What’s so special about Ghana, Pat?

What’s so special about Ghana, Pat?

This is a question I am often asked. And the answer is not so simple, but the love for this African country started from the first day I was here.

April 2001. Super nervous, had only flown once before, had never travelled alone, was stuck in traffic on the way to Schiphol Airport thanks to an Ajax soccer match. The nerves were coursing through my throat. What on earth am I going to do? Who came up with this?

I am going to Ghana for six months to do voluntary work. Of course, I thought that up myself… I stopped my studies because it was not the right choice after all. I started working hard at the supermarket so that I could take some time off. Because of an enormous romantic desire, I wanted to go to Africa since I was small. Now Africa is huge with its 54 countries, but at the time Ghana was one of the first choices for anyone who wanted to volunteer. So also for me. Safety, English and many organizations and projects.

The first weeks I was totally overwhelmed

The heat as soon as I stepped off the plane, the smell. So strange but also nice, now this is a smell of recognition. The capital Accra is huge, with so many people, so many cars and minivans, and such chaos. Everywhere you look there is something to see. People with huge loads on their heads. Street vendors with a very wide range of products. From food and drink to small furniture and massage rods. Goats on top of trucks, huge cows in the middle of the street. But no matter how overwhelmed I am, I feel fine and safe.

From the city to a village in Ashanti

The drive from Accra to Kumasi was and still is wonderful. When you leave the city behind you and the green, sometimes hilly landscape appears. The main road goes straight through villages and towns. In the villages, everyone seems to be selling the same thing along the street and I find out that it is not only chaos in Accra. I only found out much later that it is very organized chaos. But you really don’t see that in the beginning.

My final destination is the village of Banko. About 45 minutes from the main road between Accra and Kumasi. After we get off the main road, the scenery becomes even more vast and when we pass another chaotic larger town, the beautiful mountains take my breath away. May I be here for six months, wow!

Obruni obruni

To be quite honest, the first weeks in the beautiful village of Banko are not easy. I am a sight to see with my white skin and everyone calls me obruni (white) and they tell me whole stories in the local language. I don’t understand a word of it. So sometimes people speak louder, but that doesn’t help. Even when people do speak English, communication is difficult. It takes both me and them time to get used to each other’s accents.

Everything is different from what I am used to in Ghana

The food, the toilet which is a hole, the people, the language, the transportation, the weather and so on. While sometimes I have a really bad day due to a lack of communication, but at the same time I enjoy the peace that comes over me. I sleep super well, write a lot and learn to just ‘be’. And that in a beautiful environment with very sweet Ghanaian people around me.

I learn to appreciate the ‘strange’ food and enjoy my host family. I learn to laugh at the ‘annoying’ things, like asking me where I am going every time I pass by with a toilet roll. Or worse when I have to go to the outside toilet at the night and overcome my fear of lots of bugs.

A journey of discovery through the rest of Ghana

In my spare time, I have the opportunity to discover the rest of this beautiful country. Elephants, heat and dry air in the north, waterfalls scattered throughout the country. The beautiful coast with the terrible history of the slave trade and the special Volta region. All of this by local transportation. I am learning that the road to something in Ghana can already be super special. Great conversations with fellow passengers in the tro’s, enormously helpful people everywhere and the views are magnificent.

I don’t want to go back to the Netherlands after my six months in Ghana

Despite the fact that I sometimes dream of some Dutch dishes and that I miss my family and friends, I don’t want to leave Ghana at all. Why this is, I can’t explain even in the year 2022. As you may know I moved permanently to the village of Banko in Ghana in 2010. Why? Because of everything I have described above and especially my feeling of being at home here.

Since I’ve been living here, this feeling has only grown stronger. A house of my own, a beautiful garden and the chance to live with nature. I am surrounded by butterflies, birds, and wonderful people and I can pick and eat fruits and vegetables from my own garden.

