When you arrive at Kotoka International Airport (or Accra Airport as some lazy cabin crew will call it) you will have the opportunity to pick up a booklet which is practically useless to the average tourist. My sister picked one up out of intrigue, it was 83 pages long, thick, heavy for a “guide”. Especially since it was only the “summer edition”. That means, they print more of these each year, with a supposed change in information, what more could be said after 83 pages?
Well like I said it is useless to the average tourist, the first 13 pages are about GACL, the company that runs the airport. This stuff matters not to any aspect of your holiday, especially since if anything happens in the airport whilst you’re travelling through it, they will never allow you to speak to management. Do you need to know who the board members are and what new infrastructure projects are in the pipeline? If you actually do, I’m assuming you’re in for business in which case, you should’ve done your research beforehand.
Next, there’s a suggestion that there is a metered taxi service. I have never come across one myself and all requests to be directed to one proved futile. Just do the usual negotiate and ride system, or whip out your phone, get an uber and stand somewhere you can jump in fast!
The travel guide publishes taxi fare prices to certain parts of Ghana, such as GHS120 to Kasoa, GHS45 to Legon. Kasoa is far, yes, but it is not 120 cedis far. If you haggle well you could get a ride for half the price. Legon on the other hand is a stone’s throw away. Do not, whatever you do, ever pay 45 cedis for a taxi ride to Legon! You will spoil the market and I won’t be happy with you. Argue for 15 cedis, be prepared to come up a bit but never reach 40 cedis. There’s a difference between not caring what the exchange rate will do to your wallet and making life harder for those who actually live full time in the country. I am speaking from experience, I had to stop using all my local taxi drivers when I was living in Ghana because my cousin came and spoiled the market, making everyone think we have money to burn.
Also the guide has a taxi’s half day and full day fare something in the region of 170-200 for half a day, 320 to 350 cedis for a whole day which apparently ends at 5pm. Ask around, don’t ever take the airport taxi guys for half a day or a whole day because no doubt they’ve seen these figures and that’s what they will take from you. You can get taxis for a whole day passed 5pm for 200 cedis upper limit. If you’re feeling nice, make it 250, but like I said, don’t spoil the market, even for your fellow tourists.
I could go on about the rest of the content in the guide but we’d be here all day. The most important thing is not to get scammed straight out of the arrivals hall. Haggle from the second you touchdown. Don’t use the travel guide as an actual travel guide for places to go, it’s best to look on lonely planet or find online communities who can recommend good places. Check out other posts in my blog for inspiration.