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Republic of Ghana

Black Bee-eater Merops glares ©Dick Forsman Website

Birding Ghana

Ghana (which means 'Warrior King' in the Soninke language), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy, located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km², Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south with a 350 mile coastline. Ghana encompasses plains, waterfalls, low hills, rivers, Lake Volta, the world's largest artificial lake, Dodi Island and Bobowasi Island on the south Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana. Ghana has a vast river system with an array of tributaries. The climate of Ghana is tropical and there are two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

With over 760 species of birds, Ghana is an ideal West African birdwatching destination as you cover all of the West African core habitats that include coastal lagoons and saltpans, moving inland you find excellent Upper Guinea Rainforest protected areas and also the broad leaved guinea woodland and Savannah plains in Northern Ghana. Ghana has 12 of the 15 Upper Guinea Endemic bird species recorded is politically stable and has well developed infrastructure that is possibly the finest in West Africa. The star attraction is the Yellow Headed Picathartes, Egyptian Plover and World famous Kakum National Park rainforest canopy walkway.

The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission is the Government Agency mandated to protect and manage Ghana's wildlife resources. Currently the Division manages, 7 National Parks, 6 Resource Reserves, 2 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 strict nature reserve and 5 coastal Ramsar sites. The national parks are Kyabobo, Mole, Kakum, Digya, Bia, Bui & Nini Suhien National Parks. The Resource Reserves are Shai Hills, Ankasa, Gbele, Kalakpa, Bia & Assin Attandanso. The wildlife sanctuaries are Bomfobiri and Owabi. Kogyae is the only strict nature reserve. The Remsar sites are Keta Lagoon Complex, Densu Delta, Songor, Muni Pomadzi, & Sakumo.

Some of the much sought after species found here include Pel’s Fishing, Akun and Frasers Eagle Owl’s, Brown and Standard Winged Nightjars, Black, Rosy, Northern Carmine and Blue Headed Bee-eaters, Red Cheeked Wattle Eye, Forbe’s Plover, Brown, Rufous Winged and Puvel’s Illadopsis, Long Tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Violet Backed Hyliota, Black Dwarf, Red Billed Dwarf, Yellow Casqued, Brown Cheeked and White Crested Hornbills and over 20 species of Greenbul just to mention a few of the gems in store for visitors to this exceptional birding destination.

Top Sites

Ankasa Reserve

Information

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One of the Ghana’s most exciting birdwatching destinations, the Ankasa protected area comprises the continuous Nini-sahien National Park and Ankasa Resource Reserve, which together form a highly accessible and well preserved 509km2 chunk of wet evergreen Upper Guinea Rainforest. Ankasa is one of the most biologically rich habitats in Africa and believed to protect Ghana’s only remaining population of Chimpanzee. Forest Elephant, Bongo and many other mammal species can be found here. Star birds are definitely the Upper Guinea Endemic’s White Breasted Guineafowl, Yellow Bearded Greenbul, Green Tailed Bristlebil and Rufous Winged Illadopsis in addition to more gem’s like Africa’s rarest Kingfisher the White Bellied and Shining Blue, Yellow Casqued Hornbill, Great Blue Turaco, Hartlaubs Duck, African Finfoot, White Crested Tiger Heron and Dwarf Bittern are there to wet the appetite. Ankasa Reserve can be found 21km east of the border town with the Ivory Coast along the main Takoradi-Elubo road.

Bia National Park

Wiki

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Bia National Park is a Park in the Western Region of Ghana. It’s also a biosphere reserve with a 563 square kilometer resource reserve. It has some of the Ghana’s last remnants of relatively untouched forest with its full diversity of wildlife some of the tallest trees left in the West Africa are found in this National Park. There are 62 species of mammals, including 10 primate species known to live in the Park, and over 189 species of birds have been recorded, including the endangered White breasted Guinea fowl, Black Collared love bird, cassin’s hawk Eagle, Honey Guide Greenbul, Black headed Oriole, Brown and Puvel’s illadopsis finch’s flycatcher thrush. Grey Crown Negrofinch, Western-Nicator, spotted Greenbul, Grey headed bristled Bill, Fire bellied wood pecker, melancholy wood pecker and many others can be found here

