AT A GLANCE
The Republic of Ghana, in west Africa, is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Atlantic ocean in the south. One of Africa’s great success stories, the country is reaping the benefits of a stable democracy in the form of fast-paced development, and deserves its nickname of “West Africa’s Golden Child”.
It is a magical place full of history, culture, scenery, wildlife and some of the friendliest people on earth. While it is difficult to name just one stand-out attraction, the country is blessed with an array of fantastic things to see, do and experience. These include postcard quality beaches, old Gold Coast forts and castles, the historic Ashanti Kingdom, huge open air markets, stunning natural beauty and of course, rich wildlife. It is a safe, politically stable, hassle-free country to travel in, with excellent infrastructure and friendly English-speaking people that warmly welcome tourists. For these reasons Ghana is often referred to as Africa for beginners!
From a birding perspective, Ghana has 180 of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome birds, including 12 out of the 15 Upper Guinea Forest endemics, 11 of which are of global conservation concern. Therefore it is a must visit for any birding and nature enthusiast. Undoubtedly one of the highlights will be seeing the White-necked Rockfowl (Yellow-headed Picathartes), a bird high up on many world listers’ wish list. Other typical African bird families such as turacos, barbets, sunbirds and greenbuls are particularly well represented, along with hornbills, parrots and birds of prey. The country’s bird list is currently at about 760 species, and there are also 221 species of amphibians and reptiles, 225 mammalian species and over 1000 species of butterflies.
From the coastal lagoons, grassland savannah, upper guinea rainforest moving northwards through the broad leaved guinea woodland finally touching the Sahel savannah plains in the far north, Ghana offers a thorough coverage of all the core west African habitats.
This Nature Travel Birding tour will cover all of the most important habitats in Ghana and was designed with maximum birding pleasure in mind. We will visit Mole National Park and Kakum National Park (with its world famous canopy walkway), along with other key sites like Ankasa, Atewa and many more.
Let’s go birding!
Arrival in Ghana
You will be met upon your arrival at the Kotoka International airport in Accra, the capital city, which is situated on the beautiful “Gold Coast” (Ghana’s former name during its time under British colonial rule) of western Africa. After clearing immigration, collecting your bags and passing through customs you will enter the main arrival hall where your tour leader/local guide will be waiting to meet you. Our team will take care of you from here and offer you “Akwaaba” (welcome) once you have boarded your air-conditioned vehicle which will be your mode of transport for the duration of your time with us.
Accra is a bustling, busy, loud and colourful city of almost three million people. You might not write love letters about it, but you might just grow to like it. Founded in the 17th century by the Ga people, Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast in 1877. Following Ghana’s independence in 1957, Accra became the capital of the newly independent state. The word Accra is derived from the Akan word Nkran meaning “ants”, a reference to the numerous anthills, and specifically soldier ants, seen in the countryside around Accra. Some of the top attractions are vibrant Jamestown with its famous harbour and lighthouse, the initially chaotic but fun Makola market, the strangely empty but formidable Independence Square, pristine Bojo beach and the tranquil, statue-filled Kwame Nkrumah Park.
We will make the journey (approximately an hour’s drive depending on traffic) to your hotel which is located near Tema, close to Shai Hills Reserve. After checking you in your guide will brief you on the following days’ activities and answer any questions you may have.
Depending on your arrival time, you can enjoy your early evening meal whilst acclimatising yourself to west Africa.
Shai Hills, Sakumono Lagoon and Winneba Plains
On our first morning here in Ghana we head to the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills Reserve. It is one of the closest wildlife viewing areas to Accra and easily accessible. A mosaic of forests covers the five separate hills in the reserve, while grassland and low dry forests are found in the canyons. To date 31 mammal species, 13 reptile species and almost 200 bird species have been identified in the reserve. Here we are hoping to see Northern Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Vieillot’s and Double-toothed Barbet, White-crowned Cliff Chat (the best site in Ghana for this species), Rock Martin, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, Violet Turaco, Senegal Parrot, Senegal Batis, Blue-bellied Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Oriole Warbler, Black-cap and Brown Babbler, Copper and Splendid Sunbird, White-crested Helmetshrike, Croaking and Short-winged Cisticola, African Thrush, Red-necked and Lizard Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Green Woodhoopoe and Stone Partridge, among others.
