Experience Ghana’s rich culture and history, discover its stunning nature and wildlife, and leave a positive footprint for local conservation and communities.
The best of Ghana
If you would like to experience life how it is for the locals during your time in Ghana and not just follow the well-trodden tourist routes, then our “Ghana Life” tour is perfect for you. Mixing with the locals at every opportunity and experiencing daily life in this wonderfully welcoming country with our expert local guides, opens doors and experiences that will create memories that last a lifetime. There are so many positives to embrace here and mixing everyday experiences with ancient cultural sites of interest, beautiful beaches, learning about the dark historical past and exceptional flora and fauna makes this the perfect trip of a lifetime.
Our local award-winning guides are experts in the culture, history, birds, butterflies, and wildlife of all the locations we visit in Ghana. Our company are the leading local responsible travel tour operator in the region, travelling with us ensures we give back to all the communities we visit, leaving nothing but positive footprints. To date our company have built 2 separate schools in different locations offering creche, kindergarten and primary school places to over 600 children who previously did not have access to education. Joining one of our tours also benefits habitat and wildlife conservation as we have also established an eco-tourism project protecting Upper Guinea Rainforest and wildlife that includes endangered bird and mammal species. Booking a tour with us will make you a big part of the positive impact our ethical travel projects are making.
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.
Other core values that make up the foundations of this locally-based company are honesty, transparency, trust, passion, friendship, social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and professionalism. Their priority is to offer you the best experience possible in your chosen area of interest, ensuring they exceed your expectations whilst having a sustainable positive impact in the communities and environments you visit. The exceptional quality of their operations has been officially recognized on several occasions since their establishment in 2005, by being awarded regional “Tour Operator of the Year” in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 by the Ghana Tourism Authority.
Their key aims are:
- 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 guide
Such an important part of any trip. Our priority is that you have the best possible experience during your time travelling with us and your assigned guide is essential to this. Award winning local guides, experts in your chosen area of interest that are not just knowledgeable but also friendly and personable ensuring your trip is enjoyable. When booking a tour with us you get more than just a local guide, all have connections with the locations we visit and are employed full time by our company, enabling us to guarantee the quality of service we offer and ensure they get the benefits they are entitled to.
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 in 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 how booking with us benefits locally.
One example of this is our project at the Yellow-headed Picathartes forest and surrounding communities. 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 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 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 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 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 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.
14 Days 13 Nights
This will depend on group size.
Day 1 | Arrival and transfer to hotel
Our local tour guides will meet with you on your arrival at the Kotoka International Airport Accra, which is situated on the beautiful gold coast of Western Africa. Look out for 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 situated in Accra. Most flights arrive here in the late evenings; as such after we 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 Accra
Day 2 | Makola Market, Artist Alliance Gallery, Fantasy Coffins, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Jamestown Community and Boxing
A relaxed morning as we allow the rush hour traffic to pass before setting off to one of Accra’s best local markets. We can choose to miss or have a light breakfast at our accommodation this morning as it would be great to experience one of the local street foods Ghanaians eat here for breakfast at one of the many stalls selling here in the Makola Market.
Traders sell almost anything here from local herbal remedies, traditional cloth, jewelry and food to mobile phones, televisions, and sound systems to mention but a few. The hustle and bustle of the market is a wonderful insight into daily life for many locals who trade or shop here 7 days a week. A good opportunity to purchase some souvenirs but do not forget to barter as it is the norm here.
There are some wonderful local artists here in Ghana and it would be a real treat to see some of their work. The Artist Alliance Gallery on the beach front in Accra is the ideal location to experience traditional and contemporary art and artifacts ranging from paintings, carvings, furniture, jewelry, fabrics and photography from all of Ghana and our neighbouring countries. If you appreciate art, you will be like a kid in a candy store before we set off for “Fantasy Coffins” of Teshie Nungua.
