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Transportation in Ghana

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Transportation in Ghana

1. Posted by fhib2002 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 26 Mar '04 23:41

fhib2002 has indicated that this thread is about Ghana

I would like to learn the transportation in Ghana, especially the city of Accra. Does anybody know how to rent a car inside that city? or how can I use the public transportation?

2. Posted by lex (Full Member, 32 posts) 30 Mar '04 05:44

Accra is fairly simple - it's the most westernised city in west africa really and all the usual hire companies like hertz are at the airport if you want to hire a car. Having said that you will have to be exceptionally brave verging on suicidal if you plan to drive anywhere in ghana but especially in accra - the main roads are all tarmac thanks to a large road building programme the UN helped out with a few years ago but this means that the millions of drivers in rusting cars hurling themselves around with abandon can drive even faster it can be truly terrifying at roundabouts and accidents are ridiculously common and frequently fatal.Other roads are full of potholes and can be make very hard going for vehicles - even 4x4s!
I would suggest you dont hire unless you want to practice for a rally driving course and you either use the public bus system - called tro-tro's theyre usually vans crammed with seats. These are generally safe largely because the driver concentrates on driving and has a 'mate' who is like the conductor and sorts out the money. Theyre extremely cheap, efficient and regular - you can tell the destination because the mate hangs out of the door/window yelling which route theyre on i.e. "circle, circle, circle," takes you on the main route to the centre of town and circle roundabout and is accompanied by circular whirling hand gesture and " teshie, teshie, teshie" is heading out to the large residential area of teshie nungua - best of all theyre great fun.
Its very simple and i never met an unpleasant ghanaian person in my entire time there - people will bend over backwards to help you out and make you feel welcome so dont ever be afraid to ask. Another plus of tro-tro's is that you get to meet so many more people and quite often they can recommend the best place to eat, go out etc.
Finally, another alternative, of course, is taxis. There are soooo many in accra especially it seems like theyre every other car and they too are fairly cheap once youve done the obligatory haggling. Its best to taxi at night as its safer and there are far fewer tros, and although you can get ripped off, everyone does a few times,it wont really cost you much and once you learn to stand your ground and haggle a bit theyre very useful. Taxi drivers arent necessarily any safer than everyone else hurtling around so if youre of a nervous disposition its best not to sit in the front seat or you spend entire journeys shrieking in fear as my travelling partner did!
So thats my guide to transport in accra -if youre visiting anywhere else there are tros to all destinations along the coast from the main tro parks -although for 5hour journeys theyre less fun once the chickens under the seat start pecking and youre wedged in to yuour seat by tw oenormous market mammies. There is also a coach company for longer journeys up to Kumasi or Tamale in the north - or even further. I went overland all the way up through ghana, burkina faso and mali so it can be done although its not the mst comfortable of experiences!
Hope all this helps. Good Luck!