Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. They are generally good in cities, but poor in rural areas. Most secondary roads are poorly lit. Pedestrians and roaming livestock pose further hazard, especially at night.
Many Ghanaian cars, especially commercial vehicles, are in poor condition and lack standard safety equipment. Drivers often don’t respect traffic laws. Accidents causing fatalities are common. Most often, victims are pedestrians. Traffic accidents are also common on the road from Accra to Cape Coast and Kumasi.
In town, people may try to get you to stop your vehicle. Pedestrians may bang on your car, making it appear as if they have been hit. Drivers may attempt to cause minor vehicle collisions. Crowds gathering because of these types of incidents can become dangerous. Police roadblocks are common. You could be subject to inspections. Armed security forces may demand money.
If driving in Ghana: avoid driving after dark, keep your doors locked and windows closed at all times, proceed immediately to the nearest police station to make a report if you are involved in any traffic incident; always carry a copy of you ID documents, such as your passport, your International Driving Permit and the vehicle registration.
Public transportation is unregulated and unsafe. Many buses and taxis are not well-maintained and have poor safety standards.
Most taxis are in poor mechanical shape in Accra. They often lack seatbelts and most of the time, air conditioning is not functional. Criminals often target foreigners travelling in taxis at night and violent robberies are frequent.
If you have to use a taxi in Ghana: avoid hailing taxis on the street, use only officially marked taxis, ensure that there is no other passenger in the car, limit trips to daytime, always agree on a fare before departure. If you use a trusted ride-sharing app: confirm the driver’s identity before getting in the car, be aware that the driver might only accept cash payment.
Privately owned minibuses, known as tro-tros, have a high accident record. They are often overcrowded and poorly maintained. Drivers are reckless and drive at excessive speeds. Private intercity buses are available and they are often better maintained and safer.
Periodic shortages of electricity and running water can occur, particularly during the dry season, from November to March, although the situation is improving, especially in Greater Accra and other prone areas.
Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range. Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife. Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so. Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators. Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.