Birdwatching Safari Tour in Ghana
This 16-day Birding Safari Tour in Ghana takes in 12 of the 15 West African Upper Guinea endemic species, making it a must-visit for any birding and nature enthusiast. A Ghana Birding Safari Tour gives you the chance to see 750 different bird species.
With the most developed infrastructure of any West African country, Ghana offers a birding environment that is safe, friendly and hassle-free. Our experienced international standard wildlife guides boast a 100% record of showing visitors the White-necked Rockfowl, also known as the Yellow-headed Picathartes, and the Egyptian Plover. Their expertise ensures an abundance of other species, guaranteeing a spectacular trip for our tour participants.
A trip through Ghana offers thorough coverage of all the core West African birding habitats. Our birding safari travels through coastal lagoons, grassland savannah and Upper Guinea rainforest. We then move northwards through the broad-leaved Guinea woodland and finally touch the Sahel savannah plains in the far north.
This friendly English-speaking country has hundreds of bird species and Ashanti’s local tour guides are experts in finding them. As well as birds, they can introduce you to mammals, butterflies (Ghana has over 1000 species), flora and the culture and history of this welcoming former British colony.
Birding Ghana Safari Tour highlights include:
- Shai Hills - We dedicate some time to look for the White-crowned Cliff Chat, which is special to this place.
- Kakum - A visit to the famous Canopy Walkway in search of Congo Serpent Eagle, Violet-backed Hyliota and Brown Nightjar.
- Ankasa - We spend some time at the forest pools looking for White-bellied Kingfisher and Hartlaub's Duck.
- Bonkro - A visit to the nesting site of Yellow-headed Picathartes is a special treat.
- Mole - Safari drive and birding on foot. White-throated Francolin, Spotted Creeper and Standard-winged Nightjar are some of the highlights. African Savannah Elephants can be watched bathing in the waterholes during the heat of the day.
Are you also a keen photographer? The special Ghana Bird Photography Tour might be just what you are looking for.
Alternative Tour Name: Ghana Birding Tour
You will be met upon your arrival at the Kotoka International airport in Accra Ghana, 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. This will be your mode of transport for the duration of your time with us.
The journey to your hotel is approximately an hour’s drive depending on traffic. It is located near Tema, close to Shai Hills Reserve, where you might glimpse a Black Bee-eater. This is always a favourite during our photographic tours. 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.
Accommodation- Standard Tema Hotel
On your first morning in Ghana we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills.
Birds we hope to see include: Northern Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat, African Pigmy Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Vielliot's and Double-toothed Barbets, White-crowned Cliff Chat, Rock Martin, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Violet Turaco, Senegal Parrot, Senegal Batis, Blue-bellied Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Oriole Warbler, Black-cap and Brown Babblers, Copper and Splendid Sunbirds, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Croaking and Short-winged Cisticolas, African Thrush, Red-necked and Lizard Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, Green Wood-hoopoe and Stone Partridge.
After a wonderful morning, we head for more familiar birding at the Sakamona Lagoon. There is usually an abundance of birds to see here depending on the level of water. Possible sightings include: Black-winged Stilt, Senegal Thick-knee, Common Ringed, Grey and Spur-winged Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood and Common Sandpipers, Collared Pratincole, Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Stint, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco, Grey, Purple, Striated and Black Herons and Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets.
Next we set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra, stopping for lunch en route, before heading to a grassland reserve. Here 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, Lizard Buzzard, Blue-spotted Wood-dove and Black-bellied Bustard to mention just a few.
After a wonderful day of birding we continue to Jukwa and our hotel to relax, reflect and add the many new species to our bird list.
Accommodation- Standard Jukwa Lodge
After an early breakfast, we head for the world-famous canopy walkway at Kakum National Park, which is just 15 minutes’ drive from our lodge. We aim to get to Kakum for first light, enabling us to spend the most critical bird viewing hours 40 metres above the forest floor on the canopy walkway. Seven platforms are large enough to support telescopes, helping us get close to those hard to see canopy species. The 139 square mile (360 km²) Kakum National Park protects secondary Upper Guinea semi-deciduous tropical rainforest - it is a wonderful feeling being so close to the canopy of this beautiful forest.
