Tamale is the capital city of Northern Ghana. The city is like a conglomeration of villages where one can find an architectural blend of traditional mud houses and modern buildings. While the majority of the houses are roofed with corrugated iron sheets, a good number of them are roofed with grass. Many of these mud block compounds have TV antennae and electricity wires.
Main Street in Tamale on Sunday
Buses (STC, VIP) from Accra or Kumasi are available and can be quite comfortable with A/C available. It takes 12-14 hours from Accra, leaving at both 7 and 8 am so make sure you make a bathroom stop on the lunch stop as you might not be able to otherwise.
Trotros are a cheaper alternative, albeit less comfortable. As of Aug 2013, Kumasi to Tamale is 17 GHC, compared to 25 GHC for V.I.P. bus.
Fly You can also take a direct flight to Tamale from Accra using Fly540Africa, Antrak Air, Starbow or AWA. The flight is just over an hour and may cost between 150-200 GHC.
Private car from any medium sized town with driver is only about GH₵30 a day.
- The sdl tours and car rentals phone +233(0)249507413
is a new Tour company that rent out cars,minivan in tamale and a few cars at the tamale airport
which can bring you direct to Mole National Park and also anywhere across the north of Ghana.
The can also arrange the varies hotels in Tamale and mole national park for your relaxation,
Good point from which to visit Bongo (Moon Landscape) Tongo and Congo or if heading to Burkina Faso (neighbouring country). visit the Paga crocodile pond and all the slave camp near paga. also visit sirigu art village to learn about all the arts and craft of the northern people of Ghana
Mole National Park can be a day trip from tamale. Visit mole to see elephants, warthogs, several types of monkey. The road to Mole has been upgraded and journey times are around 3 hours. Near Mole National Park you can visit the oldest mosque in Ghana in the town of Larabanga. You can also stay in an "Eco-village" near Mole National Park.
Top up on supplies if you are heading out into the smaller towns or countryside.
Chat to the locals, very friendly bunch and you will find the best travel info this way.
Traditional Houses in the Town
- VRA Swimming Pool and Tennis Courts. At the Volta River Authority (VRA) clubhouse, you can find a publically accessible swimming pool. Popular with locals and expats, go early if you want to avoid the weekend crowds. Swimming is 10 GHC. edit
- Tamale Sports Stadium. Watch a game of football at Tamale's impressive sports stadium, built for the 2008 African Cup of Nations. edit
- Drumming and Dance Lessons, Cultural Centre. Take part in a drumming and dance lesson at the cultural centre, most Sundays at around 11am. Current cost is 10 GHC per person, for an hour lesson. edit
Market on Main Street Cobblers, textiles and lots of food. Worth going into for the look of it alone and you may be hassled to 'buy Yam!' especially if you are a woman.
Cultural Centre behind the main street in the grounds of a disused theatre. Oil paintings from GH₵7.50!!, batiks, ornaments, cheap jewelry, goatskin handbags foot pillows, drums.....
Wander around a bit and you will find music shops selling tapes of the current Ghanian charts, worth bringing a few home to remind yourself of the sunny, almost Jamaican style music being played everywhere.
Kosu - a local snack made from deep fried bean flour dough which can be bought just off the main street across from the taxi station. A few western style shops also on the main street.
- Luxury Restaurant, (head North along the airport road and get off at the King David junction.). A restaurant with a large menu, popular with locals and expats, serving Ghanaian and 'continental' food. The chicken kebab is a popular choice. edit
Crest: A popular evening spot
- 'Crest / Gidipass', Hospital Road (in the centre of town, opposite side of the road to the main taxi rank). Apparently the restaurant is called Crest and the rooftop bar is called Gidipass. The food gets mixed reviews but the views from the bar are good. edit
- 'Meet Me There', Bolga Road (A few KM north along the main road towards Bolgatanga). Set in a tall canopy of palm and date trees, drinks are at cost or below (meaning GH₵0.25 for a mineral/pop bottle), whereas at Crest or other tourist centres, they cost GH₵0.60 or more. You can pick up some food from the street, and they'll bring you dishes to eat with and soap to wash with! Don't get too comfortable though. They'll kick you out at 10PM regardless of how much business you're giving them edit
- Chuck's Bar and Restaurant (Chuck's), Mariam Road. A favourite with expats and some of the better off locals. Chuck's is a lively bar and restaurant. It is possibly the only place you can find craft beer in Tamale (at a price!). edit
- Woodens. Woodens is a pleasant and large coffee shop and restaurant, serving fresh coffee, cakes and a reasonable selection of 'continental' and Ghanaian style food. Popular with expats and locals looking for a relaxing place to hang out. edit
- The Asempa Lodge, Phone: +233 (0)207 09 00 65, (website: http://www.asempalodge.com ) is run by a Belgian and Dutch partnership with clean rooms and attentive staff. The private swimming pool and nice African looking apartments are very attractive while the prices are reasonable (ranging from € 6 for a single room with a shared bathroom facility up to € 27 for a self contained double room with breakfast and supper included).
- The lodge is located out of town to ensure a quiet environment, a free shuttle service is provided to visit the city centre of Tamale. Guided tours to neighbouring villages and an all-in trip to Mole National Park are also available.
- Gariba Lodge, Phone: +233 071-23371/23041-3, (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Is a hotel considered to be two stars by the government.
- The Tamale Institute of Cross Cultural Studies offers boarding as well as a roof-top cantina/bar. Limited number of air-conditioned rooms available. Rooms generally available when courses are not in session (most of the time). See website: http://www.ticcs.org/residence