Funeral and burial ceremonies in Ghana are very solemn occasions, but after the burial a celebration follows. Ghanaians believe that the departed move on into another world and the coffins made here may represent the occupation of the deceased or depict something that was important to them. There is all manner of coffin designs which one could be buried in from cars, cocoa pods, cigarette packets and airplanes to crocodiles, shoes, bottles of beer and boats to mention a few. During our time here we can also venture to their workshop and meet the coffin makers. What would you choose to be buried in?
In the afternoon we pass by Black Star Square which houses the independence monument and continue to Independence Square which is our main ceremony grounds and where we find the enclosed flame of African liberation, which was lit by Kwame Nkrumah himself in 1961. A short distance away we find the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, final resting place of Ghana’s founder. Set in attractive gardens, there is an adjoining museum, which contains photos, artifacts, and an insight into this incredible man’s life. The center was designed by a Ghanaian architect and built using Italian marble. A fascinating afternoon and evening is in store for us as we head downtown to Jamestown one of the oldest suburbs of Accra.
Our afternoon will be dedicated with the community here as we enjoy a walking tour of this old community taking in some of the historical structures that predate the colonial era. The locals are committed to conserving these buildings and have made significant efforts to maintain them, our time here gives us an excellent idea of what it was like during the colonial era.
The 30-meter-high lighthouse built by the British in 1871 and the attractive colorful fishing boats on the beach are also wonderful to see. We continue to Fort James that was built by the British as a trading post in 1673, before it joined the Dutch Fort Crêvecœur, and the Danish Fort Christiansborg. Fort James gave its name to the Jamestown neighborhood in Accra. These areas give us a perfect picture of old Accra, distinguishing between British Accra and Dutch Accra. Of interest are the Brazilian stone houses, built by free enslaved African’s who reside in Brazil, they made their way back to Africa after the slave trade was abolished and their descendants have now integrated with the locals of James Town. This part of Accra is one of the poorest and there are many social issues within this community. Street children, orphans and child workers are common here and our evening will be dedicated to meeting locals who are trying to change the lives of the youth through boxing.
Jamestown is famous in Ghana for producing several World Champion Boxers that include Isaac Dogboe, David Kotei, Joseph Agbeko, Richard Commey and the most famous of all and considered Africa’s greatest ever boxer Azumah Nelson. It is believed that this part of Accra produces excellent boxers due to the poverty and hardship faced by the youth. They see boxing as an opportunity for a better life in the future, as you will see this is a part of Ghana that lives and breathes boxing.
A successful businessman who hails from this community wants to support the children here by helping some with school fees and he is also sponsoring a weekly boxing event where the boxing clubs put on a show for the locals. Set in the perfect location in the heart of the community overlooking the ocean it could be a wonderful night of entertainment if our dates coincide with an event. If not, we will visit one of the many gyms here to see the youth and professionals close up in training. A short distance from the boxing event is a small local street bar and restaurant in the heart of the community where we will enjoy our evening meal and refreshments. Spending the afternoon and evening here really makes us feel part of the community.
Accommodation – In Accra
Day 3 | Krobo Traditional Beads and Wli Waterfalls
A more relaxed breakfast before we check out of our accommodation and head out of this bustling city. Krobo is the first location we will visit this morning on our way to the Volta Region of Ghana. The Krobo people of Ghana are renowned for their traditional bead jewelry that dates back centuries and it would be wonderful to see and learn firsthand the historical importance of beads and learn the ancient process used to make them. Many families in Krobo communities make beautiful beads and we will dedicate a few hours visiting one of the family compounds to have a go at producing our own beads. The family will talk us through the skilled process of making the beads and be on hand to assist us as we try our hand at our own design. Beads are culturally a symbol of wealth and beauty here in Ghana and are still used during traditional durbars and festivals with most Ghanaian women wearing beads daily.