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, Collared, Johanna’s and Buff-throated Sunbirds, Red-headed and Crested Malimbes, Rosy Bee-eater, White-breasted and Grey-crowned Negrofinch, Red-fronted and African Grey Parrots, Yellowbill, Western Black-headed and Black-winged Orioles, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Splendid Glossy and Forest Chestnut-winged Starlings, Preuss’s Golden-backed and Yellow-mantled Weavers, Green Hylia, Golden, Slender-billed and Little Grey Greenbuls, African Green Pigeon, Yellow-billed Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-throated, Red-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbets, Ussher's and Little Grey Flycatchers, 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, Cassin's Hawk Eagle, European Honey and Red-necked Buzzards. Some of the more difficult but still possible species 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 lodge's grounds, resting in your air-conditioned rooms, around the pool and bar or you could choose to go on a cultural excursion to Cape Coast castle, compliments of Ashanti African Tours.
We revisit the canopy walkway in the evening when our main targets will be the Brown-cheeked, Black and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, Great Blue Turaco, Brown Nightjar and Fraser’s eagle owl amongst other species.
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.
Accommodation- Standard Jukwa Lodge
Another early start as we visit the Antwikwaa section of Kakum National Park, hoping to add some amazing birds to our growing list.
Sightings might include: Little, White-throated, Rosy and Black Bee-eaters, Blue-throated Roller, Piping Hornbill, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, White-spotted Flufftail, Cassin’s Spinetail, Sabine’s Spinetail, Didric Cuckoo, Melancholy and Buff-spotted Woodpeckers, Vieillot’s Black and Black-necked Weavers, Kemp's and Grey Longbills, Western Nicator, Western Bluebill, Olive-bellied, Superb and Johanna’s Sunbirds, Copper-tailed Glossy and Violet-backed Starlings, Yellow White-eye, Bronze Mannikin and Orange-cheeked Waxbill.
More difficult species include Yellow-billed Barbet, Forest Penduline Tit, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle and Ahanta Francolin.
We then go to a river site for the beautiful White-bibbed (White-throated Blue) Swallow, Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Rock Pratincole and White-headed Lapwing. If we are lucky, and we sometimes are, African Finfoot may make an appearance.
In the afternoon we concentrate our attention 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, Melancholy Woodpecker and many others.
Once again we will remain until dark, trying for owls and nightjars, before returning to our accommodation for our meal and checklist.
Accommodation- Standard Jukwa Lodge
This morning we will be concentrating on the farmland scrub, forest edge and forest trails at Abrafo, a section of forest habitat near Kakum National Park. Our guides are always focused on getting our clients good views of all species and today is no different.
We will be searching for: Pale Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Sooty Boubou, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Red-faced and Whistling Cisticolas, Lesser Striped Swallow, Fanti Saw-wing, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Naked-faced and Hairy-breasted Barbets, Fraser's and Little-green Sunbirds, Yellowbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Common Fiscal, Spotted Greenbul, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Yellow-whiskered and Red-tailed Greenbuls, White-crested Hornbill and African Harrier Hawk.
More difficult species include Long-tailed Hawk, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Red-billed and Black Dwarf Hornbills and Congo Serpent Eagle.
After checking out of our hotel, we head for a secondary forest location further west of Cape Coast for evening birding. Our targets here will be more difficult and include Brown Nightjar, Akun and Fraser Eagle-owl, Spot-breasted Ibis and White-crested Tiger Heron, amongst other species. Our evening will be spent at a small guesthouse as we head further west.
Accommodation - Standard Sekondi Guesthouse
An excellent forest 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. One example is the White-spotted Flufftail, a skulking and shy species we see well on the majority of our tours.
Other species we hope to see today include: Olive, Blue-throated Brown and Little Green Sunbirds, Yellow-spotted, Bristle-nosed, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbets, Blue-throated Roller, Western Black-headed and Black-winged Orioles, Buff-spotted and Little Green Woodpeckers, Ussher's and the much sought-after Tessmann’s Flycatchers, Square-tailed Sawwing, Gray's and Crested Malimbes, Green Crombec, Green and Tit Hylia, African Piculet, Emerald and Yellow-throated Cuckoos, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill and Great-blue Turaco.
