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Everyone except nationals of Ecowas (Economic Community of West African States) countries needs a visa to enter the country, which until recently could only be obtained before arriving in Ghana. Now, however, nationals of most countries can receive a tourist visa on arrival at the Kotaka airport in Accra for US$100, though it’s not a convenient option if you’re arriving late at night. Visas allow a stay of 60 days and can be single or multiple entry.

You can get visas in many countries in West Africa or elsewhere. Visa applications usually take three days to process, and four photos are required. You often also need an onward ticket. In the UK, single-/multiple-entry visas cost UK£30/40. In the USA, they cost US$50/80.

If necessary, visas can be extended at the Immigration Office (021-221667 ext 215) in Accra near the Sankara interchange. Applications are accepted between 8.30am and noon Monday to Friday. You need two photos, a letter stating why you need an extension and an onward ticket out of Ghana. Your passport is retained for the two weeks it takes to process the application.

Visas for onward travel

Visas for the following countries are available from embassies in Accra:

Benin Visas cost US$25/50 for one-/three-month multiple entry and are issued within 48 hours.

Burkina Faso Visas cost US$40 (not payable in cedis) for three months and are issued within 24 hours; three photos required.

Côte d’Ivoire Month-long visas costs US$4 (payable in cedis) for Australians and Americans or US$10 for British nationals; issued in 48 hours; need two photos.

Togo Visas cost US$20 cash (payable in dollars only) for multiple entry and are issued the same day if you apply in the morning; three photos required.