Posted by Karen White on
Ghana has a typically tropical climate thanks to its proximity to the equator and low elevations – the entire country lies below 1,000m (3300ft). Daytime temperatures are high throughout the year, approaching or surpassing 30°C (86°F) on most days, and humidity is also very high, especially along the coast. Temperatures tend to drop to around 20°C (68°F) drop at night, more noticeably in the relatively dry north than the humid south. The most temperate part of Ghana is the highlands area flanking the Volta Basin, which is often pleasantly cool after dusk.
There are two rainy seasons: from March to July and from September to October Rainfall is highest in the south, with some areas receiving in excess of 2,000mm each year, but the drier north more typically receives about 800mm annually. The capital Accra, together with the coast running east to Togo and Benin, lies within the Dahomey Gap, a tract of savannah that receives relatively little rain and divides the Upper Guinean forests (running westward from central Ghana) from the Lower Guinean forests (running southward from Nigeria southward to the Congo). A noteworthy climatic phenomenon is the harmattan winds, which blow in from the northeast from December to March, bringing dust from the Sahara and reducing visibility to as little as 1km (0.6 miles).
Ghana is fine to visit at all times of year, but if you have the choice, aim for the northern hemisphere winter i.e. October through to April, when humidity is lowest and the weather is typically quite dry. There are also fewer mosquitoes (and a decreased risk of contracting malaria), dirt roads are in better condition, and there is less likelihood of you or your luggage being drenched in an unexpected storm. However, photographers might want to avoid the dull ambient light and grey skies associated with the harmattan in December.
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