We check out of our guesthouse after lunch and head 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 nearly two hours of travelling distance to any reasonably good standard accommodation, Ashanti African Tours has 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 also available. We have electricity and a backup generator if needed. The Oriole Warbler is often seen on palm fronds in savannah woodland, entertaining us with its beautiful song. The majority of our tour participants tell us camping here is a major highlight of their tour. If you are not happy to camp please inform us and we will discuss alternative arrangements.
As we arrive in the late afternoon, we settle into our camp before heading out for some early evening birding, where we hope to see Fraser's and Akun Eagle-owls. Your guide will also be looking for the legendary Nkulengu Rail - one of our previous tour participants was the first person ever to get a picture of this species during one of our tours in 2011. Our evening will be spent at our camp enjoying the atmosphere of being at one with nature.
Your guide will be up before first light listening for the unmistakeable call of the Nkulengu Rail. If he locates this species he will alert the group before breakfast. It’s wonderful to actually stay at a birding location and not have to waste time travelling.
We venture deeper into this lush forest with our main targets being the Upper Guinea endemics Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Rufous-winged Illadopsis and Green-tailed Bristlebill. We might also see Ansorge’s, Icterine, Red-tailed and Western-bearded Greenbuls, Pale-breasted and Blackcap Illadopsis, Forest Robin, White-tailed Ant Thrush, White-tailed Alethe, Shinning 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 Turacos, Black-capped Apalis, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Tiny Sunbird and Red-fronted Antpecker.
As we walk towards the watering holes located deeper inside the forest, we hope to see Crested Guineafowl on the road. Our target birds will include Hartlaub's Duck, Dwarf Bittern, African Finfoot, Shining Blue, White-bellied, Blue-breasted and Dwarf Kingfishers.
Forest raptors are always welcome and we hope to see Long-tailed Hawk and Congo Serpent Eagle. We will scan the sky for Crown Eagle, Square-tailed and Fanti Saw-wings, Black and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, in addition to Black Dwarf and Piping Hornbills. 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.
On our final morning 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 arrange our bags and enjoy lunch before heading back towards Kakum National Park.
During the 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 visit to Brenu Akyinim and the coastal savannah plains should give us some different species.
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 and Black-rumped Waxbill. If we are lucky, we may see Yellow-winged Pytillia, Wilson's Indigobird and African Wattled Lapwing. We continue back towards Jukwa and return to our hotel of a few nights earlier to relax and reflect on another great day's birding.
Accommodation- Standard Jukwa Lodge
Today is very special as we visit the Yellow-headed Picathartes nesting site in the afternoon. However, before that 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 look for species we may still wish to see in this habitat. Then we head 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 Yellow-headed Picathartes are in forest reserves and not protected areas. This location has more nesting sites than any other in Ghana and we are proud to be actively involved in protecting this habitat from illegal hunting and logging activities.
Our tour leaders are West Africa's finest and highly experienced in leading photographic tours. Ashanti African Tours is currently sponsoring 24 community forest committee members from the surrounding villages to patrol and stop illegal hunting and logging activities. It is imperative we show the local surrounding communities the benefits of protecting this species and endangered habitat.
To do this, we are currently building an 11 classroom school facility and reception centre. Future plans include accommodation for nature lovers with all proceeds going directly to a community fund. There has been a dramatic reduction in tree felling and our groups seem to be enjoying better views than ever when visiting the Yellow-headed Picathartes nesting site.
There are around 20 nesting sites in this small forest and we will visit one of the largest colonies, which has approximately 30 nests. As we walk through this beautiful forest, you can see why it is one of the most sought-after species in the world - the total experience adds to this mythical bird’s reputation.
When we arrive at the nesting site we need to be very quiet as we take our seats on bamboo benches we have purposely made for your comfort. The overhanging rock face and small cave with mud nests set the scene as we wait for the birds to come back from foraging for snails, frogs and insects. It is hard to contain your excitement as these legendary prehistoric-looking birds hop and jump on the rocks whilst preening themselves just metres from our eyes. No telescope required!
Once we have enjoyed some good views we leave the birds in peace and 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.
Accommodation- Standard Kumasi Hotel
After an early breakfast, we set off towards Mole National Park. Now we can expect to see different bird species as we head northwards and the habitat changes to drier, broad-leaved Guinea woodland and savannah. Your guides will be keeping an eye open for raptors including Beaudouin's Snake and Long-crested Eagles, Grasshopper Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite and Shikra.
