ghana cost to visit

Travel Costs & Trip Breakdown: Nigeria to Ghana Road Trip

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Over the last Easter holiday (April 2017), my sister and I embarked on a road trip from Nigeria to Ghana via Grand Popo and Lome. We spent 2 days in Grand Popo, Benin, half a day in Lome, Togo and a total of 6 days in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana. This cost breakdown is based solely on our experience and is only intended for the purpose of trip planning and to present a fair idea of how much to budget.

All prices stated here are either approximate values or exact values at the time of this writing.

Benin Republic

grand popo karen

I have previously written a breakdown for Benin when I visited Fidjrosse and Ouidah for N20,000 only. You can find that here. This time, my sister and I stayed in Grand Popo and here’s a breakdown of our trip.

Transportation

Getting from Lekki to Seme: We took a bus to CMS  for N200, to Mile 2 for N400 and to Badagry for N800 (See detailed route here). A shared taxi from Badagry took us to the Seme border for N300.

Getting to Grand Popo from Seme: We grabbed a bike from the border into the town for N400 and a shared taxi into Cotonou for 1,000cefa each. Then another taxi from Cotonou to Grand Popo for 2,500cefa each.

Crossing the Seme Border

Crossing the border should be free but unfortunately, it isn’t. What this means is that you can and should haggle your way through immigration if you must get your passport stamped. Or be prepared to wait for hours if you refuse to pay. Crossing the border for the first time attracts a different fee from an ‘old crosser’. You need a valid passport and yellow card to cross these borders. Here’s what to expect.

On the Nigerian side: There are about 4 stops/shacks. The first isn’t really a stop but they ask for money anyway. You can get away without paying anything there. The second is the ‘Port Health’ stop. If you’re crossing for the first time (with your valid yellow card certificate), they’d ask for N1,500. We paid N1,000 for my sister. I didn’t have to pay.

Next stop is where you ‘register your passport’ (LOL, even writing this is ridiculous!). Anyway, first timers pay N500. I don’t think you can haggle your way out of paying this. After that is the ‘immigration office’. They asked for a total of N1,000 in the two rooms. We paid N500. And that was all for the Nigerian side.

On the Beninese Side: There are three stops. First is the main immigration office. PS: Don’t pay money to the guys outside the shack if you want to get your passport stamped. The price for first timers is N2,000 and old timers is N500. Next is the Port Health stop. Price for first timers is N1,000. (I paid N500, my first time). Old timers go for free. Last is a bike stop where first timers pay another N500.

Of course, you can escape all of this by taking a standard bus from Lagos. They manage all the border formalities on your behalf.

Accommodation, Feeding & Entertainment

auberge de grand popoauberge de grand popo

We stayed at the Auberge de Grand Popo and it cost us N40,000 for two nights (including lunch for arrival day and breakfast for 2 days). Lunch on day 2 cost us N4,000.

We didn’t get up to much in Grand Popo as we had money issues but we got an offer to tour some key places for N7,000.

(Scroll down for overview)

Ghana

I love accra

Transportation

Getting to Accra from Grand Popo: We took a motor taxi (bike) from our hotel to Hillacondji border for N1,400. After crossing the border, we shared a taxi to a stop in Lome and a motor taxi to Aflao border. Cost was N2,400. From Aflao border, we hopped on an STC bus into Accra for N4,000.

Getting from Accra to Cape Coast and back: Our onward journey with STC was billed at N3,800, while our return journey with another service cost us N5,000.

Our return journey to Lagos from Accra using ABC transport service cost us N21,600 each.

Crossing the Hillacondji & Aflao Borders

On the Benin Republic side, there’s just one stop and first timers are asked for 2,000cefa. It’s the same on the Togo side as well. For the Aflao border, I can’t say much because we crossed for free. But we were asked for 3,000cefa each on the Togo side.

(See, only a few lines. Seme border is really the worst!)

