Ghana Urban Placements_ Introduction

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					                     Ghana Urban Placements, Introduction
                                 Last Updated 04/02/2011

Wessoe! Thank you for choosing a Madventurer placement in Ghana. These Trip Notes
are designed to give you an overview of the programme and help you to prepare in
advance for your trip. If you have any questions, or just want to talk to us about
your trip, please feel free to give us a call or email at any time and speak to one of
our team: Email: Tel: 0845 121 1996 (local rate call
from a UK landline)

Note - To find out the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
look at:

Itinerary Disclaimer

The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note our itineraries are
updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers'
comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each
year. As such the information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in
the brochure.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a
couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans


           Madventurer Urban projects in                The Role of crew
           Ghana                                        Equipment
                     Teaching                           Money
                     Medic                              Costs
                     Orphanage/Drop-in centre           Payment
                     The MAD Foundation                 Communication
               Accommodation                            Security
               Weekends                                 Cultural sensitivity
           Arrival Procedure                            Food
           Departure Procedure                          Language
           Emergency Contact Details                    Country Guidebooks
           Flights                                      After your project-The Mad Tribe
           Visas                                        The Mad Blog
           Insurance                                    Frequently asked question
   Madventurer urban placements in Ghana

Please note this itinerary is given as a guide only and is subject to change. Many
factors need to be taken into consideration when organising the final itinerary
including political considerations, road and weather conditions, social or economical
unrest and local or national government intervention or changes. This may mean a
change of village and project or placement location etc.

Ghana is where Madventurer was founded by Chief Torgbui Mottey I of the Shia
Traditional Area (aka John Lawler), after he spent eight months as a volunteer in the
village of Shia. As a result of this, Madventurer has very strong links with Ghana, and
over the past 12 years we have undertaken dozens of placements in the country’s
Volta Region, as well as organising projects for our volunteers in the regional capital.

Teaching in Ghana

The Ghana Education Service (Ministry of Education) is the government department
responsible for the education system in Ghana. Children start school in Ghana at the
age of six. They must complete 6 years at primary school, followed by 3 years at
junior secondary school. It is compulsory and free for all children to complete these
first 9 years of basic education.

Senior secondary school is for students aged between 16 and 18 and lasts 3 years. It
is not compulsory and students must pay fees to attend. Following successful
completion of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, they are eligible to enrol
in higher (tertiary) education. Ghana has five Universities, in addition to numerous
polytechnics and training colleges.

The National Curriculum for Primary Education includes the following subjects and is
delivered in English: mathematics, science, social studies, cultural studies, Ghanaian
languages, English, agriculture, life skills and PE. The curriculum for junior secondary
education includes vocational skills, technical skills/drawing, integrated science and
French (optional), in addition to the subjects mentioned above.

Despite progress made in education following the introduction by the government of
the Education Reform Programme in 1987, and the implementation of FCUBE (Free
Compulsory Universal Basic Education) between 1996-2005, under-funding, lack of
resources, teacher shortages and strikes are just some of the factors which inhibit the
delivery of a comprehensive Education System.

Teaching placement

We have arranged for you to spend time teaching English to children in a
kindergarden, primary or junior school. We work in a few different schools including
the Sokode RC Kindergarden and primary school and the Prince Charles Jubilee
International School (attached orphanage).

Many of the children will be from poor rural backgrounds so they will have grown up
speaking their local tribal dialect and little English. English is officially the national
language of Ghana so this instantly puts these children at a disadvantage, particularly
when they get older as all their lessons will be taught in English.

Your role will be to work with the teachers as a language assistant, helping the
children to learn to speak conversational English. The age of the children means that
lessons will be short and they will most likely break the classes into small groups for
you to teach. Or if you feel confident to lead the class then please put your requests
forward to the school representative. The Ghanaian dialect is often difficult to
understand so they will also be keen for you to help teach spoken English,
pronunciation, silent letters etc.

The last week of each terms is for exams, with the previous week focussing on
revision – during both these weeks at the end of each term volunteers are asked to
help with administrative tasks at the school such as completing records, marking
exams, helping with continuous assessments, and even giving a helping hand in the
‘weeding’ and upkeep of the compound.

Sport in PE lessons is a favourite at the school on Friday mornings with Football,
Netball and Volleyball the most popular. Athletics is also popular in the 100m and field
and track events. Girls Football is also becoming increasingly popular with Ghana’s
National Team, the ‘Black Queens’ inspiring many young women.

Schools here are also keen to have people who want to help teach art, music, drama
and sports. This will depend on the school resources and timetables. Just chat to
your overseas crew and school representative about your interests.

What to take – Teaching placement specific

School Needs: As well as sports equipment (a set of Jerseys - any colour, Balls etc)
the school is looking for pens, books, learning books for younger children (same for
Kindergarden) that covers things like ABCs alphabet cards or numbers, story books,
teaching aids like posters or cards, picture or text books, teaching games or anything

The children are always keen to learn as much about our volunteers as they can.
They always really enjoy hearing about where they live, family, friends, pets, local
areas/landmarks, football or sports clubs, schools, universities etc.

Travel brochures: These are great for lessons on climate, geography or even
conversation practise and role playing (have the children acting as travel agent and

Sports magazines: These are great for sports and general interest. Try to bring a
selection with a variety of sports. The children will be particularly keen to learn about
sports that they don't have such as Rugby.

You might also like to bring out something as rewards. Brightly coloured pencils,
rubbers and pencil sharpeners are great 'bribes' for good work. Stickers are also a
great resource for rewarding particularly good work. Try not to bring too much - have
your baggage allowance in mind! You might find that most art materials are available
locally much cheaper. Teaching posters, wall charts, any teaching aids, text books
anything that you think the kids would learn from. Chalk is used for most lessons
when teaching on a black board so remember to pack a box or two if you have room.
Medic Placements in Ghana

In Ghana the government is the main provider of health care services. Healthcare
facilities take the form of village posts, district clinics, district and regional hospitals.

Provision of health care was previously based on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system known as
‘cash and carry’ under which the government would meet 80% of fees for public
health care, while the remaining 20% of the fee had to be met by the individual.
Given that one in four of the Ghanaian population lives outside a 15km radius of a
doctor, and the cost of visiting one is approx $10 – one third of monthly per capita
expense – it is hardly surprising that in a survey conducted in 1998 only 44% of those
ill consulted a medical practitioner.

A number of new initiatives such as a National Health Insurance System have been
introduced but it remains to be seen whether this will actually address and improve
the provision of health Care.

Another problem facing the healthcare system in Ghana is the migration of trained
doctors. There are currently more Ghanaian doctors practicing in Europe and North
America than in Ghana itself. While the government has attempted to address this
problem with measures such as increasing the internship from 1 to 2 years for newly
trained doctors; low salaries and limited opportunities for professional training and
career development mean that the majority of trained professionals still prefer to
practice abroad.

Mad Medic Placements

Madventurer operates Placements in three medical establishments namely the
Municipal Hospital and the Miracle Life Clinic.

