Recommended Travel Itineraries for Ghana

I spent quite a bit of time in Ghana.  Actually, of all the countries in Africa I have visited, I’ve probably covered more of Ghana than any of the other countries.  Thus, developing recommended travel itineraries for Ghana is kinda of fun.  Moreover, it’s actually pretty nice since the road network in Ghana is good enough that you don’t really have to dodge anywhere due to poor infrastructure, although the Mole road was still a bit of a nightmare when I was there.

Anyways, below I’ve listed some of my recommended travel routes for Ghana.  They range from quick little trips through the country to elaborate itineraries that cover as much of the country as possible.  If you have any other recommendations, or have tested some of this trip plans, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Coastal Ghana

Map of Ghana Coastal

The focus of this itinerary isn’t just the coast of Ghana, but also the history of that coastal region.  If you have really limited time in Ghana, this is probably what you’re going to focus on.  Places like Cape Coast and Elmina are among the must-see’s in Ghana.  This schedule puts those places into the focus.

Recommended time: 11-14 days
Highlights: Elmina Castle, Akwidaa Beach
Backpacker’s Budget: 45 USD a day

  • Days 1-3: Stay in Accra.  Visit Jamestown, drink in Osu, and head to the museum.
  • Days 4-6: Drive down the coast to Cape Coast, enjoy the beach on the day you arrive.  The second day in town head to Cape Coast Castle.  On your third day in Cape Coast head inland on a day trip to Kakum National Park.
  • Days 7-8: Drive farther down the coast to Elmina.  Hit the beach when you arrive, then on the second day visit the castle and the market.
  • Days 9-11: Head down the coast past the town of Takoradi to beautiful Akwidaa Beach.
  • Day 12: Return to Accra.

The Northern Loop

Map of Ghana Northern Loop

The north and south of Ghana are so different. Driving north, you’ll see the green hills turn to flat dusty lands.  You’ll also see the religion change from predominantly Christian to Muslim.  This is a great part of the country, and the northern loop itinerary showcases the best of it.

Recommended time: 12-16 days
Highlights: Mole National Park, Kumasi
Backpacker’s Budget: 45 USD a day

  • Days 1-3: Spend some time learning to love the chaos in Kumasi.  Also, head to the various museums and palaces to get a better understanding of the Asanti history.  If you have an extra day or two, go out and visit some of the important villages nearby.
  • Days 4-5: Head up to Tamale and take a look at some of the beautiful mosques in the city.  Also try to make your way to the cultural center.
  • Days 6-7: Continue north to Bolgatanga. Take a day to visit the nearby hills.  If you have time, go up to Paga and see the crocodile pond and the old slave house.
  • Days 8-9: Take the rough road to Wa and be rewarded by the palace and beautiful mosque.
  • Day 10: Head into Wechiau and spend the night at a hippo Sanctuary.
  • Days 11-12: Head to Mole National Park and walk among the wildlife or just lounge by the pool.  A good place to relax if you have an extra day.
  • Day 13: Head back to the wild chaos of Kumasi.

Culture and History

Map of Ghana Culture

The beauty of Ghana is that it is so varied.  There really is such a wild variety of travel experiences to have in the country.  Whether you just want to lay on the beach all day, or if you’re hoping to really have an adventure, you’ll have no trouble finding either.  For those looking for a bit of a cultural experience, this is likely the best itinerary for you.  However, if you have more time, you might also want to get up to Wa as this this a very short itinerary.

Recommended time: 7-10 days
Highlights: Cape Coast Castle, Kumasi
Backpacker’s Budget: 50 USD a day

  • Days 1-3: Explore Accra’s neighbourhood of Jamestown.  You will also want to check out the major museums.
  • Days 4-6: Spend some time in Cape Coast, visit the castle and explore some of the other parts of the city like the fort.  I’d also recommend a day trip down to Elmina to see the castle there which I actually think is more impressive than Cape Coast Castle.  If you have an extra day, you might want to escape the cultural side of things for a bit and go to Kakum National Park on a day trip.
  • Days 7-9: Head up to Kumasi and enjoy the brilliant exhibits of the Asanti kingdom.  Be sure to also check out the palaces and museums.  Make sure you take at least one day trip out to see one of the nearby villages.
  • Day 8: Return to Accra.