Accommodation, Feeding & Entertainment

urbano hotel
We got a pretty sweet upgrade at Urbano hotel

Our first three nights were spent at a guest house in Accra. We paid N6,000/night. Then we moved to Urbano hotel which cost us N35,000/night and in Cape Coast, we stayed at Almond Tree Guest House for N16,500/night. We spent our last night in a lovely apartment hotel (Earl Heights), hosted by Meyiwa & Juliana.

banku fish Ghana Jollof rice

We spent a total of N25,000 on food and another N30,000 on tours in Accra and Cape Coast.

Here’s an overview of everything we spent…

Nigeria to Ghana Road Trip

Again, this is solely based on our experience. Prices may differ due to various reasons.

 

PS: Here’s a list of all the articles in this series;

Road Tripping from Lagos to Grand Popo

Grand Popo to Accra

Accra to Cape Coast (The Castles & Kakum National Park)

Travel Cost Breakdown

A Review of Services.

98 Comments

  1. Olajide Emmanuel

    Thanks Amarachi for the detailed review.

    I am planning to attend a wedding in Ghana, I am in the middle of selecting which bus service to travel with. From your review I will prefer the STC intercity buses. I want to know if there are other comfortable bus service to consider. Thank you.

    • Hi Olajide, thanks for your comment. I don’t think STC operates from Lagos if this is where you are travelling from. I have tried ABC and attempted to use Cross Country in the past. Cross Country was an epic fail and ABC was slightly better. The bus services in Nigeria are very inconsistent. Sometimes, they’re good, other times, terrible. Basically, I can’t recommend any. You just have to weigh the pros and cons of each one and decide

  2. Hi Amarachi,thanks alot for this breakdown.
    So my question is this,do you get a stamp on your passport at every border?

    • Hello Hilda, yes you do. In and out of each country. Be sure to confirm that your passport has been stamped before leaving each country. If you go through the Seme border without getting a stamp, you would have issues with the authorities at the Hillacondji and Aflao borders. Of course, there’s a way to settle all disputes – African style but it’s just best to avoid anything to make your trip any more stressful that it would already be.

      Also remember that if you go with a bus company, they would handle this on your behalf. (Apart from Hillacondji where you have to physically cross the border on foot, you stay in the bus while they get your passport stamped)

  3. Just reviewing this for a friend’s upcoming trip and it’s such a detailed and helpful post — thank you so much!

    • Thank you, LK. Happy you found the post helpful 🙂 I’m sure with friends like you, every trip would be stress free and wonderful

  4. So how long will it take to get an international passport

    • Amarachi

      I don’t know what the official time is. I’ve seen people get theirs in 2days or less while some take months to get. I guess the best answer would come from the immigration office where you intend to apply from.

  5. Hey there, that’s well explanatory. I’m actually a student and plan to study in the Ashesi University in Ghana and I don’t have a passport so how then do I do it as I am a minor

  6. Very lovely breakdown. It’ll come in handy when my friends and I eventually finalize plans for our own trip. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Pst emmanuel

    God bless you sis Amara

  8. Pst emmanuel

    Thank you so much my sister for this wonderful and explicit guide to journey around this countries, hopping to go around soon, but can you throw little light on gospel work over there?

    • Thanks for your comment, Emmanuel. Not conversant with gospel work/practices in countries I visit. I reckon they’ll be similar to what you have here in NG.

  9. Interesting insights you have provided. I am planning to make a similar trip, but I’ll be going as far as the most western point – Dakar, Senegal, and Cape Verde.
    I needed some idea of the costs at least as far as Accra, which your post has provided. It’s great to see someone who shares that restless travelling spirit. I think I’m even more encouraged to share my experiences on an East African tour I did recently – Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. May share that soon.

    • Hi Paul, glad to know this was beneficial to you. Your trip to Dakar, Cape Verde sounds exciting. Looking forward to reading about it. x

    • I love traveling n I wish I could do it with you because I don’t know how to go about it. Would love to have a travel partner

  10. DepthsHeights

    Curious…
    Wish I could get some information on driving (personal car) through from Nigeria to Ghana and back. I know it would be more challenging and probably expensive but I guess I’d be expecting more fun to compensate it.

