Put an end to the frustrations many photographers feel when joining standard birding tours by joining one of our expertly-led photographic tours. Our local expert leaders will focus only on getting you that perfect picture, dedicating quality time to the species you want to photograph. Our highly experienced team can design tailored tours around your target bird and mammal species or alternatively join one of our small group scheduled photographic tours.
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- Alexis Hotel (Tema)
Over the next 3 full days we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills in the mornings and evenings dedicating full days in this habitat hoping to photograph your following target species, Violet and Guinea (Green) Turacos, Blue-bellied Roller, Senegal Parrot, Senegal Batis, Stone Partridge, Red-headed Lovebird, Rosy Bee-eater and Double-toothed Barbet. There are several other species also possible here to be photographed and they include Northern Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat, African Pigmy Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker, Vielliots Barbet, White-crowned Cliff Chat, Rock Martin, Redshouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Oriole Warbler, Black-cap and Brown Babblers, Copper and Splendid Sunbirds, White-crested Helmet-shrike, Croaking and Shortwinged Cisticolas, African Thrush, Red-necked and Lizzard Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, and Green Wood-hoopoe to mention a few species on offer here. If you decide to stay after dark to photograph by spot light we can look for Long-tailed, Blackshouldered, Plain, Freckled and Swamp Nightjars in addition to African Scops Owl and African Barred Owlet. Our evenings will be spent at our hotel charging our equipment and going through are images in addition to enjoying our evening meal. Accommodation- Alexis Hotel (Tema)
An early breakfast as we set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra stopping for lunch on route. We will stop at a grassland habitat where, we hope to find one of your target species to photograph the Yellow-mantled Widowbird. This species will be our main target however this area also offers opportunities to photograph splendid and copper sunbirds, red-winged warbler, black- necked weaver, black-crowned tchagra, black-shouldered and yellow-billed kites, western grey plantain-eater, grey kestrel, lizard buzzard and blue-spotted wood-dove to mention just a few. On our arrival in Jukwa which is approximately a 15 minute drive from Kakum National Park we check into our hotel to relax, reflect and discuss the following day’s activities with the group. Accommodation - Rainforest Lodge Hotel (Jukwa)
Early starts over the next 3 full days as we visit different sections of Kakum National Park and the surrounding habitat focusing our time on finding and photographing your target species which include Rosy and Black Bee-eaters, Orange Weaver, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Yellow-billed Turaco, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Blue-throated Roller, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Grey Parrot, Frasers Eagle Owl, Tit Hylia, Tiny Sunbird, African Piculet and Rufous-sided Broadbill. Other species that are possible to photograph in this area include Little and White-throated Bee-eaters, 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, Buff-throated, Superb and Johanna’s Sunbirds, Copper-tailed Glossy and Violet-backed Starlings, Yellow White-eye, Bronze Mannikin, Orange-cheeked Waxbill and the more difficult species include Yellow-billed Barbet, Forest Penduline Tit, Ayre’s Hawk Eagle and Ahanta Francolin to mention a few. On one of the days we can choose to visit a river site to photograph 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. Other species that are found in this habitat on forest trails not ideal for photography include White-tailed Alethe, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Robin, Fire-bellied and Melancholy Woodpecker to mention a few. Once again there will be options to stay after dark and photograph using spot lights and if we choose to do this we will look for Frasers and Akun Eagle Owls, Brown and Long-tailed Nightjars. Accommodation- Rainforest Lodge Hotel (Jukwa)
This morning we will be concentrating our time on photographing any target species we need better images of before we set off to Ankasa Reserve after lunch. Ankasa is the only location to find several of our main target species here in Ghana and during our journey to Ankasa we stop to photograph one of your targets the Orange Weaver. Our destination is Ankasa Reserve, Ghana’s only wet evergreen rainforest that is in near pristine condition. An exceptional forest in a remote location Ankasa protects many rare and sought after bird and mammal species. Due to the remote location and near 2 hour travelling distance to any reasonably good standard accommodation we will stay at a local guesthouse about a 5 minutes’ drive from the park entrance. The guesthouse has electricity, bedrooms with ceiling fans and private bathrooms so is adequate during our time here. As we arrive in the late afternoon we settle into our guesthouse before heading out for early evening birding where we hope to photograph Fraser 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 photo of this species during one of our tours in 2011. Our evening will be spent at our guesthouse enjoying the atmosphere of being at one with nature. Accommodation - Frenchmans Guesthouse (Ankasa)