After a wonderful early morning we head to the coastal Sakumono Lagoon, near an urbanized area of the port city of Tema. This is a Ramsar site of importance in Ghana. There are usually an abundance of water birds and waders to see here depending on the level of water; we hope to see Black-winged Stilt, Senegal Thick-knee, Common Ringed, Grey and Spur-winged Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood and Common Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Stint, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco, Grey, Purple, Striated and Black Heron, Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egret, and many others. The lagoon is also well known for rarities and species that have turned up before include African Skimmer, Red-necked Phalarope, American and Pacific Golden Plover and Baird’s, White-rumped and Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
We set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra stopping for lunch en route before heading to the grassland reserve on the Winneba Plains where we hope to find Short-winged Cisticola, Splendid and Copper Sunbird, Flappet Lark, Red-winged Warbler, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Black-necked Weaver, Black-crowned Tchagra, Plain-backed Pipit, Black-winged and Yellow-billed Kite, Western Plantain-eater, Grey Kestrel, Lizard Buzzard, Blue-spotted Wood Dove and Black-bellied Bustard to mention just a few.
After a wonderful day’s birding we continue to Jukwa and our hotel to relax, reflect and add the many new species to our bird list.
We set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra stopping for lunch en route before heading to a grassland reserve where we hope to find Siffling and Short-winged Cisticolas, Splendid and Copper Sunbirds, Flappet Lark, Red-winged Warbler, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Black-necked Weaver, Black-crowned Tchagra, Plain-backed Pipit, Black-shouldered and Yellow-billed Kites, Western Grey Plantain-eater, Grey Kestrel, Lizzard Buzzard, Blue-spotted Wood Dove and Black-bellied Bustard to mention just a few. After a wonderful day’s birding we continue to Jukwa and our hotel to relax, reflect and add the many new species to our bird list.
Kakum National Park (canopy walkway)
After an early breakfast we head for the world famous Kakum National Park which is approximately 15 minutes’ drive from our lodge.
We aim to get to Kakum at first light enabling us to spend the most critical bird viewing hours high above the forest floor on the world famous canopy walkway. This 350 metre long, 40 metre high walkway is one of only three such structures on the African continent, and by far the longest. There are 7 platforms, which are large and stable enough to support telescopes. It was built in 1995 with the support of USAID.
The 375 km² Kakum National Park is the jewel in the crown of Ghana’s protected reserve system. The park protects secondary upper guinea semi-deciduous tropical rainforest and it is a wonderful feeling being so close to the upper canopy of this beautiful forest. Kakum is home to around 650 species of butterfly, 100 mammal species and almost 300 species of birds. In addition to harbouring immense fauna and flora diversity, Kakum is an important watershed, providing water to 130 towns and villages. The uniqueness of this park lies in the fact that it was established at the initiative of the local people and not by the State Department of Wildlife, who are responsible for wildlife preservation in Ghana.
Our main target species during our time on the canopy walkway are Violet-backed Hyliota, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, the upper guinea endemics Sharpe’s Apalis, Brown-cheeked Hornbill and Copper-tailed Glossy Starling, Bioko Batis, Blue Cuckooshrike, Little Green Woodpecker and the White-crested Hornbill.
Other species we hope to see include Blue-throated, Brown, Green, Collard, Johanna’s and Buff-throated Sunbird, Red-headed and Crested Malimbe, Rosy Bee-eater, White-breasted and Grey- headed Negrofinch, Red-fronted and Grey Parrot, Yellowbill, Western and Black-winged Oriole, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Splendid and Forest Chestnut-winged Starling, Preuss’s Golden-backed and Yellow-mantled Weaver, Green Hylia, Golden, Slender-billed and Little Grey Greenbul, African Green Pigeon, Yellow-billed Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-throated, Red-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbird, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbet, Little Grey Flycatcher, Cassin’s Honeybird and African Pied Hornbill to mention a few.
