Overview

Watch and photograph Ghana’s incredible diversity of butterflies, plus learn about birds, mammals flora and culture, while leaving a positive footprint for local conservation and communities.

The Upper Guinean Forest Zone west of the Dahomey Gap was once continuous from Ghana to Sierra Leone. Now, due to excessive deforestation in the last century, only about 10% of the original forest cover remains. 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. Some forest reserves also received protection due to a ban of logging for decades. Ghana is therefore still rich in rainforest areas, although many of them are degraded and only fragments of the once continuous forest area. Still, Ghana protects more than 950 butterfly species, and its remaining forests seem to conserve their extremely rich diversity.

The Ghanaian rainforests in southern Ghana host over 800 of these butterfly species, those we target on our tours. Ghana is one of the easiest countries in West Africa, where there is good access to many butterfly habitats, where a visitor can sometimes see over a hundred species on a single good day. This butterfly tour aims to introduce different forest habitats and their butterfly fauna to the enthusiasts with exceptional photo opportunities of many species. Several endemic species occur in Ghana and our experienced expert local guides know all the best locations ensuring an enjoyable and productive trip.

This tour offers a perfect introduction to Ghana’s butterflies with quality time dedicated at each location we visit. Ghana simply is the must go to African destination for butterfly and wildlife lovers.

About Our Partner

Conservation Careers has teamed up with a leading local responsible travel tour operator in Ghana which aims to have a positive impact on the countries, communities and environments they visit, leaving nothing but positive footprints.
Their policy of operating low-impact, ethical tours allows them to create authentic, cultural connections, which not only enhances your experience, but also creates economic opportunity and social development, whilst preserving local cultures for future generations. They connect communities to the conservation of their environment and ensuring they benefit directly from ethical tourism.

Their core value ‘Purpose Before Profit’ is evident through the many projects helping locals and conservation.

Key aims:

  • To support local community-run businesses, thereby creating income for local people which reduces the negative impact on local ecosystems through hunting and farming activities
  • To maintain the preservation of locally-run eco-tourism initiatives
  • To provide opportunities for local communities – school projects educating the future generations; free training to educate youths to become self-sufficient and free reading and writing lessons for adults
  • To continue to actively protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife species

If you register your interest below, we’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!

Explore all our Conservation Travel opportunities.

Your local butterfly and wildlife guide

Our guides love their work, care about conservation and have been described by many as the best local guides they have encountered. Our expert local guides have grown up in and around the rainforests of Ghana and have always had a love of nature. Several previously worked with the Ghana Wildlife Division and have undertaken extensive training perfecting their leading skills to maximise our participants enjoyment.

Often described as the best local guides our participants and international companies that use us have experienced, they are passionate, personable, friendly, professional, and ready to produce a productive and enjoyable trip for all our tour participants. Our guides have excellent identification skills, know all butterfly species and the best locations to find them. Constantly in the field leading tours, researching new locations, and providing data for publications and the Ghana Wildlife Division, our team simply love their work.

Having 12 full time local expert butterfly and nature tour guides ensures we never compromise on quality. In addition, due to the remote locations we visit, all our guides have advanced first aid training.

Our company reputation is built on the positive feedback from our trips. The passion shown by our guides when leading tours is evident; they are respected, appreciated, paid well, and receive the benefits they are entitled to like pensions, healthcare and they feel an important part of our company. If you are keen to support local guides in Ghana and want the best possible experience, this is your Ghana Butterfly and Wildlife tour.

Is it important to you that your tour benefits people, communities and conservation locally?

The foundations of our company are built on having a positive impact on the locations we visit during our tours. Connecting communities to the conservation of their environment ensuring they benefit directly from ethical tourism. To us actions speak louder than words and we feel our many projects show potential tour participants our local benefits.

One example of this is our project at the Nyamebe Bepo Forest Reserve and surrounding communities. In 2007 we took the first wildlife tour group to see the wildlife in the forests around Bonkro (the closest village to the forest) to the backdrop sound of constant chainsaw operators cutting the trees around them. We had to act! If we did not establish our project after this visit there would be no forest or wildlife remaining today. Thankfully, our project has been a major success with over 600 children currently using schools we have built, 300 of these children at our school in the Nyamebe Bepo Forest Reserve fringe communities. The introduction of environmentally friendly farming like bee keeping being introduced that requires the protection of the forest, moving locals away from farming palm oil. In addition, the reforestation phase of our project starts soon, planting indigenous tree species aiming to improve and increase forrest cover. The forest location is one of the best for butterflies in Ghana, comparing with the world famous Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary.

