YouTube Tuesday #8: Some Things to Know Before Traveling to Ghana


Today’s YouTube video is definitely not as positive as most of the videos that we share.  But I think that it is important to know for potential travelers to Ghana, that Ghana is Not Japan, it is Not New York, it is Not London.  Ghana is third world country, even if it is doing better than some of it’s peers in the region, it is by far not what you will be used to in terms of development and infrastructure.

That being said this video is one mans very biased OPINION about what to expect visiting to Ghana.  Many of his points come of negative, and even the ones that should be interesting seem to have a negative tone to them as well how he was talking about the handshake or not expecting women to be carrying thing on there head in the city.  Maybe that is just how he comes off.

Lets take a look at how his travel style and is attitude may have effected his experience.  First he said that there is not a lot of information available to someone traveling to Ghana.  That is not really true there is loads of information out there it is just not fed to you, but there are guide books and also resources available to you to learn more about a destination, they may not always come up first on Google, or be on travelocity, or tripadvisor.  It is out there though, this site offers a lot of information, take a look around our tours and there are many links to informational pages about destinations in Ghana and the responsible Eco-lodges.

One of the most important things that you can do to be a responsible tourist is take the time to learn about the destination before traveling there.

He also talked about how many people would come up to him and introduce themselves and offer to help him.  He said he thought everyone was nice but then they just asked him for money.  This will happen, there a people with much less than you and they will ask.  But this is not true with everyone, and this is more pervasive in the more touristy areas and the cities.  But from the sounds of it as he continued to talk he revealed that his attitude, body language and reactions to this may have set him up as a target for this.  He said that he did not get a guide just because he did not want to pay someone and he did not want to look like a tourist, he just wanted to do it on his own, even though he needed help sometimes.

Guess what if you are a Westerner, you are going to look like a tourist in Ghana, this is irrespective of Color.

Ghanaian’s can tell you are not from Ghana, just by the way you walk or the pace that you walk, they can even usually tell if a Ghanaian had lived in the west for a while.  We carry ourselves different and we are usually in a hurry.  You are not going to get beyond that, but you can choose to learn about your destination and sometimes traveling with a guide is the best way to do that.  Even when I lived in Ghana, I often traveled with a Ghanaian friend because I learned more, and if people see that you are having a genuine conversation with a Ghanaian, they will probably not come up and ask you for money.  I think the saddest thing that he said is that he shut these conversations and relationship down very quickly.  So he was essentially brash and rude to anyone that walked up to him.  That is a good way to not have a positive genuine interaction with someone.

Remember that your outlook and attitude really effect the experience you have and the way people treat you.

From the sounds of his video he also did not get outside of the city there are many different kinds of Ghana outside Accra.  The rural area in the South will give you a very different experience than the rural area in the North, but they will both be more genuine and positive experience than what you will probably have in the city or tourist areas.

Get out of the city and away from the tourist destinations, you will discover another world.

What is sad is this is the second video that comes up if you type “Ghana Travel” into youtube.  Really you can only discover things for yourself.  Get out there and explore.

Things will be different away from your home in other countries.  The key word here is DIFFERENT, not bad, or wrong, or backwards, weird, stupid, simply DIFFERENT.  If you don’t want that stay at home.


This entry was posted in Ecotourism, For the Independent Traveler, Ghana, Travel Stories, Travel Tips, Youtube Tuesday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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