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.
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 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.
- 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”).