Bobiri Forest Reserve

Information

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This small forest sanctuary protects almost 500 species of butterfly but is also a treasure trove of birds and one of the best locations to see the awesome Long Tailed Hawk much sought after by world birders. Additional species include Lathams Francolin, Black Throated Coucal, Tit Hylia, Brown Illadopsis, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Velvet-mantled Drongo, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Black and Red-chested Cuckoos, Western Nicator, Swamp Palm Greenbul, Black-and-White Flycatcher, Grey and Red-fronted Parrots, Finch's Flycatcher-thrush Blue-throated Roller. Olive-bellied and Green-headed Sunbirds, white crested and red billed dwarf hornbills in addition to Africa’s rarest the Black Dwarf Hornbill. Bobiri is one of the only remaining Upper Guinea Rainforest’s close to the bustling city of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. There is basic accommodation here with no electricity and Bobiri is found 30km South of Kumasi on the main Accra-Kumasi road.

Bui National Park

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The park stretches an area of 1821 square kilometers and protects Ghana’s largest population of hippopotamus. A hydro electric dam is currently being built at Bui and will eventually cover more than 50% of this exceptional wildlife habitat of guinea woodland and savannah. An abundance of mammal and bird species have been recorded that are now under threat due to the dam project.

Kakum National Park

Information

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Located 30km north of the seaside town of Cape Coast in Ghana's Central Region, Kakum National Park and the adjacent Assin Attandaso Resource Reserve cover approximately 365 square kilometres of semi deciduous secondary Upper Guinea Rainforest with its main attraction being the world famous Canopy Walkway. The canopy walkway offers birders an excellent opportunity to see the more difficult canopy dwelling species at close quarters. Upper Guinea Endemics like Brown Cheeked Hornbill, Sharpe’s Apalis and Copper Tailed Glossy Starlings are common here in addition to Black and Yellow Casqued Hornbills, Yellow Billed Turaco, Yellow Throated Cuckoo, tiny sunbird, White-breasted Negrofinch, little green woodpecker, red headed malimbe’s, yellow mantled weaver, blue cuckoo-shrike and the legendary Congo Serpent Eagle. Kakums forest trails offer more difficult to see understory species like White Throated, Western Bearded and Red Tailed Greenbuls, Fire-crested Alethe, Finch's Flycatcher-thrush, West African Forest Robin, Rufous Sided Broadbill, Red Billed Helmit-shrike, Red Tailed Bristlebill, Chocolate Backed Kingfisher and the Upper Guinea Endemic Green Tailed Bristlebil. Owl’s and Nightjars are also common with Frasers Eagle and African Wood Owl’s in good numbers and much sought after Brown Nightjar. Kakum also protects over 60 mammal, reptile and amphibian species that include Forest Elephants, Long Tailed Pangolin and the legendary Bongo.

Mole National Park

Wiki

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Ghana’s premier wildlife viewing protected area covering 4847 square kilometres and protecting over 90 mammal and 330 bird species. The accommodation here is situated on an idyllic escarpment overlooking 2 watering holes where African Elephants, Kob, Waterbuck and Bushbuck regularly come to drink. Mole’s habitat consists of broad leaved guinea woodland and savannah plains, excellent birdwatching can be enjoyed around the hotel with species such as Red-throated Bee-eater, Grey Woodpecker, Beautiful and Pygmy Sunbirds, Orange-cheeked, Lavender and Black-rumped Waxbills, Pin-tailed Whydah, Northern Puffback, Northern Crombec, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Bush Petronia and Senegal Batis. Walking Safari’s offer the chance of seeing quality species like Pel’s Fishing Owl, Sandard Winged Nightjar, Spotted Creeper, White Fronted Black Chat, Forbes Plover, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue Bellied Roller, Helmeted Guineafowl, Hadada Ibis, Woolly-necked AND Saddled Billed Storks, Grey and Black-headed Herons, Senegal Thick-knee and Greater-painted Snipe. Passing to an area of riverine forest, one should locate Red-winged Pytilia, Rufous Cisticola, Giant Kingfisher, African Blue Flycatcher, Common Gonolek, Snowy-crowned Robin Chat, African Paradise Flycatcher, Pale, Swamp and Lead-coloured Flycatchers, Oriole Warbler & African Dwarf Kingfisher. Mole is approximately a 6 hour drive from Kumasi without stops with the final 86km being rough dirt road.

