Just because safari tours in Ghana are not talked about the way people talk about the safaris of other countries, many people are confused as to whether Ghana has safaris or not.
Yes, Ghana has numerous safari destinations that provide game-viewing experiences, bird watching, bushwalking, and a lot of other activities to tourists. Mole, Bui, Bia, Kyabobo, and Digya National Parks are the top safari destinations in Ghana that provide exceptional wildlife sightings opportunities.
Let’s see the famous safari destinations in Ghana and what you can do there to make your journey memorable.
Famous safari destinations in Ghana include:
Mole National Park, or as it is pronounced, ‘Moh-lay,’ is an enchanting paradise for nature enthusiasts.
Situated within the Savannaland Tourism Destination Area, Mole National Park stands as Ghana’s foremost, largest, and most esteemed protected area. This gigantic park spans 4,577 km2 of untouched Guinea savannah in the northern region of Ghana. Its exceptional natural, physical, historical, and cultural significance makes it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists alike. This is the most famous safari destination in Ghana, which has so much to provide for Safari enthusiasts.
Here is what you can expect at the Mole National Park.
Mole National Park boasts an astonishing array of biodiversity, showcasing the region’s ecological richness.
Within its boundaries, you’ll find a staggering 742 vascular plant species and over 90 mammal species, including 5 primate species. The park is renowned for its population of magnificent elephants, which are considered the most viable elephant population in Ghana. Interestingly, these elephants are known for their non-hostile and non-aggressive behavior, setting them apart from other elephant populations across Africa.
In addition to elephants, the park is home to other captivating mammals such as buffalo, kob, Western hartebeest, roan antelope, Defassa waterbuck, oribi, bohor reedbuck, and red-flanked duiker. Mole National Park also shelters rare and endangered species like the yellow-backed duiker, black and white colobus monkey, leopard, and lion, making it a significant hub for wildlife conservation efforts.
The park further boasts an impressive avian population, with 334 bird species calling it home. Additionally, visitors can encounter 33 reptile species, 9 amphibian species, and over 120 butterfly species, adding to the park’s allure.
While the Big Five sighting is not guaranteed at Mole National Park, if you are lucky enough, you may get the Big Five sighting.
Most of the time, you will be witnessing elephants in the Mole National Park safari since the park is majorly focused on the conservation of elephants.
The park’s dedicated management aims to sustainably preserve its wildlife resources while generating revenue and fostering economic activities in the surrounding areas, thus contributing to local socio-economic development.
The implementation of effective law enforcement measures, including the establishment of the range system and collaboration with fringe communities, ensures the protection of the park’s diverse flora and fauna.
Mole National Park offers convenient means for safari visitors to embark on their wildlife adventures. While immersing yourself in the park’s natural wonders through activities like game viewing, bird watching, informative walks, and camping, you can also venture into neighboring communities.
These communities present an opportunity to experience their rich cultural heritage, architectural marvels, and traditional livelihood activities.
While you are enjoying the majestic beauty of Mole National Park on a safari trip, don’t forget to visit the nearby places, including:
- Bui National Park
- Gbele Resource Reserve
- Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary
- Paga Crocodile Pond
- Paga Pio’s Palace
- Wa Naa’s Palace
- Pikworo Slave Camp
Some other particular spots of interest include the impressive Larabanga Mystery Stone, the unique rock formation at Wuling Mushroom Rock, and the vibrant Daboya Smock Village.
Cultural enthusiasts will appreciate the Tamale Centre for National Culture, while history buffs can visit the Nalerigu Defense Wall and Gwollu Defense Wall. The Navrongo Cathedral and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Navrongo are also worth exploring for their architectural beauty.
Another famous safari destination in Ghana is Kakum National Park, which will give you an exceptional wildlife sighting trip.
Although this national park is primarily known for its canopy walkway, Kakum National Park also offers a unique safari experience. Situated in the coastal rainforest region, the park is home to several species of primates, butterflies, and birds. Guided walks and night hikes provide opportunities to spot wildlife within the park.
Kakum National Park, located in the southern central part of Ghana, offers an enchanting safari experience within a lush tropical rainforest.
Kakum National Park, spanning an area of 145 square miles (375 sq km), is predominantly characterized by its tropical forest, which covers 90% of the park’s landscape.
This remarkable conservation area stands out as one of the three places in Africa that features a captivating canopy walkway. Stretching for a distance of 1,150 feet (350 m) and connecting through seven towering trees, the elevated walkway provides visitors with a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest below.
While exploring Kakum National Park, wildlife enthusiasts are in for a treat. The park is home to a diverse array of creatures, including buffalo, forest elephants, civets, Colobus monkeys, red river hogs, giant forest hogs, pangolins, dwarf crocodiles, and the North African crested porcupine.
