Butterfly Tour in Ghana
Our 15-day Butterfly Tour in Ghana offers an exceptional nature experience for our tour participants. This is a slow-paced tour that allows you the time to enjoy the country's forest habitats and fantastic photographic opportunities for both amateurs and professionals. These butterfly tours never disappoint as they blend the perfect mix of nature with the best that Ghana has to offer.
The Upper Guinean Forest Zone, west of the Dahomey Gap, was once a continuous band of rainforest stretching from Ghana to Sierra Leone. However, due to excessive deforestation in the last century, only about 10% of the original forest cover remains. Thankfully, Ghana is one of the few West African countries where the idea of protecting forests came early enough to set up a network of national parks, and some forest reserves also received protection due to a decades-long ban on logging.
Ghana is therefore still well-endowed with rainforest areas, albeit fragmented. Nevertheless, these areas protect more than 950 butterfly species and the country's remaining forests have also conserved their extremely rich biodiversity. There is good access to important and diverse habitats on this butterfly safari, where on a good day a visitor can sometimes see over a hundred species.
This specialist tour aims to introduce enthusiasts to many different forest areas and their butterfly fauna, with exceptional photo opportunities to capture images of many of the species.
Tour Highlights include:
- Atewa Forest Range- we will be looking for the endemic Atewa Dotted Border, Green Orange Forester, True Forester. Shining Red, Charaxes
- Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary- Some special species include; Janetta Themis Forester, Flame-bordered Charaxes, Large Fairy Hairstreak, African Mapwing, Hebes Pink Forester and more
- Kwabena Sam Forest- Square-winged Red Charaxes, Brilliant Nymph, Edward's Forester, Western Yellow-banded Swallowtail are some of the special species to target
- Kakum- We will be looking for African Giant Skipper, Forest Caper White, Gambia Nymph, Large Orange Tip
- Ankasa- Get ready for a very nice view of Veined Swallowtail, Perseis Mimic Forester, Ankasa Sprite, Ghost, Hildebrandt's Charaxes, Simple Liptena
- Finally Aburi Botanical Gardens- target species include Mocker Swallowtail, Coffee Playboy, Western Pearly, Blue Diadem. Gaudy Commodore, Golden Pansy and more
Alternative Tour Name: Ghana Butterfly Tour
Our expert local tour guides will meet with you on your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport Accra, which is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. Look out for the Ashanti African Tours sign when you leave the main terminal building after passing through customs. Make yourself known to your guides who will be accompanying you for the duration of your time in Ghana and they will take care of you from here.
After boarding our vehicle, which will be your mode of transport for the duration of your tour, we transfer you to your accommodation which is approximately a 2 hours’ drive and located near Atewa Forest Range. Once we have checked you in, our experienced guide will offer you Akwaaba (welcome) and brief you on all aspects of your trip. You can enjoy your evening meal at the hotel restaurant whilst acclimatising yourself to West Africa.
Accommodation – Standard New Tafo Hotel
Our first morning with you here in Ghana as we head for arguably Ghana’s premier location for rare endemic butterfly species Atewa Range. We will be dedicating three full days at this excellent location. Atewa, which hosts the unique upland rainforest, one of the most endangered habitats in West Africa is unfortunately threatened itself by mining and illegal logging activities...
The forest of Atewa host the highest richness of butterflies in Ghana, over 50 species are known only from Atewa in the country, including rarities such as Western Mimic Forester (Euphaedra eusemoides) and Moyamba Harlequin (Mimeresia moyambina). Atewa has several common species that are rare everywhere else in Ghana: Green Orange Forester (Euphaedra zampa), Green-spotted Forester (Euphaedra francina) and the Uniform Bush Brown (Bicyclus uniformis) but its highlight is the narrowly endemic Atewa Dotted Border (Mylothris atewa), which is confined to the upland rainforest of the Range...
Again, we break the days with lunch but dedicate most of our time enjoying the splendid variety of species Atewa has to offer. Our evenings will be spent at our nearby guesthouse where we relax and add to our lists.
Accommodation – Standard Tafo Guesthouse
We set off early after breakfast on the morning of day 5 with our destination being the World famous Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary. It is just over a 2 hours’ drive to Bobiri from Atewa so we will still be able to enjoy a full day’s butterfly watching and photography. The sanctuary is now only a 5000-hectare fragment of the once continues dry semi-deciduous rainforest, that covered over a million hectares of land in Ghana. These types of forests have an unbelievably rich mixture of butterflies from the wet forests to guinea savannah. Results of extensive studies in Bobiri estimated the number of butterfly species to exceed 630, quite exceptional considering its size.