The raptors we have a chance to see include Congo Serpent Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Palm-nut Vulture, African Hobby, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, African Cuckoo-Hawk, European Honey and Red-necked Buzzard. Some of the more difficult but still possible species that could be seen from the canopy include Long-tailed Hawk, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Yellow-footed Honeyguide and Black-collared Lovebird.
After a wonderful morning we return to our lodge to freshen up and enjoy our lunch. During the heat of mid-afternoon, you will have the option of birding around our lodges grounds, resting in your air-conditioned rooms, around the pool or the bar. You could also choose to go on a cultural excursion to Cape Coast Castle, one of the largest slave holding sites in the world during the colonial era, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We re-visit the canopy walkway in the evening where our main targets will be the Brown-cheeked, Black and Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Great Blue Turaco, Brown Nightjar and Fraser’s Eagle-Owl amongst other specials.
Our evening will be spent at the lodge’s restaurant and bar discussing the day’s sightings, adding to our checklist and enjoying the atmosphere of our surroundings.
Kakum National Park (Antikwaa)
We will have another early start as we visit the Antwikwaa section of Kakum in the western area of the park, hoping to add some amazing birds to our growing list.
We will look for Little, White-throated, Rosy and Black Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Piping Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, White-spotted Flufftail, Cassin’s and Sabine’s Spinetail, Diederik Cuckoo, Melancholy and Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Vieillot’s, Black and Black-necked Weaver, Kemp’s and Grey Longbill, Western Nicator, Western Bluebill, Olive-bellied, Superb and Johanna’s Sunbird, Copper-tailed, Glossy and Violet-backed Starling, Yellow White-eye, Bronze Mannikin and Orange-cheeked Waxbill.
The more difficult species we hope to find include Yellow-billed Barbet, Forest Penduline Tit, Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle and Ahanta Francolin to mention a few.
Next we will visit a river site for the beautiful White-bibbed Swallow, Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Rock Pratincole, White-headed Lapwing, and if we are lucky, African Finfoot may make an appearance.
In the afternoon we will focus on the many trails within and surrounding the park, which should prove to be very productive. We hope to find White-tailed Alethe, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Robin, Yellow-billed Turaco, Fire-bellied Woodpecker and many others.
Rainforest mammals are not conspicuous but we could see several species of primates that may include Lesser Spot-nosed and Mona Monkey, and Olive and White-thighed Colobus. Night excursions will provide a chance of finding Potto and Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago. The park also contains many other rare animals that we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of. These include African Forest Elephant (a separate species from African Elephant according to some experts), African Buffalo (forest subspecies), African Civet, Leopard, many species of duikers, Red River Hog, Black-bellied Pangolin, Crested Porcupine and even Dwarf Crocodile.
Once again we will remain until dark trying for owls and nightjars that we may still need before returning to our accommodation for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Kakum National Park (Abrafo)and Brenu Akyinim
This morning we will be focusing on the farmland scrub, forest edge and forest trails at Abrafo, a section of forest habitat near to Kakum National Park.
We will search for Pale Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Sooty Boubou, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Red-faced and Whistling Cisticola, Lesser Striped Swallow, Fanti Saw-wing, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Naked-faced and Hairy-breasted Barbet, Fraser’s and Little-green Sunbird, Yellowbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Common Fiscal, Spotted Greenbul, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Yellow-whiskered and Red-tailed Greenbul, White-crested Hornbill, African Harrier-Hawk.
The more difficult species include Long-tailed Hawk, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-billed and Black Dwarf Hornbill.
We return to our hotel to enjoy our lunch, relax around the pool or have a short siesta.