Guided treks along the jungle floor and the exhilarating canopy walkway offer opportunities to spot these fascinating animals. The park’s lush tropical rainforest provides an inviting backdrop for exploration, while the elevated canopy trail offers a unique vantage point for observing the wildlife below.
Kakum National Park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasting a remarkable collection of 266 bird species within its boundaries. The park also plays a vital role in the protection of endangered species.
It houses the most populous collection of forest elephants in the country and provides a safe haven for the endangered Diana monkey, giant bongo antelope, yellow-backed duiker, and African elephant. By visiting Kakum National Park, safari-goers actively contribute to the conservation efforts aimed at safeguarding these remarkable creatures and their habitats.
Embarking on the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park is an adventure in itself. As it reaches heights of 130 feet (40 m) and spans rivers and ravines, visitors are treated to awe-inspiring views of the treetops and the rainforest below.
Beyond the canopy walkway, this unique national park offers guided walks led by knowledgeable park personnel. These treks provide a more intimate experience, allowing visitors to explore the nature of the area up close and gain a deeper understanding of the park’s rich biodiversity.
It’s worth noting that individual trails within the park are not available, emphasizing the importance of experiencing Kakum National Park under the guidance of the park’s staff.
Ghana’s safari offerings extend far and wide, and nestled within the woodland savanna zone of the Brong Ahafo and Northern Region lies the captivating Bui National Park.
As Ghana’s third-largest Wildlife Protected Area, Bui National Park covers an expansive 1,821 square kilometers of untamed wilderness. With its diverse ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking natural features, this hidden gem invites adventurous souls to immerse themselves in the beauty of Ghana’s unspoiled landscapes.
Bui National Park encompasses a vast expanse of mostly woodland savannah, punctuated by scattered gallery forests that trace the courses of rivers. These spectacular gallery forests not only add to the park’s visual splendor but also provide essential habitats for a variety of wildlife species. As visitors traverse the park, they will encounter the enchanting melodies of birdsong, witness the graceful movements of antelopes, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive black and white colobus monkey.
One of the prominent features of Bui National Park’s safari is the majestic Black Volta River, which gracefully bisects the park’s landscape. Along its banks, a resident population of hippos finds sanctuary, delighting visitors with their aquatic antics. Observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a highlight of any visit to Bui National Park. The park’s commitment to the conservation of these unique inhabitants ensures that future generations can continue to marvel at their presence.
Bui National Park teems with a diverse array of wildlife, offering safari enthusiasts a chance to witness nature’s wonders up close.
Elephants, waterbucks, bushbucks, baboons, patas monkeys, and green monkeys are just a few of the species that roam freely within the park’s boundaries. Birdwatching enthusiasts will be enthralled by the rich avian diversity, with over 250 species recorded, including the rare white-necked rockfowl, also known as Picathartes.
Beyond the mesmerizing wildlife, Bui National Park reveals a tapestry of natural wonders. Lush mountains, cascading waterfalls, and hidden caves add a touch of adventure to the experience.
Bui National Park offers not only encounters with wildlife but also an opportunity to connect with the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world.
Nestled within the undulating terrain of the Sene East District, Digya National Park beckons adventurous travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.
Although accessibility can pose a challenge, this national park, covering an expansive area of 3,475 square kilometers, promises to reward intrepid explorers with its diverse wildlife and stunning natural landscapes.
Situated along the western border of the Volta Lake, Digya National Park spans the Bono East Region and the Ashanti Region and extends into the Eastern Region, offering a thrilling safari adventure.
Digya National Park offers a range of exciting activities that cater to diverse interests.
- Wildlife Viewing: As one of Ghana’s prime game viewing areas, Digya National Park is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to a variety of mammals and primates, including elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, baboons, and monkeys. Observing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat will undoubtedly create lasting memories.
- Birding: With over 236 bird species, Digya National Park presents a haven for birdwatchers. Rare sightings such as the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Pale-fronted Negrofinch, African Barred Owlet, and Thick-billed Cuckoo offer an opportunity to delve into Ghana’s rich avian diversity.
- Hiking Safaris: Accompanied by trained wildlife rangers, hiking through the park’s Savannah woodlands unveils breathtaking scenery. Capture the beauty of the park with your camera while donning sturdy hiking shoes to ensure comfort and safety.
- Canoeing: A canoe trip along the Seine River within the park provides a unique perspective on wildlife, vegetation, and avian species. Enjoy the tranquility of the river while marveling at the natural wonders surrounding you.
Kyabobo National Park, situated in the Nkwanta district of the northern Volta region in Ghana, stands as one of the country’s newest ecotourism sites.
Encompassing an area of 220 square kilometers, this internationally recognized mountainous conservation area boasts breathtaking views and pristine wilderness. Established in 1997, Kyabobo National Park is home to Mount Dzebobo, Ghana’s second-highest mountain, offering visitors a magnificent panorama of Lake Volta. Plans are underway to create Ghana’s first trans-frontier park by connecting Kyabobo with the neighboring Fazao-Malfacassa National Park in Togo, allowing for potential cross-border hikes in the future.
