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Itinerary: Ghana Bird Watching Tour - 17 Days

Ghana Bird Watching Tour -  17 Days

With over 750 different species of birds, Ghana is an ideal birdwatching destination. We use highly experienced tour leaders and guides with expert knowledge of Ghana’s birds and their habitats.

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Ghana Bird Watching Tour -  17 Days

Day 1
You will be met upon your arrival at the Kotoka International airport in Accra Ghana 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 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 air conditioned 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 near Tema close to Shai Hills Reserve. After checking you in your guide will brief you on the following days 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.


Day 2
Our first morning with you here in Ghana as we head for the open grassland savannah of Shai Hills hoping to see Northern Crombec, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Snowy-crowned Robin
Chat, African Pigmy 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, Black-cap and Brown Babblers, Copper and Splendid Sunbirds, White-crested Helmet-shrike,
Croaking and Short-winged Cisticolas, African Thrush, Red-necked and Lizzard Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, Green Wood-hoopoe and Stone Partridge to mention a few species on offer here. After a wonderful morning we head for more familiar birding at the Sakamona Lagoon. There are usually an abundance of birds to see here depending on the level of water, we hope to see Black-winged Stilt, Senegal Thick-knee, Common Ringed, Grey and Spur-winged Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood and
Common Sandpipers, Collard Pratincole, Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Stint, Long-tailed Cormorant, Squacco, Grey, Purple, Striated and Black Herons, Little, Cattle and Intermediate Egrets.

We set off towards Kakum National Park through the busy city of Accra stopping for lunch on route before heading to a grassland reserve where, we hope to find siffling and short-winged cisticolas, splendid and copper sunbirds, flappet lark, red-winged warbler, yellow-mantled widowbird, black- necked weaver, black-crowned tchagra, plain-backed pipit, black-shouldered and yellow-billed kites, western grey plantain-eater, grey kestrel, lizard buzzard, blue-spotted wood-dove and black-bellied bustard to mention just a few. After a wonderful days birding we continue to Jukwa and our hotel to relax, reflect and add the many new species to our bird list.

Day 3 & 4
An early breakfast as we head for the world famous canopy walkway at Kakum National Park which is approximately 15 minutes’ drive from our lodge. We aim to get to Kakum for first light enabling us to spend the most critical bird viewing hours 40 meters above the forest floor on the canopy walkway, which 7 platforms are large enough to support Telescopes. The 360 km² Kakum National Park protects secondary upper guinea semi deciduous tropical rainforest and it is a wonderful feeling being so close to the canopy of this beautiful forest.

Our main target species during our time on the canopy walkway are Violet-backed Hyliota, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, the upper guinea endemics Sharpes Apalis, Browncheeked Hornbill and copper-tailed Glossy Starling, Bioko Batis, Blue Cuckooshrike, Little Green Woodpecker and the White-crested Hornbill. Other species we hope to see include Blue-throated Brown, Green, Collard, Johanna’s and the beautiful Buff-throated Sunbirds, Red-headed and Crested Malimbes, Rosy Bee-eater, White-breasted and Greycrowned Negrofinch, Red-fronted and African Grey Parrots, Yellowbill, Western Blackheaded and Black Winged Orioles, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Splendid Glossy and Forest Chestnut-winged Starlings, Preuss’s Golden-backed and Yellow-mantled
Weavers, Green Hylia, Golden, Slender-billed and Little Grey Greenbuls, African Green Pigeon, Yellow-billed Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Blue-throated Roller, Yellow-throated, Red-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbets, Usshers and Little Grey Flycatchers, Cassins Honeybird and African Pied Hornbill to mention a few. The raptors we have a chance to see include, Congo Serpent Eagle, African Harrier Hawk, Palm Nut Vulture, Cassins Hawk Eagle, European Honey and Red-necked Buzzards. Some of the more difficult but still possible species from the canopy include Long-tailed Hawk, Black Dwarf Hornbill, Yellow-footed Honeyguide and Black-collard Lovebird. After a wonderful morning we return to our lodge to freshen up and enjoy our lunch. During the heat of mid-afternoon, you will have the option of birding around our lodges grounds, resting in your air conditioned rooms, around the pool and bar or you could choose to go on a cultural excursion to Cape Coast castle, compliments of Ashanti African Tours. We re-visit the canopy walkway in the evening when our main targets will be the Brown-cheeked, Black and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, Great Blue Turaco, Brown Nightjar and Fraser’s eagle owl amongst other specials. Our evening will be spent at the lodges restaurant and bar discussing the day’s sightings, adding to our checklist and enjoying the atmosphere of our surroundings.