New habitat is in store for us after our relaxing lunch as we check out of our hotel and head for the farming community of Brenu Akyinim and the coastal savannah plains. There are some special species found in this area and new birds we hope to see include Marsh Tchagra, Compact Weaver, Double-spurred Francolin, Oriole Warbler, Red-headed Quelea, Black-rumped Waxbill, Yellow-winged Pytillia, Wilson’s Indigobird and African Wattled Lapwing.
We spend our evening at a small guesthouse as we head further west.
Nsuta Forest and Ankasa Reserve
Nsuta Forest is an excellent forest reserve about an hour’s drive from our guesthouse; this secondary semi-deciduous forest protects a plethora of quality species that will enhance our list and overall experience.
Species we hope to see today include Olive, Blue-throated, Brown and Little Green Sunbird, Yellow-spotted, Bristle-nosed, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbet, Blue-throated Roller, Western and Black-winged Oriole, Buff-spotted and Little Green Woodpecker, Ussher’s and Tessmann’s Flycatcher, Square-tailed Saw-wing, Grays and Crested Malimbes, Green Crombec, Green and Tit Hylia, African Piculet, Emerald and Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill and Great-blue Turaco.
We check out of our guesthouse after enjoying our lunch and set off westwards for what should prove to be a major highlight of your time with us here in Ghana. Our destination is Ankasa Reserve, Ghana’s only wet evergreen rainforest that is in near pristine condition. An exceptional forest in a remote location Ankasa protects many rare and sought after bird and mammal species.
Due to the remote location and near 2 hour travelling distance to any reasonably good standard accommodation, we have established our own camp inside the forest. Our camp leader and his assistants will be waiting to greet us on arrival and we have large tents with comfortable mattresses, pillows and bed sheets for comfort whilst we sleep. In addition there are flushing toilets and cold private shower facilities here and our cook will keep us well fed three times a day, with cold beers and non-alcoholic beverages available in addition. We also have electricity and a backup generator if needed. If you have any concerns regarding camping, please inform us and we will discuss alternative arrangements available.
As we arrive in the late afternoon we settle into our camp before heading out for early evening birding where we hope to see Fraser’s and Akun Eagle-Owl. We will also be looking for the legendary “living fossil” that is the Nkulengu Rail.
Our evening will be spent at our camp enjoying the atmosphere of being at one with nature.
We will be up before first light listening for the unmistakable call of the Nkulengu Rail. As we will not be travelling, we start birding early.
Ankasa has the most biological diversity of any reserve or park in Ghana, with over 800 vascular plant species, 639 butterfly species, and more than 190 bird species. Animal life includes the forest elephant, Bongo, Leopard, Chimpanzee, Diana monkey and other primates. Apart from the forest reserve which was selectively logged until 1976, the rest of the protected area is almost perfectly intact.
We set off venturing deeper into this lush forest with our main targets being the upper guinea endemics Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Rufous-winged Illadopsis and Green-tailed Bristlebill in addition to Ansorge’s, Icterine, Red-tailed and Western Bearded Greenbul, Pale-breasted and Blackcap Illadopsis, Forest Robin, White-tailed Ant Thrush, White-tailed Alethe, Shining Drongo, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-throated Bee-eater, Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Blue-headed Wood Dove, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Yellow-billed and Great Blue Turaco, Black-capped Apalis, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Tiny Sunbird and Redfronted Antpecker.
As we walk towards the watering holes located deeper inside the forest we hope to see Crested Guineafowl on the road. Our other target birds will also include Hartlaub’s Duck, Dwarf Bittern, African Finfoot, Shining Blue, White-bellied, Blue-breasted and Dwarf Kingfisher, and more.
Forest raptors are always welcome and we hope to see Long-tailed Hawk and Congo Serpent Eagle. We will scan the sky for Crowned Eagle, Square-tailed and Fanti Saw-wing, Black and Yellow Casqued Hornbill in addition to Black Dwarf and Piping Hornbill.
