Tamale (T-town as some residents call it) is the capital city of the Northern Region of Ghana, and third largest city in the country (in terms of population) after Accra and Kumasi. As is characteristic of Ghanaians, the people are very friendly, warm and welcoming to outsiders and non-Ghanaians. You are likely to hear “amaraaba” (welcome) numerous times during your visit. Development in Tamale, although lagging behind the other two cities mentioned, is steadily rising and opportunities for business along with it. Here are a few other fun reasons to visit and stay here:
Easy access to other Northern Capitals:
If you are the type that likes to travel and experience new places, Tamale is a great place to base for this to be done conveniently. You could easily visit other regional capitals like Bolgatanga and Wa from Tamale (over the weekend) to experience the different variations of culture and attractions (Crocodile pond in Paga, Mole National Park in Damongo, etc.) You could also easily organise your meetings with colleagues and friends from nearby regions with very little stress involved for all parties.
Northern Ghanaians are getting more and more enterprising and building businesses. This has been noticed by many already established businesses who previously were only located in Southern Ghana and are currently moving in for a piece of the pie. Banks and other players in the finance industry, as well as retail players and others are moving in in droves to the city and region as a whole. With a market that is considered not fully tapped as this, you wouldn’t stand to lose if you decided to set up your business here.
Transport and Traffic:
Tamale has one very appealing feature when it comes to travel: there are relatively no traffic jams. This may be due to the fact that one of the major means of transport within the city is via motor bikes, which might be as many as the cars in the city, if not more. You can, therefore, easily get from point A to B in a very short space of time and get much more done with your day than you would in some of the larger cities like Accra.
Think you’ve sampled all local cuisine? If your experience of Ghana has been limited to the south, think again! There is so much more to try out if you’re adventurous enough. Tamale has a whole host of indigenous foods, some of which, you may not have heard of before. If your experience of waakye has only been in the south, prepare yourself for what real waakye tastes like, other delicious and nutritious foods you are likely to encounter in Tamale include: gable (pronounced: gab-lay), wasawasa, tuubani and the varieties (and colours) of porridge kanwa-koko, zimbuli, kukog-nyina, etc. There are so many more than can be captured here, you should make it a point to try these out when you find yourself in T-town.
Culture and religion can be easily discerned on arrival in Tamale, especially if you have never been there. From the dressing of the locals in smocks and flowing gowns to the courteous nature of the people, you’ll notice a change on arrival. Islam is quite prevalent in northern Ghana, and so, Tamale being the largest city in the Northern Region, you are unlikely to miss the numerous mosques that abound in Tamale which may account for the flowing gowns earlier mentioned which is heavily influenced by the Islamic religion. On the cultural side, local sub-chiefs are easily accessible if you follow the right channels of palace etiquette. You would be advised to speak with a local elder about how to present yourself if you intend to pay respects to a sub-chief of the land. Additionally, you can easily find souvenirs to buy from the local Cultural Centre close to the Police Park.
The Northern Region has, historically, been known to have people very interested in academic pursuits, as such, there are numerous schools in Tamale to cater to educational needs of children and adults of all levels: primary to tertiary. At the head of the chain of schools is the University for Development Studies (UDS) whose central administration building is located in Tamale and one of whose campuses is located in Sagnarigu-Dungu (also in Tamale).
Tamale is full of friendly, courteous people (some might say too courteous, since respect is highly valued among the people) and is quite an interesting place to be if you want city life without the long traffic lines and its attending hassles. Prices here for goods and services are relatively lower than most regional capitals and the cost of living is much more affordable, meaning good quality housing also, can be found at really competitive and affordable rates. Meqasa.com offers a catalogue of properties for rent in Tamale if you decide to extend your stay.