In the meantime, I have been able to receive and guide many volunteers in Moon&Star guesthouse and I see the same thing happen to them very often. The first weeks of getting used to it, and then the transition to feeling completely at home in the guesthouse. And just like with me, it’s an indescribable feeling for them too. No worries! Not every volunteer ends up emigrating 😉 Click here to read Cecilia’s story about volunteering abroad.

5 reasons why travelling to Ghana is a great idea

5 reasons why travelling to Ghana is a great idea

I have 21 years of Ghana experience and have lived in this West African country for 12 years. A simple conclusion would be that travelling to Ghana would always be a good idea according to me.
Often that is indeed true, yet in this blog you are also going to find reasons why you don’t have to come to Ghana.

But let’s start with why this African country should definitely be on your bucket list.

Ghana is a fantastic destination for a vacation

Beautiful nature, easy to travel, very diverse, beautiful beaches, friendly people. Ghana is therefore called Africa for Beginners. If you’ve always wanted to travel to this continent, and you don’t want to join a group, but enjoy independence. Then definitely come!
I have written a blog for Moon&Star guesthouse about the Ghana top 10.

Travelling to Ghana on your own is not a problem

Another very good reason to come is a solo trip. You can travel around here just fine on your own. Of course you have to use your common sense, but that’s a good thing to do everywhere in the world…. Also as a female feel free to come to Ghana alone. For sure you’ll get a lot of marriage proposals, but there are good ways to deal with that. Just be clear and use a bit of humor in your rejections.

A pleasant country to stay for a longer period of time

If you want to get away from it all for a while, consider Ghana. There are many projects you can join, but also when you want to travel and get to know the culture, this country is highly recommended. Ghanaians are very social and accept you very quickly into their lives. So as a traveller you should not be surprised when you suddenly find yourself at a funeral or wedding of a stranger. If you make friends with, for example, a store owner, you can spend days watching the daily Ghanaian life.

No mass tourism

There is no mass tourism here. You can actually decide if you want to meet other travelers during your trip, or not. There are places where you are guaranteed to meet other travelers, like Busua, Mole National park and the popular backpackers hostel Somewhere nice in Accra. But there are also beautiful off-the-beaten-track destinations where you hardly meet other travelers and where you have the chance to really get to know beautiful Ghana.

Decent internet, so you can work or study in Ghana

The Internet is generally pretty good and reliable. It does depend on the location where you are staying. Not all networks are equally good throughout the country. There is some occasional disconnection, but my father complains about that regularly in the Netherlands as well. I recently wrote a blog about internet and Wi-Fi in Ghana. Click here to read it!

Ghana preparation program workbook

Should you be thinking right now, how cool! I am coming to Ghana soon!
That’ s great!
Did you know that I have written an E-book that helps you to travel more easily through this beautiful country, which helps you to prepare and is full of practical tips!

“A wonderful workbook! Very useful to prepare for your trip to Ghana ✨ (but even if you don’t have any travel plans you can learn a lot from it and expand your world view)”


Click here for more information or to order the book!

3 reasons not to travel to Ghana

As mentioned at the beginning, Ghana is really not suitable for every traveler. I’ll give you 3 reasons below to avoid coming in the first place.

Ghana has no grand tourist attractions

Yes, you can go on safari in Ghana, there are beautiful waterfalls, beautiful mountains etc. But we have no Niagara falls, no mountain Kilimanjaro or the big five. When you come to Ghana set yourself up for extraordinary encounters, beautiful landscapes, amazing people and know that the journey itself is also an adventure, not just the final destination.

Getting rich quick/easy doing business

Ghana is really not a country where doing business is easy. Starting a business as a foreigner is very expensive. And even when you have started the business it is difficult to keep your head above water. The taxes, permits and bureaucracy scare many people. Living in Ghana can be quite expensive, especially if you want to live in Accra or Kumasi.

Stay home when you want to save the world

There are countless gap year and volunteer projects in this country. There are some really good ones among them, but there are also some really wrong organizations. I know some of you won’t like reading this. But you don’t have to be travelling to Ghana or any other African country to help the poor people, or to put a smile on the face of those cute little kids. That said, there is nothing wrong with volunteering. Just check very carefully what you are going to do! I highly recommend reading the following article if you are seriously thinking about volunteering in Africa!