Our journey continues to the Volta Region of Ghana as we cross the White Volta River and head towards Wli, stopping for lunch at a restaurant overlooking this stunning river. We continue after lunch to Wli arriving in the late afternoon. After checking into our accommodation, we set off for the Wli (Agumatsa) Falls found in the Agumatsa wildlife sanctuary in the Volta region of Ghana. The Wli Falls are believed to be the highest waterfall in West Africa, set in a beautiful location the surrounding flora and fauna make this an idyllic setting. On our arrival we will trek through the thick semi deciduous forest leading to the falls from Wli village. As we near the falls we can hear the enormous colony of Straw-coloured Fruit Bats found on the adjacent cliffs mixed with the powerful flow of the river.
We can relax and enjoy a paddle in the pool beneath the waterfall which is safe for swimming if you are feeling adventurous. If you are feeling fit, then there is also the option to hike to the upper falls before returning to our accommodation for an evening of relaxation.
Accommodation – In Wli
Day 4 | Hiking Mount Afajato and Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
An early start this morning after breakfast as we set off to Mount Afajato. Our morning will be dedicated to hiking Ghana’s highest mountain Afajato which is an elevation of approximately 885 meters. Our guides are experts in butterflies, birds and all of Ghana’s flora and fauna and during your walk they can share with you the exceptional nature that occurs in this part of Ghana. The views are wonderful with excellent opportunities for photography during our walk.
The afternoon is spent with the locals from the village of Tafi Atome, a wonderful community protecting a population of endangered True Mona monkeys. The community here perceives the Mona Monkeys to be sacred messengers from the gods and have been protecting the monkeys and their habitat for over 200 years. Quality time is dedicated here learning more about the history behind their protection from the local traditionalists during our time in the village. We venture into the surrounding forests to see these beautiful primates and during the walk our local guide will identify the many medicinal plants that grow here and explain how the locals use them to make traditional herbal remedies. The local ethnic group here are Ewe. We head back to where we crossed the White Volta and check into our accommodation that is set on the banks of this beautiful river to relax for the evening after an action-packed day.
Accommodation – In Akosombo
Day 5 | Aburi Botanical Gardens, Koforidua Beads Market and Kumasi
An early start this morning after breakfast as we set off to Kumasi. Our journey today will take us into the beautiful Akuapem hills with outstanding views across Accra and Tema in the distance. At the top of the range, we find the Aburi botanical gardens, set in a beautiful location that were founded by the British in 1890. The gardens are home to a wide variety of indigenous and exotic flora, offering outstanding views to Accra on a clear day.
As we walk around the gardens your guide will identify the many trees and plants found here, some with medicinal properties and explain how they benefit the locals. There are several rare butterflies found here and birds are also in abundance. A short distance from the gardens we find the relaxed and friendly Aburi craft village, where traditional African drums, sculptures and other crafts have been carved for generations. As we watch the skilled craftsmen at work it is worth noting that prices here are amongst the lowest in Ghana, making Aburi an ideal place to pick up some souvenirs. Your guide will talk you through the meaning and local beliefs connected to many of the sculptures that have been made the same way throughout history.
Our lunch will be taken in Koforidua the capital of the Eastern Region of Ghana. Koforidua is famous for its traditional bead market and it is a must visit before we set off on the final leg of our journey to Kumasi. All the traders here sell local beads and some of them are antique, others newer designs but all beautiful and very reasonably priced. After mixing with the locals at the market we continue our journey to Kumasi, home of the Asantehene, King of the powerful Ashanti empire. On reaching Kumasi we check into our hotel with the remainder of the day free leisure time.
Accommodation – In Kumasi
Day 6 | Ancient Kente and Adinkra villages and West Africa’s largest Market
Today we mix old and new as we travel back in time visiting some of the ancient communities famous for producing local cloth designs and later in the day, we also meet new young vibrant designers who are putting Ghana on the map for fashion. Our journey through Ashanti history starts by visiting the traditional villages of Adanwomasie and Ntonso. Our first stop is Adanwomasie, the birthplace of Ghana’s rich colorful Kente cloth.