Over the next 2 full days, we will focus on photographing your target species that occur in this virgin forest that include Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Black Bee-eater, Yellow-billed Turaco, Tiny Sunbird, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Crowned Eagle and if we are very lucky White-breasted Guineafowl. Quality time will be dedicated at the 3 forest pools where we find Hartlaub’s Duck, African Finfoot, White-bellied and Shining Blue Kingfisher, Dwarf Bittern and Red-chested Owlet. Ankasa is Ghana’s only wet evergreen forest and it has many forest trails, more difficult to photograph quality species found on the forest trails include 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, Great Blue Turaco, Black-capped Apalis, Grey-headed Bristlebill, and Red-fronted Antpecker. As we walk towards the watering holes located deeper inside the forest we hope to photograph Crested Guineafowl on the road. Forest raptors are always welcome and we hope to have the opportunity to photograph Long-tailed Hawk and Congo Serpent Eagle. We will scan the sky for Crowned 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 be able to photograph White-crested Tiger Heron, Grey-throated Rail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Forest Scrub Robin and Akun Eagle Owl. Our evenings will be spent at our basic guesthouse enjoying good food, charging our equipment and discussing our photos over a cold refreshing drink. Accommodation- Frenchmans Guesthouse (Ankasa)
A final morning photographing species we still need from this wonderful location, we will be targeting species we may have missed or would like to get better photos of. After a full morning, we return to our guesthouse to arrange our bags and enjoy our lunch before we head back towards Kakum National Park. During our journey we will be photographing 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 to photograph Yellow-mantled Widowbird is a must as we pass this coastal savannah location during our journey. Other species found here that we may have the opportunity to photograph include Marsh Tchagra, Compact Weaver, Double-spurred Francolin, Oriole Warbler, Red-headed Quelea, Black-rumped Waxbill and if we are lucky Yellow-winged Pytillia, Wilsons Indigobird and African Wattled Lapwing. Greyish Eagle Owls are also present if we wish to stay after dark. After a few hours trying to get that perfectshot, we arrive back at the Rainforest Lodge Hotel for our evening meal. Accommodation- Rainforest Lodge Hotel (Jukwa)
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. As we wish to get to the forest early to set up aiming for the best images possible we set off after an early breakfast heading northwards stopping to check into our hotel and enjoy our lunch en-route. We continue north an additional 45 minutes’ drive 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 8 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 good photos we leave the birds in peace as we set off back through the forest to our vehicle. We return to our guesthouse for the evening to recharge our equipment and go through our images over dinner. The following day we focus on the surrounding forest habitat of the Picathartes in the morning looking to photograph our target species. After lunch we return to the Picathartes nesting site
for another opportunity to photograph this mythical species before setting off to Kumasi in the evening of day 15.
Accommodation - New Guesthouse (Assin Manso)
After an early breakfast, we set off for Ghana’s premier game viewing park found in the Northern Region. It is approximately a 7 hours’ drive from Kumasi to Mole National Park and we will be stopping for lunch and several leg stretches en-route. We can expect to photograph 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 345+ 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 photography around the Mole Airstrip where we hope to photograph 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 - Mole Motel (Mole National Park)
Mole is a real nature lover’s paradise and we are in for a real treat over the next 3 full days as we immerse ourselves into the exceptional West African birds and mammals found here at Mole National Park. We will be set off after breakfast driving deeper into this national park, your expert guides know all locations for species we hope to see from your target list which will include Blue-bellied Roller, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eater, Violet Turaco, Senegal Parrot, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Spotted Creeper, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Stone Partridge and Red-headed Lovebird. Our guides will search for the Pel’s Fishing Owl but this species can be difficult. Other species here possible to photograph that are not on your target lists include Woodchat Shrike, Northern Red Bishop, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Black-billed Wood and Vinaceous Doves, Woolly-necked, Saddle-billed and Black Storks, Yellow-throated Leaflove and Red-headed Lovebird Forbes’s Plover, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Scarlet-chested, Beautiful, Pigmy and Western Violet-backed 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-Blue-eared Starlings, African Grey and Northern Red-billed Hornbills, Double-spurred, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Senegal Eremomela, Pin-tailed, Exclamatory Paradise and Togo Paradise Whyda’s, Bush Petronia, Little, Heuglins Masked, Village and Red-headed Weavers, Melodious and Willow Warblers, Brubru, Thick-billed, Jakobins, African, Black and Great Spotted Cuckoos, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongos, Northern Puffback, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-faced, Rufous and the difficult Dort’s Cisticolas, Hadada Ibis and Wilsons Indigobird. Mammals are in abundance here in Mole and we hope to photograph 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. 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 photography around 3pm and stay after dark for nocturnal species. Other birds possible to photograph here 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, 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, Rufous-crowned and Broad-billed Rollers, Black Scimiterbill and raptors are common here in Mole and we hope to see Martial, Booted, Long-crested and Tawny Eagles, Bateleur, White-backed, White-headed Vultures, Lizzard Buzzard, Gabar and Dark Chanting Goshawks, Western Marsh Harrier, African Fish and Wahlbergs Eagles, Brown and Short-toed Snake Eagles, Osprey and Lanner Falcon to mention a few. Our evenings will be spent at our hotel enjoying the atmosphere of being so close to nature. Accommodation- Mole Motel (Mole National Park)
