Threat level: Low-Medium
Ghana is a relatively safe country and most visitors should have no trouble. There is currently a heightened global threat of terrorism that travellers from western countries should be particularly wary of. Crime and political unrest are currently present in Ghana in areas like Accra, visitors should take the right precautions to stay safe during their visit.
Recent Security Risk Events
Petty and violent crime are common in Ghana. Tourists aren’t thought to be directly targeted but do get mixed up in incidents on occasion. Theft is the main problem, pick pockets often operate in the Accra mall so be vigilant if you are in this area. There have been isolated incidents of sexual assault involving foreign nationals, avoid walking alone at night.
The George Walker Bush Highway has experienced some accounts of armed banditry. It is advised not to drive after dark and to keep doors and windows locked during travel. You should travel around by private car and avoid walking on the roads as this puts you at an increased risk of being either robbed or run over. Using a motor scooter or bicycle is also very dangerous.
Theft of luggage and travel documents are a regular occurrence at Kotoka International Airport. Be wary of offers of help with your bags at the airport as this might be a cover to steal your belongings. Keep sensitive travel documents on you in person and avoid carrying large sums of cash.
Foreign nationals in Tamale have recently been attacked and robbed by machete wielding locals. It is advised only to travel by foot in this area if you have a close protection officer. If you are working in Ghana and are required to travel in Tamale, this should be provided by your employer.
Ghana is a respected member of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity. It enjoys strong relationships with many of its neighbouring African countries and also many western nations. The United States is among Ghana’s trading partners, the two countries have a strong diplomatic relationship. Ghana has also been a member state of the Commonwealth since independence in 1957.
Ghana is an active member in many peacekeeping operations for countries such as Rwanda, Afghanistan and Lebanon.
The Northern, Upper East and Volta Regions are susceptible areas to political unrest, you should avoid travel to these areas if possible. You can only drive in Ghana using an International Driving Permit or a local driving licence. Roads are mainly in a poor condition, and standards of driving are also quite poor.
If you are driving in heavily congested areas, remain vigilant to the recent scam by many pedestrians who will bump into the car pretending you have hit them. They will then try and extort money from the drivers as compensation for being hit. Drive carefully and allow pedestrians plenty of room.