What about Wi-Fi and internet in Ghana?

What about Wi-Fi and internet in Ghana?

What is your Wi-Fi password, many guests ask upon entering the guesthouse I run. I still find that surprising. It is very difficult to debunk stereotypes like all Africans live in huts, but at the same time, people expect wifi and internet in Ghana at all times.

In this blog post I would like to tell you how I communicated with the people at home 20 years ago and the huge development there has been in the field of telecommunications in Ghana. I also inform you about what the title promises; What about Wi-Fi and internet in Ghana. Click here if you want to read the practical part right away!

Will you follow me back to 2001?

Internet in 2001 was a bit different in the Netherlands than it is now;), remember the dial-up sound and the fact that you could first make coffee before you were online?

As mentioned before, in 2001 I was in Ghana for the first time to do volunteer work and I had to make an effort before I could communicate with the people back home. There were no phones in Banko and certainly no computers. The nearest town had a public telephone where you could use a telephone card to make a call, but it was always broken.

So almost every Thursday I traveled to the capital of Ashanti, Kumasi. The travel was the same as now. A shared taxi to Effiduase and then a tro tro to Kumasi. Only in those days there were only a few shared taxis available and when they were all in Effiduase and not filling up with passengers, then by 11 o’clock I might have to decide not to go to Kumasi after all….

Want to read more about public transportation in Ghana? Then click here!

Once in Kumasi, at least 2 hours later, I walked to the post office where there were at least 50 public telephones to call my mother. Also, I could then post the numerous letters I had written during the week.

After the call I usually went somewhere to eat some western food and to the Shell station which was heaven on earth. They sold some western products; Pringles and chocolate!

And then I went to an internet cafe so I could check my mail, write mails and when I was lucky someone was on MSN;).

When I first came back to Ghana on vacation in 2003, Banko had a real communications center. Which amounted to 2 turn key telephones on a desk. You could call and be called. When you received a call, someone from the communication center came to pick you up at home. The internet in Ghana was also better organized by then. There was an internet cafe in Effiduase.

What about the Internet in Ghana in current times?

Ghana has made huge strides in terms of telecommunications. Land lines never came on a large scale, but cell phones and smartphones are widespread. There is an extensive 4G network. You can buy a local SIM card. This SIM card you can top up and then you can buy an internet bundle from your credit. There are several providers and unfortunately they do not have the same coverage throughout the country. For example, when you visit me at Moon & Star guesthouse it is convenient to have a MTN SIM card.

Is there any WI-FI in Ghana?

There are hotels and co-working spaces with WiFi, but certainly not throughout Ghana. I hear complaints about the speed of the WiFi networks more often than not, and sometimes the WiFi is free, but the prices for an overnight stay are relatively high.

What I think is smarter to do is purchase a local SIM card and use Data bundles to access the internet. The costs for Data bundles are quite low. Especially when you buy a larger bundle. And when you travel with several people you can use the bundle together via a hotspot.

Where can I buy a local SIM card?

There is an office at the airport where you can buy local SIM cards. You can register these with your passport. Pay close attention to which brand you purchase. MTN has the largest range in Ghana. It is also the only network that works at Moon&Star guesthouse.

Is the network fast enough to work online?

This does depend a bit on where you are, but generally speaking it is. I have Wi-Fi these days, which is pretty fast. But even on my data bundle from MTN, I can work online just fine, watch Netflix and listen to Spotify.

What about…

Before you travel to Ghana you probably have countless questions about all kinds of things, such as what to bring, how does the transportation work, what kind of food is there, about the visa and so on. Of course you can read all my blogs, Google or ask questions in Facebook groups. But you know what you can also do?
Buy my E-book! Click here for more information!

