opened casement window beside empty terrace
man with red and yellow face paint
people sailing on boat during daytime

Is Ghana Safe?

Ghana is generally safe for travelers, though petty crime like bag snatching and pickpocketing is common in cities. Violent crime targeting tourists is rare. Avoid walking alone at night and remain vigilant in crowded areas. Civil unrest can occur during elections or protests, so monitor local news. Road safety is a concern due to poor road conditions and reckless driving. Hire a reputable driver or take public transportation when possible.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Ghana is generally considered a safe travel destination, but travelers should exercise caution and be aware of potential risks. While violent crime rates are relatively low, petty crimes like bag snatching, pickpocketing, and theft from vehicles occur, especially in major cities and tourist areas. Scams targeting foreigners are also common, so remain vigilant.

  • Petty Crime: Bag snatching, pickpocketing, and theft from vehicles are the most common crimes affecting travelers, particularly in crowded areas like markets, bus stations, and beaches. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secured.

  • Scams: Scams targeting foreigners are prevalent, including fake tour guides, taxi overcharging, and credit card fraud. Only use reputable services and be wary of unsolicited offers.

  • Violent Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, armed robberies and home invasions do occur, especially in urban areas like Accra and Kumasi. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night.

  • Civil Unrest: Political tensions and civil unrest can flare up, particularly around elections. Monitor local media and follow advice from authorities during periods of unrest.

  • Terrorism: While the risk of terrorism is low, attacks cannot be ruled out. Exercise caution in crowded public areas and monitor travel advisories.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Ghana should be aware of certain health risks and take necessary precautions. While the country has made significant strides in improving healthcare infrastructure, some challenges remain.

  • Vaccinations: Ensure routine vaccinations are up-to-date, and consider additional vaccines like yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and meningitis, depending on your travel plans.

  • Malaria: Ghana has a high risk of malaria transmission. Antimalarial medication is strongly recommended, along with using insect repellents and mosquito nets.

  • Water and Food Safety: Avoid consuming tap water and opt for bottled or purified water. Exercise caution when eating street food or undercooked meat and seafood to prevent foodborne illnesses.

  • Air Pollution: Major cities like Accra and Kumasi experience high levels of air pollution, which can exacerbate respiratory conditions. Carry necessary medications and limit outdoor activities during peak pollution hours.

  • Medical Facilities: While healthcare facilities in major cities are generally adequate, those in rural areas may be limited. Comprehensive travel insurance and access to emergency medical evacuation services are advisable.

Natural Disasters

Ghana is generally not prone to major natural disasters, but there are a few weather-related risks that travelers should be aware of.

  • Rainy Season: The rainy season in Ghana runs from April to October, with the heaviest rainfall occurring between June and September. Heavy downpours can lead to flooding in urban areas, disrupting transportation and causing property damage.

  • Harmattan: From December to March, the dry Harmattan wind blows from the Sahara Desert, bringing dust storms and reducing visibility. This can exacerbate respiratory issues for those with conditions like asthma.

  • Coastal Erosion: Along Ghana's coastline, coastal erosion is an ongoing issue, particularly during the rainy season. Beachfront properties may be at risk of damage or collapse.

While not common, thunderstorms and lightning strikes can occur, especially during the rainy season. Travelers should exercise caution and seek shelter if severe weather arises. Overall, the risk of major natural disasters is relatively low, but being prepared for potential weather disruptions is advisable.


Transportation in Ghana is generally safe but requires caution. Public transportation options like tro-tros (minibuses) and taxis are widely available but can be overcrowded and poorly maintained. Exercise caution when using these services, especially at night.

  • Road Safety: Driving conditions in Ghana can be hazardous due to poor road infrastructure, lack of proper signage, and reckless driving practices. Pedestrians should exercise extreme caution when crossing roads.

  • Rental Cars: Renting a car with a reputable company and a local driver is a safer option for travelers. However, be aware of potential scams and ensure proper insurance coverage.