Adanwomasi produces some of Ghana’s finest Kente cloth, many designs of cloth are woven here, and some are exclusive only to this region. Quality time is dedicated here as we walk through the community, interacting with the locals whose families have been weaving kente for generations playing an important role in the history of this beautiful cloth. During our time here, we learn about the history behind the many designs and see skilled weavers outside their homes still using traditional looms that have not changed in design for centuries. Former US President Bill Clinton has had a design named after him called the “Clinton Kente” as Ghanaians were so impressed with the respect he showed our nation during his state visit to Ghana when he was in office. An ideal time to purchase quality kente cloth at exceptionally low prices before we set off for Ntunso.
The ancient village of Ntunso, is where adinkra cloth and symbols originate. These traditional symbols all have meanings and are carved from calabash shells. The adinkra symbols are then printed onto traditional cloth using natural dyes made from the bark of certain local trees. Adinkra cloth has been adorned by the Ashanti’s for more than 4 centuries and pre-dates kente cloth. Even today most Ashanti’s will wear adinkra cloth for funerals, festivals and other important occasions. During our time here we learn the meanings behind the various symbols, and we can make our own strip of adinkra cloth using symbols with personal significance. Historically women in Ghana from the Ashanti region are famous for being hard working and excellent entrepreneurs.
Many of the big businesses here in Kumasi are owned by women and for our lunch we will visit a very successful local restaurant Jofel. The owner started the business over 20 years ago and now has several branches across the country. Jofel sells a wide variety of local and international dishes for us to choose from. Time to walk off our lunch as we head to Adum which is the commercial center of Kumasi and where most Ghanaians shop.
Our afternoon is dedicated to exploring Adum and walking down to Kejetia market which is reported to be the largest outdoor market in West Africa. Visiting here gives us a wonderful opportunity to experience everyday life for the people in this great city and pick up a few bargains. The market is a labyrinth of stalls nestled closely together, and a hive of activity. Some stall holders sleep here in the evenings as trade rarely stops. Dedicating quality time here really gives us a feel of how daily life is for so many of the locals living in Kumasi. In the evening we have the option of resting at our accommodation or we could head into town to experience local nightlife and music in Kumasi.
Accommodation – In Kumasi
Day 7 | Manhyia Palace and Village Life
A morning of culture and history awaits us as we set off early heading to the Manhyia Palace, home of the Asantehene King of the Ashanti’s and ruler of the powerful Asanteman Kingdom. The Palace Museum offers a fascinating excursion through the history of this powerful tribe and is extremely informative on the well documented Ashanti history and culture. Our tour gives us a firsthand insight into the legacies of the Ashanti’s and enables us to understand their culture during our time in this region. A fascinating morning is behind us as we set off and depart Kumasi heading south to the villages of Bonkro and Breku. Our aim is to reach these remote communities in time for our lunch which will be prepared in the village by our local chef.
Most Ghanaians live in remote communities and work as subsistence farmers with some having larger farms growing cocoa, palm oil, citrus or rubber trees. Our company have a strong connection with these 2 communities as we are working with them to protect their surrounding upper guinea rainforest and the endangered bird and mammal species that are found in it. After we have relaxed and enjoyed our lunch, we set off to the school we have built here for the children living in these villages. There are almost 300 children attending our school here that previously either did not attend school or had to walk the 6km each way to the nearest alternative.
Many of the children were not starting Kindergarten until they were almost 10 years old as their parents felt they were to young and small to walk the 12km each day along remote roads. This ultimately had a negative effect on their education as they were already several years behind when eventually starting school. Our aim was to connect the communities to the conservation of their environment showing them the benefits through ethical tourism. Locals stop cutting trees and hunting animals and in return we have built them a school, accommodation they can rent out to visiting tourists and a restaurant for them to sell food, and drinks. All the monies generated from this initiative go 100% into a community fund we have established for them. Once a year we sit with the communities and decide what they will use the monies for. Our project has been a major success; gone are the days of hearing the constant drone of chainsaws cutting trees in the forest, we are happy to report there has been no illegal tree felling for over 5 years.