After stopping for lunch, we continue our journey and make a detour to see the beautiful Egyptian Plover, found along the White Volta River. Due to the importance of this species - which has recently been placed in a family of its own - we dedicate quality time enjoying and photographing it in flight and walking along the sandy banks of the river.
We will keep an eye out for any other species that may appear before setting off on our final leg to Mole, Ghana’s premier game viewing park located in the Northern Region. It is approximately a two hour drive from the Egyptian Plover site to Mole National Park.
At 1,871 square miles (4,847 square kilometres), Mole is Ghana’s largest National Park - it protects almost 100 species of mammal and more than 330 species of birds. Situated on a 250m (820ft) high escarpment overlooking the park, it offers breathtaking views. Here you can sit around the pool on the hotel terrace watching African savannah elephants bathing in two nearby watering holes, which are also inhabited by crocodiles.
After our evening meal, we set off for an evening of birding around the Mole Airstrip, where we hope to see displaying Standard-winged Nightjars. The airstrip is also a good spot for owls and we will look for Greyish Eagle-owl and Northern White-faced Scops owl before we retire for the evening.
Accommodation - Standard Motel
Mole National Park is a real nature lover’s paradise and we are in for a real treat over the next two full days as we search for some exceptional West African birds and mammals found here. We set off after breakfast, walking and driving deeper into this National Park.
Your expert guides know all locations for species we hope to see such as: Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Sunbirds (Scarlet-chested, Beautiful, Pigmy and Western Violet-backed), Waxbills (Lavender and Orange-cheeked), Familiar Chat, White-fronted Black Chat, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Red-headed Quelea, Firefinches (Red-billed, Bar-breasted and Black-bellied), Woodpeckers (Fine-spotted, Grey, Golden-tailed and Brown-backed), Starlings (Violet-backed, Long-tailed Glossy, Bronze-tailed Glossy, Lesser Blue-eared and Greater blue-eared), Hornbills (Abyssinian Ground, African Grey and Northern Red-billed), Stone Partridge, Francolins (Double-spurred, White-throated and Ahanta) and Senegal Eremomela.
Other species we might see include: Whydas (Exclamatory Paradise and Togo Paradise), Bush Petronia, Weavers (Little, Heuglin's Masked, Village and Red-headed), Warblers (Melodious and Willow), Brubru, Cuckoos (Thick-billed, Jacobin, African, Black and Great-spotted), Drongos (Fork-tailed and Square-tailed), Northern Puffback, White-shouldered Black Tit, Cisticolas (Red-faced, Rufous and the difficult Dort’s), Hadada Ibis and Wilson's Indigobird.
We have a 100% record of seeing Egyptian Plover, which has recently been made a family of its own.
Mammals are also in abundance here in Mole. We hope to see Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Hartebeest and the beautiful Roan Antelope in addition to getting within a few metres on foot to Africa’s largest land mammal: the African Elephant. Green Vervet and Patas Monkeys will 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 set off for afternoon birding around 3pm and stay after dark for nocturnal species. Birds we hope to see include: Yellow-breasted Apalis, Bearded Barbet, Flycatchers (Swamp, African Blue, Lead-coloured, Pied and difficult to see Gambaga) and Kingfishers (Giant, Shining Blue and Grey-headed).
Other highlights could include: Red-throated Bee-eater, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Senegal Batis, Robin Chats (Snowy-crowned and White-crowned), Larks (Flappet and Sun), Bushshrikes (Sulphur-breasted and Grey-headed), African Golden Oriole, Oriole Warbler, Cinnamon-breasted Rock-bunting, Rollers (Abyssinian, Blue-bellied, Rufous-crowned and Broad-billed), Black Scimitarbill and Violet Turaco.
Raptors are common here in Mole and we hope to see Eagles (Martial, Booted, Long-crested, Tawny, African Fish and Wahlberg's), Vultures (White-backed and White-headed), Lizard Buzzard, Goshawks (Gabar and Dark Chanting), Western Marsh Harrier, Snake Eagles (Brown and Short-toed), Osprey and Lanner Falcon.
