In Preparation for Your Trip

• The U.S. dollar is worth 1.48 cedis. Bring either $100 or $50 bills. The
larger the denomination, the larger the value of the currency. To compute
cedis into dollars, divide the cedi price by 1.48 (15 cedis / 1.48 = $10 USD).
Do not change money at the airport (the rates are quite high). There are
plenty of ATMS around town that will dispense local currency (400 GHC
maximum at a time which equals $270 USD). It’s better if you have a Visa
check card or credit card because there are a lot less MasterCard ATMS
available. Please call your bank to find out the international transaction
fees for ATM withdrawals (they range between $5-25).

• The monies you have paid for the trip will cover your airfare, local
transportation, all meals (*except for one dinner at the mall which will be
on your own), grounds caretaker and breakfast cook wages, service tips,
and tour attraction and activities costs. You should bring about $500-800
to cover souvenir gifts, tailor made clothing, and any other things you
might like to purchase.

• Our friend Dedo is a fabulous fashion designer who
will meet with those wanting clothes made during the trip. You should
budget between $50-80 per outfit (for fabric cloth, design and labor). Bring
outfit ideas from popular magazines (Essence, Vogue, etc.), or a drawing
of something you might like. The designers will also have catalogues here
if you are unsure of what to do. If you are purchasing custom made outfits
for family and friends at home, please bring their measurements (neck,
shoulder, bust, waist, hips, hip to thigh, hip to ankle, shoulder to mid-arm,
shoulder to wrist) for the designers. There are also plenty of ready-made
outfits available for purchase from the designers and shops throughout

• May in Ghana marks the rainy season and the country’s winter. It is
usually a bit overcast and windy in the evenings but warm during the
day. Dress comfortably, especially for the days we’ll be more active on
museum and nature tours. T-shirts, shorts, light cotton pants, loose
dresses and jeans, tank tops, sandals, sneakers and flip flops are all
appropriate. Bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings, an umbrella
in case it rains, and a few handkerchiefs should it be especially humid.

• When we travel, please leave your passports, return air ticket, credit cards
and other important identification in your rooms in an unknown place.
You run a greater risk of losing your critical identification if you carry it
during our travel than if you leave it in a secure and stable location.

• There is no need to bring bottled water or large amounts of food. There
are a number of safe bottled water options available. While we hope that
you are adventurous in trying some of the local food, we also understand
if you prefer the comforts of home. There are plenty of American food
options available. All of the places we are dining have basic food choices
of grilled or fried meat or fish, white or fried rice, and vegetable salad. If
there are particular dietary restrictions, please let us know so that we can
prepare alternative food plans for you. However, feel free to bring
portable snacks (chips, protein bars or shakes, nuts, etc.) if you would like
to eat between meals.

• We will travel in a coach bus for airport arrival and departure so that
there is adequate room for your luggage. During your stay, we will travel
in a 20-seater large bus.

• Ghana’s electrical system works on a 220 volt system. There are travel
adapters available at Wal-Mart or Target that will work with your
electronics. Adapters for U.S. appliances and electronics can also be
purchased locally for $1.

• There will be a cell phone available for the group to use during your visit
to keep in touch with us and to call home. Phone credit can be purchased
throughout town in 10 GHC ($7) portions. This will allow about 40
minutes talk time to the States. If you have a global capable phone, call
your cell phone carrier and have your phone “unlocked” (a free service).
Upon arrival, you can purchase a SIM card ($0.50) and phone credit.

• One cultural tradition to observe is to not shake hands with the left. The
left hand is traditionally used to handle personal hygiene, and therefore, it
is seen as a sign of disrespect to gesture to someone with this hand.

• The official language of Ghana is English, a direct result of British
colonization. Ghana’s people speak over 50 different languages. The most
populous languages are Twi (Ashantis in northern Ghana), Ga (greater
Accra), Ewe (the western region) and Fante (southern Ghana). Most
Ghanaians speak conversational English in addition to 2-3 other

• Our friend, Dr. Knii Lante, is a trained physician who will provide any
medical services needed during the trip.

Welcome to Ghana!

THE DOOR OF NO RETURN, Cape Coast Castle

WE ARE PLEASED TO WELCOME YOU, family and friends, to the
country that has been for me a “home” far away from home. We
have planned an exciting and educational experience for you!
Ghana is a complex of such wondrous sites and people, as you will
soon come to see. The country’s history is so distinct, particularly
with Ghana’s first Black president Kwame Nkrumah’s fight against
British colonialism. Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African
country to gain independence in 1957.

The history of the African diaspora lies on Ghana’s shores in the 52
slave forts dotting the coast. The food is delicious—fresh fish
caught from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, spicy soups, meat kebabs,
rice dishes, nutritious vegetables and naturally sweet fruits—and
will leave you asking for seconds! The music scene, which I have
been writing about for the past five years, is vibrant, thrilling and
you will find it hard not to tap your feet and move with the
rhythm. That Black rhythm is us, it courses our veins with infinite
potential and a history that has kept us strong and alive even after
the awful transatlantic slave trade.

Come to Ghana with an open mind, an energetic body and a
vigorous desire to experience something amazing.

We eagerly await you! May God continue to shine on you until we

With Love,
Sionne Neely + Mantse Aryeequaye

Organizers, ACCRA [dot] ALT Tours