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Holidays in Gibraltar

Understanding Gibraltar

Ghana is a very friendly country, ideal for first time travellers to Africa, the people are generally very helpful and welcoming While their laidback attitude and lack of organized tourist sights/trips can be a little annoying to begin with, before you have been there for very long you realize that it is one of the delights of this country

Tourism in Ghana is growing very quickly, and more tour operators are seeing increased requests for Ghana as a travel destination Ghana is also rich in gold This is a stable country with great potential for growth

History

Early times

There is archaeological evidence which shows that humans have lived in what is present day Ghana from about 1500 BC Nonetheless, there is no proof that those early dwellers are related to the current inhabitants of the area Oral tradition has it that many of Ghana's current ethnic groups such as the multi-ethnic Akan, the Ga and the Ewe arrived around the 13th Century AD However, the Dagombas are believed to be the first settlers, having been fully established by 1210 AD, before the arrival of other ethnic groups Modern Ghanaian territory includes what was the Empire of Ashanti, one of the most influential states in sub-Saharan Africa before colonial rule

Colonial era

Early European contact by the Portuguese, who came to Ghana in the 15th century, focused on the extensive availability of gold By 1548, the Dutch had joined them, and built forts at Komenda and Kormantsi Other European traders joined in by the mid 17th century, largely English, Danes and Swedes British merchants, impressed with the gold resources in the area, named it the Gold Coast, while French merchants, impressed with the trinkets worn by the coastal people, named the area to the west "Côte d'Ivoire", or Ivory Coast The Gold Coast was known for centuries as 'The White Man's Grave' because many of the Europeans who went there died of malaria and other tropical diseases

After the Dutch withdrew in 1874, Britain made the Gold Coast a protectorate Following conquest by the British in 1896, until independence in March 1957, the territory of modern Ghana excluding the Volta Region British Togoland, was known as the Gold Coast

Many wars occurred between the colonial powers and the various nation-states in the area and even under colonial rule the chiefs and people often resisted the policies of the British Moves toward de-colonization intensified after World War II and after an intense struggle, on March 6th 1957 elected parliamentry leader Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana as "free forever" The nation thus became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence

Modern era

Kwame Nkrumah's was a champion of pan-Africanism and his popularity was a major concern for the West It was no surprise that Nkrumah was subsequently overthrown by the military while he was abroad in February 1966 A series of subsequent coups from 1966 to 1981 ended with the ascension to power of the flamboyant Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings in 1981 These changes resulted in the suspension of the constitution in 1981 and the banning of political parties The economy suffered a severe decline soon after, and many Ghanaians migrated to other countries

Rawlings changed many old economic policies and the economy soon began to recover A new constitution restoring multi-party politics was instigated in 1992, and Rawlings was elected as president then and again in 1996 In 2009, John Atta Mills took office as president marking the second time that power had been transferred from one legitimately elected leader to another, and securing Ghana's status as a stable democracy

Climate

There are two main seasons in Ghana, the wet and the dry seasons Northern Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while the south, including the capital Accra, experiences the season from April to Mid-November

Talking in Gibraltar

Because Ghana was colonized by the British, English has become the official language, and many Ghanians particularly in urban centres you'll meet will be able to speak English Official government documents are kept in English, but there over 40 distinct languages spoken in Ghana including English, Twi, Ga, Ewe, Dagbani, and so on "Obruni", the Akan word for foreigner literally means "white man", is generally shouted to greet any tourist in an unoffensive way sometimes Obruni is used in a similar way as the word "Toubab" is used further west in Mali, Guinea, the Gambia and Senegal

Pidgin English is about the most typical form of English you will find With phrases like: "my head de bash", meaning "I have a headache"

In the Northern Regions and among Ghanaian Muslims in general, the Hausa language is used as a lingua franca

What to do in Gibraltar

Tarifa beach is the best place to go for surfing and bodyboarding

Buying stuff in Gibraltar

Ghana Cedi was redenominated in July of 2007 The new "Ghana Cedi" GH₵ equals 10,000 old cedis During the transition period of six months, the old cedi is known as "cedi", and the new cedi is known as "Ghana Cedi" Be aware that most Ghanaians still think in old currency This can be very confusing and costly Ten thousand old cedis are habitually referred to as ten or twenty, or thirty This would, today, be one, two, or three "new" Ghana cedis So always think whether the quoted price makes sense before buying or agreeing on a taxi fare If in doubt ask whether this is new cedis

US Dollars are accepted by some of the major tourist hotels, but you shouldn't rely on this As in all West African countries, older dollar bills will be rejected by banks and Forex bureaus If you intend to take dollar notes make sure that they are all from the 2007 series or above EURO in cash are the most useful currency to take with you and you will sometimes find that bars/restaurants will be willing to change them for you if you need Cedis outside banking hours

Approximate exchange rates as of May 1, 2009, are:

  • 1 British Pound = GH₵ 19
  • 1 US Dollar = GH₵ 14
  • 1 Euro = GH₵ 18


There are many Forex Bureaus in Accra, and a few in the other major cities It is very difficult to change travelers cheques and certainly almost impossible outside Accra and Kumasi, unless you change them at a major bank Barclays has branches in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, and even Tamale where you can change travelers cheques Expect lines VISA cards are accepted at major hotels and there are ATMs in Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast which accept VISA Be aware that the Cape Coast cash machine is frequently empty At the main branch of Barclays Bank in Accra you can get a cash advance on your VISA or MasterCard provided you have your passport with you

