Since publishing my ultimate Ghana travel guide, I have received quite a few questions about what kind of clothes to pack for a visit to this tropically corner of West Africa. Having lived in Ghana for over a year, I developed a pretty good idea about what type of things would be useful and not so useful to take with you on a trip there, so I thought that I’d put together a more detailed packing list. This Ghana packing list would be suitable for tourists and volunteers alike, and could also apply to other West African countries too as the climate is broadly similar throughout the region.

Bags

I have a 65l backpack from Osprey and a 35l backpack from Berghaus. All of my clothes, shoes and toiletries go in my 65l backpack and all of my electronics go in my 35l backpack as I like having my electronics easily accessible in my hand luggage.

About three years ago I started using packing cubes and I have never looked back. Previously, I wasted literally hours trying to find certain items in my top loader backpack. With packing cubes, everything stays in order which is just how we Germans like it.

Clothes & Shoes

Due to my work in international development, I always need to bring clothes that are acceptable for an office environment, for mission trips to very rural areas, as well as personal travel. For that reason I always try and bring versatile clothes that are both comfortable, but also look fairly smart. As you can see in the picture below, I actually don`t take that many clothes with me wherever I move to, but I do pack clothes that can be easily combined.

gana clothes packing

  • 1-2 T-Shirts (one of which is an Icebreaker T-Shirt)
  • 2 tank tops
  • 2 blouses
  • 1 light cardigan
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 3 pairs of trousers (one of which are Craighopper’s Nosilife trousers)
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 1 sun dress
  • Bathing suit
  • Sun hat
  • Light scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Small backpack
  • KEEN sandals
  • Converse shoes
  • Dressy sandals
  • Some jewellery (I tend to buy more locally though, as it makes for a nice souvenir)

Best material to wear

The weather in Ghana is hot and humid all year round, so it is quite important to pack loose clothes, ideally made out of cotton, linen, silk, or merino wool, such as Icebreaker products. I’d consider leaving polyester items at home, as they will make you sweat even more.

Mosquito protection

Ghana is a high risk malaria zone, so it is important to protect your skin during dusk and dawn, when malaria mosquitoes are most active. I would recommend long sleeves, long trousers, and shoes that cover your whole feet, because no matter how much mozzi repellent you apply, mosquitoes will always find that one spot between your toes that you missed. I would also recommend clothes that are treated with mosquito repellent, such as the Craighopper’s Nosilife trousers or shirts.

Cosmetics

I personally found foundation or powder useless in Ghana, as you tend to sweat it it off immediately. Sun cream however, is an absolute must. The sun in Ghana is very strong and you will burn quickly if you are not careful.

Between December and February the Saharan wind, called Harmattan, blows a constant sand cloud over the region. This is nice on one hand as it blocks the sun out a bit, but on the other hand it makes the air really dry as well. Cracked lips and dry skin are very common, so a lip balm and body lotion are also great items to bring.

ghana cosmetic list

  • Razor and spare blades
  • Nail file and nail scissors
  • Wet wipes
  • Nail polish and remover pads
  • Lipstick and lip liner
  • Eye liner
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Mascara
  • Travel perfume
  • NIVEA shower cream
  • Body lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Sun cream with SPF 50 or higher (Heliocare gel is my favourite as it soaks into the skin instantly and it is also available in SPF 90, but P20 is also great as it lasts for a long time.)
  • Hand cream
  • Deodorant
  • Mosquito repellent
  • LUSH solid shampoo & conditioner bar
  • First Aid Kit

Gear & Electronics

I probably take more gadgets than the average traveller, so you may not need all of the below, but if there is one item you shouldn’t forget it is a portable power bank due to the frequent power cuts in Ghana. Sometimes power cuts last for 24 hours (much longer in previous years and in the countryside) and you won’t be able to charge your phone which for us 21st century folk can be tantamount to torture.

packing list south america electronics and gear

Medicine

You won’t be able to find all medicine you are used to from your home country in Ghana, and sometimes they are fake or expired products around too, so I would recommend taking at least some basics with you:

  • Antibiotics
  • Imodium + Rehydration sachets
  • Cold medicine: throat lozenges, nose spray + cough medicine
  • Painkillers
  • Tiger balm (for headaches, insect bites and sore muscles)
  • Contraception pill

I also took my trusted Ghana Lonely Planet travel guide with me of course, as well as a Twi language guide. Twi is one of the most spoken and understood local dialects. Many Ghanaians don’t speak English very well, so it is nice to learn a few phrases to greet people and negotiate taxi fares. So, what`s your verdict for my Ghana packing list? Have I forgotten anything? Let me know in the comment section below.

