Birding and Nature Tour in Ghana
This 21-day Ghana Birding and Nature Tour is specifically designed for keen birders seeking to amass a good Ghana bird list, in addition to enjoying the other wildlife that Ghana has to offer.
Twelve of the 15 West African Upper Guinea endemic bird species occur in Ghana. Our expert local tour leaders are of international standard, know all the birds by song/call and, most importantly, where to find them. Early starts, night birding and nature walks off the beaten track are the norm with birdwatching in Ghana, and these nature tours aim to be enjoyable, productive, expertly organised and professionally led. Having 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, aka Yellow-headed Picathartes, and Egyptian Plover, and their expertise ensures an abundance of other species that guarantees that a spectacular trip awaits our tour participants.
The birding safari travels from coastal lagoons, grassland savannah and upper Guinea rainforest, move northwards through the broad-leaved Guinea woodland and finally touches the Sahel savannah plains in the far north. A trip through Ghana offers thorough coverage of all the core west African birding habitats.
This friendly English-speaking country has over 760 bird species and Ashanti’s local tour guides are experts in finding them. Although our main focus is on Ghana birding, the guides will also introduce guests to a variety of other wildlife, taking time to appreciate all there is to see in this welcoming ex-British colony.
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 I such 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, Standard-winged Nightjar are some of the highlights. African Savannah Elephants can be watched bathing in the waterholes during the heat of the day
Would you like to experience some culture in addition to the wonderful African nature and wildlife that is on offer? If so, please have a look at the Ghana Bird Watching and Culture 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 which will be your mode of transport for the duration of your time with us. We 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.
Accommodation - Standard Tema Hotel
Our first morning with you here in Ghana as we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills hoping to see Northern Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat, African Pigmy Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Vielliots 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 Lizzard Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, Green Wood-hoopoe and Stone Partridge to mention a few species on offer here. After a wonderful morning we head for more familiar birding at the Sakamona Lagoon. There are usually an abundance of birds 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 Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood and Common Sandpipers, Collard Pratincole, Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Stint, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco, Grey, Purple, Striated and Black Herons, Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets.
We set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra stopping for lunch on 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, lizard buzzard, blue-spotted wood-dove and black-bellied bustard to mention just a few.
After a wonderful days 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
An early breakfast as we head for the world famous canopy walkway at Kakum National Park which is approximately 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 meters above the forest floor on the canopy walkway, which 7 platforms are large enough to support Telescopes. The 360 km² Kakum National Park protects secondary upper guinea semi-deciduous tropical rainforest and 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 Sharpes Apalis, Browncheeked 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 the beautiful 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 Blackheaded 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, Usshers and Little Grey Flycatchers, Cassins 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, Cassins 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-collard 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 and bar or you could choose to go on a cultural excursion to Cape Coast castle, compliments of Ashanti African Tours.
We re-visit 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 specials. Our evening will be spent at the lodges 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 – 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, Kemps and Grey Longbills, Western Nicator, Western Bluebill, Olive-bellied, Superb and Johanna’s Sunbirds, Coppertailed Glossy and Violet-backed Starlings, Yellow White-eye, Bronze Mannikin, Orangecheeked Waxbill and the more difficult species include Yellow-billed Barbet, Forest Penduline Tit, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle and Ahanta Francolin to mention a few. We then go to a river site for the beautiful White-bibbed (White-throated Blue) Swallow, Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Rock Pratincole, White-headed Lapwing, and if we are lucky which we sometimes are African Finfoot may make an appearance. In the afternoon we will 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, Greyheaded Bristlebill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Robin, Yellow-billed Turaco, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Melancholy Woodpecker, and so many others. Once again we will remain until dark trying for owls and nightjars that we may still need before returning to our accommodation for our meal and checklist.
