Ghana Safari

Africa/Ghana

Safari on the Gold Coast of Africa

Kakum NP, Mole NP, Bolgatanga area, Bobiri, Atewa and Shai Hills Reserve, 16 days

Our Bird Safari offers superb birding opportunities on the “Gold Coast” of West Africa and will leave you with an unforgettable wealth of experience. With sunshine, spectacular scenery, Ghana is home to friendly, hospitable people and an abundance of wildlife including hundreds of exotic bird and butterfly species.
The tour explores many superb habitats from the coastal wetlands, through lush broad-leaved Upper Guinea forests to the dry savannah of the Sahel. The star bird is usually Yellow-headed Picathartes, which is reliably seen at its breeding sites throughout the year. During two weeks we usually see more than 350 bird species.
Kakum National Park is famous for its canopy walkway and rainforest trails providing a great opportunity to see Upper Guinea Forest endemics including Brown-cheeked and Black-casqued Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Sharpe’s Apalis, Kemp’s Longbill and other rare species such as Congo Serpent-eagle, Fraser’sEagle Owl, Brown Nightjar, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Grey Parrot, Great Blue Turaco, Blue-throated Roller, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Blue Cuckoo-shrike, Forest Robin and Sabine’s Puffback. The plantations and secondary forest provide further excellent birding with White-spotted Flufftail, Black and Rosy Bee-eater, hornbills, barbets, cisticolas, malimbes and sunbirds. A reservoir holds the elusive African Finfoot, while Rock Pratincole and White-throated Blue Swallow can be seen at a nearby river.
Mole National Park lies in the drier savannah zone and offers a nice range of mammals with African Elephant and Roan Antelope and a good selection of birds including Pel’s Fishing Owl, Standard-winged Nightjar, Sun Lark, Oriole Warbler, Spotted Creeper, African Blue Flycatcher, Black-faced and Black-bellied Firefinch.
The dry country of the far north of Ghana has Fox Kestrel and Rock-loving Cisticola at Tongo Hills, Egyptian Plover and Black-headed Lapwing at the White Volta and several dry savannah specialities such as White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Speckle-fronted Finch, Chestnut-bellied Starling and African Silverbill.
Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary has a nice patch of forest with many colourful butterflies as well as Narina Trogon, Long-tailed Hawk, Black Dwarf and Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, White-headed Woodhoopoe, African Piculet and Preuss’s Weaver.
Atewa Forest is home to the recently split Blue-moustached Bee-eater along with a long list of such rare birds as Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-footed Honeyguide, Fire-crested Alethe, Yellow-bearded and Western Bearded Greenbul, Grey-headed and Green-tailed Bristlebill. Puvel’s Illadopsis, Compact Weaver and Magpie Mannikin can be found in the adjacent scrub and secondary forest.
The Shai Hills Reserve lies close to the capital, Accra and provides another opportunity to search for species of the dry country including Green Turaco, Double-toothed Barbet and Mocking Cliff Chat.
Sakumono Lagoon offers great birding not far from Accra. Black Heron, African Spoonbill, Kittlitz’s Plover are regular here. Wintering ducks and waders are plentyful and among them American vagrants such as Lesser Yellowlegs or American Golden Plover can be found.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

1 night in Accra, capital of Ghana
4 nights near Kakum National Park, at Hans Cottage Hotel set around a lake
1 night in Kumasi
3 nights in Mole Hotel set inside the National Park on an escarpment overlooking a busy waterhole
2 nights in Bolgatanga
1 night in Kumasi or Bobiri
1 night at Atewa
1 night in Accra

Departure Dates

November to March

Price

Ask for the actual price

Itinerary

1

We meet the scheduled flight to Accra, usually evening arrival and then transfer to hotel.

2

Starting from Accra we head west visiting the Winneba Plains to look for Green Turaco and Black-bellied Bustard along with common countryside birds. Our next stop is at Muni lagoon close to Cape Coast home to herons and egrets and wintering waders. We arrive to Hans Cottage Hotel in the afternoon. We spend 4 nights at this well located hotel watching the busy life of weaver colonies from the restaurant. The hotel’s own lake has Nile Crocodiles and many kingfishers sometimes including Giant Kingfisher.