There are some very rare species here and if we are very lucky we may see White-breasted Guineafowl, White-crested Tiger Heron, Grey-throated Rail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Scrub Robin, Red-chested Owlet and Akun Eagle-Owl.
Our evening is spent at our camp enjoying good food and discussing the day’s birding over a cold refreshing drink.
Ankasa Reserve and Brenu Akyinim
This is our final morning’s birding at this wonderful location, we will be targeting species we may have missed or would like to get better views of.
After a full morning’s birding we return to our camp to pack our bags and enjoy our lunch before we head back towards Kakum National Park.
During our journey we will be targeting several species not seen in other parts of Ghana; these include Reichenbach’s and Brown Sunbird, Orange Weaver, African Pygmy Goose and Little Grebe to mention a few.
A revisit to Brenu Akyinim around dusk should give us the opportunity to see Greyish Eagle- Owl, Long-tailed and Plain Nightjar, before we arrive back at our hotel for our evening meal and checklist ticking.
Abrafo Forest and Picathartes Nesting Site
Today is a special day, and even if you have been to Ghana before, it will still be a special day!
It will be difficult to focus our minds on anything other than the afternoon visit to the White-necked Rockfowl nesting site, however we will have to, as we have a full morning’s birding to enjoy.
We check out of our hotel after an early breakfast and set off for Abrafo forest where we will be targeting species we may still require from this habitat.
After an excellent morning we set off northwards stopping for lunch en route before arriving at a remote village close to a small upper guinea rainforest in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
All of the known nesting sites for the Rockfowl are in forest reserves and not protected areas. This location has more nesting sites than any other in Ghana. There are around 20 nesting sites in this small forest and we will visit one of the largest colonies that has approximately 30 nests. As we set off on the walk through this beautiful forest you can see why it is one of the most sought after species in the world, and the total experience adds to this mythical bird’s reputation. The overhanging rock face and small cave with mud nests sets the atmosphere as we wait for the birds to come back from foraging for snails, frogs and insects during the day.
It will be hard to contain our excitement as these legendary prehistoric-looking birds hop and jump on the rocks whilst preening themselves just metres from our eyes (no telescope needed!).
Once we have enjoyed good views we leave the birds in peace as we set off back through the forest to our vehicle.
On our arrival in Kumasi we check into our hotel, enjoy our evening meal and reflect on one of the best birding days of our lives.
Offinso Forest and Mole National Park
After an early breakfast we set off to an interesting forest in a transitional zone between the southern wetter forests and northern drier woodland habitats where we find some quality species.
We will have approximately 3 hours of birding here and will need to walk as the road is in poor condition. Species possible to see here include Afep and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Many-coloured, Lagden’s and Fiery-breasted Bushshrike, Red-thighed and Black Sparrowhawk, Bioko Batis, Guinea Turaco and Rufous-sided Broadbill.
Our main targets here will be Blue-moustached Bee-eater, Capuchin Babbler, Yellow-footed Honeyguide and Forest Scrub Robin.
However, our time will be limited before we set off for Ghana’s premier game viewing park found in the northern region. It is approximately a 5 hour drive from Offinso to Mole National Park (pronounced Mo-lay) and we will be stopping for lunch and several leg stretches en route. We can expect to see different species of birds as we head northwards as the habitat changes to the drier broad leaved guinea woodland and savannah. We will be keeping an eye out for the many raptors we hope to see during our journey which include Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle and Long-crested Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite and Shikra amongst others.
Mole is Ghana’s largest national park, protecting an area of almost 5000 square kilometres of habitat, almost 100 species of mammal and 330+ species of birds. It is one of the best places anywhere in west Africa for general game viewing.
Situated on a 250 metre high escarpment overlooking the park, our accommodation offers breathtaking views. It is an amazing feeling to be sitting around the pool on the hotel terrace with a cold drink in hand watching elephants bathing in the two nearby watering holes. A true highlight of the trip!