Bargaining is very much expected in the markets Large cities such as Accra have markets open every day, but travelers get the true flavor of the country if they have the opportunity to visit a village market on the day of the week that it is open Most goods will be staple goods, but cloth, beads, musical instruments, bags, and even CD's are usually available

Kente cloth, drums and wooden designs, such as masks and "sacred stools" can be found on almost any street in any tourist area in Ghana

Adinkrah Symbols & Sacred Stools

The sacred stools have tradional Adinkrah "motif" designs in them that can mean many things having to do with God, love, strength, community, and much more Finding a guidebook which will tell you what each symbol means is advisable to prevent the possibility of buying a stool that doesn't mean what you think it is

Gye Nyame is by far the most popular Adinkrah symbol It means "Only God" Other popular stools are the "Wisdom Knot" and the one with the character holding many sticks together, which cannot be broken, to symbolize the strength of community

Food and eating in Gibraltar

Food is extremely cheap in Ghana Traditional food is fun to try and easy to enjoy Fufu, the most widely served traditional dish, consists of pounded balls of yam, plantain, or cassava served with soup, and a side of goat meat or fish Soups are typically made of groundnuts, palm nut, okra and other vegetables Banku is a fermented corn version of the dish typically eaten with grilled tilapia fish or okra soup

Rice dishes are also typical, but not considered a "real" meal by many Ghanaians, males especially Jollof rice is a dish as varied as its chef, but generally consists of white rice cooked with vegetables, meat pieces, spices in a tomato based sauce Waakye is a mix of beans and rice, typically served with gari, a powder of ground cassava Often rice dishes are served with shredded lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes on the side with a dollop of Heinz salad cream or mayonnaise Such meals are extremely cheap from street vendors and come as little as GH₵150 to GH₵250

Plantains, yams, and sweet potatoes are prepared in various ways and serve as small snacks Kelewele, a spiced fried plantain snack, is especially delicious Fresh fruits such as pineapple, mango, papaya, coconut, oranges, and bananas are delightful when in season and come when applicable by the bag for as little as 10 cents

A great African meal in a restaurant can cost as little as GH₵300 to GH₵700 For instance, a lobster and shrimp dinner can cost a mere GH₵6 There are also a number of Western and Chinese style restaurants available especially in Osu, a trendy suburb of Accra

Drinking in Gibraltar

Drinking water from the tap is not generally considered to be safe, so choices include plastic bottled water eg Voltic, 15l appx GHC 100, boiled or filtered tap water, and "pure water" sachets These sachets are filtered and come in 500 ml portions Many foreigners prefer bottled water Water in sealed plastic sachets is generally not considered safe Athough easily accessible and an unique experience, small studies have shown varying amounts of fecal bacteria suggestive the source may be tap water If you want to play it safe, stick with carbonated beverages

In Accra's expat visited bars, a beer will cost between GH₵200 and GH₵300 Fruit juices GH₵150, water GH₵100 to GH₵150 Star and Club are two of the more popular beers served For a more interesting and rewarding experience, visit a "spot," a bar signified by the blue and white stripes on the outside of the building They are cheaper and you will undoubtedly be able to meet some local Ghanaians as well as hear the newest hip-life songs

A soft drink such as Coke, Fanta, 7UP called "minerals" by locals are widely available for GH₵050

Be aware that the bottles that minerals or beer is served to you in are owned by the bottling company-if you do not return it to the seller, they stand to lose GH₵050 cedis-more than you most likely paid for the drink If you are not going to consume the drink at the "spot" or at the roadside stand, make sure you let the seller know Often, you will be asked for a deposit which will be returned upon the return of the bottle

Accommodation in Gibraltar

There are many wonderful places to stay in Ghana There are many options including lavish hotels or more rustic places to stay Cheap, decent hotel rooms can run as low as GH₵1200 A better room can go as low as GH₵2000

For longer stays a few months it is possible to rent a house Houses for rent are advertised in local newspapers and also in those places frequented by expats - Koala supermarket, Ryan's Irish pub etc

Working in Gibraltar

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Africa Calling 6
  • Light for Children 7
  • Volunteer Partnerships for West Africa 8
  • Ikando Volunteers: 9
  • AIESEC University students: 10
  • Disaster Volunteers of Ghana:11
  • Global-Cultural Solution GCS: 12

Cities in Gibraltar

gibraltar  

What do you think about Gibraltar?

How expensive is Gibraltar?
(1 GBP = 1.29 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant9.8 GBP
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)45 GBP
McDonalds meal7.6 GBP
Local beer (0.5 draft)3.3 GBP
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 2.46 GBP
Cappuccino1.58 GBP
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)0.97 GBP
Water (0.33 bottle)0.69 GBP
Milk (1l)0.88 GBP
Fresh bread (500g)1.31 GBP
White Rice (1kg)0.9 GBP
Eggs (12) 2.48 GBP
Local Cheese (1kg) 5.45 GBP
Chicken Breast (1kg) 4.99 GBP
Apples (1kg) 1.93 GBP
Oranges (1kg) 1.94 GBP
Tomato (1kg) 1.79 GBP
Potato (1kg) 1.78 GBP
Lettuce (1 head) 1.38 GBP
Water (1.5l)0.43 GBP
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 3.96 GBP
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)0.77 GBP
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 0.74 GBP
Cigarettes2.33 GBP
One way local bus ticket1.05 GBP
Monthly pass for bus15.84 GBP
Taxi start3.83 GBP
Taxi 1km6.09 GBP
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.24 GBP
Utilities for a "normal" apartment101.81 GBP
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 11.07 GBP
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 720.75 GBP
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