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Itinerary: Ghana Birdwatching Tour - 14 days

Ghana Birdwatching Tour - 14 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 Birdwatching Tour - 14 days

Day 1
You arrive at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana. Accra is situated on the Gold Coast of Western Africa. This is the start of what will be an amazing journey that will live with you forever. After passing through immigration, you proceed to the conveyor to collect your baggage before heading to customs. We will meet you on the other side, just look out for our sign as you come out of the terminal building. Make yourself known to us and we will take care of you from here, and for the duration of your stay. We will board our air-conditioned vehicle, your mode of transport for the duration of your stay, before setting off.

Our first stop, the Dutch hotel, is 20 minutes outside of Accra. Located in a quiet area on the coast, the Dutch hotel is our accommodation during our stay in Accra. Once we have checked you in, Mark and the two local guides, who will be accompanying you for the duration of your tour, will offer you Akwaaba (Welcome). We will brief you on all aspects of your holiday during complementary drinks (first evening only) at the hotel bar. In the evening you can relax on the hotel terrace overlooking the Gold Coast.

Day 2
Our first full day in Ghana, and an early start to what should be a wonderful 14 day birdwatching tour. We head west leaving the busy city of Accra behind. Our destination is Cape Coast where we find the amazing Kakum National Park. En route, we will be stopping at various Ramsar sites including lagoons, mud flats, saltpans and a grassland reserve. Today, we hope to find siffling, croaking, black necked cisticola, copper sunbird, flappet lark, red winged prinia, yellow shouldered widowbird, black necked weaver, African quailfinch, orange cheeked waxbill, moustached grass-warbler, displaying orange and black winged bishops and the much sought after blue quail and quail plover. Around the lakes and lagoons, we aim to see common paleartic tern, royal tern, African pygmy-goose, western reef egrets, herons, yellow bishop, preuss’s, swallows and many more species before our arrival at Hans Cottage, our base for the next 4 nights whilst we visit Kakum National Park. Our hotel is a very comfortable establishment built over a lake, which contains Nile crocodiles and is teeming with birdlife including vieillot, village and orange weavers, night heron, striated heron and the highly sought after white crested tiger heron. We will retire to our air-conditioned rooms after discussing the day’s sightings over dinner.

Day 3-4
Early start as we head for exclusive patronage of the world famous canopy walkway at Kakum National Park. Over the next two early mornings and evenings, we will be spending the most critical bird viewing hours 40 meters above the forest floor on the canopy walkway, which platforms are large enough to support Telescopes. The 607 km² Kakum National Park protects critically endangered primary guinea tropical rainforest and the species we expect to see from the canopy includes green hylia, violet backed hyliota, the rare yellow footed honeyguide, yellow bellied crombec, little grey flycatcher, grey headed, white breasted and chestnut breasted negrofinch, grey longbill, white headed and forest woodhoopee, West African batis, western bluebills, blue cuckoo shrike, chestnut bellied helmetshrike, large billed puffback, sharpes apalis, rufous-crowned eremomela, brown cheeked, black and white casqued, piping, yellow casqued and black dwarf hornbill, beautiful preussus weaver, red headed and red vented malimbes, rosy bee eater, yellow spotted and hairy breasted barbet, red fronted, brown necked, and grey parrots, velvet mantled drongos. The raptors we are likely to see include red necked buzzard, palm nut vulture, African cuckoo hawk, banded snake eagle, cassins hawk-eagle to mention just a few. During the heat of mid afternoon, we have the option of resting around the hotel pool and bar or you could choose to go on a cultural excursion to Cape Coast to visit Cape Coast and Elmina castles. These wonderfully preserved colonial fortifications are recognised as UNESCO world heritage sites. They are both steeped in history and played a major role during Ghana’s tragic slave trade era. We will tour these castles and embark on a fascinating and thought provoking journey. Both of these monuments have an excellent museum and information centre. We head back to Kakum National Park for a late afternoon birding, adding more species to our rapidly growing lists. The parks headquarters has an excellent information centre that offers a very informative overview of the parks flora and fauna. Over 40 different mammal species have been recorded within the park, including forest elephants, leopards and 6 primate species to mention just a few. Our evenings will be spent at Hans restaurant and bar discussing the day’s sightings, adding to our checklist and enjoying the atmosphere of our surroundings

Day 5
Another early start. This morning we will be concentrating our attention on the many trails within and surrounding the park, which should prove to be very productive. We can expect to find fire crested alethe, common and grey headed bristlebills, collared and olive bellied sunbirds, blue headed wood dove, red rumped tinkerbird, African and white browed forest flycatchers, black headed paradise flycatcher, finches flycatcher, blue shouldered robin chat, olive long tailed cuckoo, pale breasted illadopsis, forest robin, red chested goshawk, yellow billed and guinea turacoú, long tailed hawk, black bee eaters, fire bellied woodpecker, black throated coucal, spot breasted ibis, western black headed oriole, African finfoot and if we are lucky we may spot congo serpont eagle, African pitta, forest francolin forest scrub robin, spotted honeyguide and the legendary, critically endangered white breasted guineafowl, the forest streams support shining blue and white bellied kingfishers.

We will return in early afternoon after relaxing at the hotel and search the forest edge for bristle nosed and yellow billed barbet, yellow throated cuckoo, green crombec, ahanta francolin, black winged oriole, buff spotted and brown eared woodpecker, yellow throated cuckoo, kemps longbill, splendid and copper tailed glossy starling, yellow browed and olive green camaropterg. After a wonderful day of birding, we return to the hotel for our evening meal and to discuss the days birding over refreshments.