Get to know Ghana E book
The remarkable story of 17-year-old Charles, whom I was honoured to coach in Ghana

The remarkable story of 17-year-old Charles, whom I was honoured to coach in Ghana

One of the services I offer is a personal coaching program. Especially for people who get stuck, who want to get away from it all, but who also want to work on themselves and break patterns. Change of environment alone is not enough to bring about an overall change. I realize that these are beautiful words that I write like that, but what can you and I really achieve together during the coaching program in Ghana.

Read the special story of Charles. One of the many people I have been able to help over the past 10 years.

Give yourself a break, get to know yourself (again) and break free from fixed patterns at Moon&Star guesthouse

Charles was only 17 years old but still came to do volunteer work in Ghana during his summer vacation. He was not an average 17 year old, he didn’t want to come and improve the world. He especially wanted to learn and see what life abroad would be like while you’re not on vacation. 3 weeks was actually quite short, but yes he was only 17 years old and also had to work some during his summer vacation.

Charles decided to stop taking his medication

It was a big step for Charles to come and for his mother it was very exciting to let him go. All the more so because Charles normally took medication against ADHD. They had decided together not to let him take any medication during the summer holidays. Thanks to my personal guidance, it felt safe enough to let Charles come to Ghana.

During the coaching in Ghana program you can be completely yourself

Charles flourished in Ghana, learned to explore his interests here and found out that if he found something very nice and interesting, he could indeed be focused. He talked a lot about his dreams and wishes, so that when he returned home he knew which study he wanted to follow. He learned that he can be his own special self.

After returning home, he was never taken on medication again. He started to follow a different course at a ‘lower’ level, but something he loved. He has made long tough trips, lived abroad for a period of time and works on great projects.

weather in Ghana in February

Sustainability is key for anything I can offer you in Ghana

I offer sustainable tourism that allows the traveller to experience, experience and empathize with another culture based on equality so that there is no negative impact on the people of Banko and the projects we support in particular.

We listen to the local authorities, the people on the projects and their leaders. We are not undermining their authority, they know best what is needed.

What do you get during the coaching program in Ghana?

Ghana coach has an excellent volunteer program with guidance. I guide you in a practical way before departure, you receive the book ‘I help you on your way in Ghana’ and participate in an online course on sustainable volunteering. Someone from Moon&Star guesthouse will pick you up from the airport. When we are in Banko we have an extensive program, with daily activities, but also many fun trips and space for conversations and evaluations.

Read more about volunteering

I have read that you also offers a 4 weeks of volunteering for € 410,00. What is that?

Yes, that’s absolutely right. With the Ghana coach program and via Moon &Star guesthouse you are not paying for volunteer work.
The € 410,00 is structured as follows: 4 times € 85,00 for your room, drinking water and 3 meals per day. And the remaining € 45,00 is for the book and the online course that you will follow in preparation for your time in Ghana.
When you join the personal coaching program you will receive extra guidance, such as the airport service and transport to Banko, but also coaching conversations with me. If you are unsure about which program suits you or if you just want to get acquainted, I invite you to make a no-obligation Zoom appointment!

Do you, like Charles, want to break free from fixed patterns and gain more insight into yourself? Then fill in the form and come to Ghana for a while!

In memoriam
The remarkable young man who was the inspiration for this blogpost suddenly past away.

Mathias was gifted; where ever he went he was able to touch people and animals right in the heart. He made the world a better place.

Da yie Mathias, rest in peace

Weather in Ghana | Overview in pictures per month

Weather in Ghana | Overview in pictures per month

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.

Just before a shower it the wind usually blows very hard
A tropical shower in Ghana

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

10 Ghana facts
Food in Ghana, what is sold on the street?

Food in Ghana, what is sold on the street?

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!

food in Ghana, vegetables on a chopping board
For Moon&Star guesthouse I wrote a blog post about the top 10 favorite dishes of our guests. Click here to read it!

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).
waakye is a well-known Ghanaian dish

Bring a tray when you buy food from the street in Ghana

I really love waakye, I order my waakye without 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.

MealsGhanaian 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 restaurants in 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.

fufu the most famous food in Ghana

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!