Shai Hills Reserve

Wiki

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Shai Hills reserve is the closest wildlife protected area to Accra with a savannah grassland habitat, large rock formations and caves. The rock formations harbour good numbers of White Crowned Cliff Chat and Rock Martins in addition to Rock Loving Cisticolas. Green and Violet Turaco’s are common as are Puvels Illadopsis, Blue Bellied, Broad billed and Rufous Crowned Rollers, Senegal Parrot, Red Headed Lovebirds, Black Cap and Brown Babblers, Stone Partridge, Grey Hornbill, Fork-tailed Drongo, White-crowned Robin Chat, Croaking Cisticola, Grey Kestrel, Rosy and Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and Rose-ringed Parakeets. African Hobby is regularly seen and large numbers of Olive Baboons greet you on your entrance to the main gates.

Contributor

Mark Williams

Ashanti Tours

ashantitours@yahoo.com

Website

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 772

Authorties vary on the exact number and 725 may be a more realistic total, of which 494 are known or thought to be resident and 176 are regular seasonal migrants, including 100 from the Palearctic.

Endemics

There are no endemics or even near endemics.

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Birds of Ghana

by Nik Borrow & Ron Demey | Christopher Helm | 2010 | Paperback | 352 pages, 145 col plates |

ISBN: 9781408122792

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Ghana: An Atlas and Handbook

By Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire & Robert J Dowsett | Tauraco Press | 2014 | Paperback | 713 pages, 21 plates with colour photos; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9782872250073

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

African Bird Club

Website

Ghana deserves to be a popular birding destination now that tourism is being actively encouraged, even though most of the more eastern species can be seen in Cameroon or Gabon. While all the Upper Guinea endemics can be seen in neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire, that country is currently in some turmoil, and Ghana is a sensible alternative. Ghanaians are among the most friendly people in West Africa and the national language is English…

Ghana Wildlife Society (BirdLife Partner)

Website

GWS was first formed in the early 1970s but functioned for few years and became dormant. Not until 1991, when it was revived by the 'Save the Seashore Birds Project - Ghana (SSBP-G), a project that aimed at protecting the sea, shore birds and their coastal wetland habitats in Ghana. When the SSBP-G ended in June 1994, the Society took over and continued the conservation activities initiated by the project. For further enquiry on how to support our conservation activities and programs, send us en email to: info@ghanawildlifesociety.org or call the office line on (+233) 0302 665197 and we will get in touch with you shortly.

West African Ornithological Society

Website

The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

CA Ankasa Resource Reserve

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The Ankasa Conversation Area is an area in southwestern Ghana, in Ghana's Western Region, about 365 kilometers west of Accra near the border with Côte d'Ivoire. It incorporates the Nini Suhien National Park in the North, and the Ankasa Forest Reserve in the South. The park is approximately 500 square kilometers, and consists largely of tropical evergreen rainforest. The Ankasa Conservation Area is the only wildlife protected area in Ghana that is located in the wet evergreen tropical high rainforest belt.

CFCP Afadjato

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The biodiversity importance of the area is considered exceptional, especially in terms of butterfly and bird species…

FR Asubima

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The Asubima Forest Reserve is a 7,870-hectare (19,400-acre) protected area near Akumadan, Ghana and was established in 1945. FORM Ghana, a plantation development company, manages 1,729.9 hectares (4,275 acres) of the southern part of the reserve to reforest land in the reserve that has been highly degraded due to logging, wildfires, and illegal farming.

FR Boin Tano

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The Boin Tano Forest Reserve is a nature reserve located in the Western Region of Ghana. It was established in 1968. This site, which is 129 square kilometres (12,900 ha; 50 sq mi), is rich both in faunal and floral species.[

NP Bia

Webpage

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Bia National Park is unique in Ghana because it crosses a 305-square-kilometre (117-square-mile) zone of humid evergreen and semi-deciduous forest types. 62 different species of mammals have been spotted in the park including several types of rare colobus monkey, chimpanzee, forest elephant and threatened bongo.

NP Bui

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Bui National Park is Ghana's 3rd largest national park and is located in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana, about 3 hours northwest of Kumasi. Bui is well know for its hippos, but it is also an excellent birding location. Hoofed species include Roan antelope, bushbuck, waterbuck, Kob and warthog. Baboons, monkeys and crocodiles may also be seen.