Accommodation - Standard Jukwa Lodge
This morning we will be concentrating our time on the farmland scrub, forest edge and forest trails at Abrafo a section of forest habitat near to Kakum National Park. Our guides are always focused on getting our clients good views of all species and this morning is no different as we search 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 Hairybreasted Barbets, Frasers and Little-green Sunbirds, Yellowbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Common Fiscal, Spotted Greenbul, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Yellowwhiskered and Red-tailed Greenbuls, White-crested Hornbill, African Harrier Hawk and the more sought after 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 Hornbills. Productivity reduces during the heat of the mid-afternoon, with this in mind 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 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, Doublespurred Francolin, Oriole Warbler, Red-headed Quelea, Black-rumped Waxbill and if we are lucky Yellow-winged Pytillia, Wilsons Indigobird and African Wattled Lapwing. Our next two evenings 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. 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, Usshers and the much sought after Tessmann’s Flycatchers, Square-tailed Sawwing, Grays and Crested Malimbes, Green Crombec, Green and Tit Hylia, African Piculet, Emerald and Yellow-throated Cuckoo’s, 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 Ashanti African Tours 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. The majority of our tour participants inform 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 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 Frasers 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.
Accommodation - Camping
Your guide will be up before first light listening for the unmistakable call of the Nkulengu ail, if he locates this species he will alert the group before breakfast. It’s wonderful actually staying at a birding location and not having to waste time travelling. 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’s, 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 Turaco’s, 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 Hartlaubs 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 which we sometimes are 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 days birding over a cold refreshing drink.
Accommodation - Camping
A final mornings 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 mornings birding we return to our camp to arrange 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 Nightjars before we arrive back at the Rainforest Lodge Hotel for our evening meal and checklist.
Accommodation - Standard Jukwa Lodge
Today is special and it is difficult to focus our minds on anything other than the afternoon visit to the Yellow-headed Picathartes nesting site, however we will have to as we have a full mornings 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 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. Ashanti African Tours are 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 of the benefits of protecting this species and endangered habitat, as such we are currently building an 11 classroom school facility, reception centre and 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 of more birds when visiting the Yellowheaded Picathartes nesting site.
There are around 20 nesting sites in this small forest and we will visit one of the largest colony’s 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, the total experience adds to this mythical bird’s reputation. As 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 sets the atmosphere as we wait for the birds to come back from foraging for snails, frogs and insects during the day.
It is hard to contain your excitement as these legendary prehistoric looking birds hop and jump on the rocks whilst preening themselves just meters 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 life.
Accommodation - Standard Kumasi Hotel
After an early breakfast we set off for 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 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 Pigeons, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Many-coloured, Lagdens and Fiery-breasted Bush-shrikes, Red-thighed and Black Sparrowhawks, Bioko Batis, Green (Guinea) Turaco, Rufous-sided Broadbill and our main targets will be Blue-moustached Bee-eater, Capuchin Babbler, Yellowfooted Honeyguide and Forest Scrub Robin, however our time will be limited so luck will need to be on our side before we set off for Ghana’s premier game viewing park found in the Northern Region. It is approximately a 5 hours’ drive from Offinso to Mole National Park 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. Your guides will be keeping an eye open for the many raptors we hope to see during our journey which include Beaudouins Snake and Long-crested Eagles, Grasshopper Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite and Shikra amongst others. Mole is Ghana’s largest National Park protecting an area of 4847 square kilometres of habitat, almost 100 species of mammal and 330+ species of birds. Situated on a 250 meter high escarpment overlooking this 4840km² park, it offers breathtaking views. It is an amazing feeling to be sitting around the pool on the hotel terrace watching African savannah elephants bathing in the two nearby watering holes which are inhabited by crocodiles. 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 Nightjars. The airstrip is also productive for owls and we will be looking for Grayish Eagle and northern White-faced Scops owls before we retire
for the evening.
Accommodation - Standard Motel
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 this national park, your expert guides know all locations for species we hope to see which will include Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Scarlet-chested, Beautiful, Pigmy and Western Violetbacked Sunbirds, Lavender and Orange-cheeked Waxbills, 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 Woodpeckers, Violet-backed, Long-tailed Glossy, Bronze-tailed Glossy, Lesser Blue-eared and Greater-Blueeared Starlings, Abyssinian Ground, African Grey and Northern Red-billed Hornbills, Stone Partridge, Double-spurred, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Senegal Eremomela, Pintailed, Exclamatory Paradise and Togo Paradise Whyda’s, Bush Petronia, Little, Heuglins Masked, Village and Red-headed Weavers, Melodious and Willow Warblers, Brubru, Thickbilled, Jakobins, African, Black and Great Spotted Cuckoos, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongos, Northern Puffback, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-faces, Rufous and the difficult Dort’s Cisticolas, Hadada Ibis and Wilsons Indigobird.