What to pack for traveling to Ghana

Pin this Ghana Packing List to your Pinterest Travel Board

Some of the above links are affiliate links which means I will earn a tiny commission if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. However, as you probably know by now, I would never recommend any product that I am not 100% convinced about, so I can, with my hand on heart, personally recommend all of these products from experience.

 

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

29 Thoughts on “My ultimate Ghana packing list

  1. Such a great list! and this came at such a good time! I’m just about to go to Africa (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) – which I know will be slightly cooler – but it was good to know I was mostly on the right track with my packing, and gave me a few medical-kit reminders to think about!
    Vicki Louise recently posted…48 Hours in Vienna: Top 10 Things To DoMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on July 3, 2016 at 8:03 pm said:

      Yes, the East and South can be slightly cooler, depending on what time of the year you go, but I am glad the other kit was helpful.

  2. I noticed that you don’t have many shorts. Is that to avoid the mosquitoes? I also loved your graphics on this post. I’m pinning this for when I can head over to Ghana one day!

    • Tammyonthemove on July 3, 2016 at 8:06 pm said:

      Glad you liked it Danielle. Yes, I only had one pair of shorts for the day, but at nighttime I always wore long trousers. The mosquitoes were vicious at night and always managed to bite me despite repellent. Thankfully I never got malaria. 🙂

  3. Love this post, such practical and insightful tips. Has definitely given me some inspiration for our own website. Love the Osprey backpacks, I have the exact same one in red. We are hoping to do a trip to Africa in the next year, starting in Kenya so will definitely use these packing tips.

  4. A great packing list and cute little graphics. 🙂 Being an ultimate control freak I think I did the exact same table and planning for my own trips so I am organized when I pack and travel. Keep up the good work! @ knycx.journeying

  5. Great tips! I love how colorful those backpacks are!

  6. My girlfriend and I are travelling to Ghana next month so I’m sending her your list so she’d stop losing sleep over what to pack! LOL
    Steven recently posted…Can Drones be Hacked?My Profile

  7. Great list! Not a big one, but includes everything one might need for a trip like this.

  8. that is perfect and amazing list for ghana. its include everything for trip.

  9. Good list! I love packing cubes as well they changed my life (digital nomad)!
    Did you post a gopro video of your ghana trip somewhere ?

    • Tammyonthemove on July 28, 2016 at 7:43 am said:

      I only use the GoPro for photos really, not videos. But if you go to our Ghana category you will see all of our Ghana related posts with photos.

  10. Very interesting! Thank you!

  11. Hopefully some day I will need a reason to check off this list. 😉 LOVED the swimsuit. Also, great suitcases. They look so sturdy and big.
    melody pittman recently posted…My Favorite Week Of The Year -CMA Fest 2016My Profile

  12. Great packing list–I always love seeing what other people bring with them! The mosquito repellent clothes sound like a great idea and a nice extra layer of protection. I love the clothes you are packing as well–lots of cute items that can be paired so many different ways!
    Jenna recently posted…Urban Biking: The Midtown Greenway in MinneapolisMy Profile

  13. The best packing guide EVER! I mean it. Tell me though are local traditional clothes reasonably priced? What can you buy for $30-$40?

    • Tammyonthemove on September 29, 2016 at 9:21 am said:

      Thanks so much Marie. I’m glad you like the list. It depends on the tailor. There are more expensive ones in Accra around Osu and cheaper ones, where the locals go. For that amount of money you get at least 2 dresses, but double that if you go to a cheaper tailor.

  14. A perfect check list for traveling Ghana. I’m planning to go there in the next summer. Hope this list helps me a lot.

    Thank you!

  15. Chrysoula on October 30, 2016 at 7:23 am said:

    I love packing lists. They are so helpful especially when you travel to places with a completely different climate from your country.

  16. Well you must fully prepared when travelling to not familiar destination like Ghana. That country seems low profile when it comes to tourism,isn’t it?

  17. Thanks for the post and updated list of packing. It will be helpful for every traveller
    Perviz Surti recently posted…2nd Forts Of Maharashtra RaceMy Profile

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