Ghanaian Wildlife Itinerary

Map of Ghana Wildlife

When people think of Africa their first thoughts are often about the wildlife.  However, what those of us who have travelled Africa outside of the “safari-zones” know is that wildlife here is actually quite sparse.  Ghana, however, does have some nice wildlife projects on the go at the moment and many of them are worth checking out.  This itinerary is set up for those hoping to get the most out of Ghana’s wildlife viewing opportunities.

Recommended time: 14-20 days
Highlights: Cape Coast Castle, Kumasi
Backpacker’s Budget: 50 USD a day

  • Days 1-2: Start off in Accra to get your feet set in Ghana.  Do the usual tourist stuff in town before heading off.
  • Days 3-5: spend a day getting to Cape Coast and exploring the castle.  Then, do a day trip out to Kakum National Park to see the bird life, and potentially monkeys.  You might also want to take a beach day while your here.
  • Days 6-7: Cruise through Kumasi, and then head up to Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.  Spend a day watching the cheeky monkeys there.
  • Days 8-10: Head up to Mole National Park for the elephants and other animals in this beautiful national park.
  • Days 11-12: Stop in and visit the city of Wa and its mosques and palaces.  If you feel like you’re running out of days, skip Wa and head directly to Wechiau.
  • Day 13: Do a visit to Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary spending the night in a hippo hide.
  • Days 14-15: Get back to the highway and head down to Kumasi for a night or two.  If you have time, check out the awesome museums in town.
  • Day 16: Head back to Accra.

A Bit of Everything

Map of Ghana A bit of Everything

I’m assuming that the average traveller will want an itinerary for Ghana that looks a little something like this.  My “A Little Bit of Everything” itinerary doesn’t focus on one thing, but instead looks at a wide variety of different things to see in Ghana.  Of course, I’ve left some things out, but on a limited time, following this itinerary, you can see a lot in Ghana.

Recommended time: 14-20 days
Highlights: Elmina, Mole National Park
Backpacker’s Budget: 50 USD a day

  • Days 1-3: Hang out in Accra, do the usual: visit Jamestown, check out the museums, maybe a night out in Osu.
  • Days 4-6: Get yourself up to Kumasi and enjoy the busyness, museums and culture.
  • Days 7-8: Head up to Tamale, then once you get there spend a day exploring the mosques and market.
  • Days 9-11: Take the bumpy road to Mole National Park and enjoy some time to relax by the pool.  Then spend a day or two on safari both on foot and in truck.  A little nature will be welcomed after the cities.
  • Day 12: Head down to Boabeng-Fiema Wildlife Sanctuary.  See the monkeys at sunset via a guided tour with a local.
  • Days 13-15: End it all by heading to Cape Coast for a nice mixed bag of history and relaxation.  Spend some time on the beach, visit Cape Coast Castle, and maybe go in an explore Kakum National Park.
  • Day 16: Head back to Accra.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Map of Ghana The Kitchen Sink

This is the whole country, or at least all the highlights.  Basically, this is an itinerary you should be attempting if you have loads of time and hope to see every bit of Ghana.  Of course, this schedule can be manipulated to save you a couple days, it can also be extended a bit.  But in general, this the best of Ghana.

Recommended time: 24-30 days
Highlights: Elmina, Mole National Park
Backpacker’s Budget: 45 USD a day

  • Days 1-3: Accra.  Same deal as the other itineraries: Jamestown, Osu, and museums.
  • Days 4-5: Head up to Hohoe.  Visit Wli falls one your full day in the city.
  • Days 6-7: Take the long trip to Tamale.  You might want to spend a day in Yendi because that’s a long day’s drive.  In Tamale, check out the mosques and markets.
  • Days 8-9: Head up to Bolgatanga and visit the town of Paga on a day trip for the crocs.
  • Days 10-12: Go back down to Tamale and then across to Mole National Park.  There’s a chance you might need to spend a night in Tamale if you’re on public transport.
  • Day 13: Travel north-west from Mole to the town of Wa and check out the palace and mosque.
  • Day 14: From Wa, head out to Wechiau and the hippo sanctuary out there.
  • Day 15: Travel south towards Kumasi and stop for the night at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary.
  • Days 16-18: Visit Kumasi and if you have time a couple of the villages around the city.
  • Days 19-21: Head to Akwidaa Beach and take a couple days on the sea to relax.
  • Day 22: Go east along the coast and spend the night in Elmina.  Be sure to check out the castle and the market.
  • Days 23-24: Spend your last couple days in Cape Coast visiting the castle, fort, and maybe Kakum National Park if you have time.
  • Day 25: Head back to Accra.

Back to the Ghana travel guides

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