- We take a scheduled flight from London to Accra. On arrival, we will be met by our tour leader, and transferred to our hotel in Accra. Depending on our arrival time, we may have dinner at the hotel in the evening.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Accra, 1-night on half board basis
- This morning we drive west to Winniba Lagoon, where we should see a diversity of birdlife. After a successful morning in the field, we take a break for lunch in Winniba, before setting off to Jukwa, on the edge of Kakum National Park.
- Having checked into our accommodation, we enjoy a late afternoon/early evening birding excursion around the farmland scrub of Jukwa where we hope to see red-headed qualia, yellow-mantled widowbird, bar-breasted fire-finch, village and compact weavers, splendid and copper sunbirds and red-faced and whistling cisticolas
- We visit a small forest close to the lodge to look for Fraser’s eagle owl and long-tailed nightjar, before returning to our accommodation for our evening meal.
- Accommodation: Rainforest Lodge Jukwa, 3-nights on half board basis
- Following an early breakfast, we head for the well-known canopy walkway at Kakum National Park, a short drive from the lodge. The canopy is located 40 metres above the forest floor, and has seven platforms for placing telescopes. We aim to arrive at the walkway at first light enabling us to spend the optimal birdwatching hours above the forest canopy.
- The park itself protects secondary Upper Guinea semi-deciduous tropical rainforest, which attracts an abundance of wildlife. During our visit we hope to see violet-backed hyliota, chestnut-capped flycatcher,and the Upper Guinea endemics: Sharpe’s apalis, brown-cheeked hornbill, copper-tailed glossy starling, Bioko Batis, blue cuckoo-shrike, little green woodpecker and white-crested hornbill.
- This morning we visit the Antwikwaa region of Kakum National Park hoping to add to our growing bird lists; here we may see an array of colourful species.
- We then travel to a river site to see a different set of bird species, including the white-bibbed (white-throated) swallow, and if we are lucky, African finfoot. We will continue birdwatching until dark in order to try for owls and nightjars, or any nocturnal mammals.
- Today, we visit the Abrafo section of forest habitat close to Kakum National Park, where we concentrate on farmland scrub and forest habitat to look for pale flycatcher, black and white mannikin, brown-crowned Tchagra, sooty boubou, Puvel’s illadopsis, olive-green camaroptera, as well as the more difficult species.
- Late morning, we check out of the hotel and set off for Cape Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site. A tour of the castle is an emotional journey through the region’s harrowing history, where more enslaved Africans were held captive than anywhere else in West Africa.
- After lunch, we head west to Ankasa Reserve, for what should prove to be a major highlight of our trip to Ghana. Ankasa is Ghana’s only evergreen, pristine rainforest, which protects many rare and sought-after bird and mammal species.
- Due to the Reserve's remote location, we will be staying in a comfortable camp inside the forest. As we arrive in the late afternoon, we take time to settle into our camp before heading out for early evening, where we hope to see Fraser’s and Akun eagle owls. Your guide will also look for the legendary Nkulengu rail, which we hope to spot in the forest. Our evening will be spent at the camp enjoying the atmospheric sounds of the rainforest.
- Accommodation: Camping in Ankasa Reserve, 2 nights on full board basis
- Our guide will be up before first light listening for the unmistakeable call of the Nkulengu rail. If he locates them, he will alert the rest of the group before breakfast.
- After breakfast, we set off venturing deeper in the forest, where we hope to encounter numerous bird species. As we walk, we will also keep an eye on the skies looking for birds of prey, and a variety of hornbills.
- There are also some very rare species here which we may encounter including white-breasted guineafowl, white-crested tiger heron, grey-throated rail, dusky long-tailed cuckoo, forest scrub robin, red-chested owlet and Akun eagle owl.
- We spend the evening at the camp discussing the day's birding, and relaxing with a refreshing cold drink.
- We head out into the forest for a final morning of birding, targeting species which we may have previously missed. After a full morning of enjoyable birding in the rainforest, we return to the camp to gather our bags, and enjoy our lunch before heading back towards Kakum National Park.
- During our journey we will be targeting several species not seen in other parts of Ghana, including Reichenbach’s and brown sunbird, orange weaver, African pygmy goose and little grebe to mention a few. At dusk, we revisit Brenu Akyenim to look for greyish eagle owl, long-tailed and plain nightjars, before arriving back at the rainforest lodge.
- Accommodation: Rainforest Lodge, Jukwa, 1-night on full board basis
- Today, we visit the renowned yellow-headed picathartes (white-necked rockfowl) nesting site, however we will have a full morning of birding in Abrafo forest to enjoy beforehand, targeting any species we may have previously missed.
- After a productive morning, we travel northwards before stopping at a remote village close to small area of Upper Guinea rainforest in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The location we visit has more ellow-headed picathartes nesting sites than any other in Ghana - with around 20 nesting sites in this small area, we visit one of the largest colonies which is thought to have around 30 nests.
- Once we have enjoyed good views, we leave the birds in peace as we set off back through the forest to the village. Our accommodation is in basic, but comfortable bamboo huts; this unique opportunity to stay within minutes of the picathartes nesting site will allow us to look for these magnificent birds again in the morning. Spending the night in a traditional Ghanaian village is sure to be a major highlight of this tour.
