The age old cliche that ‘Ghana is a peaceful country, seems to be one of the most attractive pitch points when convincing foreigners to visit. This is also because crime isn’t something that is very popular in Ghana. However, there is no country or city in the world without crime. No matter how small, everyone is at risk of falling prey at one time or another to some criminals. These come in many forms and may vary from armed robbery, theft, fraud, assault among many others. The end products of such crimes are often loss of valuable property, fatal injuries, or in very extreme cases death. It is assumed that many locals are safe and somewhat immune to such crimes and the actual targets are often foreigners or travelers especially those with a standout skin colour or foreign accent.
Prevention they say is better than cure hence, in order to stay safe, it is imperative that you take some steps of your own. One very key step in ensuring safety is knowing where to go, when to go and whether it is safe to go alone or not. Ideally, you should be very safe when you travel in pairs or with a group but there are some places where you just cannot afford to go alone. Crime aside, there are some destinations that you don’t want to go alone for the mere fact of being bored or not having much fun. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel agency looks at a few places to avoid going alone in Ghana.
Night Club – Just like the name suggests, there is no night club that operates in the day. Yes! I had to remind you again. These places of fun and entertainment sometimes even run into the early hours of the morning hence people who go there to have fun and decide to leave after midnight are susceptible to all manner of criminals. Even the nightclubs are sometimes considered as brooding grounds for these criminals. To avoid the risk of having to go back late, don’t go alone. Usually best to go in groups as it brings more excitement but if you have to go alone, make sure you have a proper plan in place. Either you arrange for a pickup by your hotel or use on online transport service. Whatever the case, don’t walk out of a club looking for a taxi or ride. You are at risk!
Stadium – There are actually two reasons why you shouldn’t go to the stadium alone. First and foremost, what fun is there sitting by yourself in the stadium shouting and cheering surrounded by total strangers? On the other hand, if you go to that same stadium with some friends or group of familiar people, you get double the fun and a sense of safety and security. Secondly, in the midst of thousands of people are hooligans and criminals as well. Always ready to pounce and cause damage. With so many people around, it is easy for them to disappear into the crowd without ever being found. To be safe, walk in groups or have a partner. These criminals don’t attack groups and pairs but rather target people who walk alone.
Under bridges and Parks – This is actually the same everywhere in the world. Why would someone even want to venture using an under bridge or have a stroll in a park late in the night when on vacation in a far away unknown country? It’s dangerous and unsafe especially if you don’t understand the local language. You may fall victim to hooligans and street kings who take delight in harming people who look lonely and unprotected. In order to prevent all these, just avoid going anywhere near an underbridge or park when alone. As much as possible, do all shopping during the day, have all meetings and when it’s really necessary, get company. Resist the temptation of going alone all in the name of discovering or going on an adventure!
Night Beaches – Many may argue that night beaches in Ghana are a delight. Yes! Agreed. They are a delight only when you are safe and with some fun people. However, any beach at night is a risky deal. This is mainly because, visibility is poor and any evil deed or malicious activity may go unnoticed. Also there aren’t usually a lot of people here at night and makes it very easy for you to be isolated making you highly susceptible to attacks from drug addicts and criminals who frequent these beaches. The beach is fun at night but if you really want to have a good time and get back home safe with all your belongings intact, get a companion or plan it with a group. You are better off that way. Say hello to the night breeze!
Abandoned streets and corners – Sometimes you may wonder why someone will want to walk on an abandoned street or use a shortcut even when the place looks a bit shady. Many others also use certain corners as meet-up joints or secret hideouts. What business do you have on an abandoned street with no pedestrians completely isolated from people? Don’t be lured into meeting people in isolated places. If the business is genuine, they will be willing to meet you in an open place where there are a lot of people. Why not the mall, a restaurant, a bus terminal or even your home or office? The moment you walk a couple of metres with no other person around or you enter a dark alley or corner where you feel unsafe, leave the area and get closer to people. Report any suspicious case or person to any police or law enforcement agency. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
In the end, we are the masters of our own destinies and the architects of our own successes or failures. Make sure you avoid going to certain places completely, going to some places at night and going to some places alone. If not for safety alone, going with someone or a group of people is usually more fun than going by yourself. Have fun and stay safe whenever you visit this great and beautiful country.
Credit: Bennet Otoo , Jumia Travel