Kyabobo National Park offers a range of activities that cater to different interests and skill levels:
- Enjoy the View from Breast Mountains
- Mountain Biking
- Exploring Kylinga Village
- Discover Laboum Waterfall
- Hike to a Shrine and Sacred Grove
- Explore Koue River and Border with Togo
- Game Viewing Hides, Shrines, and Sacred Groves
Shai Hills Resource Reserve is about an hour north of Accra, bordering the Akosombo road. This makes this location one of the closest wildlife viewing areas to Accra and one of the most easily accessible in Ghana.
The reserve spans an area of approximately 48 square kilometers and consists mostly of savanna-covered plains. It features five distinct hills covered in a mosaic of forests, while grasslands and low dry forests can be found in the canyons between the hills.
Shai Hills Resource Reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife. So far, 31 mammal species, including Kob antelope, bushbuck, and monkeys, have been identified in the reserve. Additionally, there are 13 reptile species and 175 bird species.
Visitors can explore the reserve either by 4X4 vehicle or on foot.
Bia National Park is a safari destination located in the Western North Region of Ghana, near the town of Takoradi and the border with Ivory Coast. Here is some information about this national park:
Bia National Park is part of the Bia Conservancy Area, which is a designated biosphere reserve covering nearly 306 square kilometers. The park itself covers approximately 77.7 square kilometers, while the remaining land in the south is under the Bia Resource Reserve. It is situated in the transition zone between the moist evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical forests and encompasses much of the drainage area for the Bia River.
The park is home to a rich diversity of wildlife. There are 62 species of mammals known to exist in the park, including 10 species of primates.
Some of the notable animals found in the park include:
- Colobus monkeys
- Forest elephants
The park also boasts over 160 bird species, including hawks, eagles, bulbuls, flycatchers, the black-collared lovebird, and the threatened white-breasted guinea fowl. Additionally, Bia National Park is the only known habitat for Agama sylvanus, a recently discovered lizard species.
Visitors to Bia National Park can engage in activities such as wildlife watching, hiking, and bird watching. The park offers opportunities to appreciate the natural beauty of the tropical forests and encounter diverse wildlife species. Additionally, visitors can learn about the traditional culture of the local communities who have inhabited the area for generations.
Nini-Suhien National Park is a protected area located near the border town of Elubo in Ghana, approximately a 1-hour and 45-minute drive west of Takoradi. Here is some information about this national park:
Nini-Suhien National Park is part of the larger Ankasa Conservation Area, which also includes the Ankasa Resource Reserve. The park itself covers an area of 160 square kilometers, and when combined with the resource reserve, the conservation area spans approximately 500 square kilometers. It is situated within the intact wet evergreen forest, known for its botanical beauty and high plant species diversity.
The park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, particularly its impressive plant diversity. With around 300 plant species per hectare, Nini-Suhien National Park is a haven for botanists and nature enthusiasts.
It is home to various mammal species, including the elusive bongo, forest elephants, and 10 primate species, among them the endemic Diana Monkey and the endangered West African Chimpanzee. The park also supports a diverse bird population, with notable species such as parrots, hornbills, and the rare white-fronted guinea fowl.
The park offers various tourist activities, including game viewing, bird watching, hiking, and nature walks. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the diverse wildlife, spot rare bird species, and explore the park’s natural beauty. Effective marketing and promotion of the reserve can attract more tourists to the region, benefiting the local communities and generating revenue.
Ghana is a country full of different safari opportunities. Apart from all the safari destinations discussed above, you can also visit the following destinations during your safari trip in Ghana.
- Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary
- Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary
- Nsuta Forest Reserve
- Kalakpa Resource Reserve
- Bunso Arboretum
As you prepare yourself for a safari trip in Ghana, I advise you to research your destination well before starting your journey. Just because Ghana is not a popular safari destination, many people think that there is no safari in this beautiful country. But that is not true at all. In fact, the prevalence of safari opportunities in Africa makes the continent a worthy place for safari tourism.
Bariki was born and raised in Tanzania, the land of the magnificent Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Manyara wildlife parks. He grew up surrounded by Africa’s natural beauty. Visiting his grandpa in Moshi Kilimanjaro, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, provided him with early exposure to wildlife and the natural world.
As a technology and human rights blogger, he has always been passionate about writing. With many relatives working in the tourism industry, he has stayed abreast of the industry’s successes and challenges, which led him to write about African safaris.
Now residing in the USA, Bariki is using his firsthand knowledge to help foreigners plan their dream safari in Africa. At Posire, he shares his expertise on everything you need to know about planning a safari, from choosing the right destination to the best time to go and what to expect during your adventure.