moon&Star guesthouse? Click here.
Spend your gap year or sabbatical in Ghana
Ghana is a top destination for holidays, for digital nomads and also to stay for a long time during your gap year or sabbatical. Beautiful nature, great people and very good to travel. I have been mentoring volunteers who come to Banko in Ghana for over 10 years and I love doing it! During your gap year in Ghana I also like to guide you! In this article I will tell you more about the practical side of your gap year in Ghana. If something is not clear after reading, please let me know in the comments, or send a message!
What do I get when I spend my gap year in Ghana through Ghana coach?
Help/guidance with the preparations and visa application, personal, airport service, overnight stay in Accra, Ghanaian sim card, trip to Banko, private room with bathroom, 3 meals per day, and coaching/guidance by me. Furthermore, together we make a tailor-made program with activities and I give tips&tricks on exploring the rest of Ghana and our surroundings. You will also receive the workbook ‘What you need to know when travelling to Ghana’ which is a thorough preparation for your trip to Ghana.
Excluding: Airfare, visa fees, insurance, transport costs to excursions, entrance fee for attractions, food and drinks outside the guesthouse, the trip back to Accra
What are the costs for this ‘coach in Ghana’ trajectory?
For the above complete program of 4 weeks incl airport service, transfer to Moon&Star guesthouse, stay and meals you pay €799,-. For every week you want to stay longer, €85,- is added. The ideal length of stay is about 10 weeks, experience shows. Some people then add 2 weeks for travel.
Sounds nice, a longer stay in Ghana, but what can I do?
As written, together we make a tailor-made program that matches your wishes. This program ensures that you depilate, and experience Ghana in a way that suits you. Below is a list of possible activities:
Helping with the new Women empowerment project (more info will follow)
Fundraising for the Women empowerment project, for example by applying for grants
Hiking/ mountain climbing
Improving your cooking skills
Watching a local school
Helping in the children’s home, for example by selling bread
Improving the English language
Sports/ yoga with team Moon&Star or football/training in Banko
Are my days completely full?
How full your days also depend on yourself as you have your own input in making the program. You’re going to unwind compared to your life in Europe anyway. Life in a village in Ghana is slower and that is quite a bit of getting used to for many people who come to Ghana for a gap year or sabbatical. But as soon as you let go of that feeling of always having to do something… Then you notice that the days do not have to be full to have a valuable gap year in Ghana.
Do I get full guidance?
I’ll guide you through your gap year program in Ghana. Exactly what that guidance will look like depends on whether you have certain goals that you want to work on. Suppose you want to learn a healthier lifestyle, or you want to spend less time on your mobile phone, then I like to coach you. If you mainly want to have a carefree time in Ghana and do not work so much on goals, then my guidance will be more practical in nature. However, my guidance doesn’t mean I’m going to take you by hand. I also expect a degree of independence.
In almost all communication as a Ghana coach, I present myself as a Ghana expert. I have struggled with that expert status, do I truly know so much? And can I help everyone who travels to Ghana? Gradually, I am learning to embrace my knowledge and at the same time, I recognize my limits. In this article, I am not going to bore you again with reasons why I deserve this expert status, you can already read that in a previous blog. I am going to tell you about my limits, about who I cannot help as a Ghana expert.
For years, I have been receiving many messages via Instagram, Facebook, and mail from people who want tips & tricks. People who come to work or live in Ghana, who want to set up all kinds of organizations, and from people who want to set up a tourist business. Many of these messages come through Moon&Star guesthouse and sometimes people are not aware of my activities as a Ghana coach. It is in my nature to want to help people and I still find it difficult to say no. But now there are so many messages that I could have a day’s work answering them as I always did before.
With my E-book I can help everyone as a Ghana expert
My solution is to give some answers in the first mail and to refer to the contents of my book ‘What you need to know when travelling to Ghana’. Because most answers can be found there. Just last week I received this message via Instagram from someone who bought the book. Nice detail, she is married to a Ghanaian and lives half in Europe and half in Ghana for many years. “Btw the book is very nice and funny to read. And I still learned some new things even after all these years 😊”
As Ghana expert, I cannot help you when I am the only one investing
The reference to my E-book works for a few reasons. The first is that I know the person asking the question is serious, because they are willing to make an investment. The second reason has everything to do with the first group of people I cannot help as a Ghana expert.
For years, I have answered an enormous number of mails and messages very extensively and it often became a whole correspondence. That takes energy, which is not bad if you also get energy in return. And I often heard the promise that when I come back to Ghana, I will come and see you! Guess how many times these people visited Moon&Star guesthouse.
The result was that although it is in my nature to help people, I was kind of tired of these mails and messages. And that feeling is gone, I love to help you on your way! And I answer messages with great joy again. Just this morning I had a nice conversation on Messenger: “Wow what a comprehensive answer. Thank you so much! I will definitely think about buying the E-book.”
I can’t help you when your goal is conflicting with my beliefs
Besides being a Ghana expert, I am a human being. I think sustainability, equality, and responsible travel are very important. I believe I can help many people turn their good intentions into good actions. And when I may accompany you or your organization in Ghana, I understand that I have an advisory role. But in order to be a good coach, we need to have a click and a match in our convictions. That is why we always have an online meeting before we start working together.
I am a Ghana expert, but not an Accra or expat expert
When you come to Ghana to work as an expat for an international company in the capital Accra, my E-book will certainly be useful to you. But my coaching will probably be of less use to you. I do visit Accra from time to time, but I have little connection with the expat life there. But I wouldn’t be a Ghana expert if I didn’t have some tips for expats in Accra and beyond.