The Municipal Hospital

This hospital is large and can admit up to around 300 patients and has a reasonably
good children’s ward. The matron at the Municipal Hospital is very friendly and is
always ready to make sure that our medics are taken care of properly. The municipal
hospital is about an 8 minute taxi ride from the Mad House. It is always advisable to
ask your head of department at the hospital or clinic what you will be doing in the
days ahead so you can prepare for each day accordingly. In Ghana the pace of life is
very relaxed and sometimes frustratingly slow compared to what you may be used to,
so if you find yourself waiting around to be attended to then you have to make sure
your voice is heard, particularly when you are trying to learn something. These
cultural differences are to be celebrated and it is best to spend your first few days, in
particular at this larger hospital, trying to settle into the pace and finding your feet.
Always ask questions and don’t be scared to ask too many of them as if you are quiet
the medical staff will assume that you are content.

Miracle Life Clinic

This clinic, as the name suggests, is not as large as the other two hospitals but for its
size is relatively active with doctors and patients. Some of the doctors from the
General Hospital also visit and work at the Miracle Life Clinic so you may recognise a
few faces if you are after experience at both a large and small establishment. It is
located behind the Ho Sports Stadium near the centre of town. Although it is
sometimes expected that our Mad Medics will gain more experience at one of the
larger hospitals, it is often the case that they achieve much more during their time at
the smaller clinic as it is more personal. Forming a good working relationship with the
doctors that are available is advisable and means you can ask more direct questions
and get a better insight into Ghanaian health provision.

The project supervisor has asked that you bring a supply of surgical gloves with you
and any up to date medical textbooks that you might have that you don't mind
leaving behind. Likewise, any of the items below if left behind would be very much

What to take – Medic Placement specific

   •   Scrubs
   •   Stethoscope (if you have one it might be useful for your placement)
   •   White Coat / nurses smock
   •   Alcohol gel / handwash (limited or no supplies in Ghanaian hospitals)
   •   Medical dictionary

Save Widows and Orphans Development Centre (Orphanage placement)

According to figures released by UNICEF the number of orphans in Ghana stands at
over one million, with over a quarter of these orphaned due to AIDS. Ghana’s welfare
system has been overwhelmed with the number of orphans in Ghana quadrupling in
the last 3 years and many local NGO’s have been established and International Aid
Agencies have stepped in to assist in the care and support of these children.
The HIV and AIDS pandemic has resulted in many of the customary caregivers in the
event of a parent dying, such as Aunts and Grandmothers, also succumbing to the
disease. In addition to children orphaned by HIV and AIDS, many children loose their
parents from illness such as Malaria and Typhoid, while others are abandoned as their
parents are simply too poor or too young to care for them. Teenage pregnancy is a
huge problem in many rural areas, where access to contraception and sex education
is limited.
Also putting a strain on the rudimentary social welfare system is the number of street
children in Ghana’s urban centres, with over 20,000 street children living in Accra
alone. While not necessarily orphans, these children are without the support and care
of parents. Increased divorce rates, peer influence and child abuse are some of the
major factors attributed to the rapid rise in the number of children living on the
streets of the city.

Placement information

We work in the Save Widows and Orphans Development Centre (SWODC) a few
days a week, normally a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. The children go
to the nearby school in the morning from 8am -1.30pm (Kindergarden) 8am –
1.30pm all others. On Wednesday and Friday the children are encouraged to stay
with their extended families. You can use this time to visit the other orphanages we
work in, in the surrounding areas.

You will find that all orphanages in Ghana send the children to school in the morning.
The only ones that won’t attend are younger children or babies.

The Ghana Education Service (Ministry of Education) is the government department
responsible for the education system in Ghana. Children start school in Ghana at the
age of six. They must complete 6 years at primary school, followed by 3 years at
junior secondary school. It is compulsory and free for all children to complete these
first 9 years of basic education.

The SWODC is a drop-in centre for orphans, foster kids, and local children in the area.
It’s not a typical Orphanage and is not residential at the minute, it is used as a centre
not only to re-home and foster orphaned children but also to support underprivileged
children in the area. Attached to the centre is a school called the Prince Charles
Jubilee International School. The centre is located in a town called Sokode-Gbogame.
This is about a 10 minute taxi from our Madventurer house in Ho.

Many of the children that visit the centre are from the rural agricultural communities
around Ho and its surrounding areas. HIV and AIDS have had an impact on the area
but so have economic conditions. Many of the farming families exist on a subsistence
basis, trading what surplus they have in local markets. However, some are having
difficulty supporting their children and so they send them to centre so that they can
be educated.

The centre usually has around 10-30 little ones that visit each day but only a handful
of dedicated staff. This does very month to month. This means that the staff do not
always have time to spend time with, or pay attention to, individual children. This is
something that you can help with very easily. This may involve playing games, sports
and helping them develop interests, school lessons or homework.

You can help in the school teaching mainly English. You might start an art club, get
them interested in nature, put on a play or simply run around chasing a ball. Most of
the kids simply want someone to be their friend and spend some quality time with
them. You will be surprised at how eager they are to learn and how much they
actually love school.

Part of your role will be to help teach the kids English. You can find a Teaching Pack
on our website which will hopefully give you a few ideas. Most of the kids will come
from rural communities and their English is often very poor. As it is the official
language of Ghana, it is vitally important to their future education and employment
prospects that they develop the appropriate language skills.

The children are aged between 5 and 18 years old and any donation of toys, puzzles,
books with pictures that tell stories, crayons, colouring books, teaching aids, colouring
pens or pencils, clothes, sports equipment etc. will be appreciated. We often find that
most orphanages or drop-in centres we work in have very little resources, and
materials they have (or are donated) are often divided up amongst neighbouring
orphanages and foster homes by local NGO’s. Madventurer has just started working
in this centre (summer 09) so there is a lot to do and room for quite a few volunteers.
We hope to build a strong relationship with the centre/staff and children over the
coming years and encourage our volunteers to revisit should they get the chance.

The children especially love to hear about our volunteers and how their lives are
different from their own. They will ask you lots of questions on where you live,
family, friends, where you went to school/uni, types of English food, football clubs
etc. They really enjoy seeing pictures, hearing stories of life in your country and how
it is different from theirs. Please feel free to bring along any items that you think
they might enjoy (eg map of your hometown, pictures of you school, family, friends,
pets, local landmarks/history etc). Our volunteers always mention that this is a
highlight of their placement chatting to the children and sharing stories.
Other Orphanages

We also work in a few surrounding orphanages as well which are a little further a field
(up to 1-2 hours drive in a tro-tro). Your crew can work out a timetable that best
suits your needs/requests and other volunteers travelling at the same time. There
maybe an opportunity to stay overnight at these orphanage so just talk to your crew
if you are keen to visit the sites.

Day to day in the centre

The children will go to school during the day so your help will be needed in the
afternoons when they get home. You can also go along to the school with them and
join in the day to day activities, maybe even try your hand at teaching.

We also find that some children who have lost their parents/family will come along to
the orphanage to join in the activities as well. Some will stay with family friends but
they are still welcome at the orphanage to spend some quality time with our

Working hours will normally be around 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and are subject
to ‘Ghana time’. The hours may change during school or public holidays, exam
periods etc.