After getting to know the children here we visit the local representative for Kuapa Kokoo Cooperative which is a Fair-Trade organization that ensures its members get a good price. If you have ever tasted Divine chocolate, then it is most likely from here as Kuapa Kokoo farmers own 44% of Divine chocolate which is one of the fastest growing chocolate brands in the world. When eating a bar of Divine chocolate, you will see a photograph and information on one of the Ghanaian farmers and their family who grow the cocoa and sell it to Divine through Kuapa Kokoo. Here we get to meet several of the farmers and their families. Kuapa Kokoo ensures farmers get a fair price for the sale of their Cocoa and they also work hard to promote women in business.
This is where the chocolate process starts and we will learn how the cooperative are improving working conditions for farmers, banning child labor and ensuring women’s voices are heard. A visit to one of the local cocoa farms is a must as we set off with one of the families. During our time at the farm we see the entire harvesting process, hear how the children use the unripe cocoa as their local sweets (not tasting one would be rude) and we also learn how locals use the cocoa pods to make soap amongst other uses. After a wonderful day our evening is spent with the community as we relax at our accommodation and enjoy our evening meal whilst experiencing village life in this remote part of Ghana.
Accommodation – In Bonkro
Day 8 | Community life, markets, and local cooking lessons
An early start as we head to our kitchen to assist our cooks in preparing a local breakfast for us all. During breakfast we will decide which local dishes we would like to learn to cook, as we have been in Ghana for over a week, we are certain you will all have a local favorite which our chefs will be happy to teach you how to prepare. Our focus after breakfast is on heading to the local markets to purchase ingredients for dinner. In our opinion there is no better way to experience life for a local than to immerse ourselves in daily life here, mixing in the markets, bartering for produce and then heading back to our village to prepare a local meal.
Lunch will be taken at a local chop bar (local restaurant) in town as we shop for ingredients for our dinner. Our chefs will give you the full list of ingredients and enough money for you to buy them at the market; do not forget to barter and get a good price for your produce. A fun relaxed afternoon is in store before we return to our village to prepare our meal. Our chef will also give you advice on other dishes during your time cooking together.
If cooking lessons are of no interest to you then there are still lots, you can get involved in. As part of our conservation of the rainforest in this location we can arrange for you to assist in planting indigenous trees as part of our reforestation project. Our local school we have built may need maintenance and we are also developing the gardens. Other options here are assisting the locals to produce Gari which is one of their main sources of income, heading to one of the local farms to harvest the cassava, bringing it to the local mill and then learning how prepare it to be sent to the local market for sale would be extremely helpful. There is a local palm oil refinery within our community, and you can assist in the extraction process. Palm oil is used locally to prepare certain dishes and the palm tree has many uses as you will learn during your time here. Our evening meal is taken around an open bonfire, listening to local stories, music and mixing with the community.
Accommodation – In Bonkro
Day 9 | Cape Coast Castle, Baobab Foundation and Batik
After breakfast in the village, we bid farewell to our new friends in the community and set off Southwards towards Elmina in the central region of Ghana. The town of Elmina was given its name by the Portuguese due to the abundance of Gold found in Ghana, translated Elmina means The Mine. Gold is of such importance to Ghana today and historically that we were even known as the Gold Coast before independence.
Ghana’s gold is of the highest quality and we are the 8th largest exporter in the world and second largest exporter in Africa behind South Africa. We stop at Assin Manso, an important town along the enslaved African trade routes. The town surrounds the Ndonkor Nsuo (Enslaved African River). This river is where enslaved Africans were checked for fitness and bathed before being transported to Cape Coast for shipment to the Americas. The slaves would have walked hundreds of kilometers from Northern Ghana through thick forests in shackles and chains, many being in poor health once they reached Assin Manso. Once bathed and rested the slaves would continue the final 32-mile march to the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle where they would remain for up to 6 weeks before being shipped to the Americas.
In 1998, a symbolic gesture was made when the bodies of two free (previously enslaved) Africans, Samuel Carson from New York U.S.A and Crystal from Kingston Jamaica were returned to Cape Coast Castle and symbolically passed through the “Door of no Return” before being transported to Assin Manso for re-internment. After our visit to the river, we make our way to Cape Coast using the same route the slaves were forced to make not so long ago.
