Ghana, 2nd: The Bradt Travel Guide
$ 7.75 (new)
$ 0.74 (used)
Paperback (368 pages)
Bradt Travel Guides
Editorial DescriptionGhana is a vibrant and alluring country, steeped in a rich tradition and a frequently tragic history. Free from the trappings of mass tourism, this former British colony has much to offer the visitor. Tropical beaches abound but there's so much more. Feed the sacred crocodiles at Paga, plunge into the waterfalls of the eastern highlands, marvel at the game-rich savannah of Mole National Park, or relive the chilling story of the coastal slave forts. This guide has been expanded and fully updated for this second edition. It contains information on where to stay, eat, and how to get around; Ghanaian culture, from social traditions to kente cloth weaving; natural history and national parks and over 50 clear maps and town plans.
Reader ReviewsA Wonderful Book in 2000 -- Must Update it!
I used the earlier edition of this book in 2000 and it was top notch. However, here in the fall of 2008, the 4th edition is not at all up to par. I have tried to visit many restaurants that have been closed for a long time. The hotel reviews do not match up either. (For instance, Hotel Shangri-la has lost its steam and no one should pay the upper $100 / 130 GHC it now costs - at a minimum! And at night, the restaurant and bar is filled with foreign men and prostitutes... not what most vacationers are looking for.)
The cedi has changed so the book really must change as well. There are also many new roads and buildings.
I would not buy this until they have revised -- and by revising they must come out to revisit and relearn all of the places mentioned!
Helpful if you were going to Ghana 5 years ago
This book is very detailed and helpful, the only problem is that much of the information has not been updated for quite some time. There are many places listed that are no longer in existance (restaurants, banks, etc) and many new places that are nowhere to be found in the book. It says it was updated in 2007 but I was in Ghana in early 2008 and most of these things I am referring to have been around (or not been around) for quite some time. Also, the prices mentioned in the book are about 50% lower than what can be expected when you go to Ghana, and perhaps even more given the rapid rate of inflation there; the prices of almost everything went up at least some amount during my 4-month stay there, from beach fares down to avocados at the fruit stands.
A few nitpicky details:
The book recommends against taking public busses without air conditioning (and therefore does not give schedules for them). However, on a tight schedule or budget (or even not) the non-air-conditioned busses are more than comfortable.
Also, the book says that a taxi ride to Mole National Park from Tamale should take about 2 hours (or 2.5, I can't remember). This is WRONG, it takes about 5 hours.
The fee to get into Labadi Beach was 2c on weekdays, 4c on weekends and holidays, not the .50c that the book cites. (This discrepancy is probably due to the general unreliability of prices/rapid inflation mentioned earlier.)
The book mentions Macumba nightclub as a popular place in Accra. I lived across the street from Macumba, and the only people for whom it is popular are hookers and the creepy men looking for hookers. To be fair, the book does allude to this. Other popular nightspots that aren't mentioned in the book include Cinderella's, The Office, Tantra, and Aphrodesiac.
Overall, the book is certainly the best on the market as far as Ghana travel goes, if not solely for the reason that it is the only book that I am aware of dedicated to Ghana and not just West Africa with a tiny section on Ghana. It provides reliable enough information to be able to get around the country, as well as valuable background information on Ghanaian culture and history. Travellers should simply be forwarned that not everything in this book can be taken at face value, and travel plans (and budgets) need to be flexible enough to accomodate for this fact.
Since there are no other viable options...
On the whole I was underwhelmed by this guidebook (this was my first Bradt purchase, I usually stick to Lonely Planet or Rough Guides) It has some good basics and background information, and does cover much of the country. The first person writing style is a bit much but that is a personal preference.
I think my main issue is that when there are hotels and restaurants listed in the guide (without addresses) not on the maps- which by the way don't even have the streets accurately labeled for the second largest town in Ghana (Kumasi)... you know you are in trouble. That kind of a let down is a bit much for me as I often rely on guides for logistics. And while many of my friends who were living in Ghana for 2-3 months bought it, they all seemed to think the same as me. Provides generals, fairly useful as a doorstop, but not so much on the other information.
Honestly since I stuck to the main track (Accra, Cape Coast/Elmina, Kumasi) I probably would have been fine with the LP West Africa guide. I cant honestly suggest the guide (and personally am not likely to get another Bradt Guide), though despite sounding negative I wouldn't say you shouldn't get it... just be aware that it isn't exactly accurate or reliable.
Ghana Travel Guide
This book has been very helpful in my travel plans. I placed the order and the book came quickly.
Excellent resource. Worth noting that the restaurant and hotel scene in Ghana changes pretty quickly, as the country has a pretty dynamic, growing economy, so a guide like this really needs to be updated annually. But 99 times out of 100, the info is very accurate indeed, offering far more ideas than the average visitor will be able to use in a short visit.
I've been coming to Ghana since the late 70s, and have most recently lived here for the past four years. I use the guide all the time, and was quick to buy the update as soon as it was published. Highly recommended.
Don't forget to check out the highly helpful update website at http://bradtghanaupdate.wordpress.com/