NP Digya

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Digya National Park is the second largest national park and the oldest protected area in Ghana. It is located in the Brong-Ahafo Region. It was created in 1900 and given national park status in 1971. The park is the only wildlife territory in Ghana to have Lake Volta at its borders.

NP Kakum

Website

Satellite View

The long-tailed Verreaux's Touraco floats down from the sky. From your vantage point on the canopy walkway, you see a brilliant flash of red on the wings of this magnificent bird as it lands a few feet away to settle on a Kuntan tree, one of the tallest trees in the forest canopy. This is something you'd never see from the forest floor…

NP Kakum (Canopy Walkway)

Website

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Have you ever seen the rainforests from a hundred feet off the ground? The Kakum Canopy Walkway, the only one of its kind in Africa, will lead you through the tree-tops of Ghana's Kakum National Park, offering a unique and spectacular view of the rainforest ecosystem.

NP Kyabobo

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Kyabobo National Park (pronounced CHAY-a-bobo) is a 360-square-kilometre (140 sq mi) national park in Ghana. The reserve was established in 1997. Ghana's second highest mountain, Mount Dzebobo is contained within the park and offers visitors an impressive view of the Lake Volta.

NP Mole

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Mole National Park is Ghana's largest wildlife refuge. The park is located in northwest Ghana on grassland savanna and riparian ecosystems at an elevation of 150 m, with sharp escarpment forming the southern boundary of the park. The park's entrance is reached through the nearby town of Larabanga. The Lovi and Mole Rivers are ephemeral rivers flowing through the park, leaving behind only drinking holes during the long dry season.

NP Nini Suhien

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The Nini-Suhien National Park is found in Ghana. It was established in 1976. This site is 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi) in size.

WR Shai Hills

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The lovely Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve is only 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Accra. Although it is largely savannah plains, there is lots of forest among the 48-square-kilometre (18-square-mile) reserve which protects 31 mammals and 175 bird species. It was established in 1962 with area of 47 square kilometres (4,700 ha; 18 sq mi) which was later extended to 47 square kilometres (4,700 ha; 18 sq mi) in 1973.

WS Agumatsa

Webpage

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The area boasts of the most spectacular geographical feature in the district. An hour's walk through cool shades of trees will lead you to Ghana's highest waterfalls. The beauty of the falls is enhanced not only by the towering face of the gorge but most impressively by the several thousands of fruit bats clinging to its sides. This waterfalls which consist of a series of four falls and two cascades descending an amazing 600m height is one of the perennial falls in Ghana open to visitors through out the year.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Ashanti African Ghana Birding Tours

Tour Operator

The Ghana birding and wildlife specialist with a commitment to conservation, join us for an enjoyable, professional, quality, affordable and highly productive birding tour of Ghana. We have a 100% record where all our clients have enjoyed walk away views of the prehistoric looking Yellow Headed Picathartes and beautiful Egyptian Plover…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Ghana must be the easiest West African country to travel in and thus gives relatively easy access to a very large number of West African endemics, as well as good access to some star North African birds. Ghana has 180 of the Guinea-Congo Forests biome birds, including 12 out of the 15 Upper Guinea Forest endemics, 11 of which are of global conservation concern.

Easy Track Ghana

Website

Ghana is an amazingly undiscovered destination for birding. Among the unique offerings, Ghana affords participants the opportunity to see the spectacular Yellow-headed Picathartes, one of Africa's most unusual birds. On this page we identify some choice locations for birding watching in Ghana. We have expert birding specialists at destinations throughout Ghana or available to travel with any tour.

Malimbe Tours

Tour Operator

Watch birds safely in the exotic African country of Ghana. Ghana is rich in bird life and wildlife and is the most stable of the African countries. Experienced guides will accompany you on every trip…

Rockjumper

Tour Operator

…bird waves filled with greenbuls, sunbirds, flycatchers and warblers. Ground-dwelling species that we aim to see include the elusive Nkulengu Rail, White-spotted Flufftail, no less than five Illadopses and several specialized ant-attending species…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2008 [01 January] - Mark Finn