  • Tro-Tros (Minibuses): These are the most common form of public transportation but can be overcrowded and poorly maintained. Exercise caution when boarding and alighting, and keep valuables secure.

  • Taxis: While convenient, some taxis may be unlicensed or in poor condition. Use reputable taxi services or ride-hailing apps like Uber or Bolt for added safety.

  • Traffic Congestion: Major cities like Accra and Kumasi experience heavy traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. Plan your travel accordingly and avoid driving during peak times if possible.

Cultural Norms

Ghana is a culturally diverse nation with a rich heritage. Respecting local customs and traditions is essential for travelers to have a rewarding experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Greetings: Ghanaians place great importance on greetings. It's polite to greet elders and those in authority with a firm handshake and a slight nod. Avoid casual greetings or physical contact with the opposite gender in public.

  • Dress Code: Modest and conservative dress is recommended, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing that may be considered disrespectful.

  • Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals, especially in rural areas or at religious sites.

  • Haggling: Bargaining is a common practice in markets and with street vendors. However, it should be done respectfully and without aggression.

  • Gestures: Be mindful of gestures that may be offensive, such as pointing with fingers or showing the soles of your feet.

  • Religion: Ghana is predominantly Christian, with a significant Muslim population. Respect religious practices and dress modestly when visiting places of worship.

  • Local Customs: Observe local customs, such as removing shoes before entering homes or places of worship, and avoiding public displays of affection.

Embracing and respecting Ghana's rich cultural heritage will not only enhance your travel experience but also foster positive interactions with the warm and welcoming Ghanaian people.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Ghana are generally available but can be limited in certain areas, especially rural regions. The quality and reliability of these services may vary.

  • Police and Ambulance Services: While present in major cities and towns, response times can be slow due to limited resources and personnel. Private ambulance services are available in some areas but can be costly.

  • Fire Services: The Ghana National Fire Service operates in major cities and towns, but their resources are often stretched thin, leading to potential delays in response times.

  • Medical Facilities: Major cities like Accra and Kumasi have hospitals and clinics that cater to tourists, but facilities in rural areas may be basic or lacking in resources. Private hospitals generally offer better services but at a higher cost.

  • Tourist Police: Some popular tourist destinations have dedicated tourist police units to assist travelers, but their presence is not widespread throughout the country.

  • Embassies and Consulates: Travelers can seek assistance from their respective embassies or consulates in case of emergencies, but their ability to intervene may be limited depending on the situation.

It's advisable for travelers to research and have contact information for reliable emergency services and medical facilities in their intended destinations within Ghana.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Ghana safe for tourists?

Ghana is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised. Petty crimes like bag snatching and pickpocketing occur in crowded areas. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in cities like Accra. Stay vigilant and follow basic safety precautions.

Is Ghana safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise caution in Ghana. While many women travel safely, there is a risk of harassment and unwanted attention. Dress conservatively, avoid isolated areas, and be cautious when accepting drinks or rides.

Is Ghana safe for families?

Ghana is a family-friendly destination with a rich culture and natural attractions. However, take precautions against diseases like malaria, and be cautious with food and water hygiene. Avoid remote areas and travel with a reputable tour company.

Is Ghana LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Ghana, and the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination and social stigma. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples are not advisable. Exercise caution and discretion.

Do you need a visa to go to Ghana?

Most visitors require a visa to enter Ghana, with some exceptions for short stays. Citizens of the United States, Canada, and the European Union can obtain a visa on arrival for stays up to 90 days. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months.

Can you drink tap water in Ghana?

Tap water in Ghana is not safe to drink. It may contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Stick to bottled or purified water, and avoid ice cubes made from tap water. Boiling water is an effective purification method.

What is the currency in Ghana?

The Ghanaian cedi (GHS) is the official currency in Ghana. US dollars and major credit cards are accepted in larger cities and tourist areas, but it's advisable to carry some local currency for smaller transactions.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play