How to Spend 24 Hours in Tamale Ghana
Tamale is the capital of Ghana’s Northern Region, Ghana’s third city and it’s second by area size. More rural than urban, with a predominant Muslim population, crazy traffic and especially…HOT climate!
Tamale doesn’t have that much to offer for classical type of tourist, but since we believe you can go further from this, we also believe you will enjoy the town.
Tamale is a great introduction to get to know Northern Ghanaian culture, which is much different from cultures in the Southern part of the country. In my opinion, to get the real city throb, it is definitely worth staying longer than 24 hours, but in case you cannot take the heat or if you are on a tight schedule, make sure you don’t miss following few must-see places.
Meet the Religion – Visit Mosques in Tamale
As soon as you arrive to Tamale, you will see plenty of mosques. The main and the biggest one is Central mosque, just in the heart of Tamale town near the central market. With four high minarets and green dome roof, it is visible far and wide. Although, in my opinion, not the most beautiful, anyway worth visiting. You can go inside, but not during praying time.
If you move further North, there are some other bigger mosques as well, just on your right on the Tamale-Bolga Road.
Meet the culture – Visit National Cultural Centre
One of the biggest attraction among tourists. It offers plenty craft shops with different souvenirs, from handicrafts, African design clothes, jewellery to music instruments. If you are lucky, you may take part in music and dancing performances, but, unfortunately, this does not take place very often.
Small tip for female travellers: this place is full of (rasta) guys, who want to attract woman foreigners. They are not dangerous, but have in mind they might flirt with you. Small tip for both gender travellers: Ask for permission before taking photos. I did not and experienced insulting reaction from a vendor.
If you are already familiar with Ghanaian culture, you know what the expression means. If not, have a look at the photo below. The most known spot in Tamale is still Giddipass, also called Crest Restaurant and it is located on Tamale-Bolga Road, just near the Central market, Central mosque etc.
Volunteers often come here to have a drink, but so do locals. If you climb up to terrace you will get probably the best view on the city. Giddipass offers food too, but mostly local dishes. During weekends, parties on the terrace with loud and good Ghanaian music are a must.
Another, much more local spot is just the opposite Giddipass and is called Point 7. If you don’t want to get surrounded by “looking-for-a-woman” guys, this option is definitely better than the first one.
Be Like a Local in Tamale – Stroll Around the Central Market
The market in Tamale is not big at all, but it offers a bit of everything (if you look for Ghanian souvenirs, better stick at the National Cultural Centre).
Delicious fruits, stinky fish, cosmetics, second-hand clothes, freshly slaughtered cow, mattresses, pots…if mentioning only few. Forget about any structure in the market, so just roam around and if you need to buy something, don’t hesitate to ask locals – Ghanaians are always willing to help!
Note: Again, always ask for permission before snapping photos!
Visit Tamale Sports Stadium
It was opened in 2008 and can accept up to 20,000 visitors. It is multi-purposed stadium but it mostly hosts football matches, so worth visiting if you are a football fan. Stadium is located not far from the centre, on the west side of Tamale-Bolga Road and the easiest way to get there is to take a taxi/shared car.