    Any ideas?

    • No ideas at all.. This question has been asked multiple times here, so I think it’s time to get a guest poster who has done this to write an article for us…

  11. Dear Amara, were you sharing a room with your sister or you guys stayed in separate rooms???

  12. Nice inspiring piece (you didn’t hint about language barrier and how it influenced your trip though). I should do a road trip to Ghana this year, Insha Allah. I left my email in the comment requirements, I hope I can get email alerts when you publish new articles. Good Job

    • I think that’ll be a great topic for a new post – Language and how it affects travel within West Africa. Thanks for the idea. I speak a little French to get by in Francophone countries but I can imagine that it would be a bit difficult for someone who doesn’t. A few people speak English (and Yoruba) though, so you won’t be completely lost. I have included your name in list of subscribers 🙂

  13. Vivian kelechi

    Good morning ma, please I’m a student who want to get to Togo for a business to get ladies shoes.. How do I get a passport and what will it cost me to get there. From Port Harcourt

    • Hello Vivian, you can get your passport from any immigration office close to you. I don’t live in PH, so I’m not sure where that is. For costs, I broke down the costs for Lagos to Togo. You could include what it will cost you to come down to Lagos from PH to get a total estimate.

  14. Good morning ma, please can I travel to Ghana with only passport , and hw do I get it pls how much does it cost

    • Hi Favour, you need both a Nigerian passport and a yellow card to visit Ghana. The yellow card costs N1,000 (as at last year). You can get this from the Port Health office at the international airport (or outside it). The passport cost somewhere around N30,000 (+-). You can get that from the Nigerian Immigration Service offices in the state where you live.

  15. Love this post! I was in Nigeria last year for 3 weeks and so badly wanted to go to Ghana, just didnt know how to go about it. When I am next in Nigeria I will defo be going to Ghana. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Amara, I thank you for your time and your explanation to my knowledge am grateful. I want to ask for one thing. Can the ABC bus go straight to GH Direct and is the bus get stop at the border too I mean the Abc bus

    • Hi Marvelous, the buses stop in each country along the route to Ghana (i.e. Benin and Togo). They also have to stop at the borders of these countries because all passengers have to get their passports stamped.

  17. Hi Amarachi, nice post.

    Going to Ghana by Feb 2nd and would most likely be doing my yellow card by Monday (29th January 2018), but I read somewhere that I need my yellow card done 10 days before travel.

    What do you think? Its for a meeting

    • Hiya, I have not heard that before but I wouldn’t dispute it. I think you should just let the people who administer the yellow card know about your travel dates and they’ll advice you as appropriate.

  18. This is really beautiful. Nice write up

  19. Great write up! Impressive!

  20. This is the best first hand post I have seen on a trip that is written to guide fellow newbies. I appreciate. A few questions.
    1. On a scale of 1-10 , how safe did you feel?
    2. DId you travel with your laptop or you left that behind?
    3. Currency exchange. At which point did you change currencies? I notice you paid Naira up to a point and CFA then Ceddis.
    4. Did you use you debit card or you were cash loaded?
    Hmmm. Maybe I should have read the comments first in case someone has asked this already.

    • Hey Taiwo, happy you found the post helpful. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say 8. Generally felt safe everywhere we went. We tried to be cautious and alert at all times too but there was no feeling of paranoia.

      2. I travelled with my laptop. We had an incident with some thugs at the border because of this but it wasn’t a big issue. If you stand your ground, you’ll be fine.

      3&4: Changed money at the different borders. Our cards never worked throughout the trip, so I’d always advice to travel with cash.

  21. You just stated what happened when I traveled to Cotonou this week. Those guys at the border can deceive to enrich their pocket. Please, I would like to get to Ghana next time. Will I be able to get there in a day from Lagos? I love traveling too.

