Travel Advice : Local laws and customs

Ghana is a conservative and deeply religious country. Although modern and progressive attitudes also prevail, you should show respect for traditional values and morals.

Dress modestly in public. Wearing military clothing including camouflage is prohibited.

Smoking laws and local attitudes are very complex and confusing in Ghana. The laws are adapted from the likes of the UK, however the implementation of the law is ofter quite local. Smoking in public places is frowned upon. Smoking in public buildings is banned like in the UK. However there are a number of clubs and bars, and even one hotel where it appears legal to smoke. So be careful as you puff.

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for drug related offences are severe. Even possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. Bail is not normally granted. Class A drugs like cocaine are likely to be laced with other substances. Foreign visitors, including British nationals, have died after taking these drugs.

Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times, and put the original document in a safe.

There is a zero tolerance towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Ghana. This could lead to a custodial sentence between 3 and 25 years.

Anti LGBT rhetoric/hate speech by religious leaders and government officials and a local media that tends to sensationalise homosexuality, can incite homophobia against the LGBT community. Although there’s a small gay community, there is no ‘scene’ and most Ghanaians don’t accept that such relationships exist. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Photography near sensitive sites like military installations or the airport is strictly prohibited. Ask permission if you want to take a photograph of a building where there are guards on duty. Beware of self-appointed officials trying to charge fees to take pictures of well-known sites of interest.

Ghanaian family law is very different from UK law, particularly when child custody becomes an issue.

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