Best time to visit Ghana

Best time to visit Ghana


temperature & rainfall

Ghana’s location close to the equator means it does not experience huge variation in temperature throughout the year; seasons are instead dictated by rain and wind. The best time to visit Ghana is the dry season, from Oct-Mar. Thanks to its largely paved roads, Ghana is one of the easiest West African countries to travel through in the wet season – but rain does make travel less pleasant, however, and summer is hot and very sticky. Game is easier to spot in Mole National Park when it’s dry, with elephants seen particularly in Dec-Mar. Be aware of the arid harmattan wind though which blows in from the Sahara from December.

When to visit Ghana & when not to


A MONTH BY MONTH GUIDE

Mid-November to April is the dry season, and the easiest to travel in. You won’t have issues with blocked roads from floods, and wildlife will be easier to spot as it will be clustered around the scarce waterholes – particularly in the driest months of January , February and March.

The harmattan wind blows down from the Sahara from November or early December through to March. It can cool temperatures a bit, but be prepared for extreme dryness – bring moisturiser and lip balm (or stock up on local shea butter!), and expect a tickly throat. Contact lens wearers may want to bring glasses or eye drops in case of discomfort, and photographers should prepare for hazy pics, and avoid changing lenses outdoors. On occasions, flights can be cancelled due to poor visibility, particularly in Tamale.

In the wetter centre and south of Ghana, rains usually fall in April, May and June, with a brief respite from July to August. There is then a shorter rainy season in September, October and the first half of November. In the more desert-like north, the rains arrive from March to September. But thanks to the dry earth, when the rain does fall it can cause terrible flooding and blocked roads in the north.

There are a number of festivals and events throughout Ghana, some have fixed dates, such as the Dipo festival (see below). Others happen frequently, such as the Ashanti Akwasidae celebrations. These take place every six weeks, on Sundays. The Ashanti king is present, along with his chiefs, and before meeting with them he takes part in an impressive parade, with drumming, dancing, horns and singing. The king’s Golden Stool also plays a key role – as the festival commemorates the day it was brought down from heaven.
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IN GHANA


RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDS


Jim O’Brien, from our supplier Native Eye Travel, recommends his best time to go to Ghana:

“The best time to go is October to about March. Ghana’s roads are reasonably good unless you’re going off into the bush. The rainy season there is the same as it is next door in the Ivory Coast and Liberia and so on, but Ghana is one of the only places in West Africa where we do offer trips in the summer because the rainy season doesn’t disrupt the travel too much.”

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN GHANA


OUR PICK FROM GHANA’S CULTURAL CALENDAR

Did you know about...?


The Dipo Festival

Dipo take place in April-May every year in the Eastern Region and is a coming of age ceremony for young Krobo women. Their heads are shaved and they spend a week taking lessons in how to “train” for womanhood – cooking, housekeeping, looking after children and seducing their husbands. The festival marks their release into the community, draped with beads, with much fanfare – and on the final day of the celebrations the women perform the Klama dance they have been learning.
Photo credits: [Temp chart - river: Nora Morgan] [helpdesk: Stig Nygaard] [What happens when in Ghana - Jim O'Brien: Stig Nygaard] [Festival: David Stanley]
Written by Vicki Brown
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