Cape Coast Castle has been designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The castle is a thought-provoking monument to a harrowing period in the region’s history. Quality time will be spent in the late morning on an emotional journey touring this castle which held more enslaved Africans captive than any other in West Africa, viewing the dungeons and the infamous “Door of no return”. There is a historical museum inside, which explains the entire history of the castle and Cape Coast itself, as well as a souvenir shop selling literature on all of Ghana’s forts and castles, as well as the cultural history and traditions of Ghana. This is an important excursion to get an understanding of the recent history of Ghana.
The fishing communities surrounding the castle are some of the poorest in Cape Coast, many children sleep on the streets, do not attend school and girls become very vulnerable as they have no safe place to stay. Our lunch today will be taken at a wonderful organization in this community that is giving these children hope of a better future. Baobab Children Foundation are focused on helping children who have not attended school, have left school early and children with disabilities help themselves to a better life. Baobab operate a non-formal vocational school teaching these children reading, writing, calculating and entrepreneurship in addition to vocational skills such as carpentry, dress making, tailoring, batik, cane and bamboo furniture, bicycle repairing, catering, agriculture, arts and traditional drumming and dance. Setting the children up to become self-sufficient and able to support themselves in the future. Our cooks, waiters and waitresses for lunch have all been trained in catering at Baobab Children’s Foundation and there is a wide selection of health-conscious dishes to choose from here. Attached to the restaurant is the Baobab shop where you can browse and purchase items from Batik dresses, bead jewelry, organic creams, bags, kente weavings, rings, postcards, paintings and pottery all made by children trained at the Baobab vocational school. All proceeds go back into supporting the foundation.
Our afternoon is spent immersing ourselves into true African art during a traditional batik making workshop with Global Mamas. An excellent organization empowering local women to learn artistic skills selling their finished products in the fair-trade market enabling them to support their families. There is no better way to get to know locals and hear how life is here than by working side by side with them and making our own traditional batik garment. Joining a local artisan in his/her workshop to learn the traditional techniques of batik making and production from the wax heating, stamping, and drying makes for an interesting afternoon. You will be given a piece of cloth for you to produce your own garment to take back home, a wonderful souvenir of your time in Ghana and one that will hold fond memories every time you wear it. After a day with so many varied experiences, from the tropical forests of inland Ghana to the beautiful coastal communities we set off to our beach front accommodation to relax for the evening.
Accommodation – In Brenu Akyinim
Day 10 | Kakum Rainforest Canopy Walkway, Stingless Bee Center, Palm Wine, Local Gin Distillery and Beach Relaxation
An action-packed day lies ahead and an early start for us as we enjoy the sunrise and our breakfast on arguably Ghana’s finest beach front location. Africa’s world-famous rainforest canopy walkway awaits us as we set off to Kakum National Park which is a semi-deciduous upper guinea rainforest. This is a truly beautiful, tropical guinea rainforest and the canopy walkway is sure to be a highlight of your time in Cape Coast. This National Park protects the original habitat that was found in this location and was the local’s home and major source of food prior to it becoming a National Park.
The walkway consists of 7 bridges, attached to 7 emerging trees, 40 metres above the rainforest floor. Prepare to take a deep breath as you walk the suspended bridges. You will marvel at the outstanding views that stretch for miles across this breathtaking rainforest as you rest on the viewing platforms that are attached to the emerging trees between the bridges. We are sure you would agree that this is an exciting excursion never to be forgotten. We return to the park headquarters where we find an excellent information center that offers a very informative overview of the park’s flora and fauna.
Over 40 different mammal species have been recorded within the park, which includes forest elephants, leopards and 6 primate species to mention just a few. As short distance from Kakum and on the border of the forest we find the International Stingless Bee Project. There have been approximately 9 species of stingless bees identified here in Ghana and their importance to our eco system is paramount. Our tour of the center teaches us about the importance of bees locally, their medicinal qualities and we get to see their hives, taste and buy quality stingless bee honey. There is a stingless bee walkway and butterfly garden where many of the forest butterfly species come to feed.
