Surfing in Ghana
With its long coastline and world-class, surf waves, Ghana may very well be the next big surf destination. Located in the Gulf of Guinea and having a coastline that is East/West oriented, Ghana is positioned to receive uninterrupted ocean swells from the Southern Hemisphere.
There are many surf spots suitable for all kinds of surfers and the lack of crowds is one of the best things about Ghana, especially for the beginners who don’t like to hassle with hundreds of other surfers to catch a wave.
Besides world class surf spots and the fact that there are waves all year round, Ghana has a lot of things going for it. The capital Accra is a travel hub in West Africa with several airlines flying directly from Europe, Asia, and North America. Accommodation and meal prices are cheap, and differently from other African countries, Ghana is very politically stable leaving the civil wars far behind in the past. The fact is that there really isn’t anything to complain about when it comes to surfing in Ghana.
Climate in Ghana
Ghana is located on the Gulf of Guinea, just slightly above the Equator, giving it a tropical climate. Temperatures are more mild in the highlands, more humid along the coast and hotter and drier up north. Sea temperatures are in between 24 and 25°C/75 to 77°F so the water is warm enough to surf with board shorts all year round. The best time to surf in Ghana is from April to August.
Best surf spots in Ghana
The main surf destinations of Ghana are Kokrobite beach, a mere 45-minute drive from Accra, and the beach town of Busua in Ghana’s Western Region. Here are the best surf spots in Ghana registered so far:
Black Mamba: this wave breaks on the western side of Busua Beach. In order to get to the line up you have either to pay a local fisherman to take you or endure the long paddle out. The wave is a mellow right-hander that is quite sheltered from the wind and big swells.
Busua Beach: this is one of the most well known spots in Ghana so expect some crowd. The wave is perfect for beginners when it’s small but gets very good for experienced surfers when there is a big swell. The best spot to surf is in front of Blacl Star Surf Shop.
Gomoa Feteh: this wave breaks in front of the White Sands Resort making it easy to find the spot. When it’s pumping it can break for up to 1 km.
Kokrobite: this wave breaks nearby the city of Accra making it a good place for a day trip. The wave is not very long but can be fun to surf if you are looking for something different.
Achenim: this place is a bit tricky to find so the best thing to do is go to the surf shop in Busua and ask for directions.
Meal price range
A simple meal of Jollof rice will cost around $2 USD. Midrange meals in restaurants range from $8-10 USD with beers. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from C10 $17-22 USD.
There are a couple surf rental shops, boards cost $17 for a day to $70 USB for a week.
Prepaid SIM cards
MTN Ghana Africa is the market leader in Ghana with the best coverage and speeds.
SIM cards should be purchased at an MTN outlet/shop.
Plans are anywhere from $1-7 USD for 300MB-2.5Gb.
Tro tros (minibus) are inexpensive, run along fixed routes and have fixed fares. They rarely run with less than capacity, so be prepared to wait.
For longer journeys buses are preferable to tro-tros as they are more comfortable and reliable.
Taxis are an easy and safe way to get around Ghana. Drivers are not shy about quoting higher prices for long distances, haggle (fairly) for a good price before getting in.
Another option is to hire a driver and 4WD car for $120 USD a day.
$0.92 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds occur from January to March. Droughts and water pollution are also an issue.
How to prepare
If you are from anywhere outside of Africa you’ll need a visa to enter Ghana. You should get one in advance at the closest Ghana Embassy/consulate. You will need proof of return or onward travel. Visa fees vary from $70-150 USD depending on which type and how quickly you need it processed. They are good for 60 days.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella. You’ll be asked to show proof of your yellow fever vaccination.
Things to know
Language & Currency
English is the official language, inherited from the colonial era. About eighty other languages are spoken in Ghana. Akan is the most-widely spoken language in Ghana
The currency is Ghanaian Cedi (GHS)
Best time to go
Ghana is exposed to the South swells, so the most consistent season is from April to August when the winter swells from the South hit the shores.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, imodium- for rehydrating, ear plugs to avoid ear infections, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 112 in all case of emergency (police, ambulance, fire).