Ghana, a diverse and culturally rich West African nation, offers a mesmerizing experience for travelers who choose to visit in December. With its favorable weather conditions, vibrant festivities, captivating tourist attractions, and warm hospitality, December is truly an enchanting time for exploration. Let’s delve into the numerous reasons why Ghana should be at the top of your travel list this December.
1. Pleasant Weather for Exploration
December falls within Ghana’s dry season, providing travelers with the perfect conditions to explore this beautiful country. With little rainfall and abundant sunshine, temperatures range between 24°C to 32°C (75°F to 90°F), ensuring comfortable weather that’s neither too hot nor too chilly. The dry season also means less humidity and fewer mosquitoes, offering a pleasurable and hassle-free travel experience as you navigate through Ghana’s landscapes and historical sites.
2. Festive Atmosphere and Celebrations
Ghana in December is a treasure trove of fun-filled celebrations and events. From Christmas festivities to traditional festivals, there’s never a dull moment. Immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Ghanaian people.
One of the most popular festivals during this time is the Hogbetsotso Festival celebrated by the Anlo Ewe people. This colorful event showcases traditional dances, music, and costumes, providing a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Anlo people. Additionally, witness the Ada Asafotufiami Festival, a military festival celebrated by the people of Ada, featuring the firing of muskets and a display of traditional military tactics.
3. End-of-Year Discounts and Offers
Traveling to Ghana in December also means taking advantage of end-of-year discounts and promotional offers provided by hotels, airlines, tour companies, and restaurants. This makes it an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers to explore Ghana without breaking the bank.
Enjoy discounted rates at luxurious hotels like the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, Labadi Beach Hotel, and Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. Airlines such as Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines offer discounted fares to Ghana during this period. Indulge in the best of Ghana’s cuisine and tourist attractions without putting a strain on your budget, thanks to special discounts and packages offered by restaurants and tour companies.
4. Explore Accra, the Vibrant Capital City
Accra, the bustling capital of Ghana, is an excellent starting point for any visit to the country. Known for its vibrant markets, such as Makola Market, where you can shop for colorful textiles, traditional artifacts, and delicious street food. Art lovers can explore the National Museum, which houses impressive collections of Ghanaian art and historical artifacts. Don’t miss the Nubuke Foundation and Gallery 1957, which showcase contemporary Ghanaian art.
Historical sites in Accra include the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, a tribute to the founding father of modern Ghana, and Independence Square, symbolizing Ghana’s freedom from colonial rule. The beautiful coastline and beaches of Accra, such as Labadi Beach and Bojo Beach, are also worth a visit.
5. History and Beaches in Cape Coast
Cape Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to two historic forts, Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, which played critical roles in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. These well-preserved castles offer a sobering reminder of the dark past, while their stunning ocean views provide a breathtaking backdrop.
For beach lovers, Cape Coast offers pristine sandy beaches such as Oasis Beach Resort and Coconut Grove Beach Resort. Immerse yourself in the history and beauty of this coastal town while enjoying the sun, sand, and surf.
6. Explore the Cultural Heartland in Kumasi
Kumasi, the vibrant capital of the Ashanti region, is a must-visit destination for exploring Ghana’s rich history and culture. Begin your journey at the Manhyia Palace Museum, the royal residence of the Ashanti king, where you can delve into the lavish and legendary history of the Ashanti Kingdom.
Other attractions worthy of a visit include the Kumasi Central Market, one of Africa’s largest open-air markets, and the craft villages of Bonwire, Ahwiaa, and Ntonso. Here, you can witness traditional Kente cloth weaving, wood carving, and adinkra cloth printing, gaining firsthand insight into the artistic traditions of the Ashanti people.
7. Wildlife and Nature at Mole National Park
Mole National Park offers a unique opportunity to experience Ghana’s breathtaking natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. Embark on guided walking safaris, jeep tours, or birdwatching excursions to spot elephants, buffaloes, leopards, antelopes, and various bird species. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and get up close to Ghana’s incredible wildlife.
8. Traditional Music and Dance Performances
To truly experience Ghanaian culture, attend traditional music and dance performances. From the energetic kpanlogo and highlife to the rhythmic adowa dance styles, these performances can be found at cultural centers, community gatherings, and even some hotels and restaurants throughout the country. Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms and movements that embody the spirit of Ghanaian music and dance.
9. Visit Local Markets and Artisan Workshops
Exploring local markets and artisan workshops is an excellent way to experience Ghana’s rich cultural heritage. Bargain at bustling markets, learn about traditional crafts, and even try your hand at creating something yourself in pottery, bead-making, or batik workshops. Discover unique handmade items and support local artisans while immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Ghana’s markets and workshops.
10. Sample Authentic Ghanaian Cuisine
No visit to Ghana is complete without sampling the delicious Ghanaian cuisine. From the famous jollof rice and fufu with soup to banku with grilled tilapia and waakye, there’s a mouth-watering dish to satisfy every palate. Don’t forget to indulge in the local drinks, such as palm wine and sobolo (hibiscus drink), to complete your culinary adventure in Ghana.
11. December Festivals and Events in Ghana
December is a month full of exciting festivals and events that showcase Ghana’s diverse and fascinating culture. From Afrochella, a celebration of African music, fashion, art, and culture, to Rhythms on Da Runway, an annual night of fashion and music, there’s something for everyone. Other notable events include the Tangolla Festival, Afro Nation Festival, Waakye Party, and the Festival of Lights Ghana. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of these festivals and create unforgettable memories.
12. Tracing Family Roots
For those interested in tracing their family roots and ancestral heritage, Ghana provides a unique opportunity. With a rich history intertwined with the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Ghana has preserved many forts and castles that served as key points in the slave trade. Visit these historical sites, such as Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, to connect with your heritage and pay homage to the ancestors. Gain a deeper understanding of your roots and the history that shaped Ghana and the African diaspora.
13. Warm Ghanaian Hospitality
Above all, Ghana is known for its warm hospitality and friendly people. Experience the genuine warmth and friendliness of the Ghanaian people as they welcome you into their country. Whether you’re exploring the bustling markets, attending festivals, or simply strolling through the streets, you’ll be met with smiles and open arms. The genuine hospitality of the Ghanaian people will make your visit truly memorable.
In conclusion, Ghana in December offers a unique and unforgettable experience. From the pleasant weather and vibrant festivities to the rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality, Ghana has something for everyone. Explore the historical sites, immerse yourself in the vibrant music and dance, sample delicious cuisine, and create lifelong memories. December in Ghana is an adventure you won’t want to miss. So pack your bags and get ready for a festive African experience like no other.