If you are thinking of joining a volunteer trip to Ghana, or are already getting prepared for your Ghana adventure, here are some highlights of Ghana as a destination and what to expect during your visit.
Ghana is a vibrant and colourful country, brimming with culture, from the bustling cities to the quieter villages and diverse landscapes of forest, farms and unspoilt coastlines.
There is a true sense of pride and community spirit everywhere you go in Ghana. Ghanaians are very friendly and welcoming people. Visitors will often be greeted with a handshake (make sure to use your right hand) and the sound of a beating drum is never far away! There is often lots of dancing too so don’t be shy to get involved and really embrace true Ghanaian culture. On a programme with us, you will volunteer at one of our partner schools and you will most likely be greeted by the children in this way – a special memory to treasure!
Impressively, there are over 250 languages and dialects spoken in Ghana, which have derived from a diversity of tribal and ethnic groups. When volunteering with African Adventures, the local language is Ewe – so don’t be afraid to brush up on a few phrases as your Ghanaian hosts will appreciate your efforts. The official language in Ghana is English.
Ghanaian dress code is conservative, yet lots of bright colours are worn. There will be plenty of opportunities to buy Ghanaian cloth and wear these beautiful fabrics throughout your stay. There are lots of fantastic markets to explore and local businesses to support where you will find these. It is important to respect the culture; dress for the heat with light and loose clothing but cover your stomach, shoulders and back. Female volunteers should be careful to wear shorts or skirts that cover the knee and cover up when walking to and from the beach.
Ghana has a tropical climate and the weather is hot and humid with a temperature often reaching 30 degrees Celsius or above. The chance to get some sunshine might be something you are looking forward to but do be prepared for the heat – it is important that you keep hydrated and apply plenty of sun cream!
The cuisine in Ghana is nutritious and full of flavour. Traditionally, dishes are made with a tomato based sauce and spices. Stews and soups are popular dishes and there are many variations of these, made from beans, vegetables, meats and fish, and accompanied by a carbohydrate such as cassava, plantain or yam. Volunteers will have plenty of opportunity in Ghana to try locally grown fruits and vegetables and, as you will be staying by the water, the fresh fish is delicious! You might even get the opportunity to watch the fisherman bringing in their daily catch.
Pace of life
Volunteering in Ghana gives you the opportunity to really escape from modern life back home and open your eyes to the wider world. In rural areas, and where African Adventures’ programmes are located, there is often no Wi-Fi and the electricity and water supply can be intermittent. But don’t let this put you off – you will soon adapt to the slower pace of life in Ghana! This is your chance to truly immerse yourself in Ghanaian life and enjoy the experience.
Find out more about our Ghana volunteering programmes and what to be prepared for here.