Ghana’s top tour companies

Reputable Ghana-based tour companies and guides offering both individual and group guided tours and excursions – packaged as well as customized. Several of them cater for tours to nearby countries like Togo, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia etc.


LANDTOURS

Services: Eco-volta, Sun and Fun, Kente village, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia
Websitelandtours.com


SUNSEEKERS TOURS

Services: Educational Tours, Cultural tours, Nature Tours, Heritage Tours, Adventure Tours, Leisure Tours, Ecology Tours, Wildlife tours, Conference Tours, Ghana Day Trips, Bird-watching, Marlin Fishing, Golf Packages, Reunions, Vacations.
Phone inquiries: +233 (0) 302 – 22593 or 231556 or 244070
Website:  sunseekerstours.com


ASHANTI AFRICAN TOURS

Services: Biking Tours, Cultural Tours, Wildlife Tours, Heritage Tours, Benin, Togo etc.
Phone inquiries: +233 (0) 332131679
Website
: ashantiafricantours.com


BLASTOURS

Services: Slave route, Art and craft tours, Bird-watching, Honeymoon packages, Togo, Benin, Shore excursions, meet and greet services, Hotel booking, Guides and interpreters.
Phone inquiries: +233 302 404460 or 020 8232463
Website: blastours.com


EASYTRACK GHANA

Services: Accra, Cape Coast, Volta River, Atewa Forest Birding, Accra shopping, University of Ghana, Coffin workshop.
Phone inquiries: +233 27 665 7036
Website:
easytrackghana.com


LET’S TOUR AFRICA

Services: Package and private tours – History Tours, Wildlife Tours, Bird-watching Tours, Sun-and-Fun Tours, Day Tours.
Phone inquiries: +233 272 111 270 
Website:
letstourafrica.com

Ghana’s top tour companies
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Ghana’s monarchies

Despite the country’s republican structure, it has preserved its monarchical traditions up till today. Kings and queens have played a significant role in the history of the country and continue to do so. Names like Kwamena Ansah II, Prempeh I, Kobina Ghartey, Kwadjo Deh, Nii Tackie, Ofori Atta and Oheneba Brew are all in living memory for their wisdom, foresight and patriotism. Chieftaincy has never had anything to do with folklore. Chiefs have always been the custodians of tribal culture, order and unity; they have always been promoters of continuity to their people. In times of adversity, the best of them have stood up courageously to fight against foreign tutelage. The Chief, who is actually a king, does not possess any absolutist hold over citizens, he is governed by clearly defined but unwritten.

This is why the coexistence of tradition and modernity in Ghana is considered natural. Today, royalty does not direct political power but nobody does anything in the Ghanaian society without paying due respect to traditional rulers, not even the government. Every hamlet, village, town, city or district has its royal representatives who wield traditional authority. The government recognized this important role long ago and has found a way to let their influence flow into the mainstream of political life. Every region has a House of Chiefs, which in turn sends a delegate to the National House of Chiefs, authorized to advise government on decisions affecting social life and culture in general.


« Outdooring and naming

Ghana’s monarchies
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Outdooring and naming

Outdooring new babies is a ceremony typical amongst almost all tribes in Ghana and involves the practice of formally presenting a new-born child to the gods, society and dead ancestors. It usually takes place on the 8th day after birth, when it is thought that enough time has elapsed for the child to prove that it is healthy and has the will to continue living. Until then, custom does not permit the new-born to be brought outside the threshold of its abode. In days gone by; and even now in many communities, evil spirits, ghosts and other negative influences in the elements were believed to adversely affect the health of the child. The 8th day is thus the time to give thanks to all those who deserve it. Relatives, mostly sisters and friends of the child’s father are invited for the ceremony. One of the respectable people present would be called upon to pour libation to God through the gods and dead ancestors, thanking them for their protection and benevolence. The baby is carried into the open for the first time and formally introduced to the elements: wind, earth, firmament and all unseen living things.

Very important and still of significance in society is the naming ceremony. This can take place independent of the outdooring ceremony; if a child’s parents so wish. Otherwise, it is often joined to the Outdooring ceremony already described above.

According to Ghanaian custom, every child must get at least a second name in addition to the day names like Kobina, Kojo, Kofi, Akosua, Ama, Esi etc. The second name is often that of a respected relative, dead or alive and helps in tracing genealogy. Sometimes the names of unrelated people of great standing in the society are chosen as a sign of reverence. Confusing to foreigners is the fact that children may not necessarily bear the names of their parents. The belief is that is that a child will take over all the positive qualities of the personality he/she is named after.

Both the Outdooring and Naming ceremonies are relatively short and simple but what then follows can be described as being typical: sumptuous food is served and there is usually more than enough to drink. Music and dance take their due place of prominence. Attendees of such functions may bring along presents for the child or simply donate money. On such occasions, it is usual for people to dress up in their best traditional attire.


« Kofi and Ama

Ghana’s monarchies »

Outdooring and naming
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Kofi and Ama

Ghanaians tend to have the same first names. There is a good and very simple reason for this. There are only fourteen main names to choose from: seven for males and seven for females. Anyone can tell on which day of the week a person was born just by hearing a name. For the biggest part of the Ghanaian population (almost the whole of Southern Ghana), names are given according to the day of birth.

The apparent confusion that could arise out of this fact is cleverly avoided by either forming derivatives from the original names, by adding to standard names or replacing them with names of respected ancestors, dead or alive. Should this still be confusing, children are named in the order of birth: the first, the second, the third, etc. or a combination of the two. For instance, if four children are born to a couple, all of them boys, all of them born on Friday, this is how they would be named: Kofi, Kofi Manu (the second Kofi), Kofi Mensa (the third Kofi), and Kofi Annan (the fourth Kofi). Does that ring a bell? This tells us that the former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan was either the fourth of four boys born on Friday or he was named after somebody called Annan, probably his own father or grandfather.