Day 6
Our final day at Kakum, we start the morning with a final visit to the park hoping to add some new species we may have missed previously. On our return to Hans, we have a leisurely breakfast, load up our vehicle and depart for Kumasi after a wonderful time at Kakum. During our journey, we will add some species we may have missed whilst at Kakum. We arrive in Kumasi at our hotel for a 1 night stay. On our arrival you will have the option of heading to Bobiri forest for evening birding or you can relax at our hotel.

Day 7
We awake early to visit Bobiri forest reserve which is actually a butterfly sanctuary. Upon our arrival, we will search this lush forest for swamp palm greenbul, bronze naped pigeon, red chested cuckoos, green headed sunbirds, red billed dwarf and white crested hornbills, white headed. Woodhoopee, brown illadopsis, western nicator and some of the many raptors present include, cassins hawk eagle, red thighed sparrowhawks, African cuckoo hawk, great sparrow hawk to mention just a few. During the heat of the afternoons, you have a choice of either relaxing in the hotel around the pool or going on an excursion to the National Cultural Centre and the Prempeh II Jubilee museum. The Cultural Centre and Prempeh museum offer an excellent overview of Ashanti history. And the wonderful craft market in the grounds offers an opportunity to buy traditional Ashanti crafts at reasonable prices. We return to Bobiri in the late afternoon trying to add some species we may have missed previously. This evening, you will be invited to our private house for complementary drinks and an evening meal whilst we discuss the day’s bird viewing before heading back to our hotel.

Day 8
The day starts with a buzz and after a leisurely breakfast we leave Kumasi heading north towards Mole National Park. We can expect to see different bird species en route as we gradually enter the Sahelian Savannah plains of northern Ghana. During our journey, we will be stopping at riparian forests and woodland trying to add different species to our list. On our arrival at Mole National Park, we check into the Mole hotel, which is the only accommodation in the area. Situated on a 250 metre high escarpment over looking this 4840km² park, it offers breathtaking views. It is an amazing feeling to be sitting around the pool on the hotel terrace watching African savannah elephants bathing in the two nearby watering holes which are inhabited by crocodiles. After our evening meal, we shall set off for an evening of birding around the Mole Airstrip which is particularly productive for nightjars.

Day 9-10-11
We awake early and move to the hotel terrace, which is an excellent spot to set up our Telescopes and watch the dawn activity where we aim to see chestnut-crowned sparrow weaver, lavender and orange cheeked waxbill, red throated bee eater, grey woodpecker, red billed and bared breasted firefinch, Senegal batis, stone partridge, freckled nightjar, beautiful and pygmy sunbirds, abyssinian ground-hornbill. The watering hole attracts Senegal thick knee and greater painted snipe, wolly necked stork and hadada ibis. Raptors are common in Mole and we should add to our list white headed, hooded, and white backed vulture, African hawk eagle, ayres’s hawk eagle, bateleur, short toed and brown snake eagle, lizzard buzzard, African hobby, lannar falcon and several species of harrier. We will take guided walks into the woodland that surrounds the waterholes in the cooler early mornings and late afternoons and we will expect to encounter bruces green pigeon, purple and longtailed gloss starlings, white shouldered black tit, Senegal eremomela, oriole warbler, violet turaco, golden tailed and grey woodpecker, blackcap and brown babbler, snowy crowned robin chat, yellow breasted apalis, spotted creeper, northern puffback, rufus cisticola, swamp and lead coloured flycatchers and yellow fronted tinkerbird. During the heat of the afternoons, we have the option of a nearby cultural excursion to Larabanga and the 14th century mud and stick mosque. This wonderfully preserved traditional Sudanese style mosque dates from around 1421 and reportedly houses one of the original copies of the Koran; alternatively we can relax on the terrace around the pool.

Day 12
After a final mornings birding on the hotel terrace and a hearty breakfast, we set off for Kumasi retracing our journey of a few days earlier. En route we will stop at the beautiful Kintampo waterfall to relax. Some of our more adventurous guests use this opportunity to experience the best shower in Ghana, an invigorating experience and a great way to cool off. After our refreshing stop, we set off on our final leg to Kumasi, on our arrival we will check into our hotel and enjoy our evening meal around the pool.

Day 13
This morning we have the option of a revisit to Bobiri or to the nearby Bomfobiri forest reserve, a very productive reserve where we aim to find species we may have missed during our previous visit to Kumasi. We return to our hotel to refuel before setting off for Accra. If time permits, we will head off for the Sakumona lagoon. One of our lead guides knows Sakumona lagoon very well as he lives a short distance away. This gives him the opportunity to bird there most mornings which can only enhance our group’s chances of a productive visit. As it is our final evening in Ghana, we will head back to our hotel to freshen up before an evening out at one of Accra’s beach front restaurants and bars.

Day 14
Sadly our final day with you in Ghana. The day starts early as we visit the nearby Shai Hills reserve, an expanse of Savannah, grassland and woodland. The bird viewing here is excellent and we hope to find grey hornbill, African hobby, violet and green turacos, mocking cliff chat, Senegal parrot, croaking cisticola, white crowned robin chat and many more species. After lunch, and if time permits, we shall revisit Sakumona lagoon.

Depending on your flight departure time, we will visit a nearby beach hotel to relax and enjoy an early evening meal before your sad departure and flight home after an unforgettable 14 days experience.

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
Items of a personal nature or not mentioned in the itinerary above

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Ghana Birdwatching Tour - 14 days

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