What to take

   •   Brightly coloured pencils, erasers, colouring books, pens, text books, books
       with pictures, teaching aids, maps, posters, puzzles, toys, crafts, etc (to use as
       rewards for good work)
   •   Pictures or tourist information from home (this is a favourite)
   •   Teaching materials you think you might need (keep in mind baggage
       restrictions and that you can probably get paints, chalk, paper, card etc much
       cheaper in Ghana)

The Mad Foundation

The Mad Foundation is a UK Registered Charity (Reg. No. 1111805) which was founded in 2000
to support development projects contributing to healthcare, education, sports coaching and
building projects for basic infrastructure such as schools, sanitation facilities and clinics in
deprived communities all over the world. The money donated will go directly towards
underprivileged communities and will fund sustainable development programmes that are
related to the project you have chosen such as buildings materials and labour, sports coaching
facilities or equipment, medical supplies and health equipment, educational supplies or

Madventurer pays all administrative costs of the Mad Foundation, to increase the amount of
funds available for development projects and projects overseas. By doing this we ensure that
every single pound that goes into the Foundation is put to good use on development projects,
rather than being absorbed into running costs. The Mad Team are also keen to do their bit by
helping to organise extra events and fundraising activities which can help us to fund large scale
Accommodation (Madventurer house in Ho)

During your time with us in Ghana, you will be staying in our Madventurer house in
Ho. Our overseas crew in Ho, will show you how to get to the placement site from
the accommodation as part of your induction.

The house is furnished to a reasonable level which is good by local standards but may
not quite be what you are used to at home. Four to six people share a room so
accommodation will be 'hostel' style dorms with girls in one room and boys in the
other. We have a cook who prepares all the food during the working week and looks
after the house for us.

The Madventurer house (or Mad House as we like to call it) is in a fairly quiet
residential part of town but still within a short distance of the main streets with the
markets stalls, drinking ‘spots’ and communication points. It is a four bedroom self-
contained house with a large common room area for everyone to relax in and to take
a break from the hustle and bustle of Ghanaian life.

Three bedrooms are used by volunteers and one is been used by the crew leader who
looks after the day to day welfare of volunteers. The house is not far from the centre
of Ho, you only have to walk 20m to grab a taxi to any where in Ho. The most popular
and most famous hotel in Ho is the Freedom Hotel and is a 4 minute taxi ride from
the house. We have a cook that travels into the house during the week to prepare
Ghanaian dishes that you will soon become accustomed to, but if you do need to
sample some more familiar western delights such as ‘chippies’ then the Freedom
Hotel and other restaurants can cook you up a taste of home.

Volunteers who have stayed at the Mad House have come up with a code of conduct
for looking after it as you will be volunteering and living with others and it is
important to respect each others personal space and to keep the house and its
facilities in good working order. The house is only for our Madventurer’s to use, and
guests and friends must wait in the outside meeting area.

1. The last person to get their head down must make sure that he or she locks the
main entrance door to the hallway. The house is always locked at night.
2. Keep the place tidy and put rubbish in the bin as communal areas in particular can
get really messy quickly.
3. Wash plates after each meal if you are responsible to do so – a rota system is
usually set up to help with the daily chores ;-)
4. You may be asked to help the cook sometimes in the kitchen – this is great if you
want to learn how to cook Ghanaian dishes.
5. It is your responsibility to report any breakages, damages or missing item to your
crew leader. If you break something you will be responsible for replacing it. If this is
not done our overseas crew will replace it for you and you will need to pay for this
right away. Failure to do so can mean you are asked to leave the Madventurer house
and placement without refund.

Whether you are teaching, on the orphanage placement or working in hospitals, all
the Madventurer volunteers stay together in the same house which means that you
are never far away from someone to socialise with or travel with at weekends,
(depending on your departure date). The standard of the accommodation is basic and
will not be what you are used to at home so please don’t expect all mod cons, but it
should be clean and tidy. Or crew in the Mad House should be around for any help,
advice and support. Our regional manager will also be around and will spend time
between our urban, rural placements and operations/pick-ups in Accra. Please
remember to take the overseas crew’s mobile numbers with you before you set off
and keep it with you at all times.

The house has running water and electricity only at intervals during the day. But
please be aware that the water is delivered and stored in a tank so there will be many
times when it runs out, and the electricity supply is unreliable and will often fail.
Ghana's electricity mostly comes from a massive hydro-electric plant at Lake Volta. It
is not unheard of for the electricity company to simply cut supply for weeks/days
when water levels in the lake are too low! The electricity supply is extremely
unpredictable in most parts of Ghana.

There is no set electricity socket used in Ghana although you tend to find that the
British three pinned socket is the most common. It is however, not uncommon to find
European two pin sockets. We'd recommend you purchase the necessary adapters
for any electrical goods that you bring with you. These are available cheaply in most
UK airports.

Running water

Even though there is running water, there will not be hot running water. Most houses
in Ghana don't have hot running water - although some may have small boilers for
washing dishes. As temperatures rarely drop below 25 degrees, even at night, you
will find that a cold wash in the morning is just what you need! Please be prepared to
collect your own water each day.

Toilets and toilet paper

Most toilets in built up areas of Ghana are of western standards but in the rural areas
the toilets can take a little getting used to! Toilet paper is freely available at most
markets but you won't find it in public toilets so it's a good idea to carry a roll or two
with you everywhere.

Transportation in Ho

The best and easiest way to explore Ho is by using short taxi rides unless you are
travelling outside of Ho where you will need to get on a ‘tro-tro’, which are minibuses
that take people further afield to places such as Accra or to Cape Coast.

In Ho, there are around 800 taxis working almost every hour and are very cheap, for
example a short taxi ride from the Mad House to the central market is 0.40 pessewas
(around 15-20 pence). The taxis are monitored by the police so that safety is a
priority on the roads, but remember that it is still Africa and it is not uncommon to
see a number of people squeezed into one taxi with some chickens and a goat so do
use common sense when choosing a taxi. If you need to travel to any other place on
weekends, your crew leader will show you to the tro-tro station when you first need
to make a journey if you decide to travel around at weekends with friends.

Ho Central Market

In Ho there is a huge market where you can go and shop for so many unusual and
different things. On market day you can watch how Ghanaian market women buy and
sell their produce, much of which will have been brought in from outlining villages.
Most of the excess food that many of the women have grown at their own subsistence
farms (or plots) will make it to each market day with many bringing their babies with
them. It is only a 5 minute taxi ride from the house to the market.
Weekends/Highlights –

Weekends are free for independent travel and you should be able to find a number of
other volunteers overseas with you who may want to travel with you and explore the
local area. Our location in Ghana means that you are close to some of the Ghana's
most popular attractions.