Another way of disentangling the names knot is by adopting names signifying the period or circumstances in which a person was born. For example; Nyamekye (God-given), where the child was not expected. Ababio (the returnee) after losing an earlier child of the same sex.

Names are given according to one’s day of birth
 MALE FEMALE
MONDAY Kojo, Joojo Ajoa, Ajo
TUESDAY Kobena, Kwabena Abena, Abla
WEDNESDAY  Kweyku, Kuuku Akua, Aku
THURSDAY  Yaw, Ekow Yaa, Yaaba
FRIDAY Kofi, Fiifi, Yoofi Afua, Afi
SATURDAY Kwame, Kwamena Aba, Ama
SUNDAY Kweysi, Akweysi Esi, Akosua

Whilst visiting Ghana, adopt one of the day-based names, ideally one of those for your day of birth – and mesmerize the locals 🙂


« The Ghanaian

Outdooring and naming »

Kofi and Ama
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The Ghanaian

The Ghanaian is a lover of fun in any form and shows her sense of humor at the least “provocation”. She is a born dancer and will dance at the least opportunity. Ghanaian towns and cities are therefore full of music. She is friendly and so generous that she is often affronted when a visitor refuses her gifts. Despite her generosity, she does not like it when visitors criticize her country whatever the case may be and feels herself somehow disgraced even if she recognizes the truth in the criticism. She would like to do the criticism herself.

Akwaaba” – meaning ‘Welcome’. This is a word you will hear often in Ghana. Whereas the art of greeting is quite ritualized in other parts of Africa, it is not as complicated in Ghana. Shaking hands is the traditional way of either saying hello or greeting friends, relatives or strangers. It may be followed by a few inquiries about the health of other family members but it depends on the degree of familiarity. Greeting has a very high social importance in Ghana and in Africa generally and it is a blunder not to greet. Not greeting always produces a negative reaction. Whilst in Ghana, get into the habit of greeting people you encounter – even if casually. It may be the key to many friendships. The most hard-faced pedestrian will suddenly become friendly immediately he or she is greeted. The normal practice is that the one who moves towards someone standing or sitting usually greets first. This means that it is the tourist who will often have to begin. It is also his best chance. It is important not to forget that a handshake is always proffered with the right hand. The left hand always symbolizes impoliteness.

If you visit a Ghanaian home, you will be offered a seat after the initial pleasantries. After taking a seat, the lady of the house or her child or house help will appear with glass of water. This is traditional and means you are welcome. The offer to drink has nothing to do with thirst and it is bad taste to refuse it, since refusal means distrust. If you are not thirsty, just nip at the glass as a sign of respect to the host and that will be alright.

By custom, the host opens the conversation by asking the visitor to relate briefly what the purpose of the visit is. The host then follows with a short account of what happened lately with his or her household. Immediately he finishes he stands up once again to formally wish the visitor a hearty welcome with a handshake, whilst repeating the words akwaaba, akwaaba.


« Ghana ABC

Kofi and Ama »

The Ghanaian
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Advice for first-time Ghana visitors

Taken as a whole, Ghanaians are an affable, warm, go-out-of-their-way-to-help-a-stranger people. That said, we all admit that isn’t a perfect society anywhere in the world – Ghana is no exception.

ARRIVAL

You can enter Ghana through any of our many entry points, but in this article I’ll limit myself to the only international airport we have – the Kotoka International Airport aka KIA with the airport code ACC.

You must have arranged for someone to pick you up (Strongly recommended). This is desired because the area just outside the arrival lobby or lounge can be chaotic. You’d find a lot of people asking you “Do you want taxi?”. Others will be offering to help with your luggage. It not advisable, at all, to ride on a taxi  or car/bus you have not previously arranged. Don’t do it! You should wait for the person meeting you to come for you. There are several registered, trustworthy taxi/ car hire companies which do airport meet-and-greet, some of whom are based full-time at the Accra airport.

What if my pre-arranged pickup person is not there when I arrive? Good question. Answer: If you don’t have a cell-phone that works here, you could politely ask to use someone else’s phone to contact your pre-arranged pickup person. Most Ghanaians would graciously let you use their cell-phone to make one important call without expecting to be paid. You may offer a dollar or two for the call but most will refuse flatly. That’s the famous Ghanaian hospitality you might have heard about.

GREETING

Greeting is serious business here in Ghana – especially in smaller towns and villages. It is considered very impolite to talk to someone for the first time in any day without first greeting them. “Hello”, “Good morning”, “Good afternoon”, etc. Ghanaian become more open and friendly towards you if you adopt a habit of greeting them before you talk to them for the first time in that day.

OTHER

  • Ghanaians consider it impolite to use your left hand to take or receive anything.
  • Every “white person” is perceived to be wealthy. Because of this erroneous perception “white” people are more likely to be approached by beggars for money etc. A firm “I’m sorry, I don’t have any money..” etc. should keep such beggars at bay.
  • Because “white persons” are considered rich, any such person who is shabbily-dressed would attract extra attention — it’s a more exotic sight to locals.
  • Fares for ‘Trotros’ are fixed – but varies depending on how far you are going. (Trotros are buses of all sizes with yellow number plates that offer within-city transportation services to the general public. You tell the driver’s mate where you are going and he tells you how much the fare is, period – no bargaining here. However when it comes to taxis, you are permitted to bargain (if you are hiring the taxi to drop you off at a specific place (popularly termed “Dropping”) or hiring it by the hour (“Hiring”).
Advice for first-time Ghana visitors
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