During our time here we obviously have our main target species of birds not easily seen in other parts of the world and these include Pel’s Fishing Owl, Spotted Creeper, Rufous-rumped Lark and Forbes's Plover - this is a species we rarely miss and is always one of the priority birds for our tour participants.
The species above are only some that can be seen during our time here. Our evenings will be spent at our hotel, enjoying being so close to nature.
Accommodation - Standard Motel
Today we enjoy a final morning's birding at Mole, where we aim to spot some new species and get better views of birds we only caught 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, Doves (Black-billed Wood and Vinaceous), Storks (Woolly-necked, Saddle-billed and Black), Yellow-throated Leaflove and Red-headed Lovebird.
Then, we return southwards towards Kumasi. Depending on which species we may still require, it is possible to revisit the Offinso Forest or Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary for some evening birding once we arrive in Kumasi.
Accommodation - Standard Kumasi Resort
We make an early start today and head back into the Upper Guinea Rainforest habitat, where so many of Ghana’s sought-after species are found.
This morning we hope to see: Tit and Green Hylias, Magpie Mannakin, Hornbills (Narina’s Trogon, Red-billed Dwarf and Black Dwarf), African Grey and Brown-necked Parrots, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, 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 Bristlebills and Yellow-footed Honeyguide, amongst other species.
After a productive morning, we head further south towards Atewa - stopping for lunch en-route - to the lower farmland bush at Atewa. Here we hope to see: Weavers (Black-necked, Maxwell's Black, Compact and Grosbeak), Whistling Cisticola, Black-crowned and Marsh Tchagras, Cuckoos (Emerald, Klaas’s, Levaillant's and Yellow-throated), Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Western Bluebill and Tessmann’s Flycatcher.
If we are lucky, we might also spot Baumann’s Greenbul and Bat Hawk before we check into our nearby guesthouse for the evening to relax, reflect and enjoy our evening meal.
Accommodation - Standard New Tafo Hotel
Atewa is critically endangered highland Upper Guinea rainforest and as it protects so many quality and rare species we will spend a full day's birding here. 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 with us to minimise walking and maximise our time.
Target birds here will include: Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Blue-moustached (Headed) Bee-eater, Bioko Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Hobby, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Tinkerbirds (Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped and Speckled), Sunbirds (Little Green, Buff-throated, Blue-throated Brown, Olive-bellied and Collared), African Goshawk, Red-tailed and Green-tailed Bristlebills, Red-headed and Crested Malimbes, Forest Robin, Greenbuls (Little, Little Grey, White-throated, Icterine, Red-tailed, Western-bearded and the Upper Guinea endemic Yellow-bearded), Many-coloured Bushshrike, Western Nicator, Brown Illadopsis and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon.
There are also some rare species here that are very difficult to see and with luck we may get a glimpse of Red-fronted Antpecker, Nimba Flycatcher, Crowned Eagle, Brown-chested Alethe, Forest Scrub Robin and Lowland Akalat.
After a wonderful day's birding we return to our guesthouse to enjoy our evening meal and reflect over a cold drink at the guesthouse restaurant, adding to our checklist.
Accommodation - Standard New Tafo Hotel
It's another early start today as we set off back to the Atewa Range, aiming to find species we still need or would like better views of. We will dedicate a full morning to this forest habitat, which protects many rare species. We return to our hotel to have lunch, freshen up and pack our bags before setting off for Accra.
Here we enjoy an early evening meal and make final additions to our checklist. Then, we transfer you to the airport for your departure, completing your wonderful Ghana birding and wildlife tour.
Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:
Chestnut Owlet, White-crowned Cliff Chat, Blue-bellied Roller, Flappet Lark, Double-toothed Barbet, Freckled Nightjar, Violet Turaco, African Hobby, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Bronze-tailed Starling, Congo Serpent Eagle, Brown Nightjar, Black-casqued Hornbill, Violet-backed Hyliota, Tit-hylia, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Rosy Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Forest Wood-hoopoe, Hartlaub’s Duck, African Pygmy Goose, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Allen’s Gallinule, Nkulengu Rail, Akun Eagle Owl, Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Forest Robin, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Long-tailed Hawk, Yellow-headed Picathartes, Red-chested Goshawk, Black Spinetail, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle, Latham’s Forest Francolin, Fraser’s Eagle Owl, Tessmann’s Flycatcher, Western Bearded Greenbul, Spotted Creeper, Standard-winged Nightjar, Greyish Eagle Owl, Black Scimitarbill, White-fronted Black Chat, Beaudoiun’s Snake Eagle, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Forbes’s Plover, Red-winged Pytilia and Northern White-faced Owl.
