Overview

Discover Ghana’s mammals, plus learn about birds, butterflies, flora and culture, while leaving a positive footprint for local conservation and communities.

Situated in the heart of West Africa, Ghana is a must visit destination for any wildlife enthusiast. A comprehensive coverage of varied West African habitats from coastal wetlands and lagoons, moving inland through the coastal savannah into the rich Upper Guinea Rainforests that protect many West African mammal species. Continuing northwards enjoying the transition between the southern forests through the broadleaved Guinea woodland and finally the savanna plains and touching the Sahel on the Burkina Faso border, Ghana offers you the chance of seeing a wide range of species and habitats.

It is important to understand seeing mammals in dense rainforest habitat is difficult and never guaranteed, however travelling with West Africa’s finest local expert guides gives you the best opportunity of a productive and enjoyable trip. Ghana is a safe, friendly, hassle-free environment and has the most developed infrastructure of any West African country, making us a must visit for any wildlife enthusiast. Our intimate knowledge of all the key wildlife locations here in Ghana ensures a spectacular trip awaits.

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 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, and an intimate knowledge of all the best locations to see our key species. 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.

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 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 demonstrate our local benefits.

One example of this is our project at the Yellow-headed Picathartes forest and surrounding communities, an important forest for mammals. The forest location is also one of the best opportunities to see two species of Pangolin. In 2007 we took the first birding tour group to see the Picathartes in the forests around Bonkro 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 Picathartes 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 Picathartes communities. The introduction of environmentally friendly farming like bee keeping requires the protection of the forest, moving locals away from farming palm oil. In additional, the reforestation phase of our project starts soon, planting indigenous tree species aiming to improve and increase the forest cover.

The recent completion of tourist accommodation and restaurant will provide additional income and employment opportunities locally. All funds generated go back into the communities. Sadly, none of the Picathartes nesting sites in Ghana fall within protected areas, with over 80% being in productive forest reserves with active timber concessions. During the global Covid-19 pandemic, mainly due to a lack of presences 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 White-necked Picathartes in 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 the money generated by our tours. Booking your birding and wildlife tour with us helps us to continue our fight to protect Ghana’s wildlife and habitat.

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:

The focus of this tour is primarily on mammals, however our local guides are experts on all wildlife, including birds, butterflies and flora, as well as culture. This allows us to offer the best overall experience to our tour participants, ensuring the trip is productive and enjoyable.

Edwards-ForesterEupphadra-edwardsii

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrival in Ghana

Our expert local tour guides will meet with you on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, 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 and driver 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 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 close to Shai Hills Reserve. After checking you in, your guide will brief you on the following day’s 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 – Near Shai Hills Reserve

Day 2 | Shai Hills Reserve and Kakum National Park

On our first full day with you in Ghana, after an early breakfast we visit the Shai Hills Reserve, an expanse of Savannah, grassland and woodland. The focus of our time here will be seeing the Egyptian Tomb Bats which are not a common species. Other species of bat have also been recorded in the cave network found here; we dedicate quality time looking for bats, rodents and other mammals that include Olive Baboon, Red-fronted Duiker, Kob and Bushbuck.

Shai Hills also has an interesting local history; we can visit one of the many traditional shrines found near the bat caves and learn the history of the Shai people who moved here to escape the slave raiders during the colonial period in Ghana’s history.

Birds and butterflies are also common at Shai Hills and your local guide will know all these species and happily focus on any area of interest you may have.

After a full morning dedicated to Shai Hills, we enjoy lunch in a nearby restaurant before setting off towards the Upper Guinea rainforest habitat at Kakum National Park. Our aim is to reach here in the late afternoon and early evening, where we have a choice of setting off too the forest before or after our evening meal. Our focus will be on seeing Bats and Rodents and we will also be looking for the more difficult to see species that include Potto, Duikers and Pangolins before we set off back to our hotel to rest for the evening in preparation for the following day.

Accommodation – Near Kalum National Park

Day 3 | Kakum National Park and Canopy Walkway

An early breakfast as we head for the world-famous canopy walkway at Kakum National Park which is approximately a 15-minute drive from our hotel. We aim to get there for first light enabling us to spend the most critical nature viewing hours 40 meters above the forest floor on the canopy walkway, whose platforms are large enough to support Telescopes.

