What can we tell you about Ghana?
Compared to Ivory Coast, Ghana is located slightly farther to the east from the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, where it has been so turbulent in previous years. The large disturbances have remained absent in these states. That being said, Ghana does not make a turbulent impression in the slightest, and backpackers in particular will experience a lot of support from the people who are known for being friendly.
The country’s capital, Accra, is also by far the largest city in Ghana. Like all major cities, the city lies along the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean. Accra has a little over 1.3 million inhabitants. Cities like Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale have several hundred thousands. Accra is the country’s economic, political and cultural center and is home to one of the largest man-made ports in Africa.
The country got its name from several adjustments of the Berber name Akal-n-Ignuinawen, which means as much as “Land of the Blacks”. The Berber description Ignuinawen changed to Guinea, and over the centuries the country was given the name Ghana, pronounceable for Western tongues. A name subject to evolution, a country subject to colonization.
The British ruled in Ghana for over three centuries, but the Union Jack’s last appearance was in 1957. As one of the first African countries, Ghana was no longer dependent on the wishes of the colonizer. English is the official language for communication among the population of nearly 20 million people. A population that is known to be different from the inhabitants of neighboring countries. The country is home to the largest percentage of Christians in all of West Africa and is one of the few countries in West Africa where tribes do not have the tradition of making masks. Ghanaians generally do not believe in supernatural powers.
The layout of Ghana is similar to that of its neighboring countries. The country has three zones: the coast, the forests and the inland grasslands. The climate is tropical and as a result it is sweltering almost all year round, with temperatures reaching over forty degrees. But it is above all the high humidity that demands time to adjust for Western people.
The middle of Ghana, where the White and Black Volta meet, houses the impressive Volta Lake. This lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Lake Volta was created after the creation of the Akosombo Dam in 1966. The dam is located approximately 85 kilometers off the coast near the town of the same name: Akosombo. Nearly six hundred villages and towns had to be relocated to give space to the expanding lake.