The forest is unbelievably rich is Bebearia, Euriphene, Euphaedra and other fruit-feeding butterflies. Charaxes or Pashas are often seen along the main track in the forest and Liptena blues are frequently seen flying slowly near the guesthouse. The bamboo spot always has a good number of mud-puddling butterflies; sometimes clouds of African Nettle-tree Butterflies (Libythea labdaca) and different species of Grass Yellows (Eurema) fly in clouds around the passing visitors.
Two times even the extremely rare Giant African Swallowtail (Papilio antimachus) was observed here. There is accommodation in the heart of the forest at the comfortable guesthouse where we will be enjoying our lunches to maximise our time here in the field, however as the guesthouse only has a generator to produce electricity that is switched off at 22.00pm each night we have the option of staying here or at a comfortable hotel 40 minutes’ drive away.
Accommodation –Standard Kumasi hotel or Guesthouse
We bid farewell to Bobiri after an excellent few days enjoying the diversity and beautiful multicoloured butterflies found here and travel to a new forest location we have discovered with arguably our most diverse number of butterflies with many quality species. We dedicate quality time in this forest with our packed lunch each day to maximise our chance of seeing more of the exceptional butterflies that occur here. Kwabina Sam forest is about 45 minutes’ drive from our
guest house. It is a very good semi degraded rainforest with a lot of open areas which make it a good site for West African butterflies. Our company are very keen to promote this location for which will help in the long-term protection of this forest habitat.
Accommodation – Standard New Edubiase Lodge
Some of the species we hope to see here includes Ashanti Forester (Bebearia ashantina),Brilliant Nymph (Cynandra opis), Grose-smith's Nymph (Euriphene grosesmithi), Atossa Nymph(Euriphene atossa), Sophus Forester (Bebearia sophus), Laetitia's Forester (Bebearia Laetitia), Hebes Pink Forester (Euphaedra hebes), Simple Nymph (Euriphene simplex), Dark Nymph (Euriphene aridatha), Friendly Nymph (Euriphene amicia), Gambia Nymph (Euriphene gambiae), Common Brown Nymph (Euriphene ampedusa), Cutter's Forester (Bebearia cutteri), Common Pink Forester (Euphaedra xypete), Unmarked Pink Forester (Euphaedra diffusa), Crocker's Forester (Euphaedra crockery), Common Orange Forester (Euphaedra ruspina), Perseis Mimic Forester (Euphaedra perseis), Common Blue-Banded Forester (Euphaedra harpalyce), Western Blue-Banded Forester (Euphaedra eupalus), Western Emperor Swallowtail (Papilio horribilis), Western Yellow-Banded Swallowtail (Papilio menestheus), Common white-banded Swallowtail
(Papilio cyproeofila), Common Albatros (Appias Sylvia), Hybrid Spirit (Leptosia hybrid), Dainty Spirit (Leptosia medusa), Paul's pentila (Pentila pauli), Western Red Pentila (Pentila petreoides), Common Red Pentila (Pentila petreia), Peter's Pearly (Eresiomera petersi), Narrow-Margined Yellow (Citrinophila marginalis), Similar Yellow (Citrinophila similis), Large Yellow (Citrinophila Erastus)...
Accommodation –Standard New Edubiase Lodge
Moyamba Epitola (Stempfferia cercene), Western Scalloped Epitola (Stempfferia leonine), Little Epitola (Stempfferia zelza) Royal Sapphire (Lolaus eurisus), Long-Tailed Sapphire (Lolaus timon), Large Fairy Hairstreak (Hypolycaena antifaunus), Black Fairy Hairstreak (Hypolycaema nigra), Shining Red Charaxes (Charaxes zingha), Lesser Blue- Spotted Charaxes (Charaxes etesipe), Small Flame-Bordered Charaxes (Charaxes anticlea), Hildebrandt's Charaxes (Charaxes hildebrandti), Flame-Bordered Charaxes (Charaxes protoclea), Western Red Charaxes (Charaxes Cynthia), Cream-Bordered Charaxes (Charaxes pijasius), Giant Charaxes (Charaxes castor), and White-Barred Charaxes (Charaxes brutus) amongst many other species. After a full morning butterfly watching on day 10 we set off after lunch towards Bunso. Our aim is to arrive in the evening, check into our hotel and relax whilst identifying the many butterfly photos we have been taking.