3-5

We spend three full days in Kakum National Park, which conserves important primary and secondary upper Guinea forest. Here we visit the world famous Kakum Canopy walkway for Blue Cuckoo-shrike, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Black-casqued and Brown-cheeked Hornbills, Forest Wood-hoopoe and Great Blue Turaco as well as raptors including Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk. We explore plantations and secondary forest at Antwikwa to search for White-spotted Flufftail, Black and Rosy Bee-eater, Piping Hornbill, Palm-nut Vulture, Ahanta Francolin, Blue-headed Wood Dove, Black-throated Coucal, Melancholy Woodpecker, Fanti Saw-wing, many bulbuls and greenbuls, Kemp’s an Grey Longbill, Tit-hylia, Buff-throated Sunbird, malimbes and negrofinches. We also visit a reservoir home to African Finfoot and a rocky river for Rock Pratincole, White-headed Lapwing and White-throated Blue Swallow.

6

In the morning we explore the secondary forest of Aboabo for Long-tailed Hawk, Black and Red-billed Dwarf Hornbills, Yellow-billed Turaco, African Piculet, Black-and-white and Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher, Sharpe’s Apalis, Copper-tailed Glossy Starling and Blue-billed Malimbe among others. After lunch we drive to Assin Fosu and during late afternoon we visit the site of the beautiful and secretive Yellow-headed Picathartes. Then we drive to Kumasi.

7-9

We travel further north to Mole National Park situated in the Guinea Savannah Belt. As the habitat changes we can see more and more savannah birs including Grasshopper Buzzard, Abyssinian, Blue-bellied and Rufous-crowned Rollers perched atop the roadside trees. In the evening we reach our hotel inside the park. The hotel is placed on top of an escarpment overlooking the floodplains. It is possible to watch birds and mammals from the hotel swimming pool as Saddle-billed Stork, White-faced Whistling Duck, African Elephant, Warthog, Waterbuck, Kob, Olive Baboon and Patas Monkey gather at the drinking holes. We spend 2 full days in Mole visiting different parts of this huge park by minibus or on foot. Pel’s Fishing Owl and Standard-winged Nightjar are on top of the target list, but we also expect to find Martial Eagle, White-headed Vulture, Violet Turaco, Red-throated and Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Blue-breasted and Grey-headed Kingfisher, Bearded Barbet, Sun Lark, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Snowy-crowned and White-crowned Robin-Chat, Red-winged Warbler, Oriole Warbler, Swamp and African Blue Flycatcher, Spotted Creeper, Pygmy Sunbird, Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Lavender Waxbill and Brown-rumped Bunting among many others. We also visit the famous Larabanga ‘Stick Mosque’.

10

After a final morning birding we depart Mole and head north to Bolgatanga. En route we stop at Tongo Hills to find the funny Rock-loving Cisticola and Fox Kestrel on the inselbergs. We arrive to Bolgatanga in the evening.

11

We spend the morning at Tono Dam, where the dry farmbush surrounding the reservoir is home to Spotted Thick-knee, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Chestnut-bellied Starling and other dry country specialities. In the afternoon we drive to the White Volta to find the beautiful Egyptian Plover on the sand banks. Black-headed Lapwings are also often seen here and the surrounding areas hold White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Silverbill.

12

We drive south to Kumasi stopping en route for birding. In the evening we reach Kumasi where we spend the night.

13-14

East of Kumasi lies Bobiri Forest Reserve famous for its abundance of butterflies and birds. We spend the morning looking for birds including Long-tailed Hawk, Narina Trogon, White-crested Hornbill, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Dusky Tit, Sabine’s Puffback, Preuss’s Weaver and Shining Drongo. In the afternoon we drive to the Atewa Hills where we walk in the farmbush to search for Compact Weaver, Magpie Mannikin and other more common species. We spend the morning in the Atewa Hills, which is the best place to find Blue-moustached Bee-eater in Ghana. Other species here may include Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted Barbet, Black-capped Apalis, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Yellow-bearded and Western Bearded Greenbul, Western Black-headed Oriole and Bioko Batis. In the afternoon we return to Accra.

15

We visit the open savannah and cliffs of the Shai Hills Reserve. Green Turaco, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Double-toothed Barbet, Piapiac and Mocking Cliff Chat can be seen here. In the afternoon we pay a visit to Sakumono Lagoon for a nice selection of birds including wintering ducks and waders, Black Heron, African Spoonbill and Yellow-throated Longclaw. Late afternoon we return to Accra for dinner and a shower before the overnight flight.

16

We arrive back to London in the morning.

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