The surrounding habitat outside the forest is mainly Palm plantations and Cocoa farms. Globally palm plantations are having a devastating effect on rainforest habitat as locals and international companies’ clear forests to plant their plantations. Palm oil is found in almost 50% of products in our superstores sold globally from shampoo, Nutella chocolate spread, toothpaste, ice cream, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, margarine and peanut butter paste to mention only a few. It is a major concern and an alternative need to be found. Unfortunately, most of the big international companies’ palm plantations are in developing poor countries where they can exploit locals and have less restrictions on habitat destruction. Cocoa farms are better for the environment as it has been proven that the cocoa tree yields a better harvest if indigenous trees species are planted alongside them within the farm. Ghanaians have several traditional uses for the palm tree, and we will visit a local farm to see firsthand why locally palm is so popular.
A common sight in Ghana is seeing locals tapping palm trees for a popular low alcoholic drink palm wine. Once a palm plantation has reached its prime the farmer will sell the individual palm trees to distillers who tap them for palm wine which is a local low alcoholic drink of approximately 3% proof. The distiller’s main income from the tree comes from distilling Akpeteshi a local hard gin of varying strengths believed to be around 70% proof. The strength has given it the name Akpeteshi which translates as “kill me quick” one taste and you will understand why it is named as such.
We stop for lunch at Han’s cottage Botel near Kakum. Han’s is built over a lake containing Nile crocodiles and set in a beautiful location surrounded by tropical guinea rainforest. It is an original and comfortable establishment, which is teeming with bird life and an excellent place to enjoy lunch before setting off for an afternoon of relaxation at our accommodation that is positioned on one of Ghana’s finest beach front locations. After a wonderful day exploring nature and experiencing local life this is a well-earned afternoon of rest before our evening meal.
Accommodation – In Brenu Akyinim
Day 11 | Brenu Akyinim Community, Nzulezu Still Village and Ankasa Reserve
After breakfast on the beach front, we check out of our accommodation and set off Westwards towards the Ivory Coast border and Ankasa Reserve. As our accommodation is less than a 5 minutes’ walk away, this is the perfect opportunity to visit the local community and one of the schools our company has been able to build through responsibly minded travelers like yourselves booking tours through us. It is a major part of our company giving back to communities in need that we visit during our tours and this is the perfect time to meet the children you are helping. If you have any donations or school supplies, you would like to give out during your time in Ghana then this is a good opportunity to do so. If you do not no problem as you are already helping locals just by booking a tour with us. Our time here is limited as we are travelling West, so after meeting the children we set off towards Ankasa Reserve. Our aim is to reach Beyin in time for lunch prior to setting off through the beautiful Amasuri wetlands in traditional dugout canoe to find the community of Nzulezu Stilt Village.
Legend has it that the community here migrated from Watala part of the ancient Ghanaian Empire 600 years ago after being driven from their homes during conflict. A snail led them to this remote location where they would be safe, and the community decided to build their homes over the lake for additional protection. The snail is now sacred to this community and is not eaten here as it is in other parts of Ghana. Surprisingly enough the main occupation of the community here are farmers and not fishermen as you would expect. The boat ride is a major highlight as the wetlands are beautiful, marshy swamps now recognized as globally important wetlands for birds. The ride on the wetlands in traditional canoe is the perfect afternoon and meeting the local community is also a highlight of our time here.
Finally, we set off towards Ankasa Reserve which is connected to the Nini-Suhien National Park and protects an area of over 500 square kilometers of mostly pristine wet evergreen upper guinea rainforest. This habitat played an important role in the life of Ghanaians historically as it was their main source of water and food. By far Ghana’s finest remaining rainforest habitat this area protects many endangered mammals and is home to so many wonderful birds and wildlife. On our arrival we check into our accommodation and there will be an option for a night walk inside the forest. Alternatively, you can relax at your accommodation.