What is included?
- Accommodation - This will be pre-determined prior to your booking and will depend on your budget. We offer a choice of high-standard, mid-range and budget options for all our tours. Our standard small group set departure scheduled tours will use mid-range accommodation. Our day tours do not include accommodation - we will collect and drop you at a pre-arranged location.
- Food - Our high-standard and mid-range tours all include breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition we have fruit available on all our vehicles. Our budget tours are on a bed and breakfast basis and do not include lunch and dinner within the tour price. Our day tours include lunch only.
- Mineral water - Unlimited mineral water is available to every participant for the duration of your time with us on all our tours.
- Transportation - In a fully air-conditioned vehicle for the duration of your tour. Vehicle type will depend on the group size and all our vehicles are comprehensively insured. Our budget tours use well maintained and comprehensively insured non-air-conditioned vehicles.
- Driver - All our drivers are highly experienced and employed on a full-time basis by our company - their focus is on your safety and comfort. On the occasions we may need to rent vehicles and drivers from outside our company, these are well known to us and are of the highest quality with your safety and comfort as their priority.
- Fuel - All fuel is included in the tour price.
- Entrance fees - All entrance and excursion fees are included in the tour price for our high standards and mid-range tours. Our budget tours do not include entrance and excursion fees - you would need to pay these at the various sites directly if you book onto one of our budget tours.
- Guide fees - All guide fees are included in the price for all our tours. In addition, we tip site guides and hotel staff at all the locations and accommodations we use and visit.
- Additional services - Our company offers 24/7 professional care, attention and office support to all our clients.
What is not included?
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Soft and alcoholic drinks
There are always other options when travelling, however we are currently the only expert birding and wildlife tour company operating legally here in Ghana. Ashanti African Tours is registered with the Ghana Tourism Authority (a legal requirement). Our operating licence number is T-04/CR/16, our company and vehicles are comprehensively insured, our guides are registered and our services and tour leaders are of the highest standard. In addition to the above, we practise ethical and responsible travel which can be seen through our conservation and community development projects. We were also proudly awarded “Tour Operator of the Year 2014 and 2016” by the Ghana Tourism Authority to go alongside our current “West African Tour Operator of the Year Award”.
This will be subject to availability when booking your tour - all of our bird guides are the finest in the country with years of experience in leading highly productive, enjoyable quality birding and nature tours of Ghana. When booking a tour with Ashanti you get more than just a local guide. All are of an international standard and know the birds by song and call and where to find them. Our birding team is constantly in the field leading tours and conducting research here. Our main aim is to give our guests the ultimate West African bird watching experience. No one knows Ghana’s birds and where to find them better than us. That’s why over 90% of the largest birding tour companies in the world use our services.
Most countries in West Africa require visas for entry, and this will ultimately depend on your country of origin and your chosen destination. Once you have decided on your preferred holiday destination, go to the destination page for that country on our website and you will find all the entry requirements and visa information for that specific country in the Travel Tips section at the bottom of the page. Ashanti African Tours offers tours to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Sao Tome and Principe and Ethiopia. We are here to help, so if you do not see the visa information on the relevant pages please get in touch via the Enquiry Form on Blue Sky Wildlife.
All countries we travel to in West Africa require Yellow Fever vaccination and you must ensure you keep the certificate with your passport when entering the country, as this may be requested for inspection. For up to date information on all other vaccinations you may need, please consult your doctor, travel clinic or public health department six to eight weeks prior to departure for extensive up to date information on foreign travel to West Africa.
If you are on any medication for your personal wellbeing, then please ensure you keep this in your hand luggage prior to travel in case your main luggage is delayed. Malaria is prevalent in West Africa and you will need to take preventative malaria treatment. There are several prophylactics available so please consult your doctor or travel clinic to see which one is best for you. Imodium or similar medication is always advisable to have with you when travelling in case you experience traveller tummy, which is common when travelling to places with a different climate. Pharmacies are common in most locations here in West Africa and your guide is always available to assist you if you need to visit a pharmacy. Please be open and discuss any issues you have with your guide.