Mammals are in abundance here in Mole and we hope to see Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, 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. 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, Swamp, African Blue, Lead Coloured, Pied and difficult to see Gambaga Flycatchers, Giant, Shinning Blue and Grey-headed Kingfishers, Red-throated Beeeater, Bruces Green Pigeon, Senegal Batis, Snowy-crowned and White-crowned Robin Chats, Flappet and Sun Larks, Sulpher-breasted and Grey-headed Bush-shrikes, African Golden Oriole, Oriole Warbler, Cinnamon-breasted Rock-bunting, Abyssinian, Blue-bellied, Rufouscrowned and Broad-billed Rollers, Black Scimiterbill, Violet Turaco and raptors are common here in Mole and we hope to see Martial, Booted, Long-crested and Tawny Eagles, Whitebacked, White-headed Vultures, Lizzard Buzzard, Gabar and Dant Chanting Goshawks, Western Marsh Harrier, African Fish and Wahlbergs Eagles, Brown and Short-toed Snake Eagles, 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 Plover, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Spotted Creeper and Rufous-rumped Lark. The species above are only some that can be seen during out time here. Our evenings will be spent at our hotel enjoying the atmosphere of being so close to nature.
Accommodation- Standard Motel
A final mornings birding at Mole where we aim to pick up species still needed 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 Doves, Woolly-necked, Saddle-billed and Black Storks, Yellow-throated Leaflove and Red-headed Lovebird to mention a few before we set off towards Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
We will have the option en-route to Bolgatanga of visiting the nearby Larabanga mud and stick Mosque. Built in traditional Sudanese style and dating from the 14th century the Mosque apparently houses one of the original copies of the Koran. As we continue on our journey the landscape changes from the broad leaved guinea woodland of the Northern Region to more open savannah as we head further northwards. After lunch at a hotel in Tamale capital of the Northern Region of Ghana we continue to the beautiful Tongo Hills where we will be targeting species only found in this unique habitat of natural boulders and inselbergs. Birds we hope to see here include Rock-loving Cisticola, Brown-rumped Bunting, White-crowned Cliff Chat and Fox Kestrel amongst other species possible. After an excellent evenings birding we continue the short journey into Bolgatanga and check into our guesthouse for the evening where we will reflect after our evening meal on another productive day.
Accommodation- Standard Bolgatanga Hotel
Another major highlight today of your time with us here in Ghana as we set off early in the morning for a river location to see the beautiful Egyptian Plover which has recently been made a family of its own. We pay locals in the area to protect and monitor this species to ensure its continued breeding success as locals will destroy the nests and take the eggs. This has also ensured our tour participants have a 100% record of seeing this species during all our tours to this part of Ghana. It’s a beautiful part of Ghana and as you look across the White Volta River you can see Togo and Burkina Faso in the distance. Other species we hope to see during our time here include, Chestnut-bellied and Purple Glossy Starlings, African Mourning Dove, Buffalo Weaver, Zebra Waxbill and if we are lucky Yellow-winged Pytillia amongst other species before we set off back towards our Hotel for our lunch and short siesta. Our afternoon will be dedicated to birding at the Tono Dam close to the border of Burkina Faso where we hope to see Black rumped Waxbill, Little Bee-eater, Senegal, Spotted and Water Thick-knee, White-faced Whistling Duck, Spur-winged Goose, African Wattled and Spurwinged Lapwings, Namaqua Dove, Four-banded Sandgrouse, African Silverbill, Black-bellied and Arabian Bustards and if we are lucky Bronze-winged Courser, Yellow Penduline Tit, Cut-throat Finch, Common Whitethroat and European Turtle Dove amongst others. We return to our hotel to relax for the evening.