After our evening meal, we shall set off for an evening of birding around the Mole airstrip where we hope to see displaying Standard-winged Nightjar. The airstrip is also productive for owls and we will be looking for Greyish Eagle-Owl and Northern White-faced Owl before we retire for the evening.
DAY 11 & 12:
Mole National Park
Mole is a real nature lover’s paradise and we are in for a real treat over the next 2 full days as we immerse ourselves into the exceptional west African birds and mammals found here at Mole National Park.
We will be setting off after breakfast walking and driving deeper into the park. The park is easily the most important non-forest birding site in Ghana. Species we hope to see will include Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Scarlet-chested, Beautiful, Pigmy and Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Lavender and Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Familiar Chat, White-fronted Black Chat, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, Red-headed Quelea, Red-billed, Bar-breasted and Black-bellied Firefinch, Fine-spotted, Grey, Golden-tailed and Brown-backed Woodpecker, Violet-backed, Long-tailed Glossy, Bronze-tailed Glossy, Lesser Blue-eared and Greater Blue-eared Starling, Abyssinian Ground, African Grey and Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Stone Partridge, Double-spurred, White-throated and Ahanta Francolin, Senegal Eremomela, Pin-tailed, Exclamatory Paradise and Togo Paradise Whyda, Bush Petronia, Little, Heuglin’s Masked, Village and Red-headed Weaver, Melodious, Oriole and Willow Warbler, Brubru, Thick-billed, Jacobin, African, Black and Great Spotted Cuckoo, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongo, Northern Puffback, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-faced, Rufous and Dort’s Cisticola, Hadeda Ibis, Marabou, Saddle-billed Stork and Wilson’s Indigobird.
Mammals are in abundance here in Mole (over 90 species have been identified) and we hope to see Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck (defassa subspecies), Ogilby’s Duiker, Oribi, Hippopotamus, Common Warthog, Hartebeest and the beautiful Roan Antelope in addition to getting within a few meters on foot to Africa’s largest land mammal, the African Elephant. Sightings of Spotted Hyaenas are to be expected, but unfortunately sightings of Lion and Leopard are highly unusual, but these carnivores were once more common in the park. However, Olive Baboons, and Green and Patas Monkeys will almost certainly greet us in the bush as we enjoy our morning walks.
During the heat of the midday sun we can enjoy a siesta or relax around the pool after our lunch.
We will set off for afternoon birding around 3pm and stay until after dark for nocturnal species. Birds we hope to see include Yellow-breasted Apalis, Bearded Barbet, Swamp, African Blue, Lead-coloured, Pied and Gambaga Flycatcher, Giant, Shining Blue and Grey-headed Kingfisher, Red-throated Bee-eater, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Senegal Batis, Snowy-crowned and White-crowned Robin-Chat, Flappet and Sun Lark, Sulpher-breasted and Grey-headed Bushshrike, African Golden Oriole, Abyssinian, Blue-bellied, Rufous-crowned and Broad-billed Roller, Black Scimitarbill and Violet Turaco.
Raptors are common here in Mole and we hope to see Martial, Booted, Long-crested and Tawny Eagle, White-backed and White-headed Vulture, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar and Dark Chanting Goshawk, Western Marsh Harrier, African Fish and Wahlberg’s Eagle, Brown and Short-toed Snake Eagle, Osprey and Lanner Falcon to mention a few.
During our time here we obviously have our main target species of difficult birds not easily seen in other parts of the world and these include Forbes’s Plover, Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Spotted Creeper and Rufous-rumped Lark.
Our evening will be spent at our hotel enjoying the atmosphere of being fantastically close to nature.
Mole National Park and Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary
During our final morning’s birding at Mole, we aim to pick up species we have not seen yet and to also get better views of birds we only had glimpses of previously.
Birds we could add before leaving Mole include Woodchat Shrike, Northern Red Bishop, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Senegal Parrot, Black-billed Wood and Vinaceous Dove, Woolly-necked, Saddle-billed and Black Stork, Yellow-throated Leaflove and Red-headed Lovebird to mention a few before we set off to Kumasi, a long drive away in a southerly direction.