You must ensure that you have adequate personal insurance cover for your trip. It is a compulsory requirement for all our trips in Senegal and other African destinations and it is your responsibility to take out a suitable policy. You will not officially join our tours until evidence of your insurance has been provided to our office. This must include personal accident, medical expenses, and repatriation to your country of origin. We also strongly recommend that your policy covers cancellation (especially significant since the Covid-19 pandemic), curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please note that free insurance cover offered by some credit cards does not cover repatriation expenses.
Prior to your arrival, our office will provide you with a photo of your guide and driver in addition to their personal mobile/cell phone number in case you cannot locate them at the airport. The guide and driver assigned to your tour will also be holding an Ashanti African Tours sign or a sign with your name on it at the arrival hall when leaving the main building after clearing customs and immigration. Please ensure you check your guide's or driver's company identification card when meeting them prior to joining our vehicle. Airports can be busy and some people can be disorientated when arriving in an unusual country so in the rare instance you cannot locate your driver or guide, please wait at the arrival hall and call their phone number which our office provided you. In the unlikely event you still cannot reach them, call our office 24/7 emergency number and we will ensure they locate where you are in the airport.
The amount of spending money you will need is determined by the type of tour you have booked with us. Most of our standard scheduled and customised tours are all-inclusive, so you only need to budget for the following: snacks, soft (not mineral water as this is always included) and alcoholic drinks and items of a personal nature. If you have booked a budget tour, then some aspects of the tour may not be included in the tour price. You will receive this information during your enquiry process.
Access to Automated Teller Machines varies greatly depending on the country, city, or town you are in and it is common for machines to have technical problems disbursing money. It is advisable to withdraw your spending money in the capital city of your chosen destination on your arrival. Alternatively, your guide can arrange for money to be changed at local Forex Bureaus and banks during your trip.
Our drivers and guides are available 24/7 during your time touring with us. On our student trips, they will always remain with the group, stay at the same accommodations and always be on hand in case of an emergency. On our standard tours, the guide and driver are with you for as long as you need them. Sometimes they stay at the same accommodations - when this is not possible they stay at a nearby accommodation but are always available if needed. You will be provided with your guide's and driver's personal contact number and our clients are always given a 24/7 emergency contact number.
All our company drivers, assistants and expert local guides are employed on full-time contracts with Ashanti African Tours and receive a good salary and, in addition, a daily bonus when on tour. Ashanti African Tours also has a company policy to tip all local site guides and hotel staff. Therefore, if any of our clients would like to tip any of our guides, site guides, drivers, or staff at hotels we use, it is at the client's own discretion.
It is common for our tour participants to want to bring donations for schools, hospitals, libraries and other organisations that are in need here in West Africa. This is very much appreciated; however, we do not encourage giving out pens, books and other items directly as these are often taken off their intended recipient by bigger or older people. This also breeds a begging culture in locations we visit. To ensure the donations go to their intended recipients, our office will identify schools, communities and organisations in need and we will arrange for you to hand them over to a representative or person in charge. This ensures the item and donation goes to those in most need of help. Ashanti African Tours has also registered our own NGO charity “Rainforest Rescue Ghana” which builds schools, helps local communities, youth and protects rainforest and endangered wildlife in Ghana. To date (2020) we have donated over $135,000.00 USD from our company profits to our projects. If you would like more information on our projects please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to use your phone and number registered to your home country when in West Africa, you must inform your service provider and arrange international roaming. You will then be able to connect to local networks, however please be aware this can be an expensive way to use data and make calls. It is possible for our office and your guide to arrange a local sim for your phone for you to use during your time here. For this to work, please ensure your phone is not locked to a network in your own country. The local sim would need to be registered, but this would be a cheaper way for you to call and use the internet. Alternatively, use WhatsApp when connected via WiFi.
Due to the wide variety of tours we offer, this information will be forwarded upon confirmation of your booking in your pre-trip information pack.
Birds of Ghana by Nik Borrow and Ron Demy, published by Helm Field Guides.