Madventurer has been operating in the Volta Region for 10 years and so is fortunate
to know the best places to explore at weekends. Near to Ho is the Tafi Monkey Village
where hundreds of species of monkeys, including the nearly extinct Mona, make the
dense tropical forest around Tafi Atome their home. The monkeys are friendly and
playful and venture into the village daily. Tradition does not permit people to kill or
harm them. You should also try and make a visit to Afadjato Mountain which is the
highest mountain in Ghana, which rises 2,905 feet above sea level, and has a simple
guest house where you can stay.

The Volta Region is blessed with some amazing waterfalls such as Tagbo Falls at Liati
Wote (a village that has had many Mad Projects helping it out so you are always
made to feel very welcome if you mention you are a Madventurer yourself), in a
dense tropical forest, is a perennial waterfall called "Tagbo". Wli Falls is situated in the
heart of a tropical forest and is the highest waterfall in Ghana. Reaching the falls is
fun and adventurous as you must cross 11 log bridges which span the meandering
river before arriving at the falls.

If you decide to take a long weekend to split your time at your Placement site then
you can also venture down to the coast where there a number of beach bars and
backpacker accommodation which our crew can advise you on – the best ones and
the ones to avoid. Whatever you do at weekends there is a vast array of choice to
keep you relaxed and active. Please note that all independent travel needs to be
budgeted for separately.

   Arrival Procedure

If you arrive early (Pre-tour Accommodation & Airport Pick-Up)

If you arrive a day or two before your placement starts then we recommend staying
at the joining point hotel mentioned below. The Paloma Hotel has good facilities and
is reasonably priced. They can also offer you an airport pick-up, just remember to
ask at time of booking as this is not normally included in the price.

You can book this accommodation directly from our website or follow the link below.
You need to access the “Get me a hotel quote” link then country “Ghana” and city

If you arrive a day or two early then please give our overseas crew a call once you
land to let them know you are arrived in the accommodation. You can then arrange a
pick-up time on the Saturday (1st day of your placement). Remember to take the
crews contact number along with the contact details for the hotel. If you have any
problems give the hotel a ring directly. If you have an emergency please give our
crew a call on their mobile number (found at or follow the link
Joining Point Hotel (if you are arriving early)

Paloma Hotel
PO Box 02394
Osu, Accra, Ghana
Phone: 00233 (0)21 228700 A comfortable 3 star hotel with friendly staff and good airport
Collection service.

Saturday Arrivals

If arriving on day 1 (Saturday) of the itinerary a complimentary airport pickup from
Accra airport is provided by our overseas crew. Please look out for our crew who will
either have a Madventurer t-shirt or be holding a Madventurer sign. If you can’t
seem them don’t panic, they will find you. If you can’t see them give them a call but
it’s important that you do not leave the airport without speaking to our crew first.
Our crew carry their emergency mobile with them at all times. You must remember
to take this number off the website before you head off and keep this number with
you at all times. You must provide Madventurer with flight arrival details including
flight number and arrival time no later than 4 weeks before departure via your Pre-
departure Form which is emailed over when you book up.

Flight Delays - If your flight is delayed it’s important that you try and call or text our
overseas crew to warn them in advance. You can do this before boarding.

Please do not arrive after the start date as you could miss the transfer (3-4
hours) to the Madventurer house in Ho. This will incur extra transfer costs.

Saturday’s Accommodation

You will spend Saturday night in Accra as we don’t like to travel at night and you will
probably be tired after your flight. The accommodation on Saturday is covered in the
placement price and is normally spent in one of the local hostel/backpackers our crew
use all the time (including the Salvation Army hostel, or The Pink hostel). This will be
simple but clean, dorm style, shared accommodation, chosen by our overseas crew.

Early the next day (Sunday, depending on any flight delays) you will then travel to
the placement site in Ho and get your first glimpses of Ghana and all it has to offer.
You will travel in local transport with our crew.


Before you land in Accra, the airline cabin crew will give you a Ghana Immigration
Service Embarkation / Disembarkation Form to fill in. When you complete this, please
ensure that you tick Holiday/Tourism as the purpose of your visit and enter Pink
Hostel, PO Box 9732, Accra as your residential / postal address in Ghana.

When you get off the plane, you will first pass through Immigration. All you have to
do here is hand your passport and the completed form to the officer, and he will
stamp an endorsement of your visa into your passport. Usually you will be given a 90-
day endorsement, but please check this and let your Crew Leader know if you have
been given less (this will not be a problem, but will require a quick visit to the
Immigration Service).
After Immigration, you collect your bags and pass through Customs. Be aware that
Customs Officers have the right to search your bags and question you if they choose
to. If you smile and address them politely, the process is usually quick.

IMPORTANT: Be careful of porters pretending to be from Madventurer, who will
expect money to carry your bags, just look out for our crew who will be there with a
Madventurer sign or t-shirt. If in doubt give the crew a quick call!

   Departure Procedure

Last day of Placement

Your placement will finish on a Friday morning/afternoon and accommodation for this
night is not included. You will travel back by shuttle bus to Accra, arriving no later
than 7pm, where you are free to make your own way to the airport. Your crew, who
may or may not be travelling with you, will instruct you to get off at the “Airport
Junction” stop which is around a 10-15 minute walk from the airport. You can get a
taxi from here to the airport if you bags are heavy. We recommend you book your
flight departure from Accra after 10pm to allow for any traffic delays/road works etc.

We find that most volunteers will stay in Accra this night and fly home the next day.
Some may go on to do some independent travel, join an overland adventure or spend
the weekend in Accra. Any post-project accommodation/food/transport must be
budgeted for separately.

If you need to book accommodation for the Friday night then please put your request
in to our overseas crew early in your placement in country. You do not need to pre-
book this don’t worry. Hotel/hostels can get booked up fast and our crew do not
accompany you back to Accra (only if they have airport pick-ups that weekend). You
will need to pay for this in country. Most of our volunteers that finish at the same
time will try and book accommodation together.

Emergency Contact Details

In the event of an emergency,

Outside of office hours: Please contact our overseas crew directly on the number
given on our website ( If you can’t get through straight away
please keep trying as phone signals overseas are intermittent.          Most networks
overseas don’t offer a voicemail service so it is advisable to send a text with your
contact details and a short message so that our crew can call/reply to you.

Normal office hours: Please contact our Mad HQ in the UK on 0845 121 1996 and
chat to one of our team. You can also leave a message on our Mad HQ answer phone
outside of office hours as well. Please make sure you leave a clear message with
name, number and reason for calling.
o   Flights should be arranged to arrive in Accra, Kotoka International

Flights need to be budgeted for separately - Madventurer works in partnership
with STA Travel to offer you the best prices, flexibility and knowledge for all of your
travel needs!

STA Travel can tailor-make your trip to suit your needs, so if you want to go travelling
after your project with Madventurer or maybe visit friends or family in another
country, let STA Travel know and they will organise it all. From Round the world
tickets to discount cards, flights, accommodation and bus tours, STA Travel can help.

For a flight quote email or call STA Travel on our
dedicated Madventurer number 0871 468 0668. It’s best to use this
Madventurer/STA number as you can access discounts or special offers that may not
be on their website, or in their branch. It is useful to have ready your travel dates
and airport details, along with your full name as printed on your passport (the one
you will travel on) and telephone number.