    • Hi Maranatha, it’s great having you here. Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, you can get to Ghana in a day or slightly more than that. There are buses that go directly from Lagos but they always make stops along the way. If you’re lucky, these stops will be short and you’ll arrive in GH sometime around 11pm. I’ve heard people getting in as late as 2am or 4am the following day. For our return trip, we arrived in Lagos at 11pm after taking the bus directly from Ghana.

  22. Hi Amarachi
    Going with a standard bus will still get my passport stamped at borders right?

  23. Thank you so much for this help. Please if you should subtract the money for hotel and all that big food how much will it be? Because all the money you spent is a very large amount of money, so I’m afraid because that amount is a rich man show. So help me, if poor man want to travel too is there any other way to travel with out spending all this amount of money?

    • Hi Osy, thanks for your comment. The prices stated here are for 2 people travelling and we visited quite a number of places. You can cut down on some of these places if you want to save some money.

      I also mentioned in the post about cheaper accommodation, you can research more about these or look up my post about couchsurfing to see if it’s an option you’d consider. I hope this helps.

  24. This is quite impressive. Bueno

  25. Oniyide Victor

    In fact, am so impressed on your write up, very interesting. I wish to know more about how to go to Ghana straight from Nigeria at the cheapest cost. Thank you for your commitment to do this, its great.

    • Thank you, Victor.
      ‘Cheapest cost’ is relative but you can subtract the cost of our accommodation in Grand Popo to give an idea of the costs directly to Accra. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change.

  26. This is super helpful! Thanks!

  27. I really enjoy you Ghana post. We are association of students from a Nigerian University south south. We are planing an excursion to Ghana come November 2017. Could you pls provide us with information or contact with specific organizations that can handle all traveling arrangements at a considerable cost for about 25 students. Thanks

  28. This is just amazing

  29. Hi there,
    So happy I found your blog, I was desperate to find any blog from travellers who have travelled the less common touristic roads such as South Africa, Kenya etc…

    I am planning a road trip from November this year to Ivory Coast (Abidjan), Ghana (Accra), Togo (Lome) and Nigeria (Lagos).
    I would only take a direct Bus between Countries… I am a bit concerned about the safety; I have not been able to find a website giving all options and prices to be able to workout a budget.
    Can you help me with these or guide me to where I could find the information please:
    1. Direct buses/coaches from Abidjan to Accra; Accra/Lome and Lome/Lagos?
    2. Where to book accommodations (booking.com & hotels,com) don’t always have the best options for the west or central African countries. Is there a website typically aimed to Africa?

    Thanks a lot
    Great blog 🙂

    • Hi Laly,

      Super excited you found my blog and your trip already sounds very exciting! To your questions;

      I haven’t been to Abidjan yet but I know that the Intercity STC buses ply the route from Abidjan to Accra and vice versa. (I did a quick search on the fares and it’s about 75Cedis + 7K Cfa – probably need to confirm but this should give you an idea of how much to budget)

      STC also goes from Accra to Lome, along with several other bus services. You shouldn’t have a problem here. There’s ABC (if you can get on the Sprinter, that’ll be better), GUO, Eagle, etc… From Lome, you can hop on any of these buses into Lagos (apart from STC, I don’t think they go to Lagos right now).
      PS: Most of these parks are easy to find. If you ask the locals, google maps or cab drivers, they will help you locate them.

      For accommodation, you can try looking at Jumia Travel. I’ve seen that they sometimes have listings of hotels that aren’t in booking.com

      I hope this helps. Feel free to send me an email should you have any other inquiries.