Day 5
This morning we will be concentrating our time on the farmland scrub, forest edge and forest trails at Abrafo a section of forest habitat near to Kakum National Park. Our guides are always focused on getting our clients good views of all species and this morning is no different as we search for Pale Flycatcher, Black and White Mannikin, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Sooty Boubou, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Red-faced and Whistling Cisticolas, Lesser Striped Swallow, Fanti Saw-wing, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Naked-faced and Hairybreasted Barbets, Frasers and Little-green Sunbirds, Yellowbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Common Fiscal, Spotted Greenbul, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Yellowwhiskered and Red-tailed Greenbuls, White-crested Hornbill, African Harrier Hawk and the more sought after difficult species include Long-tailed Hawk, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-billed and Black Dwarf Hornbills. Productivity reduces during the heat of the mid-afternoon, with this in mind we return to our hotel to enjoy our lunch, relax around the pool or have a short siesta. After lunch as we check out of our hotel and head for the coastal savannah plains. There are some special species found in this area and new birds we hope to see include Marsh Tchagra, Compact Weaver, Doublespurred Francolin, Oriole Warbler, Red-headed Quelea, Black-rumped Waxbill and if we are lucky Yellow-winged Pytillia, Wilsons Indigobird and African Wattled Lapwing. Our next two evenings will be spent at a small guesthouse as we head further west

Day 6
An excellent forest about an hour’s drive from our guesthouse, this secondary semi deciduous forest protects a plethora of quality species that will enhance our list and overall experience. Species we hope to see today include Olive, Blue-throated Brown and Little Green Sunbirds, Yellow-spotted, Bristle-nosed, Hairy-breasted and Naked-faced Barbets, Blue-throated Roller, Western Black-headed and Black-winged Orioles, Buff-spotted and Little Green Woodpeckers, Usshers and the much sought after Tessmann’s Flycatchers, Square-tailed Sawwing, Grays and Crested Malimbes, Green Crombec, Green and Tit Hylia, African Piculet, Emerald and Yellow-throated Cuckoo’s, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Black Dwarf Hornbill and Great-blue Turaco. We check out of our guesthouse after enjoying our lunch and set off westwards for what should prove to be a major highlight of your time with us here in Ghana. Our destination is Ankasa Reserve, Ghana’s only wet evergreen rainforest that is in near pristine condition. An exceptional forest in a remote location Ankasa protects many rare and sought after bird and mammal species.


Day 7
Your guide will be up before first light listening for the unmistakeable call of the Nkulengu Rail, if he locates this species he will alert the group before breakfast. It’s wonderful actually staying at a birding location and not having to waste time travelling. We set off venturing deeper into this lush forest with our main targets being the upper guinea endemics Yellowbearded Greenbul, Rufous-winged Illadopsis and Green-tailed Bristlebill in addition to Ansorge’s, Icterine, Red-tailed and Western-bearded Greenbul’s, Pale-breasted and Blackcap Illadopsis, Forest Robin, White-tailed Ant Thrush, White-tailed Alethe, Shinning Drongo, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Barbet, White-throated Bee-eater, Chestnut-breasted
Negrofinch, Blue-headed Wood Dove, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Yellow-billed and Great Blue Turaco’s, Black-capped Apalis, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Tiny Sunbird and Red-fronted Antpecker. Our evening is spent at our camp enjoying good food and discussing the days birding over a cold refreshing drink.


Day 8
A final mornings birding at this wonderful location, we will be targeting species we may have missed or would like to get better views of. After a full mornings birding we return to our camp to arrange our bags and enjoy our lunch before we head back towards Kakum National Park.
During our journey we will be targeting several species not seen in other parts of Ghana, these include Reichenbach’s and Brown Sunbird, Orange Weaver, African Pygmy Goose and Little Grebe to mention a few. We revisit the coastal savannah plains en-route before we arrive back at the Rainforest Lodge Hotel for our evening meal and checklist.

Day 9
Today is special and it is difficult to focus our minds on anything other than the afternoon visit to the Yellow-headed Picathartes nesting site, however we will have to as we have a full mornings birding to enjoy. We check out of our hotel after an early breakfast and set off for Abrafo forest where we will be targeting species we may still require from this habitat. After an excellent morning we set off northwards stopping for lunch en-route before arriving at a remote village close to a small upper guinea rainforest in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.