Please note that under our terms and conditions we will not cancel a Project
or Placement less than 60 days before departure except for unforeseen
circumstances outside of the Company's control. This means that you should
not be booking any non-refundable flights more than 60 days ahead of
departure in case we do not have sufficient numbers (usually a minimum of
4) to run the trip. We recommend refundable flights.

    Ghana Visas

You are responsible for organising your own travel visa for Ghana. Please be
aware that visa requirements may change, so you should check with the Ghana High
Commission that’s appropriate to your nationality or country of residence. For
example the UK Ghana High Commission’s website is . Please
check with current recommendations as travel advice can be updated throughout the

Visas are only valid for entry to Ghana within 3 months of issue. If you apply for your
visa more than 3 months in advance of your arrival in Ghana, the Ghana High
Commission will hold onto your application and passport, and process it later to
ensure that you are within the 3 months validity.

You must be in possession of a full passport (not temporary), valid for at least six
months after the project or adventure. If this is not the case, or if there is too
much of a difference between your appearance now and your appearance on your
passport photo, then you should apply for a new passport and allow plenty of time for
the processing of your application.

For entry to Ghana, you will require a Tourist Visa, which must be obtained before
you leave your home country. For example for UK nationalities you can apply for a
Ghana Tourist Visa in the UK either by post or in person at the Ghana High
Commission in London. Please note that the High Commission in London will soon be
adopting online applications. Check their website for more details.
If you are doing a project you only need a single entry visa (though it’s worth getting
a multiple entry visa in case you and some others decide to cross the border into
Togo for a weekend). If you are doing the project and adventure you will need a
multiple entry visa. You must enclose with your application (for British nationalities):

       •   2 identical completed copies of the Ghana Visa Application form.       Extra
           copies can be printed from the Web site at

       •   2 recent passport photographs of yourself;

       •   The fee (£60 for multiple entry, £40 for single entry) as a postal order or
           banker’s draft payable to “Ghana High Commission” (not handwritten

       •   A photocopy of your return flight ticket to Ghana, if you have it (if not,
           writing “E-ticket” on the application form in place of the ticket number is
           usually acceptable);

       •   A stamped, self-addressed envelope for them to return your passport (we
           strongly recommend a pre-paid Special Delivery envelope do not
           rely on the normal post!);

       •   Your passport;

       •   The covering letter from Madventurer (you will be given this when you
           book up)

You should allow a minimum of 15 working days to process your visa if applying by
post, or four working days if applying in person. Please note that during bank
holidays the High Commission maybe shut so factor this into your application. During
peak season when most travellers venture to Ghana the High Commission can also
get very busy and applications can take longer. Please give yourself enough time to
get your Ghana visa sorted, if you have any problems just get in touch with us at Mad

Alternatively you can use an outside agent to process your visa.            Check out for more details (Global Visa and Passport Professionals). You can
login as a “Guest” to find out more info on visa requirements. Please note that this
service has a considerable handling fee, however it’s a good source of information.

We strongly recommend that if applying by post you use Special Delivery (or
Registered Post).

Visas are usually given a 60 day stamp on entry, even though it may say that your
visa is valid for 6 months. This means you must go to the Ghana Immigration Service
in Accra to extend your visa if you intend to spend more than 60 days in the country.
It must be extended before your 60 day stamp expires. If you go over the 60 days
you will be fined 10 cedis (around £5) plus the visa extension of around 15 cedis
(around £7-8) per month thereafter. Please ask our overseas crew if you need
   Travel Insurance

Madventurer has joined forces with STA TRAVEL to bring you low cost insurance.
With access to a variety of tailored products they strive to offer insurance policies to
suit all needs and pockets.

Give STA a call on our dedicated Madventurer number which is 0871 468 0668 and
you will be able to access discounts and special offers that may not be on their
website or in branches. We have a dedicated member of staff to deal with all the
Madventurer questions. Just follow the link below for their contact details on our

Please make sure every activity you are going to be taking part in is covered on the
policy. There are 3 different policies to choose from, here is a brief over view of their
policies. If you are doing independent travel at weekends, before or after your
placement then you need to be covered for this as well. We strongly recommend that
the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage
and personal effects.

Budget Insurance - Every trip and traveller is different, so we offer different types
of cover to help you find the most appropriate... The Budget cover is ideal for anyone
travelling light and on a tight budget. Your basic essentials are covered, giving you
enough protection to feel safe and secure on your travels.

Standard Insurance - Our standard cover gives you an extensive range of cover at
a competitive price. It's our middle-of-the-road cover for those that want the comfort
of extra protection but without all the bells and whistles.

Premier Insurance - The premier policy offers our most extensive protection
featuring higher levels of cover, some additional benefits and an even wider range of
hazardous sports/adrenalin activities. All elements of our Standard and Budget
policies are included as well as some additional benefits.

Important - Travel insurance is mandatory on all our projects, placements and
adventures. You will not be allowed to join a project unless you have provided
evidence of your travel insurance details to our Madventurer HQ office in the UK as
part of your Pre-departure form you fill in and return to us. Our overseas crew will
also ask you for evidence of your travel insurance as well.

Valuable or sentimental items

You are strongly advised not to take items of a valuable or personal nature like ipods,
expensive jewellery/clothing etc. If you do decide to take digital cameras or phones
please make sure these are covered in your travel insurance policy. Every policy will
differ slightly so it’s best to enquire about personal item cover.
   The Role of Crew

Your crew leader is responsible for ensuring you have all the information, support and
help you need to make sure you get the most out of your project. Crew will be there
to set things up, ensure the smooth running of the project and deal with any
problems that may arise. Here are a few points highlighting what you can expect:

Crew are there to liaise with local partners who may be involved, to ensure the
smooth running of your project. Crew are the in-country representatives of

Problems or Issues on your Placement

If you are unsatisfied or unhappy with anything whilst on your placement then it’s
very important that you speak to your overseas crew first, in order for them to help
rectify the problem. If they don’t know about the project then can’t help to fix it.
Please don’t leave this until a few weeks into your placement, or the end, or until you
get home, as it’s very difficult for us to be able to do anything about it then.
You can, of course, always contact Madventurer HQ in Newcastle by phone or email
from overseas at any time if you wish to, however your overseas crew would be the
first port of call for any placement issues.

Crew are not responsible for organising weekend activities. On occasions they may
decide to arrange a trip. However venturers are expected to organise weekend trips
themselves as part of the experience and they can seek advice from the Crew for this.
Crew are trained and equipped to deal with any emergency situation which may arise
but they may not be near you when you travel independently. It is always advisable
to let you crew know where you are going and when you are expecting to return.

Finally, Crew are there to make sure you have a good time and get the most out of
your project. If you have any ideas, please talk to the Crew (e.g. if you want to start
extra activities, introduce new ideas etc.). Your Crew will be more than happy to
assist you in channelling your enthusiasm and helping your ideas reach fruition.