The 360 km2 Kakum National Park protects secondary upper guinea tropical rainforest and the focus in the canopy will be Long-tailed Pangolin as we have enjoyed several sightings of this species during our time here.

Squirrels are also possible as we look for African Giant Forest, Gambian, Red-legged, Green, Fire-footed Rope and Slender-tailed Squirrel amongst other species. Birds and butterflies are in abundance here and would be difficult to ignore with almost 600 butterfly and more than 300 bird species recorded in the park.

During the mid afternoon heat we will need to rest at our hotel fo ra few hours, as our nights will be dedicated to walking for several hours in the forest habitat at Kakum National Park. We re-visit the canopy in the evening when our main targets will be the endangered Olive Colobus, Lowes Mona, Geoffrey’s Pied Colobus and Lesser Spot-nosed Monkeys. Long-tailed and Tree Pangolin are also possible, as is Lord Derby’s and Pels Anomalure and some of the many squirrels recorded in Ghana. Bats are in good numbers and we will be focusing our time on seeing as many species as possible here. We can return to our hotel for our evening meal before returning to the forest or retiring to our rooms for some rest.

Accommodation – Near Kakum National Park

Day 4 and 5 | Kakum National Park and surrounds

Two full days dedicating quality time in and around Kakum National Park looking for all your target species. All species of Pangolin, Bossmans Potto, Demidoffs Galago and Common Cusimanse are on our lists, as are Bush Baby, Tree Hyrax, Giant Pouched Rat, Monkeys and both species of Anamolure in addition to Royal Antelope and Maxwells Duiker, amongst others.

We wake before first light and enjoy several hours of night walks spotlighting, hoping for a bit of luck in seeing the more secretive species this habitat is protecting. Nocturnal birds are in good numbers here in Kakum and we can keep our eyes open for Akun and Fraser Eagle Owls and any other species you may be interested to see.

Accommodation – Near Kakum National Park

Day 6 | Brenu Akyinim and Ankasa Reserve

Another early start this morning as we visit a different habitat than Kakum National Park as we head westwards towards Ankasa Reserve. Our morning stop is along the Brenu Akyinim beach road where our main targets will be Slender Mongoose and Ground Striped Squirrel, along with other rodent species.

Birding is good at Brenu and we can also enjoy a walk to one of the best beaches in Ghana. After enjoying our lunch, we set off for Ankasa in the western region of Ghana for what should be a major highlight of your time with us.

Ankasa and the adjoining Nini Suhien National Park cover a continuous forested area of over 509 square kilometers and is Ghana’s only pristine wet evergreen upper guinea rainforest, a rarely visited beautiful forest protecting some wonderful mammal and bird species.

We arrive in the late afternoon where our camp will already be set up by one of our team members. There are showers, flushing toilets and electricity at this remote location and our camp leader will be looking after our every need during our time here. An evening walk in this beautiful habitat is a must on our arrival as we search for Demidoffs Galago, Common Cuismanse, African Palm Civet and some of the many bat species found here in Ghana that include the awesome Hammer Bat and its exceptional call. We enjoy our evening meal at our camp enjoying the atmosphere of being so close to nature surrounded by the sounds of this beautiful rainforest.

Accommodation – In Ankasa

Day 7 and 8 | Ankasa Reserve

An exceptionally beautiful upper guinea rainforest where we have the privilege of dedicating 2 full days and nights looking for the mammals and birds that it protects. Our time here is dedicated to early morning walks getting up before first light, late afternoon, in addition to night walks spotlighting, hoping to find the many mammals this habitat is protecting.

Bongo have been seen here and, although rare, we can stake out at the waterholes in the evening where their tracks are often seen, which also gives us a chance for Red River Hog. Many species of bats are recorded here and the most spectacular is the Hammer Bat; quality time will be dedicated to looking for these along with the many rodents found here. Pels and Lord Derby’s Anamolure are seen on several of our tours here and our guides will work hard to ensure this is a productive trip.

The rare Dwarf Crocodile is a regular at the waterholes and during our time here, although birds are not our top priority, we still have the chance of seeing some spectacular species. Our camp leader will look after us, keeping us well fed and watered and we also have 4×4 landrovers and drivers based here getting us deeper into this difficult to access forest.