All of the known nesting sites for the Yellow-headed 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. Ashanti African Tours are currently sponsoring 24 community forest committee members from the surrounding villages to patrol and stop illegal hunting and logging activities. It is imperative we show the local surrounding communities of the benefits of protecting this species and endangered habitat, as such we are currently building an 11 classroom school facility, reception centre and future plans include accommodation for nature lovers with all proceeds going directly to a community fund. There has been a dramatic reduction in tree felling and our groups seem to be enjoying better views than ever of more birds when visiting the Yellowheaded Picathartes nesting site.
There are around 20 nesting sites in this small forest and we will visit one of the largest colony’s that has approximately 30 nests. As we set off on the walk through this beautiful forest you can see why it is one of the most sought after species in the world, the total experience adds to this mythical bird’s reputation. As we arrive at the nesting site we need to be very quiet as we take our seats on bamboo benches we have purposely made for your comfort. The overhanging rock face and small cave with mud nests sets the atmosphere as we wait for the birds to come back from foraging for snails, frogs and insects during the day. It is hard to contain your excitement as these legendary prehistoric looking birds hop and jump on the rocks whilst preening themselves just meters from our eyes (no telescope needed). Once we have enjoyed good views we leave the birds in peace as we set off back through the forest to our vehicle. On our arrival in Kumasi we check into our hotel, enjoy our evening meal and reflect on one of the best birding days of our life.

Day 10
After an early breakfast we set off for an interesting forest in a transitional zone between the southern wetter forests and northern drier woodland habitats where we find some quality species. We will have approximately 3 hours birding here and will need to walk as the road is in poor condition. Species possible to see here include Afep and Western Bronze-naped Pigeons, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Many-coloured, Lagdens and Fiery-breasted Bush-shrikes,
Red-thighed and Black Sparrowhawks, Bioko Batis, Green (Guinea) Turaco, Rufous-sided Broadbill and our main targets will be Blue-moustached Bee-eater, Capuchin Babbler, Yellowfooted Honeyguide and Forest Scrub Robin, however our time will be limited so luck will need to be on our side before we set off for Ghana’s premier game viewing park found in the Northern Region. It is approximately a 5 hours’ drive from Offinso to Mole National Park and we will be stopping for lunch and several leg stretches en-route. We can expect to see different species of birds as we head northwards as the habitat changes to the drier broad leaved guinea woodland and savannah.

Day 11& 12
Mole is a real nature lover’s paradise and we are in for a real treat over the next 2 full days as we immerse ourselves into the exceptional West African birds and mammals found here at Mole National Park. We will be setting off after breakfast walking and driving deeper into this national park, your expert guides know all locations for species we hope to see which will include Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Scarlet-chested, Beautiful, Pigmy and Western Violetbacked Sunbirds, Lavender and Orange-cheeked Waxbills, Familiar Chat, White-fronted Black Chat, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Red-headed Quelea, Red-billed, Bar-breasted and Black-bellied Firefinch, Fine-spotted, Grey, Golden-tailed and Brown-backed Woodpeckers, Violet-backed, Long-tailed Glossy, Bronze-tailed Glossy, Lesser Blue-eared and Greater-Blueeared Starlings, Abyssinian Ground, African Grey and Northern Red-billed Hornbills, Stone Partridge, Double-spurred, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Senegal Eremomela, Pintailed, Exclamatory Paradise and Togo Paradise Whyda’s, Bush Petronia, Little, Heuglins Masked, Village and Red-headed Weavers, Melodious and Willow Warblers, Brubru, Thickbilled, Jakobins, African, Black and Great Spotted Cuckoos, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongos, Northern Puffback, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-faces, Rufous and the difficult Dort’s Cisticolas, Hadada Ibis and Wilsons Indigobird.

Mammals are in abundance here in Mole and we hope to see Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Hartebeest and the beautiful Roan Antelope in addition to getting within a few meters on foot to Africa’s largest land mammal the African Elephant. Green Vervet and Patas Monkeys will greet us in the bush as we enjoy our morning walks. During the heat of the midday sun we can enjoy a siesta or relax around the pool after our lunch. We set off for afternoon birding around 3pm and stay after dark for nocturnal species.