If you accidentally break something in the Madventurer house you will be asked to
replace this right away. If this is not done our Madventurer crew will replace the
item/s and you will need to pay the given amount to our crew. Failure to do so will
mean that you will be asked to leave the Madventurer house and placement without

Travel light. Remember that it’s easy to lose things when travelling, and valuable
items can get broken. Chances are you’ll also want to bring back African curios which
will need to fit in your bag on the way home.

Overview – Important Documents

Please ensure you have the following documents on arrival.

These are the documents you will need to ensure you bring with you to Ghana:

o   Passport
o   Ghana Visa (inside your passport. Just check when you receive it that its signed)
o   Air tickets or E ticket print out
o   Insurance certificate & details
o   Travel/Accommodation (only needed if you are doing a pre-booked adventure with
    one of our adventure partners)
o   Student card (if you have one – can be useful for discounts)
o   Vaccination record form (original copy for your own reference)
o   Yellow Fever vaccination certificate (required to enter Ghana)
o   Immigration details for form (given above)
o   Overseas crew Emergency Contact Number (hostel/hotel number should you need
    it). Please take this number a few days before you travel from the website.
o   Money to change (either travellers’ cheques or cash), bank card (credit/debit)

It’s a good idea to take a photocopy of all your important travel documents and keep
them separate from the originals. If you have access to a scanner then scan each
document in and attach them to an email as well. This means you can have access to
these documents should you need them. You can also email this to a family
member/friend along with a copy of this document so they have all the relevant
details (emergency numbers).

Medical Kit

We provide First Aid kits on all projects and adventures, for use by Crew in
emergencies. We recommend that you also take your own medical kit for personal
use (independent travel); including any medication that you know you are likely use.
You might want to include things like Paracetamol, re-hydration sachets, Imodium
(just in case!) and plasters.

Here is a rough guideline:
Adhesive plasters
Antiseptic wipes
Sun Block cream (bring a range including high protection)
Aftersun / moisturiser
Insect repellent
Bite & sting relief ointment
Diarrhoea treatment and rehydration sachets
Support bandages or strapping (if you need any)
General Health advice through InterHealth

For more general health advice please see our health partners InterHealth, there is
more Information on our website or follow the link below. Once you book up with us
you can logon to the online info, Inter Health will just ask us to confirm your booking
first. Then you will have access to their general health advice online.          Please
remember your email address and password as we don’t get copies. You will also
have access to speak to a doctor or travel nurse directly from InterHealth from Mon-
Fri at a given time slot. Again you will get more info on this when you book up.

It is also very important that you visit your own doctor or travel nurse for individual
advice they can recommend individual guidance as they will have your medical
records and details of any allergies.


In general, clothing should be lightweight, tough and casual. The days in Ghana are
hot and humid year-round, with the highest temperatures from December to March
and rain most likely from April to September.

The main DO NOT’s for girls are not to wear anything above the knee or expose your
midriff, unless you’re at the beach or pool.     Please note these recommendations
come directly from the local community, tribal chiefs and NGO’s that we work with.
It’s worth taking a fleece or jumper as it can get cool in the hills (night time
temperatures drop sharply if you travel north into the Sahara desert).

For work, clothing should be reasonably smart and not revealing. We recommend
ladies wear trousers or long skirts and blouses (short sleeves are fine, but shoulders
should be covered), and men wear trousers and lightweight collared shirts.

In hot and humid conditions, clothes often need washing after one day. You will have
access to hand washing facilities just bring some detergent with you, we recommend
you take enough changes for one or 2 weeks. Remember clothes are cheap and
readily available overseas.

Our suggested clothing list is:

o   1 Pair trainers
o   1 pair sandals
o   Socks
o   Underwear
o   T-Shirts
o   Vests
o   Long-sleeved top (for evenings when mosquitoes are out)
o   Lightweight trousers
o   Sweatshirt (for cooler evenings)
o   Shorts
o   Hat and sunglasses
o   Swimming gear (bikinis are fine for girls)
o   Lightweight rainproof jacket
o   Dressier clothes/jeans for nights out
o   Smart skirt/shirt/trousers/shoes (for teaching/orphanage/medic
Other Equipment

o   Backpack (60 to 80 litre capacity should be enough to carry everything you need).
    This is the best type of luggage to get as you need to be able to carry this
o   One of the following to sleep in: summer sleeping bag/sleeping bag liner/sheet
    sleeping bag
o   Towel
o   Mosquito net (impregnated with insecticide) one you can hang, bring some string.
o   Insect repellent (essential malaria protection)
o   Bacterial hand wash gel (very handy is you can’t get access to wash your hands)
o   Teaching aids (if doing teaching project)
o   Bite & sting relief ointment
o   Torch with spare batteries
o   Sun cream (high protection factor, the sun is strong on the equator)
o   Aftersun / moisturiser
o   Toiletries
o   Day bag: a 20-25Litre rucksack for day trips / weekends/ adventure
o   Camera
o   White coat (if doing medic project)
o   Disposable surgical gloves (if doing medic project)
o   Pack of cards/books/guide book/music/board games


The currency in Ghana is the Cedi (pronounced “see-dee”).

       £1 = 2.3 Ghana New Cedis (Jan 2011)

NOTE: We recommend you exchange your money at the baggage reclaim at
the airport to last you the weekend as money exchange bureaus are closed on a
Sunday in Ho

We recommend taking as much cash as you feel comfortable carrying in Sterling (Euros and US
Dollars are also widely accepted). Please check with your travel insurance policy to see how
much you are covered for carrying at any given time. Small denominations offer poor exchange
rates compared to larger ones like £20s. Do not take Scottish or similar notes as they will not
be accepted. US Dollar notes should be post-1993 so ask for new notes if possible. Notes
should not be creased, torn or written on.

The remainder of your money can be drawn in country using a card. Visa is the most
recognised card in West Africa and you can use it to withdraw cash in major towns and cities.

Traveller’s cheques should only be used as a last back up and should be taken in either Visa or
MasterCard from an international vender/bank. It is very difficult to change them even in Accra
so it is best to avoid them if at all possible.
The following should help you to work out what you will need to pay for once you are in Ghana:

What We Cover

   •   An airport pick up if arriving on the Saturday

   •   Transfer to the Madventurer house (Accra to Ho)

   •   All accommodation/transport & food during your project, and if you choose to stay at
       the house during the weekend. Please note that our cook will prepare meals during the
       working week (Monday to Friday) and we will ensure that the pantry has adequate
       provisions should you wish to eat at the house on a weekend. If you decide to do
       independent travel at the weekends you would need to budget separately for this.