      • Hey Amarachi,
        So nice to hear from you; thank ever so much for all the details above; they are very valuable as I am planning my trip right now… feel free to find me on Instagram at “Jasenomade”; I am the worst blogger on earth… so you’ll find me more there… Keep inspiring us x 🙂

  30. Hello amarachi, I love your blog. I am planning a vacation exactly like this but i have a number of questions.
    1. Do i change my naira before getting to the border? 2. I want to use Auberge de grand popo hotel as well- do they take cefa or can I pay in naira ( I did a booking online and it came down to about 54,000naira for 3nights)? 3. What is the distance from Gracie Jones guest house to Abc Transport? ( i ask because Abc leaves accra quite early and I do not want to miss my bus back to lagos)

    • Hello Ogale, thanks for your comment. For your questions; you can change your money at the borders. The hotels would typically accept cefa (or dollars as this is more universal). Not so sure about the naira. I don’t exactly remember the distance between Gracie Jones to the ABC bus park but I reckon it should be a 20-30mins taxi ride at most.

  31. Love this.

  32. Adetayo Sunday Awopetu

    Amarachi thanks for the information.

  33. Ngozi Joseph

    Wow I like how you write….like I am on the trip myself. Planning a trip to Ghana in September with two of my friends. We have passports but I wanted to know if the yellow card must be from port health in lagos. We plan to go with ABC Also what is the name of the 6000/night guest house? We don’t want to spend so much. Thank you in advance

    • Hi Ngozi, thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed the post. As for Yellow cards, yes, you have to get it from the Port Health office. It used to be given in hospitals in the past, but last time I checked, they no longer do so. The name of the guest house is ‘Gracie Jones’. It’s located off Osu road, not too far from Urbano hotel.

  34. Well detailed Ama. I’ve surfed internet to get breakdown and finally got it from your blog. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t address my need of driving down to Ghana. I intend going with my car in October between 5th and 15th.
    I am also looking for at least 2 people that can join me in my car for the trip to keep me company.
    Amarachi, I will appreciate if you have idea of the cost of acquiring documents that allow me drive my car within the 3 countries

    • Hi Damilola,
      I don’t have these details but I’m going to ask the community of Instagram and Twitter to see what we can find. In the meantime, I think there might be some info on Nairaland, so you might want to check that site..

      • No nairaland forum anything close. Getting the info will be much obliged

        • Hello, did you go on the trip or still planning to? I am planning a weekend trip to Ghana and would like to cut back on my expenses by sharing fares, etcetera. Send me a mail on …

  35. please dear, for a person that doesn’t know anybody there, pls how will I do it? because I want to go Ghana to hustle. I’m waiting for your reply .thanks

    • Hello Joseph, unfortunately, I am unable to respond if you intend to go there to work or settle permanently. I only address temporary visits to Ghana for tourism purposes.

  36. Francisca

    Amarachi this is amazing! I am really impressed. I intend to travel for my 6day leave and i am going through your blog to aid and guide me with destination and cost plans. This is healthy 😍😍😍

    • Thanks Francisca! I hope you find something that you can work with! Let me know if you need any help planning your trip.

  37. This is great stuff

  38. Damola Olujemisin

    Lovely post! Been pondering on places I could go for my vaca. which is in about 3 weeks. This seems cool except for the border wahala you mentioned. Would love to try this.

    • Hi Damola, thanks for your comment. You can actually avoid the whole border stuff if you travel with a standard bus. So don’t let that stop you.

  39. Heyyy! What was the exchange rate like ?

    • Hi Sandra. It was 100 naira to 1 Ghana cedi when we visited and about N650 to 1000 cfa if I remember correctly.

  40. Waoow I am a Ghanaian lady and I am happy you enjoyed your stay in my country. I would also love to travel to Nigeria for holidays as well. Your post was helpful and I enjoyed it

    • Hey Adwoa, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed my time in your beautiful country. I can hardly wait to visit again and explore more places. Let me know when you visit Nigeria. I would be happy to show you around a little 🙂

      • Waoow Tnx Amarachi. I would surely visit Nigeria. And I will contact you when I am ready. Tnx once again

  41. Passion attached to determination… good works girlie! hope to travel with you someday. At least someone to swing me off my aerophobic nature

    • I foresee a problem traveling together with the expectation of me swinging you out of your ‘aero’ fears. I also have a phobia for flights! Haha, it’ll be like the blind leading the blind

  42. Breakdown definite and straight to the point. Why won’t I travel to Ghana then.thanks for being detailed and showing us how to live the baby gyal life

    • Amarachi

      LOL @ baby gyal life. Thanks for reading too, hope you get to take your trip soon.