A final morning photographing species we have missed or would like better images of before leaving Mole National Park and setting off towards Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region ofGhana. 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 photograph include Rock-loving Cisticola, Brownrumped Bunting, White-crowned Cliff Chat and Fox Kestrel amongst other species possible. After an excellent evening of photography 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- Premier Hotel (Bolgatanga)
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 photograph the beautiful Egyptian Plover which has recently been placed in 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 possible to photograph during our time here include Black-headed Lapwing, 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 a short siesta. Our afternoon will be dedicated to photography at the Tono Dam close to the border of Burkina Faso where we hope to photograph your following target species Four-banded Sandgrouse, Cut-throat Finch and Northern-carmine Bee-eater. Other species possible to photograph include Black-rumped Waxbill, Little Bee-eater, Senegal, Spotted and Water Thick-knee, White-faced Whistling Duck, Spur-winged Goose, African Wattled and Spur-winged Lapwings, Namaqua Dove, African Silverbill, Black-bellied and Arabian Bustards and if we are lucky Bronze-winged Courser, Yellow Penduline Tit, Common Whitethroat and European Turtle Dove amongst others. We return to our hotel to relax for the evening. Accommodation - Premier Hotel (Bolgatanga)
We set off from our hotel early after breakfast making the 3 hour journey to Tamale to catch our early morning flight back to Accra. This will save us a couple of day’s drive time and enable us to dedicate a few days at Atewa Range. On arrival in Accra we enjoy our lunch and then transfer the 2 hours’ drive to our guesthouse near to Atewa. If time permits after we check in we enjoy an afternoon visit to the lower farmland bush at Atewa where we may have the opportunity to photograph some of the following species Black-bellied Seedcracker, Blacknecked, Maxwells Black, Compact and Grosbeak Weavers, Whistling Cisticola, Blackcrowned and Marsh Tchagras, Emerald, Klaas’s, Levaillants and Yellow-throated Cuckoos, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Western Bluebill, Tessmann’s Flycatcher and if we are lucky Baumann’s Greenbul and Bat Hawk before we return to our guesthouse for the evening to relax, recharge our equipment, go through our photos and enjoy our evening meal. Accommodation- Nelsban Palace Hotel (Tafo)
Atewa is critically endangered highland upper guinea rainforest and as it protects so many quality and rare species which include the Blue-moustached Bee-eater one of your main target species. It is a steep climb to the top of the range so we will provide assistants to carry your equipment as we will dedicate the entire 2 full days photographing 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 both days to minimise the walking and also maximise our time here. Target birds to photograph here will include Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Blue-moustached Bee-eater, CrownedEagle, Rosy Bee-eater, Yellow-billed and guinea (Green) Turaco, Many-coloured Bushshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Tiny Sunbird, Red-chested Owlet and Fraser and Akun Eagle Owls. Other species it may be possible to photograph that are found at Atewa but not on your target list include Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Bioko Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African hobby, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped and SpeckledTinkerbirds, Little Green, Buff-throated, Blue-throated Brown, Olive-bellied and CollardSunbirds, African Goshawk, Red-tailed and Green-tailed Bristlebills, Red-headed and CrestedMalimbes, Forest Robin, Little, Little Grey, White-throated, Icterine, Red-tailed, Westernbeardedand the upper Guinea endemic Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Western Nicator, BrownIlladopsis and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon. There are some really special rare species here that are very difficult to photograph however if we are lucky as we sometimes are we may get a photo of Red-fronted Antpecker, Nimba Flycatcher, Brown-chested Alethe, Forest ScrubRobin and Lowland Akalat amongst others. After a wonderful 2 full days, we return to our guesthouse for your final evening with us here in Ghana and reflect on another quality day of photography over a cold drink at the guesthouse restaurant. Accommodation- Nelsban Palace Hotel (New Tafo)
Another early start on your final day here in Ghana with us as we set off back towards Atewa Range. This morning we will be concentrating on getting photos of species we still neeed or would like better images of. An amazing end to a wonderful tour as we head back to our Guesthouse to rearrange our bags, freshen up and enjoy our lunch. After lunch we set off back to Accra where we enjoy an early evening meal before transferring you to the airport for your departure after a wonderful Ghana Photography Tour.
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”.
Birds of Ghana by Nik Borrow and Ron Demy, published by Helm Field Guides
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.