   •   Transfer back to the starting point city (Accra) on the end date of the project (Friday)

What We Don’t Cover

   •   Pre or post tour accommodation/food/transport

   •   Travel, accommodation & food at weekends (if you choose to travel on the weekend)

   •   Your project will finish on a Friday, accommodation for this night is not included

   •   Food/transport/accommodation between a project / adventure combination

   •   Personal spending money (for souvenirs, alcoholic drinks etc)

   •   Transfer from Accra to the airport at the end of the placement

Emergency Funds

Please also make sure you have access to additional emergency funds, to be used
when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural
disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of swine or bird flu) necessitate a change to our
planned programme. This change may have to be decided prior to departure. This
can be through credit or debit cards. The amount will depend on your length of stay
and any pre or post project / placement travel. We also recommend using Western
Union for emergency cash when you are overseas (


The amount of spending money that you need in Ghana can vary greatly depending on how you
live. Travelling on local transport, eating Ghanaian food and being prepared to rough it a bit
you can get by on very little. If you start eating in western restaurants, buying imported goods
and staying in nice hotels, costs can soon rocket to almost European levels. For a typical
Madventurer – a hardy breed, who like an after work beer and an occasional bit of comfort - we
recommend the following budgets for personal spending money:

Time on project:          £50-£100 per week

During the week you will need very little money, and will probably spend just a couple of quid
on soft drinks the odd beer or a meal out. If you’re a shopaholic you will be seriously tempted
by the markets, where you can buy beautiful carvings, jewellery, drums and all sorts of
Ghanaian goodies. What you pay will, of course, depend on your negotiation and haggling
skills! Toiletries can be quite pricey in Ghana, so it’s a good idea to bring plenty of these out
with you if you have room in your luggage, although you can get almost everything you need in
Accra if needs be.

The total balance for your project is due 75 days (approx 10 ½ weeks) before your project start
date. The balance due date will be printed on the statement attached to your pre-departure
email. Please make sure you put this date in your diary as there is a late payment fee of £50
and we unfortunately do not send out reminders.

To do this you can make part payments or you can pay in one total sum either by sending a
cheque in the post made payable to Madventurer. Or by card payments over the phone,
please quote your final amount when paying. If you are posting a cheque please enclose a
copy of your deposit receipt in the envelope. You may use a debit, maestro, visa delta,
electron and solo cards to make your payment and also credit cards (3.5% fee). If you have
online banking you can do a bank transfer, just let us know if you need details on how to do
this. Paying from overseas we can only accept internationally recognised credit or debit cards.



Broadband Internet access is available in the capital and costs about £1 an hour. In
smaller towns which you may visit on your weekends, internet should still be available
though it will be the more unreliable dial up connection!

Mobile Phones

If you want to bring your mobile it can be useful for keeping in contact with other
Venturers and Crew when you are away at weekends. It’s possible to buy a Ghanaian
sim card quite cheaply and top up cards for a few pounds. You will need to get your
phone unlocked either at home or in Ghana. Mobile Phones are not uncommon in
Ghana, particularly in the larger towns, but please be careful when using it in public
as it may make you a target for opportunist theft.

Public Phones

Towns and some villages have public Comm Centres, where you can make local and
international calls at reasonable rates. If you do want to call home (which we would
recommend you do when you arrive in country), and don’t want to buy a sim card for
your mobile, these are the best option.

The address of the accommodation is:

Our Madventurer house in Ho does not have an address, only a plot number. You will
find that most properties/offices in the surrounding areas will be the same. There is
no postman that delivers letter as you would find at home. Most Ghanaians have a
PO Box address where they have to travel to collect any mail or parcels. We have
one in Accra that’s given below;

PO Box OS 2853



This is used by our overseas crew. We strongly advise not to send any parcels/letters
to this address as we cannot guarantee that you will receive them by the time you
leave Ghana. There is a collection/transfer charge that our crew are not responsible
for. If you need to send something in an emergency please contact our Mad HQ in
the UK first on 0845 121 1996 for more details. Do not send any items without
contacting us first as we can’t always guarantee their safe arrival.

Crew Mobile Phones

All of our Crew carry mobile phones, which can be used in an emergency. These are
not available to make or receive routine calls.


Ghana is certainly one of Africa’s safer countries, and with common sense precautions
you are unlikely to experience any serious problems. The biggest risk is from
opportunist theft, and you should take care when out at night. We strongly advise
not to travel late at night or on your own. Also be careful in busy markets and bus
stations swarming with people, which makes it easy for people to ‘bump’ into you and
clear your pockets of money!

It is worth splitting your money between various places and keeping a small amount
of cash as a reserve in case of emergencies. Many Volunteers use a hidden body belt
to contain the bulk of their money and keep daily amounts in a wallet. You can use
your wallet to pay for daily items so that you don’t need to expose the money belt.

Visible Money belts/purses worn around the neck or as bum bags are not
advisable, as they could make you a target for mugging.

Be wary of anyone with a hard luck story, asking for assistance, soliciting
sponsorship (particularly education) or anyone offering a deal to change money at
favourable rates – these are usually con artists who make more money from gullible
foreigners than they would by getting a job.

Crew will be able to advise you on specific areas best avoided, and advise you on safe
weekend travel. Please listen to their recommendations and do not put yourself at
unnecessary risk.

   Cultural sensitivity

Please remember that you are a guest in Ghana and are representing your country as
well as Madventurer. Always take time to treat people with respect and, although
things may not happen as quickly and easily as they would back home, be patient and
understanding. An ability to keep calm when frustrated will win you many friends in
Ghana. You will get used to “Ghana time” during your stay.

Ghanaians consider politeness and respect very important. If you want something
from someone, you are far more likely to get it by addressing them as Sir or Madam
and taking time to say a polite “Good morning” and “How are you?” before asking for
it than if you are blunt or unfriendly.

While in Ghana you will quickly pick up the traditional Ghanaian handshake, which is
used by friends greeting one another. Its just like a normal handshake, except rather
than let go of each others hands, you slide your palms apart, and use your thumb and
middle finger to squeeze your friends middle finger, making a clicking noise. Sounds
complicated but it’s really not, you’ll soon get the hang of it!

When eating, meeting, greeting or gesturing, always try to remember to use your
right hand as using your left is seen as disrespectful. It’s also considered impolite to
allow the sole of your foot to point at someone. You should always remove a cap or
hat when greeting an elder, or entering someone’s house.

Madventurer has a strict zero-tolerance policy on the use of illegal drugs. Penalties
are severe if you are caught with drugs in Ghana, and there is very little either
Madventurer or the British High Commission can do for anyone convicted of a crime
under Ghanaian law.


This takes a bit of getting used to! You will become very well acquainted with ‘Fufu’
during your time in Ghana. It’s made using plantain (a lot like a banana in
appearance but hard and starchy) and cassava (a woody shrub with edible roots a bit
like potato) which are boiled and then pounded furiously to make a dough, which is
served with soup or stew. The Ghanaian diet is mainly vegetarian as meat is seen as
a luxury in many of the project sites that we help out at, although we will try and
vary the menu as much as possible.

Jollof rice is another firm favourite and is a spicy dish containing rice, peppers, tomato
paste, onions and usually some kind of meat or fish. Vegetarians are well catered for
as most meals are made without meat, which is then added near the end. If you like
seafood you’ll be in your element, particularly if you travel to the coast on weekends,
where you can eat the freshest grilled fish, and try some you may not have had
before such as Tilapia and Snapper.

The most traditional of Ghanaian food is served at ‘chop bars’ offering the equivalent
of fast food, which might be just as fast through your system, if your stomach is not
accustomed to the food on offer! These chop bars often have quite amazing names as
well such as ‘observers are worried chop bar’ (possibly one to avoid!).

