Have you ever wished that when you travelled to a new place
you could meet "one of the locals" right away to be
your guide? The following few pages are the next best thing.
We have planned out some tours to the places that we recommend,
and the places we love to visit.
Ghana is a country that invites you to get out and explore its
traditional towns and villages. Uncover the distinct heritage
and culture of Ghana encountered in all our regions. The following
tours are only suggestions, and we urge you to ask our local
tour operators to recommend tours that include those special
interests that you want to discover.
Availability Of Items
When arriving in Ghana, you might be surprised to discover how
many excellent products are available on the market. Let us
just take the example of food. It is very easy to find French
baguettes and croissants comparable in quality to those you
would buy in Paris, or the best quality of Italian olive oil.
Once you know where to shop, you will know where to get capers,
Brazil nuts, teas, herbs, spices and coffee beans from all over
the world. You will also discover that many local products are
very good quality, whether it is milk products such as yogurt
or ice cream, meats, or excellent fresh fish and seafood.
Market Bargaining And Bargain
For Westerners arriving in Ghana, the Ghanaian way of doing
business may be unfamiliar. Perhaps most disconcerting is that
the vast majority of merchandise in the markets has no marked
price and no fixed price.
How then to go about negotiating reasonably? Given the wide
range of goods and services offered and the wide range of personalities
selling them, there are no universal guidelines to be given.
However, the following guidelines may help.
the customer and the limits of his pocketbook is an integral
part of the Ghanaian way of doing business - this is the reason
that prices are not marked. Such a practice can be unfamiliar
to newcomers because it is illegal in many countries, but even
if you find it bothersome, it is a fact of life that you will
have to adapt to.
Don't fall into the trap of feeling embarrassed to bargain hard.
While every salesperson will try to squeeze as much out of you
as possible, in the end nobody will respect you if they think
you have put one over on them. Do not let the seller make you
feel as if you are taking advantage of him. For newcomers, it
is usually the other way round.
For most everyday items, there is plenty of competition. If
the price you offer is too low, remember that nobody will sell
at a loss. Walk away. If the seller does not follow you, offer
a slightly higher amount to a competitor. Repeat the process
if necessary. In this way, you will establish the baseline.
Some people think that they will get better prices if they send
a Ghanaian shopping or bring a Ghanaian with them to do the
bargaining. This works less frequently than you would think,
because the seller immediately knows that your agent is not
spending his own money.
Some people will find the process of having to negotiate the
price of everything to be hard work and tedious. Nevertheless,
this mode of doing business is like every other - the less work
you put in, the more money you will have to spend. The issue
is striking a balance that suits you. It will not take as long
as you think.
Tips For Success
There are few tips about shopping that should be kept in mind:
Hours of operation vary considerably around town, but most stores
are open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, with some from
8am to 2pm on Saturdays. Very few stores are open on Sundays.
If you find a store closed when going shopping, try another
time. The attendant might just have gone out temporarily.
Never expect to find everything you need in one or even two
shops. Many stops will be necessary in order to complete your
It is illegal to sell out of date products in Ghana.