Usually one or two cedis is all that’s expected. Taxi drivers in Ghana normally don’t get tipped at all, but I tipped a few times when they were honest and didn’t try to overcharge me. I also tipped one who was a very safe driver.
Please do tip the guides at Elmina and Cape Coast Castles. A one or two cedi tip isn’t going to make a huge financial impact on you the tourist. Most of the guides at the castles are unpaid interns and live in poverty with many brothers and sisters, so tips really help them.
Five cedis is considered a lot of money in Ghana at this time. I only encountered one instance where five cedis was the maximum recommended tip, and that was for the canoeist who paddled us to the Nzulezu stilt village and back.
I didn’t give money to people who just asked for a handout, with one exception. In the larger cities, you may encounter handicapped people at stoplights who beg for change. They really don’t even ask for money, they just come to the car window and simply look at you. On the way to the airport, that happened. There was a man in a wheelchair, a man without legs on a board with wheels on it and a third man on crutches with a deformed leg. Without hesitation, I gave them each a cedi or two and all the coins I had left. They were extremely grateful. It was the best thing to do with an amount of money that was too small to exchange once I was at the airport.
I tipped the guys at hotels who carried my bags a cedi or two, if I had small change. I tipped people one cedi in certain instances when I wanted to take photos and they were especially nice and cooperative.
Oddly, food servers at restaurants usually don’t get tipped. But I tipped them anyway. My Ghanaian friends said 50 pesewas (half a cedi) was enough and that I should give it directly to the server and not leave it on the table.
If you hire a car and driver like I did, budget a generous tip for the driver into your travel expenses. Your driver doesn’t just drive you, he assists you in countless ways in order for you to have a terrific vacation. If you need to buy something, he’ll know where it can be found. He’ll intervene on your behalf if it’s a transaction involving bargaining so you won’t get ripped off. He’s a fountain of advice and information. And last but far from least, he’ll carry your bags. Several travel sources on the internet suggest a tip of $10 a day for a tour guide. I came up with something around 10% of the touring fee, which was just barely over $10 a day, converted it to cedis and rounded it off. My tour was for ten days, and I gave Stanley, my driver, 150 cedis as a tip. He was pleased.
Above all, remember that Ghana is a poor country, and most of her citizens live in extreme poverty. Be generous. By Ghanaian standards, being generous isn’t expensive.