You’ll also see people trying to sell you ‘grasscutter’ at the side of roads. These are
quite big rodents, a little like guinea pigs, which are sliced open and stretched out on
a wooden cross and then smoked. If all this sounds a little too authentic for your
tastes, then don’t worry as there are plenty of places to get a western fix of food in

Although English is the official language of Ghana, over 75 African languages and
dialects are spoken throughout the country. Ga is the most widely used African
language in the capital. The language of the Volta Region is Ewe (ay-way). You will
almost certainly visit the Volta Region’s beautiful waterfalls during your stay. Here a
few Ewe phrases which you will hear:

English                                     Ewe
Welcome                                     Wezo
Welcome response                            Yo
Good morning                                Ndi
Good afternoon                              Ndo
Good evening                                Fie
Good morning response                       Ndi pometo
How are you?                                E foe
Fine, thanks                                Eē
Thank you                                   Akpe

   Country guidebooks

This Pre-Departure Pack is designed to give you information about Madventurer in
Ghana, not as a substitute for a country guidebook. We recommend that you buy or
borrow a guidebook to read before you leave, and to take with you.

The Bradt Travel Guide to
Ghana by Philip Briggs is probably the most comprehensive guide to the country as it
is one of the few books aimed at budget travellers that covers Ghana in detail rather
than the wider region. Bradt’s text is generally accurate and well written, but be
aware that some of the sketch maps can be inaccurate and phone numbers outdated.

Rough Guide and Lonely Planet          both produce
reasonable guides to West Africa.

World Travel Guide – This is a good source of
general travel information. You can select “Country Guides” from their homepage,
then “Ghana”.
   After your project – The Mad Tribe


We may ask you to complete a questionnaire at the end of your project and/or
expedition to give us some feedback as to how you found your experience. This is
normally emailed out on your return, or given in country before the end of your trip.
If you would like a form in advance just drop us an email to Mad HQ on Positive and honest feedback is appreciated by all members
of staff and crew.

The Mad Tribe

After completion of your placement you will be an official member of the Mad Tribe!
This will ensure that you stay in touch with the rest of the Crew and venturers from
your project group, us here at Madventurer HQ, and the wider family of Mad
venturers who have been involved in projects and placements around the world. If
you change your mobile number/email address then please feel free to let us know.

You may also receive a Newsletter with updates on previous projects and information
about exciting new development projects around the world, in fact, everything that’s
going on in the Madventurer world.      There are also opportunities to follow and
support our development work around the world through our registered charity the
Mad Foundation.

We want your Blogs, Photo’s and Video’s

Before you depart you can set up your own MAD Tribe Blog ( by
going to and following the online instructions.
This is an excellent way to keep friends/family updated on your travel. You can even
upload photos and create a travel journal, and our blog integrates well with any
facebook account.

It’s always great for us to get copies of your photos, permission to use them on the
Mad Tribe Blog/Website/Brochure/Posters/Press releases. The best way to do this is
to become friends with our Chief John Lawler on Facebook. You never know your
picture might make it to the front page of our brochure, posters or be on the next
Madventurer Newsletter!

If you have any questions on any of the details included in this document then please
don’t hesitate to get in touch on or 0845 121 1996 and
speak to one of our staff!

Best wishes and Happy Travels

Mad HQ


Q: Do I need a sleeping bag?

A: Yes you can bring a summer sleeping bag, however a sheet sleeping bag/sleeping
bag liner is more than sufficient to keep you warm at night. You can bring a travel
(inflatable) pillow for extra comfort. Or bring a pillow case and stuff this with some of
your clothes to make a make shift pillow.

Q: What kind of mosquito net should I get?

A: One that you can hang from the ceiling, wall or bunk beds; make sure it’s treated
with an anti-mosquito treatment such as Permethrin. A freestanding net can be
expensive, so don’t rush out to buy one. The freestanding ones are also harder to
hang if your room has bunk beds. The simple hanging mozzie nets are the best.
Make sure you bring some string to attach it to the wall or ceiling.

Q: Do I need water purification tablets?

A: Your crew will ensure that clean treated, safe drinking water is always available on
the project. You can bring some if you are planning on doing some independent
travel at weekends. It’s a good idea to bring a water bottle so you can have a supply
when needed, it’s more environmentally friendly than buying water at weekends if
you are travelling.

Q: I’m doing teaching. Should I bring out any supplies with me such as pencils etc..?

A: If you can bring out any pencils, pens, books etc, these will be much appreciated
by the schools and pupils. Just make sure to check your luggage allowance first. We
provide a teaching pack which is on the Madventurer website so just check this out
for a few ideas on what to teach.

Q: Do I need to bring a rucksack?

A: Yes a rucksack is the best type of luggage to bring, as you need to be able to carry
this yourself. You may want to bring a day bag/small rucksack though for weekends
when you may be travelling. Suitcases may not be the best option as in some areas
you will not be able to wheel them.

Q: Do I need to bring a roll mat?

A: On the project a simple foam mattress will be provided. You can bring a roll mat
for extra comfort or again if you decide to do some independent travel as weekends.
They are fairly lightweight and cheap.

Q: Do I need to bring sufficient toiletries to cover the entire time I’m in Ghana?

A: You should bring sufficient sun cream and anti mossie spray to last the duration of
your trip. Soap, bodywash, shampoo etc can all be easily obtained out there, should
you run out.

Q: How should I carry money when travelling to Ghana

A: We suggest taking some cash, then the rest of your money on a card from which
you can use to draw money when in larger towns/cities. Travellers cheques are not
widely accepted and should only be used as a last back up as they can be extremely
hard to change even in Accra. Please check with your travel insurance policy for how
much cash you are covered for carrying around as policies can differ.

Q: Can I use a cash card to withdraw money from ATM machines?

A: The ONLY credit card that is accepted to withdraw money is a Visa credit card. It is
possible to use Mastercard to make payments in some hotels and shops. Visa electron
debit cards are also accepted at ATMs in Ho.

Q: Do I need to bring a first aid kit?

A: All our crew have access to a first aid kit. You may want to bring a few extra items
as mentioned in the notes. Personal first aid kits are handy for independent travel,
and it always a good idea to take a small personal fist aid kit with you whenever you
are away from the Mad House.

Q: How often will I get to wash my clothes?

A: You can wash your clothes as little or as often as you like! You do not need to
bring your own washing powder, as this can be bought out there and is designed to
work with cold water. Or if you have room pack an environmentally friendly brand.

Q: Can I bring my MP3, phone etc..?

A: Its best if you leave all expensive/sentimental items at home (jewellery/ipod etc).
If you wish to bring your camera and mobile phone please make sure these are
covered in your travel insurance policy. A good rule of thumb is that if you intend to
leave a gadget as a gift or if you would not be too bothered if you lost it overseas
then it should be fine to take it. Getting a police report in Ghana should you lose or
have any items stolen is a long and drawn out process, and you will also be charged a
fee by the police for the report. You will need a police report if you are intending to
make a claim on your travel insurance.

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