Accommodation – Standard Tafo Guesthouse
After Breakfast we drive the short distance to Bonsu Arboretum for a full morning dedicated to exploring the area to see a wide variety of Butterflies such as, Hebes pink Forester (Euphaedra hebes) Western Mimic Forester (Euphaedra eusemoides) Edward’s Forester (Euphaedra edwardsii) Ceres Forester (Euphaedra ceres) Purple Giant Epitola (Epitola urania) Yellow Liptena (Liptena xanthostola) Western Pierid Blue (Larinopoda eurema) Scalloped Yellow Glider (Cymothoe fumana) Jodutta Creamy Glider (Cymothoe jodutta) Royal Sapphire (Iolaus eurisus) African Leaf Butterfly (kallimoides rumia) Paul’s Pentila (pentila pauli) and the Karsch’s Dotted Border (Mylothris jaopura). After a full morning here we enjoy our lunch prior to setting off on the journey to the Volta Region of Ghana. On our arrival in the evening we check into our accommodation and relax in preparation for tomorrows activities.
Accommodation – Standard Wli Guesthouse
Over the next 3 days we will be dedicating our time to a different habitat as we focus on the hill tops and drier transitional zone of the forest and savannah woodlands in the Volta Region. Mt Gemi, Mt. Afajato and the Wli falls sanctuary will be our main areas of focus with lots of Lycaenidae, we also hope to see other species that include Volta Swallowtail (Papilio nobicea), Western Craem Pentila (Pentila picena), Ghana Pentila (Pentila phidia), Hewitson’s Cream Pentila (Pentila hewitsonii), Western Fragile Glasswing (Ornipholidotos nympha), Western Pearly (Eresiomera bicolor), Similar Yellow (Citrinophila similis), Large Yellow (Citrinophila Erastus), Warm Sienna Eresima (Eresina pseudofusca), Theodor’s Eresina (Eresina theodori), Lathy’s Liptena (Liptena submacula) Simple Liptena (Liptena simplicial) amongst many other species.
Accommodation – Standard Wli Guesthouse
A few hours dedicated to looking for new species before we set off for Aburi aiming to get there for lunch time. After lunch we can dedicate a few hours to exploring the Aburi Botanical Gardens where we hope to see the Endemic Savannah Dotted Border (Mylothris aburi) African Emigrant Bunso.
Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:
African Giant Swallowtail, Mocker Swallowtail, Veined Swallowtail, Western Emperor, Swallowtail, Broad-banded Green Swallowtail, Western Yellow-banded Swallowtail, Large Stripped Swordtail, Ghost, Large Vagrant, Large Orange Tip, Forest Caper White, Calypso Caper White, Sabine Albatros, African Spirit, Atewa Dotted Border, Karsch’s Dotted Border, African Apefly, Ghana Pentila, Western Pearly, Simple Liptena, Seven-striped Liptena, Scarce Marble, White Acraea, Western Virgin, Royal Sapphire, Large Fairy Hairstreak, Coffee Playboy, African Giant Skipper, Lowland Branded Blue, Forest Pied Pierrot, Brilliant Nymph, African Blue Tiger, Flame-borded Charaxes, Giant Charaxes, Hildebrandt’s Charaxes, Shinning Red Charaxes, Square-winged Red Charaxes, Ussher’s Palla, Gaudy Commodore, Blue Diadem, Western Blue Beauty, Golden Pansy, African Mapwing, Gambia Nymph, True Forester, Janetta Themis Forester, Edward’s Forester, Green Orange Forester, Perseis Mimic Forester, Hebes Pink Forester
What is included?
- Accommodation-This will be pre-determined prior to your booking and will depend on your budget. We offer the choice from High-standard to 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 when 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 and 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 as such 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 are 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 in addition to our services and tour leaders being of the highest standard. In addition to the above we practice 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, 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 with our main aim being 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 offer tours to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Sao Tome and Principe and Ethiopia. If you do not see the visa information on the relevant pages, we are here to help, so 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 and 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 can not 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 or drivers 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 can still not reach them then 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 customized 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 and 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 always available 24/7 during your time touring with us. For our student trips, they will always remain with the group, staying at the same accommodations and are always 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 and drivers 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 have 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, library’s, 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 and 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 have 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 it is important you 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 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.