I was so excited about my Spring break plans. I had planned a trip to Sao Tome, an island of the coast of Ghana. Two weeks before my trip the flights to Sao Tome by TAP Portugal was canceled. I was disappointed because I was still left with the tickets to Ghana. because these were operated by a different carrier.
I found an Airbnb last minute but the choices were slim since it was Easter week and I dropped off my visa application at the Embassy in CI.
Ghana’s covid policy is quite extensive, you are required to take a PCR test within 3 days and fill out a health form online. Then you have to pay $150 online for another covid test that is required upon arrival. Once you arrive you are asked to verify that you filled out the online health form by presenting your passport number. Once verified you move to the next stage which is verifying payment for the covid test with the cashier who gives you a receipt. You give this to another person who gives you a barcode and asks for verification of your negative PCR results. Then you move onto to the lab tech who then takes your antigen test which is more pleasant than the PCR. Once this is done you go downstairs to customs and fill out an arrival form. The next step is immigration who takes the arrival card and takes your picture. After baggage claim is the counter where they print out your rapid PCR results and then you are allowed to leave the airport. It was all very organized and quick because we were the only airline so there were no crowds. However, I wondered how long this process would take when multiple airlines landed simultaneously.
Once I got to Accra I had a good time because the food was great, uber works so well there and is cheaper than Abidjan. I went down to Oxford street to do some shopping at Global Mamas and was surprised to see so many sellers at the market without masks. When I questioned them about it, I was told that there’s no covid in Ghana due to the heat. Much like the attitude in Abidjan not many taxi drivers wore masks either so I limited my exposure.
Getting a covid test in Ghana is pretty easy, the Nyaho Medical centre which is close to the airport has several options and you can make the appointments online as long as you have a cell phone. You can pay with credit card or cash and you have several options for your test results. 48 hours which is standard, 24 hours, or you can even pay a bit more and get your results in 12 hours. This concierge option surprisingly was cheaper than the $150 you pay for the fast test at the airport You get a text when you register and when your results are ready. You can log in and download your results. If you prefer a printed copy you can go back to the center and get them to print it out for you. The center is open 24 hours which is pretty convenient. There’s even a chat feature that will tell you where your test results are in the queue and when they will be ready. It’s organized and user friendly. They give you a throat swab as well as a PCR test.
So if you’re itching g to take a trip, Ghana is not a bad option. Not even for a third trip 🤷🏾♀️ which turned out to be just the break I needed and beacause I chose to treat myself to a day and night at the Movenpick hotel where the food and drink was good and the pool was nice. #BlackExpat #travelismytherapy #wanderlust #myexpatlife #EDpat
More about my visa experience in the next post…because it didn’t go as planned and it was extremely frustrating.