Accommodation - Standard Bolgatanga Hotel
Today is mainly dedicated to being a travel day as we retrace our journey back southwards towards Kumasi. Depending on which species we may still require it is possible to revisit the Offinso Forest or alternatively Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary for evening birding when arriving in Kumasi.
Accommodation - Standard Kumasi Resort
An early start as we head back into the Upper Guinea Rainforest habitat where so many of Ghana’s sought after special species are found. This morning we hope to see Tit and Green Hylias, Magpie Mannakin, Narina’s Trogon, Red-billed Dwarf and Black Dwarf Hornbills, 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 the much sought after Yellow-footed Honeyguide amongst other species. White-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, Maxwells Black, Compact and Grosbeak Weavers, Whistling Cisticola, Black-crowned and Marsh Tchagras, Emerald, Klaas’s, Levaillants and Yellowthroated Cuckoos, 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.
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 dedicate the next 2 full days 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 the walking and also maximise our time here. Target birds here will include Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Blue-moustached (Headed) Beeeater, Bioko Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Hobby, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Little Green, Buffthroated, Blue-throated Brown, Olive-bellied and Collard Sunbirds, African Goshawk, Redtailed and Green-tailed Bristlebills, Red-headed and Crested Malimbes, Forest Robin, Little, Little Grey, White-throated, Icterine, Red-tailed, Western-bearded and the upper guinea endemic 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 as we sometimes are we may get a glimpse of Red-fronted Antpecker, Nimba Flycatcher, Crowned Eagle, Brown-chested Alethe, Forest Scrub Robin and Lowland Akalat amongst others. After wonderful days birding on both days we return to our guesthouse for our evening meals and reflect on more quality productive days over a cold drink at the guesthouse restaurant during our checklist.
Accommodation- Standard New Tafo Hotel
Another early start as we set off back towards Atewa Range. This morning we will be concentrating on any possible species in this habitat that you still need for your lists or that you would like better or second views of. We return to our guesthouse for lunch before we set off after a productive morning heading set off for Kalakpa Reserve in the Volta region of Ghana, on our arrival we check into our hotel and if time permits we set off for evening birding at Kalakpa with our main target species being the black-shouldered nightjar and African scops owl.
Accommodation- Standard Ho Hotel
We dedicate the whole day birding at Kalakpa Reserve which protects open savannah and forest species our main targets will be Yellow-throated green and Thick-billed cuckoo’s, Red-cheeked wattle-eye, Puvels illadopsis, Capuchin babbler, Leaflove, Pied-winged swallow and Blue-shouldered robin chat amongst others. We return to our hotel for lunch before heading back to the reserve for night birding after which we return to our hotel for our checklist and dinner.
Accommodation -Standard Ho Hotel
A final morning visit to Kalakpa trying to add more species to our lists before our departure, we return to our hotel for lunch and to re-arrange our bags before setting off for Accra. An amazing end to a wonderful tour as we enjoy an early evening meal and final
checklist on our arrival in Accra. After our meal and final checklist we transfer you to the airport for your departure after a wonderful Ghana birding and wildlife tour.
Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:
Stone Partridge, Vielliot’s Barbet, Greater Honeyguide, Purple Glossy Starling, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Blackcap Babbler, Grey-headed Bristlebill , Guinea Turaco, Oriole Warbler, African Cuckoo Hawk, Cassin’s Hawk Eagle, Black-shoudered Nightjar, Sharpe’s Apalis, White-crested Hornbill, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Black Bee-eater, Kemp’s Longbill, Baumann’s Greenbul, Yellow-billed Barbet, White-bellied Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Crowned Eagle, Red-chested Owlet, Yellow-footed Honeyguide, Red-fronted Antpecker, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-billed Helmetshrike, White-crested Tiger Heron, Blackcap Illadopsis,Nimba Flycatcher, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk , Copper-tailed Glossy Starling, Ahanta Francolin, Afep Pigeon, White-spotted Flufftail, Capuchin Babbler, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Long-crested Eagle, Red-necked Buzzard, Gambaga Flycatcher, Egyptian Plover, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, West African Seedeater, Dorst’s Cisticola, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Fox Kestrel Rufous-rumped Lark
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 email@example.com.
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.