Ghana is an African nation that holds a lot of secrets. Many people have never thought about visiting this country and many others don’t even know if a country named Ghana exists.
However, it is a fascinating place that can pique anyone’s interest. The country is located in West Africa and shares borders with the Ivory Coast which is amongst the most scenic tourist destinations in the world.
An interesting way to find Ghana is to simply draw a line down from London and as you reach the Gulf of Guinea, you’ll land at the place where the country is.
With a population of 29.6 million, the country has some amazing people that make up a fascinating culture. It is a place that should definitely be on your bucket list but if it is not, let this article be your motivator.
Interested yet? Well, here are some amazing facts to know about the country of Ghana.
Sensational Facts about Ghana
1. Ghana is a country located close to the equator
Ghana is situated on the West coast of Africa and it is unique because of its location. The country is close to both the equator, which is an imaginary line learning along the center of the Earth, and the Greenwich Meridian which represents the 0o longitude.
The location of the country gives it the temperate climate that it has. Temperatures can range between 30o to 86o F during the dry season and remain the same across all the regions in the nation. It is an amazing place in terms of the climate that it provides.
2. The country follows Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) due to its location
Since it is located exactly at the Greenwich Meridian line, the country follows the GMT time zone. Although this is not something that is exclusive to the country, it is interesting to know.
There are other nations that follow the same time zone. London, which is the city from where this time originates also has the same time zone and other places including Dublin, Edinburgh, Portugal, Morocco, Lisbon, and Iceland are other nations where similar times are found.
3. It is home to some of the most mesmerizing landscapes
Being close to the equator means that Ghana has a temperate climate but in order to enjoy the weather, there has to be scenic landscapes that go with it. Thankfully, Ghana is a country that doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
The nation has a distinct topography that includes the savannah, lush green rainforests, amazing beaches, sandy deserts and mesmerizing lakes spread across the region.
There are a host of national parks in the country that host a lot of plants and wildlife to highlight the diversity of nature.
4. The country is home to the biggest man-made lake in the world
Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world and it is located in Ghana. More specifically, it is just above the coast where its shores run along a lot of the eastern side of the country.
The Lake stretches for more than 320 miles from the South Western parts of the country all the way to the North.
Lake Volta is also surrounded by mountains and a host of other natural elements at different places along the way. It also provides a lot of tourist as well as occupation opportunities to locals in the nations.
5. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence
Ghana was originally a British colony and the affairs of the nation were handled by the Royal family in the United Kingdom.
However, the country became the first sub-Saharan nation to gain independence on the 6th of March 1957.
Kwame Nkrumah was a central figure in Ghana’s struggle for self-rule and therefore became known as the founding father. He was honored by a stunning monument that stands in his memory within the capital city of Accra.
The Kwarme Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park is a great tribute to an icon of African leadership.
6. The word Ghana means ‘Warrior King’
Ghana translates to ‘Warrior King’, a name that holds significance for the locals and for the country that gained independence from British rule in the early days.
The title ‘Ghana’ was awarded to medieval kings in West Africa and although these lands were quite far from where the nation is located today, the extent of its popularity made the country adopt this name.
It originates from the Mande, Sonike language that is spoken by nearly 2 million people across West Africa.
7. Ghanian coffins are some of the most unique in the world
Not something that would excite most people but it is an amazing fact to know as the people of Ghana are symbolized for designing some of the most fascinating coffins for their deceased.
If you’re ever in the country, you can expect to see people carrying a giant lion, fish or airplane sculpture down the street.
So, before you wonder, it is important to know that these are indeed coffins as there is a custom within the nation to build and bury their loved ones, especially those belonging to the Ga community in these vibrant structures.
8. Residents of Ghana name their children after the day they are born on
Another amazing thing to know about this country is the way people from the leading tribes name their children.
The first names of kids, particularly from the Akan tribes like Fante and Ashanti, are based on days of the week on which the person is born.
This is because the locals believe that the day of birth has influence on various aspects of the professional and spiritual life that the kid will lead. They also hold beliefs that the name and day will impact the child’s personality.
9. Did you know? The fastest man to run backwards is from Ghana
Let’s just say that African people are fast. And we mean literally fast!
We all know that the fastest athletic runner in the world, Usain Bolt, is from Jamaica, another country in Africa but it is a lesser known fact that the person to take the shortest time to sprint backwards is from Ghana.
Ferdie Adoboe achieved the feat around 1983 and his time of 12.7 seconds to run a 100 yards is yet to be broken. Maybe it’s such a crazy feat that no one has thought of one-upping the guy in this regard.
10. The Independence Square in Accra is an iconic place to visit
Talking about fascinating places and stunning landmarks, the Independence Square of Accra is a sight to behold.
Reminiscent of the pains and tortures that the people had to face before they became an independent nation, the structure stands tall in the midst of Ghana’s capital.
It is constructed to celebrate one of the biggest days in the country’s history and continues to symbolize a lot for the locals till today.
11. About half of the country speaks English today
One of the biggest hindrances when traveling to a far-off country is the language barrier.
Thankfully though, more than half of modern Ghanians speak English which is one of the most widely accepted languages in the world.
However, English is not the most widely spoken language for the locals. There are two of these that most of the country uses to communicate. One is Twi that is spoken by the Ashanti tribe and the other is Dagbani which is common for the people in the North.
12. Ghana has amazing food that blends unique tastes
Food in Ghana has a unique touch to it. It carries flavors that are influenced by other cultures like European and Indian but it also has hints of what the locals enjoy.
Stews that contain a type of marine or freshwater, filled with tomatoes and eaten with a dough are a staple across the country.
13. The Labadi beach is another amazing tourist destination
As we’ve hinted earlier, the beaches in Ghana are mesmerizing to say the least.
The best of these is the Labadi beach that is also in the capital city. It has a smart natural design with white sands that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The romantic and pleasing environment of the beach is unbelievable making it an amazing tourist destination for the people looking for an adventure.
What Can $10 Get in GHANA
If you are looking for an interesting overview of what the people, culture, food and economy in Ghana looks like, here is an amazing video from the famous YouTuber Drew Binsky documenting his experiences.
It is a unique perspective for anyone who is looking to visit the country or maybe even just gathering some information about the nation.
Ghana is an amazing country and despite the stigma that surrounds most African countries regarding security, the country is safe for tourists as many YouTubers and influencers from around the world have publicly demonstrated.
If you are looking for a unique experience as the world slowly opens back up, we would definitely recommend visiting Ghana.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.