The second largest city in Ghana after the capital Accra, Kumasi known as Ghana’s second city. It is alternatively known as “The Garden City” because of its many beautiful species of flowers and plants. Features of the city include Fort Kumasi (built by in 1896 to replace an Asante fort and now a museum) and the Kumasi Hat Museum. Former Leeds United and Ghana national football team footballing legend Tony Yeboah was born in Kumasi in 1966.
Depending on which species we may still require it is possible to revisit the Offinso Forest or alternatively nearby Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary for evening birding when arriving in Kumasi.
Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary and Atewa Range
This morning we have another early start as we head back into the Upper Guinea Rainforest habitat of the Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary where so many of Ghana’s sought after special species are found. Bobiri is a small (55 km2) forest sanctuary close to town that is renowned for its diversity and abundance of butterflies; over 400 species have been identified. It is the only dedicated butterfly sanctuary in west Africa. It is also home to over 100 species of native trees, some of them over 300 years old.
This morning, from a birding perspective, we hope to see Tit and Green Hylia, Magpie Mannakin, Narina’s Trogon, Red-billed Dwarf and Black Dwarf Hornbill, Grey and Brown-necked Parrot, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Black-throated Coucal, Golden-backed Weaver, African Piculet, Red-chested Owlet, Dusky Tit, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-headed and Red-tailed Bristlebill and the much sought after Yellow-footed Honeyguide amongst other species.
We set off after a productive morning heading further south towards Atewa stopping for lunch en route.
After some rest and relaxation we set of for the lower farmland bush at Atewa where we hope to see Black-necked, Maxwell’s Black, Compact and Grosbeak Weaver, Whistling Cisticola, Black-crowned and Marsh Tchagra, Emerald, Klaas’s, Levaillant’s and Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Western Bluebill, Tessmann’s Flycatcher and if we are lucky Baumann’s Greenbul and Bat Hawk before we check into our nearby guesthouse for the evening to relax, reflect and enjoy our evening meal.
Atewa Range and Departure
Atewa Range Forest Reserve, situated on the South Volta escarpment and one of the only higher lying areas in Ghana, is a critically endangered highland upper guinea rainforest and as it protects so many quality and rare species we will dedicate the entire morning birding here.
The 236km2 reserve is listed as a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area in recognition of its unusually rich fauna and very high degree of endemism. Despite its critical nature, the forest is subject to the degrading effects of a range of human activities including substantial threats from artisanal mining and commercial bauxite exploitation, illegal logging, hunting and farm encroachment. As of 2016, there is an ongoing campaign to promote Atewa to national park status.
It is quite a consistent hill walk to get to the top of the range and with this in mind we will take a packed lunch (or decide to have a late lunch) with us to minimise the walking and also maximise our time here.
Target birds here will include Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Blue-moustached Bee-eater, Bioko Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Hobby, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbird, Little Green, Buff-throated, Blue-throated Brown, Olive-bellied and Collared Sunbird, African Goshawk, Red-tailed and Green-tailed Bristlebill, Red-headed and Crested Malimbe, Forest Robin, Little, Little Grey, White-throated, Icterine, Red-tailed, Western Bearded and Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Many-coloured Bushshrike, Western Nicator, Brown Illadopsis and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon.
There are some really special rare species here that are very difficult to see and if we are lucky we may get a glimpse of Red-fronted Antpecker, Nimba Flycatcher, Crowned Eagle, Brown-chested Alethe, Forest Scrub Robin and Lowland Akalat amongst others.
An amazing end to a wonderful tour, as we head back to our guesthouse to pack our bags and freshen up.
We enjoy an early evening meal and final checklist before transferring you to the airport for your departure after a wonderful Ghana birding, wildlife and nature tour.
Do you have a quick question about this birding tour? Speak to a specialist at