The recent completion of tourist accommodation and restaurant will provide additional income and employment opportunities locally. All funds generated go back into the communities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly due to a lack of presence in these reserves, legal and illegal logging increased. In October 2020 we continued to increase our commitment to our conservation efforts by sponsoring an expert assessment of the Nyamebe Bepo Forest Reserve at Bonkro. Our aim is to try and get the forest reserve converted from productive to protected. All the funding for our projects comes from money generated by our tours. Booking your butterfly and wildlife tour with us, helps us to continue to fight to protect Ghana’s wildlife and habitat.

Shining Red Charaxes (Charaxes zingha).

Tour Overview

Duration:

15 Days 14 Nights

Vehicle type:

This will depend on group size. Our vehicles range from air-conditioned salon cars, 4x4s, minibuses and coaches.

Focus of this tour:

Our focus on our butterfly and nature tours is primarily on butterflies and giving you the best opportunity for great photographs, however our local guides are experts on butterflies, birds, mammals, flora, and culture. This allows us to offer the best overall experience to our tour participants, ensuring the trip is productive and enjoyable.

In addition to the plethora of stunning butterfly species, Ghana’s Upper Guinea rainforests also protect some exceptional wildlife that we can enjoy during our times in these beautiful remote locations.

Our team of local guides know these locations better than anyone and are experienced in leading specialist mammal tours as well as butterfly trips. The endangered Olive Colobus, Lowes Mona, Spot-nosed and Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Black-bellied and White-bellied Pangolins are all seen regularly during our trips. Our customized tours can also incorporate butterfly watching in the northern drier habitat of Mole National Park where we can walk with elephants at Ghana’s premier wildlife viewing location.

Edwards Forester (Eupphadra edwardsii).

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrival and transfer to hotel

Our expert local tour guides will meet with you on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, which is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. Look out for our 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 – In New Tafo

 

Day 2, 3 and 4 | Butterfly watching and photography at Atewa Forest Range

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 hosts 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 day with lunch but dedicate most of our time to 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 – In Tafo

Day 5, 6 and 7 | Butterfly watching and photography at Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary

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 5,000 hectare fragment of the once continuous 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 in 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 – In Kumasi or Bobiri

Cymothoe egesta photographed in Bobiri Forest. Photo Credit: Bill Berthet.

Day 8, 9 and 10 | Butterfly watching and photography at Kwabena Sam Forest

We bid farewell to Bobiri after an excellent few days enjoying the diversity and beautiful multi-coloured butterflies found here, and travel to a new forest location we have discovered with arguably our most diverse number of butterflies and 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.

Some of the species we hope to see here include 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), Perrseis 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), 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), Hildebrant’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.

Day 8 and 9 accommodation – In Bonkro

Day 10 accommodation – In Tafo

 

Day 11 | Bunso Arboretum and Transfer to Wli

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 (Lolaus 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 tomorrow’s activities.

Accommodation – In Wli

African Cupid (Euchrysops osiri).

Day 12, 13 and 14 | Wli Falls, Amedzofe, Biakpa, Mt. Afajato and Mt. Gemi

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 Cream Pentila (Pentila picena), Ghana Pentila (Pentila phidia), Hewistson’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 – In Wli

Day 17 | Morning butterfly watching, Transfer to Aburi Botanical Gardens and Departure

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 (Catopsilia florella), Mocker Swallowtail (Papilio dadarnus), Citrus Swallowtail (Papilioi domodocus). After a wonderful final day’s butterfly watching and photograph we return to Accra, enjoy our early evening meal before our team transfer you to the airport for your departure.

Costs

The tour cost for 2 participants travelling based on dual occupancy is $3,750.00 USD per person. The Single Supplement if applicable is $350.00 USD per person.

The tour price is inclusive of the following:

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation: mid range
  • All meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Mineral water:  unlimited and available to every participant for the duration of the tour
  • Fruits and Snacks on our vehicles
  • Transportation around Ghana in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Experienced and safe driver
  • Fuel – Unlimited mileage
  • All park entrance, site guide and excursion fees as mentioned in itinerary
  • Expert wildlife Guide fees: fully escorted by Ghana ‘s finest professional award-winning local guides
  • Professional indemnity, public liability and vehicle accident insurance cover
  • Professional care, attention and 24/7 local office support

Excluded:

  • International flights
  • Visa
  • Items of a personal nature

Reserve your place or ask a question