Accommodation – In Ankasa
Day 12 | Biking and Hiking at Ankasa Reserve, Bamboo Cathedral and Village Life
A beautiful morning waking up so close to nature near this wonderful forest habitat. A must see is the stunning Bamboo Cathedral located approximately 12 kilometers inside the forest from the main entrance gate. We have 2 options in getting to this remote location, the first one is by mountain bikes or using one of the 4×4 vehicles at the accommodation we are lodging. If going by mountain bike we will need to set off slightly earlier than if going by vehicle, however the feeling of riding in such a remote beautiful location is worth the early start. A full morning is dedicated to being inside the forest, your guides are on hand to identify any birds or mammals we may come across during our journey to the Bamboo Cathedral.
Lunch will be back at our accommodation after an adventurous morning inside the forest where we can also relax and recharge our batteries. This is the Ghana most visitors do not see, a remote community of mainly subsistence farmers living happily in basic mud houses trading their produce at the local markets to enable them to buy items and provide for their families. Our afternoon is dedicated to spending time in this community, visiting the local school and meeting with farmers that live here. This is an area very few foreigners visit and experiencing making a local delicacy like Gari, pounding FuFu and visiting the local chop bar or drinking spot is also a highlight and insight into where people meet to socialize.
Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa and during our time in the community one of the local farmers take us to his farm to talk us through the entire process from planting, maintaining, and harvesting. Ghana is renowned for having cocoa of the highest quality and we export approximately 800,000 tons a year all grown by small scale subsistence family farms. The entire family look after the farms and whilst we are here, we learn that it is not just the cocoa bean that is of use, local soap is also produced from the cocoa pods.
A relaxed afternoon spending time in the village, if you would like to be more active, we can also arrange an afternoon biking around the surrounding area or to walk trail in the forest looking for wildlife. Our evening is spent listening to the sounds of nature at our accommodation.
Accommodation – In Ankasa
Day 13 | Ankasa Reserve, Beach Bonfire and Traditional Drumming and Dance
Our final morning in Ankasa as we set off back Eastwards after a relaxed breakfast. On arrival we head to our beach front accommodation with the remainder of the afternoon free time to relax on the beach or visit some of the local coastal villages. As the sun starts to set, we arrange an area to eat on the beachfront and enjoy our evening meal around a bonfire. A special treat has been arranged this evening as we have a local traditional Ghanaian drumming and dance troupe join us on the beach to perform. Historically traditional music and dance tells a story and we get an insight into the meaning behind some of the more popular ones. Trying our hand at drumming, learning the basics and getting the opportunity to showcase our moves makes for an enjoyable evening whilst overlooking the beautiful gold coast of West Africa. A perfect way to spend our evening.
Accommodation – In Brenu Akyinim
Day 14 | Elmina Markets, Boat Builders and Departure
This morning we check out of our accommodation and set off back towards Accra. A few hours free time to explore Elmina fishing town before we leave makes for an enjoyable morning. During our time in Elmina, we can visit the local fishing market and walk the short distance to visit the boat builders in this community. Almost all the fishing boats used in this bustling fishing community are traditional wooden boats. Their design has not changed in centuries and neither have the tools and methods used to build them. We will also enjoy the sights of the many colourful fishing boats bringing their daily catch into the harbour and take this opportunity to mix with the locals enjoying the atmosphere of a West African fishing community. Our journey continues towards Accra stopping at Winneba for our lunch. On arrival we may have time to head to the Accra Mall to give you an insight into modern day Ghana. An opportunity to also purchase some last-minute souvenirs before heading home
Our early evening meal will be taken at a locally owned restaurant serving an excellent selection of local and international dishes which gives us an ideal opportunity to say our goodbyes and reflect on a wonderful time together. After your meal our team will transfer you to the airport for your departure after a wonderful time with us experiencing the real Ghana.
The tour cost for 2 participants travelling based on dual occupancy is $3,895.00 USD per person. The Single Supplement if applicable is $395.00 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
- International flights
- Items of a personal nature