Is It Safe To Travel To Ghana In 2023?
Ghana, a country in West Africa, is one of the most visited places on the continent. People come here to see places like Elmina Castle and Kakum National Park, which have beautiful tropical scenery. Africans who live in other parts of the world often move to Ghana.
In 2019, the government started a program called “Year of Return” to get Africans and people whose ancestors were enslaved people in Africa to come to Ghana and learn more about their roots. More than 1 million people came to the country in just one year.
Ghana seems like a nice place to visit, but smart tourists know it takes much thought to plan a trip. It would be helpful to look into real things, like your safety. It would help if you understood about safety in Ghana before booking a flight. Our trip pros have compiled a list of everything you should consider, including safety. Let us be your guide!
Is it safe to go to Ghana?
Most crimes are small, but an increasing number of serious crimes happen to outsiders. Ghana has some political unrest, but it’s not so bad that it’s the main thing most people worry about when they go there. For example, the Canadian government says local chieftaincy disagreements can sometimes lead to trouble.
In the Bawku region, one of these fights is still ongoing, and they also sometimes happen in the Upper East, Upper West, and Volta areas. Stay current on local news and alerts for emergencies because the government may implement curfews to try to keep things under control.
Also, it would help if you didn’t go to the far north of Ghana, near the border with Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is going through a wave of Islamic terrorism and harsh crackdowns on terrorism, which hurt ordinary people. Attacks sometimes spread across the border into northern Ghana, the country’s sole region with a high risk of terrorism.
Most political violence in Ghana happens in certain parts of the country, but civil unrest may occur anywhere. Since 2020, Ghana’s economy has been in bad shape, and many people are very unhappy with their lives, which leads to frequent protests. When you see protests, leave the area immediately because the government has used violence to stop them.
Knowing about the political unrest in Ghana is important, but it won’t be your biggest problem if you go there. Crime is a much bigger worry. Most government warnings, including those from the US, tell their people to be more careful in Ghana because of the high crime rate there. The most common offenses in Ghana are:
- Petty theft
- Armed robbery
Ensure you know about these risks in Ghana, but don’t let your worries ruin your trip.
Crimes in Ghana
Most people going to Ghana are worried about safety and for a good reason. Crime is high and has been getting worse over the past few years, so many countries tell their people to be more careful when they come to this African country. Statista says that Ghana has a crime rate of 44.5 out of 100.
The crime rate is pretty high, but it’s not the worst in the world and not even close to being the worst on the African continent. According to this figure, Ghana’s crime rate is going down after a few years of going up. Public opinion polls show that this is the case. Cost of Living says that both people who live in Ghana and people who have lived there for a while say that the amount of crime is low.
People worry most about government crimes and taking money from people in power. There is a lot of crime in Ghana. According to anecdotal data, the number of violent crimes is increasing, and many foreign governments say that their offices are getting more and more reports of violent crimes against foreign people.
You can find out about these stories in your country’s travel advice. Ghana’s growing criminal organized sector is linked to a lot of violence. The Organized Crime Index says that criminal groups are behind a growing illegal network for moving people and a growing trade in weapons.
The government tried to solve the problem by putting strict controls on weapons. However, local tribe groups that used weapons for ceremonies fought back, which only made the weapons trade go underground. Violence in Ghana is getting worse because so many illegal guns are around. The crime rate in Ghana is not all bad, though.
Armed theft is a much more dangerous crime that often happens to tourists in Ghana. This is the most common physical crime tourists have to deal with, and unfortunately, it’s getting worse. The US government says carjackings and muggings are the most common types of violent crimes.
In particular, carjackings are happening more and more often. Thieves will try to steal from drivers as they park or people in cars stuck in traffic. The right news is that most of these attacks come at night, so you should be safe if you don’t drive after 6:30 PM and only take taxis with trustworthy drivers who know which roads are secure.
The number of burglaries is also increasing, especially in places where Westerners live. Some break-ins led to people being taken away. Most people robbed have been foreigners living in Ghana, but some tourists have been robbed at hotels. Ensure you stay at a hotel with good protection when booking your room.
Avoiding Bad Places
If you stay away from bad places, your chances in Ghana will go down alone. Some parts of big towns and neighborhoods have more crime than others. Stay away from the north of Ghana, where the border with Burkina Faso is because there is trouble there.
Some parts of the Bono, Bono East, and Savannah regions and the Upper East and Upper West have more social turmoil than other parts of the country. It is also a very dangerous place because of this. Agbogblsohie, Avenor, Ashaiman, Nima, and Sukura are all places in Ghana with very high crime rates.
Kumasi is a different big city in Ghana, and like Accra, it is known for having rougher parts. Asawasi, Bantama, and Asafo are bad places to live. Thieves often use some roads, so you should stay away from them. Some of these roads are the Tamale–Wa Road, the George Walker Bush Highway, and the roads around Labadi Beach.
Things to keep in mind
Here are some more ways to stay safe in Accra:
- Beaches are common locations for thieves to strike, so don’t hang out on empty beaches alone.
- When you go outside in Ghana, watch for dangerous animals like snakes, black widow spiders, and bats.
- Some areas flood during the wet season, from March to November. Check the weather news, especially if you are going north.
- Because of its homophobic laws and traditional culture, Ghana is not a safe place for LGBT tourists who are out in public. Reconsider travel if you describe yourself as LGBT.