  43. Hi again, I should have finished reading the entire series before I asked for hotel name and cost. please forgive my impatience.

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown. I will send this post to my friend so that it can help us plan our trip.

    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com/

    • 🙂 no worries! Linking up all the post in the series once I’m done writing them. Glad you enjoyed reading them and hope you got enough info to plan yours.

  44. This is so detailed. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope that one day i will have this experience. How did you do with internet and network?
    http://www.ijefinelivin.com

    • You’re welcome, Ije. For internet, most of our hotels had wifi but I eventually had to get a SIM card in Ghana. Got an MTN SIM for about 2cedis (200 naira). Roaming my Nigerian line was super super expensive! Makes no sense to do this at all.

  45. We should definitely go on an African trip together (or any other trip for that matter.) This looks like a lot of fun. You make me want to travel Africa so bad. Ghana looks really beautiful. How does it compare to Nigeria? I’m so curious.

    http://www.theufuoma.com
    travel lifestyle passion

    • I would love to go on a trip with you! I hope that happens someday.

      As for Ghana/Nigeria comparisons; Ghana is similar to Nigeria in very many ways. Accra felt like a toned down version of Lagos. There were a few times I completely forgot I was in a different country. It felt familiar, yet strange. I guess the language spoken (both their local language as well as their spoken English) reminded me of where I was.

      From a foreigner’s perspective, Ghanaians appeared friendlier than Nigerians and I certainly felt safer walking the streets, whether it was 5am or 12am. I also felt safe hanging my DSLR over my neck while walking about – which isn’t something I’ll ever do back home.

      There were also differences in the way things were run. Like the STC bus example in the previous post. That was refreshing to see. To summarize in the words of our wise taxi driver; Ghana and Nigeria – we’re brothers from different mothers 🙂 (PS: In the same breath, he said ‘but Nigeria too like 419’ Lol)

  46. Nice one Ajala Amarachi! This is def a go-to-page for planning a West African Road Trip *wink*
    I should plan one with Ify! *smiles*
    Well done *claps*

  47. Thanks so much for this! This is so useful and I hope I can ask you any questions I have relating to my future west Africa trip!

  48. Awesome stuff, Amara. Thank you for the insight and knowledge. I have got 2 questions:

    1. How/where did you get a yellow card?
    2. Where did you change your cash to Cedis to spend in Accra?

    • Hey Stan, I got mine at the Port Health office close to the international airport in Ikeja. Cost was N1,000. For cash, we changed some money at the border and also got a bureau de change guy in Accra. We sent money to his Nigerian account and he gave us cash in cedis.

      • Hi Amara,

        This bureau de change guy with a naira account, do you still have his contact? I honestly don’t feel too comfortable travelling with cash. Thinking of a road trip to Ghana this weekend and this guy will definitely be useful.

  49. Lovey post. Quick one:

    1. How did you move your cash around? You travelled with physical cash or you used your card? If you used cards, how much physical cash will suffice?
    2. Did you travel with the currencies of those countries or you changed your naira over there?

    • Hi Harold, we travelled with very little cash – which we changed into local currency at the borders. This quickly became a problem though. Our cards never worked on ATMs and it was pretty much useless on POS machines too. (There’s also a $100 monthly limit on Naira Mastercards if they eventually get to work). My advice will be to travel with USD and maybe a dollar MasterCard.

      USD is universally acceptable, not bulky and easy to change. You can also travel with Naira and change into cefa or cedi at the different borders.

I love to hear from you!