Accommodation – In Ankasa

Day 9 | Transfer to Bonkro Forest

Today is mainly a travel day as we set off towards the Ashanti Region of Ghana and a remote community protecting a small Upper Guinea Forest. Our aim is to reach this location by the late afternoon where we will settle into our rooms and prepare for a night walk. One of the most difficult to see mammals in the wild are Pangolins. Extremely secretive mammals that are sadly now the most illegally trafficked animal in the world, mainly to China where their scales are used for supposed medicinal remedies. This beautiful endangered species is also one of the most wanted to see by wildlife enthusiasts and this forest has been our most successful location to show these to our clients.

This is also the location our company bring birders to see the legendary White-necked Picathartes and where we have established our conservation and community connection project. Being in the Picathartes forest and not going to see this iconic species would be difficult; we can still look for our mammal targets during our walk to the nesting site. All known nesting sites for the 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. We are currently sponsoring 24 community forest committee members from the surrounding villages to patrol and stop illegal hunting and logging activities. We have also built a school attended by over 300 children, a restaurant and accommodation we donated to the community for tourists to stay, all collectively helping to protect the wildlife found here. A night walk spotlighting for mammals is a must before we relax at the restaurant, enjoy our evening meal and prepare for the following days activities.

Accommodation – In Bonkro

Day 10 | Kwabene Sam Forest

A full day dedicated to searching this forest for our target species. Our relationship with this remote community is excellent due to our commitment to them and we will ask a couple of locals to assist us in our search for the Pangolin and other species. Butterflies are particularly abundant here and our day will be spent with the local community as we enjoy our final evening experiencing life as a local.

Accommodation – In Bonkro

Shining-Red-Charaxes-Charaxes-Zingha.jpeg

Day 11 | Mole National Park

After an early breakfast we set off northwards towards Mole National Park. Today is mainly a travel day, and as we head northwards the habitat changes to the drier broad-leaved guinea woodland and savannah. Lunch is enjoyed in Kintampo before we continue our journey to Mole, which 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.

Our accommodation is situated on a 250-meter-high escarpment overlooking this 4,847km2 park, offering 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 driving and walking in the park spotlighting and aiming to find our first mammals in this habitat.

Accommodation – Mole National Park

Day 12, 13 and 14 | 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 and nights as we immerse ourselves into the exceptional West African mammals and birds found here at Mole National Park. We will be setting off after breakfast walking and driving deeper into this wonderful habitat of broad-leaved guinea woodland and savannah.

Mammals are our main priority as we look for African elephant, Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Hartebeest, Roan Antelope, Common Warthog and African Buffalo during our day drives and hikes. Olive Baboons, Patas and Callithrix Monkeys are also common here and we will also be looking for the beautiful Yellow-winged Bat.

Our evenings we will dedicate many hours driving deeper and walking whilst spotlighting for the more secretive species that include White-bellied Hedgehog, Senegal Galago, Gambian and Slender-tailed Mongoose, African Civet, Common Genet, Bush and Red-flanked Duikers, Scrub Hare, Aardvark, Crested Porcupine, and some of the many rodents and bats that occur in this part of Ghana.

Our focus is on ensuring you have the best possible experience during your time here with us and the days activities will always be adapted giving you the best opportunity of seeing as many different species as possible. Mole National Park protects some beautiful birds, and your guide is always on hand to show you any species you would like to see.

Accommodation – Mole National Park

Day 15 | International flight to Accra and departure

After a wonderful 4 nights in Ghana’s premier wildlife viewing park, we enjoy a relaxed breakfast prior to setting off to Tamale, capital of the Northern Region of Ghana, for our flight south to Accra. Taking an internal flight will save us nearly 2 full days of travelling by road.

On our arrival in Accra, we visit a local restaurant close to the airport to enjoy an early evening meal. You arrived strangers and are now part of our family leaving as friends. We take this opportunity to say goodbye before we transfer you back to the airport after a wonderful 15-day Mammals of Ghana tour.

Costs

The tour cost for 2 participants travelling based on dual occupancy is $4,295.00 USD per person. The Single Supplement if applicable is $495.00 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