Day 13
A final mornings birding at Mole where we aim to pick up species still needed and to also get better views of birds we only had glimpses of previously. Birds we could add before leaving Mole include Woodchat Shrike, Northern Red Bishop, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Yellow-crowned
Gonolek, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Senegal Parrot, Black-billed Wood and Vinaceous Doves,
Woolly-necked, Saddle-billed and Black Storks, Yellow-throated Leaflove and Red-headed Lovebird to mention a few before we set off towards Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

We will have the option en-route to Bolgatanga of visiting the nearby Larabanga mud and stick Mosque. Built in traditional Sudanese style and dating from the 14th century the Mosque apparently houses one of the original copies of the Koran. As we continue on our journey the landscape changes from the broad leaved guinea woodland of the Northern Region to more open savannah as we head further northwards. After lunch at a hotel in Tamale capital of the Northern Region of Ghana we continue to the beautiful Tongo Hills where we will be targeting species only found in this unique habitat of natural boulders and inselbergs. After an excellent evenings birding we continue the short journey into Bolgatanga and check into our guesthouse for the evening where we will reflect after our evening meal on another productive day

Day 14
Another major highlight today of your time with us here in Ghana as we set off early in the morning for a river location to see the beautiful Egyptian Plover which has recently been made a family of its own. We pay locals in the area to protect and monitor this species to ensure its continued breeding success as locals will destroy the nests and take the eggs. This has also ensured our tour participants have a 100% record of seeing this species during all our tours to this part of Ghana. It’s a beautiful part of Ghana and as you look across the White Volta River you can see Togo and Burkina Faso in the distance. Other species we hope to see during our time here include, Chestnut-bellied and Purple Glossy Starlings, African Mourning Dove, Buffalo Weaver, Zebra Waxbill and if we are lucky Yellow-winged Pytillia amongst other species before we set off back towards our Hotel for our lunch and short siesta. Our afternoon will be dedicated to birding at the Tono Dam close to the border of Burkina Faso.

Day 15
Today is mainly dedicated to being a travel day as we retrace our journey back southwards towards Kumasi. Depending on which species we may still require it is possible to revisit the Offinso Forest or alternatively Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary for evening birding when arriving in Kumasi.

Day 16
An early start as we head back into the Upper Guinea Rainforest habitat where so many of
Ghana’s sought after special species are found. This morning we hope to see Tit and Green Hylias, Magpie Mannakin, Narina’s Trogon, Red-billed Dwarf and Black Dwarf Hornbills,
African Grey and Brown-necked Parrots, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Black-throated Coucal, Golden-backed Weaver, African Piculet, Red-chested Owlet, Dusky Tit, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Barbet, Grey-headed and Red-tailed Bristlebills and the much sought after Yellow-footed Honeyguide amongst other species.

We set off after a productive morning heading further south towards Atewa stopping for lunch en-route. After the evening birding we check into our nearby guesthouse for the evening to relax, reflect and enjoy our evening meal.

Day 17
Atewa is critically endangered highland upper guinea rainforest and as it protects so many quality and rare species we will dedicate the entire morning birding here. It is quite a consistent hill walk to get to the top of the range and with this in mind we will take a packed lunch (or decide to have a late lunch) with us to minimise the walking and also maximise our time here. Target birds here will include Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Bluemoustached (Headed) Bee-eater, Bioko Batis, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Hobby, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped and Speckled Tinkerbirds, Little Green, Buff-throated, Blue-throated Brown, Olive-bellied and Collard
Sunbirds, African Goshawk, Red-tailed and Green-tailed Bristlebills, Red-headed and Crested Malimbes, Forest Robin, Little, Little Grey, White-throated, Icterine, Red-tailed, Westernbearded and the upper guinea endemic Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Many-coloured Bushshrike, Western Nicator, Brown Illadopsis and Western Bronze-naped Pigeon. There are some really special rare species here that are very difficult to see and if we are lucky as we sometimes are we may get a glimpse of Red-fronted Antpecker, Nimba Flycatcher, Crowned Eagle, Brownchested Alethe, Forest Scrub Robin and Lowland Akalat amongst others. An amazing end to a wonderful tour as we head back to our Guesthouse to rearrange our bags and freshen up. We enjoy an early evening meal and final checklist before transferring you to the airport for your departure after a wonderful Ghana birding and wildlife tour.


All our tour prices include
Accommodation: range from air conditioned hotels with en-suite facilities to traditional village homestead
All meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
Transportation around Ghana in an air conditioned vehicle
Cultural excursions
Park entrance fees
Guide fees: fully escorted by professional and expert Western and local Ghanaian guides
24/7 care and attention

Price does not include
International Flights
Visa
Items of a personal nature or not mentioned in the itinerary above

To receive the full details of this trip via email please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information to peruse at your leisure. Please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information.

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Ghana Bird Watching Tour - 17 Days

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