Ghana is known for many things. Dubbed the golden child of West Africa it is recognized for friendly locals, thrumming drum beats, and fast-moving cities. But it is also an area of outstanding natural beauty and wildlife, from its wildlife reserves to its sandy beaches. Keep reading to learn more about wildlife and natural locations to visit in Ghana.
If you have the opportunity, drive around to get the full experience. Even the cities are markedly different to the peaceful villages, and it’s important to immerse yourself fully in this rich and vibrant nation.
A great way to experience Ghana is through volunteering. Each year thousands of individuals make a difference as a volunteer in Ghana. They help in orphanages, teach, and work in wildlife reserves, bringing much-needed help to these areas. In return, they get to see a beautiful part of the world which may not otherwise be available to them.
Mole National Park
Mole National Park is a two-day drive from Accra. It is the largest and oldest game viewing park. Here you can observe elephants in their natural habitat. They are used to humans and will not be perturbed by being followed on foot. Also, expect to see antelope, monkeys, baboons, and smaller wildlife.
Sanctuaries such as Boabeng-Fiema and Tafi Atome are home to a great number of monkeys. They are best observed in the morning or late afternoon. Monkeys are revered by locals and tradition, and are not hunted or killed. Boabeng-Fiema even has a cemetery where monkeys are buried with dedicated funerals.
The Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary (WCHS) is a community project established to protect the wildlife of the Black Volta River. The river is home to the two remaining hippo colonies and in 1999 was converted into a sanctuary by chiefs. Visiting WCHS provides an opportunity to see wildlife in an unspoiled natural environment. As well as hippos, you will find 250 species of birds, along with baboons, bats, and hedgehogs. A boat trip along the river is a must.
Shai Hills Resource Reserve
About an hour north of Accra is an area of plains and forest known as Shai Hills. The park is famous for its baboons. But be warned, they have been known to snatch personal belongings. The best time to visit is early morning, when as well as baboons you may also see antelope, bushbuck, and monkeys.
Kakum National Park
A short thirty-minute drive from Cape Coast lies Kakum National Park. The fresh, green rainforest makes a refreshing change from the hot, dusty city. This protected rainforest covers 234 square miles and is home to elephants, giant hogs, flying squirrels, leopards, and monkeys. A great way to experience the rainforest is by the canopy walk. Wooden walkways and viewing platforms have been erected high above the forest floor, offering unrivaled views.
Ghana is often referred to as a microcosm of Africa, as it offers everything from bustling cities, beautiful beaches, wide open plains to the magnificent rainforest. It makes a stunning introduction to this beautiful continent. For the full experience, spend a little time here. Get to know the locals in the cities and villages and observe the wildlife in their natural habitat.