19 September 2019
The people of Ghana are known for their warm and friendly attitudes, and travelers in this modernizing West African nation will likely hear “akwaabas” (welcome) any time of year. Weather conditions during certain periods make traveling easier and seasonal festivals abound year-round. For a good mix of weather and access to cultural events, the best period to visit Ghana is during July and August or from December to April.
Weather in Northern Ghana
The best option, weather-wise, is to visit Ghana in July and August, since there tends to be less rain during this time in the north, and generally no rain in the south. Another good time to travel through northern Ghana is during the area’s dry season from December to April. However, this is also the hottest period, when temperatures tend to reach sweltering highs up to the mid-90s Fahrenheit, along with thick humidity around 80 percent. Hot winds blow in from the Sahara desert, heating the area further. To avoid the consistent sunshine and high heat, visit Ghana’s northern regions during its slightly cooler rainy season from April to October.
Weather in Southern Ghana
Southern Ghana’s proximity to the coast makes for even more humid weather than is found in the north, with not one, but two wet seasons per year. Travelers have an easier time getting around this area during the dry seasons from November to March or July and August, when the air is somewhat cooler. In the center of Ghana, rainfall lasts longest and is heaviest. Meanwhile, the south’s two rainy seasons take place from April to June and September to November. During this time, average temperatures range from 90 degrees in March to 70 degrees in August.
Ghana’s high tourist season occurs from June through August, when mostly European and North American visitors make their way to the country. Major Ghanaian cultural sites, national parks and beaches can be crowded in high season, so travelers planning to visit during this time should reserve airfare and accommodations in advance. Meanwhile, those looking to avoid the crowds may prefer to visit during Ghana’s low season from September to December, when few tourists can be found.
Ghana's Cultural Events Calendar
Ghana’s villages celebrate regional events throughout the year, and tourists are welcome to join in. The most festive period is August and September, when many Ghanaians celebrate local harvests. Many villages countrywide throw a harvest festival honoring a traditional legend wherein a long-ago Ghanaian famine ended with a bountiful harvest. People rejoiced, the legend goes, indulging in food, drink and “homowo”; literally, “making fun of hunger.” Every sixth Sunday, many Ghanaians celebrate the Akwasidee Festival (Festival of Kings) to honor King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. During this festival, tribal chiefs lead a colorful celebration full of drumming and dancing.
Ghana’s diverse landscape boasts fine beaches and forested national parks, allowing visitors to enjoy water sports, hiking and spotting native wildlife. Ghana’s many national parks and game reserves include the sprawling Bui National Park and Mole Game Reserve, Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary and the newer Kakum Nature Reserve, home to monkeys, water buffalo and antelopes. These parks are open to visitors and offer safari tours year-round, but the best times to visit are during dry or less rainy periods like July and August. Meanwhile, experienced surfers should take advantage of Ghana’s massive swells in beaches such as Busua or Langma between April and October, when average waves measure from 4 to 7 feet.