- Accommodation: Homestay/camp at the Picathartes Village, 1-night on full board basis
- After an early breakfast, we venture back into the picathartes forest to look for the western-wattled cuckoo-shrike, a species previously considered extinct in Ghana bur now seen on a few tours here since 2010.
- We check into our hotel before heading to Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary for early evening birding.
- Accommodation: Noda Hotel, Kumasi, 1 night on full board basis
- Today, we have an early start as we head back into Upper Guinea rainforest habitat, where so many of Ghana’s sought-after species are found.
- After a productive morning, we head back to Accra.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Accra, 1-night on half board basis
- On our final day in Ghana, after an early breakfast, we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills where we hope to see northern crombec, yellow-fronted tinkerbird, snowy-crowned robin-chat, African pygmy kingfisher, Cardinal woodpecker, Vielliots and double-toothed barbets, white-crowned cliff-chat, rock martin, red-shouldered cuckoo-shrike, violet turaco, Senegal parrot, Senegal batis, blue-bellied roller, swallow-tailed bee-eater, oriole warbler, blackcap and brown babblers.
- After an enjoyable morning, we stop for lunch at our hotel before heading for more familiar birding at the Sakumono Lagoon. We then head back to the hotel to sort our bags and freshen up before enjoying an evening meal and transferring to the airport for an overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 12 Arrive UK
Mole National Park extension
- This morning we set off for a full morning’s birding, where our main target species will be blue-moustached bee-eater, capuchin babbler, yellow-footed honeyguide and forest scrub-robin.
- After an enjoyable morning, we set off for Mole National Park - Ghana’s premier wildlife park - in the Northern Region, a drive of around five hours. We can expect to see a variation in the bird species, particularly as the habitat becomes much drier, and we will look out for raptors including the elegant Beaudouin’s snake eagle and long-crested eagle.
- Mole is Ghana’s largest national park. and protects an area of 4847 square kilometres of habitat, almost 100 species of mammal and more than 330 species of birds. Our accommodation sits on a 250-metre high escarpment, where you can observe African elephants bathing in the nearby waterholes.
- This evening we enjoy birding around the Mole airstrip, where we hope see standard-winged nightjars, grayish eagle owl and northern white-faced scops owl.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Mole National Park, 3-nights on full board basis
- The next two days are spent enjoying this natural paradise, as we look for the exceptional West African birds and mammals found at Mole National Park. After breakfast each morning, we set off on walking safaris and game drives to look for an array of birdlife. Mammals are also in abundance in Mole National Park, and we hope to see Ugandan kob, waterbuck, bushbuck, hartebeest and roan antelope, as well as African elephant, green vervet and patas monkeys.
- During the heat of the midday sun, there is an opportunity for a siesta, or to relax around the pool after lunch. At around 3pm, we set off for an afternoon birding excursion, and stay after dark for nocturnal species. Our main target species here include Forbe’s plover, Pel’s fishing owl, spotted creeper and rufous-rumped lark.
- This morning we have a final opportunity to look for wildlife at Mole National Park, looking for any species we may have previously missed. Late morning, we head to Tamale Airport for our flight to Accra and our final night in the city.
- Accommodation: Hotel in Accra, 1-night on a full board basis
- On our final day in Ghana, after an early breakfast, we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills, before lunch and some more familiar birding at the Sakumono Lagoon.
- After a full morning’s birding, we head back to the hotel to sort our bags and freshen up, before an early dinner and transfer to the airport for an overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 15 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
- Prices for Mole NP extension are based on 2 people sharing
A selection of hotels, lodges and camps have been chosen to maximise our birdwatching opportunities, and reduce the amount of time spent on the road.
All hotels and lodges are air-conditioned and have en suite facilities, while the camps at Ankasa and Picathartes village are very comfortable, and are fitted with mattresses, pillows and bed sheets. Shared camp facilities include flushing toilets, private cold showers (bucket showers at Picathartes Village Camp), and delicious meals prepared by the camp’s chef. Electricity is available, with a back-up generator if needed.
All meals are included. Breakfasts and dinners are taken at the hotel. Lunches are a mix of picnics and leisurely sit-down meals taken at one of the region’s traditional restaurants.
With over 740 bird species recorded in Ghana, including the sought-after white-necked picathartes, this itinerary combines a selection of the best birdwatching locations in Ghana.
- White-necked picathartes
- Congo serpent-eagle
- Blue-moustached bee-eater
- Hartlaub’s duck
While our main focus will be the spectacular birdlife, we will also keep an eye out for mammals in the diverse West African forests. Spotlighting after dark will give us the best opportunities to see the more elusive specialities.
- Olive baboon
- Ugandan kob
- Green monkey
- African elephant
More than 1000 species of butterflies have been recorded in Ghana, and they will certainly be a highlight of our tour.
- Giant African swallowtail
- Mocker swallowtail
- Western blue-banded forester
- Western white-tipped bush brown
Easy, short walks over relatively flat terrain.
During our stay in the Kakum National Park region, there will be an opportunity to visit Cape Coast Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Price includes return scheduled flights London - Accra – London.
Additional flight Tamale – Accra is included in the extension price.
Small coach or minibus, with a local driver.
February in the south of Ghana is the peak of the dry season, with temperatures in the range of 21-28C. There is a relative humidity between 77 and 85 percent.