Report

…The canopy walkway at Kakum produced several interesting species notably Yellow-casqued and Black-casqued Hornbills, Blue-throated Roller and Ussher’s Flycatchers. On the forest floor, brief views of Latham’s Francolins a rather secretive and scarce forest bird. Along the coast we encountered the rather localised Reichenbach’s Sunbird and hordes of wintering waders and terns. Further north around Kumasi we added African Finfoot, Shining Blue Kingfisher, Blue-headed Crested Flycatchers and Fraser’s Sunbird…

2008 [03 March] - Sam Woods & Iain Campbell

Report

…Top forest birds included a bunch of beautiful bee-eaters such as the exquisite Black Bee-eater, along with several Rosy Bee-eaters; a bounty of hornbills, including Black Dwarf Hornbill and Black-casqued Hornbill both at Kakum, and the superb Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill…

2008 [05 May] - Simon Papps

Report

A pre-breakfast walk along a road near the hotel produced our first African birds, with the ubiquitous Pied Crows, Little Swifts, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow and Laughing Doves joined by Senegal Coucal, Splendid Glossy and Greater Blue-eared Starlings, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Copper and Splendid Sunbirds and Western Plantain-eater. Less expected were African Pygmy Kingfisher, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver and Carmelite Sunbird…

2009 [02 February] - Ecotours

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…This 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….

2009 [03 March] - Ken Behrens

Report

…Other spectacular birds likely in Ghana include Congo Serpent-Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, White-spotted Flufftail, Guinea, Yellow-billed, and Violet Turacos, Fraser's Eagle-Owl, Standard-winged Nightjar, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Blue-headed, Red-throated, and Rosy Bee-eaters, White-crested, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, Brown-cheeked, Black-casqued, and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Long-tailed Glossy-Starling, and Preuss's Weaver…

2010 [03 March] - Henk Hendriks

Report

We managed to observe 272 species and our list includes species like Dwarf Bittern, Hartlaub’s Duck, Finfoot, all possible hornbill species, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Yellow-billed Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Black-throated Coucal, all possible spinetails, White-bellied Kingfisher, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Black Bee-eater, Rosy Bee-eater, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Little Green Woodpecker…

2010 [04 April] - Ken Behrens

Report

Put simply, Ghana is the best place in the world to see a Picathartes. In addition, Egyptian Plover has become a regular feature on this tour, after the confirmation of its presence at a new site during scouting prior to last yearʼs tour…

2011 [03 March] - Henk Hendriks

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This report covers the 12-day trip I made to southern Ghana in the company of my brother Frans, Antonio Mendoza and Jos Aarts. The main target was of course the almost mythical Yellow-headed Picathartes. Ghana is probably the easiest country to observe this rare species…

2012 [04 April] - Herve Jacob - South Ghana

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For the Brown Nightjar, we followed the dirt road on the right, passed the bamboo zone, then the track enters in a more closed forest, that's where we put the sound at 6:30pm and 2 birds answered and one sat on a branch above us. We liked the place very much but only heard Afep Pigeon and missed Back-Dwarf Hornbill…

2012 [11 November] - Derek Kverno - Kakum National Park

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...When it was finally our turn to take to the walkway, the sun was already low in the sky. The walkway connects six canopy towers built into trees, suspended 30 meters above the forest floor. The canopy is relatively broken in this area and looks more like secondary rainforest with a few remaining emergent trees. The views from the towers are excellent though and extend several kilometers to the opposite ridges. We hustled out to platform 3, which offers the most expansive views...

2013 [03 March] - Jon Hornbuckle

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…We arrived at Accra on the evening of 18th February and were met by Victor. After a 30+ min wait for a vehicle, we were taken to the relatively cheap Pink Hostel in order to start the tour early the following morning. Some of the trip highlights were at least 4 Yellow-headed Picathartes, Akun and Fraser’s Eagle-Owls, Black-billed and Red-billed Dwarf-Hornbills, Egyptian Plover, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Brown Nightjar and Black, Blue-moustached and Rosy Bee-eaters, and the rarely seen Capuchin Babbler and Olivaceous Flycatcher…

2013 [03 March] - Ken Behrens

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…Even more importantly, this tour almost guarantees sightings of two of the world’s best birds: the prehistoric and almost mythical White-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes) and unique and beautiful Egyptian Plover. Ghana is easily accessible by direct flights from the US and Europe, and this is a short tour that often works well for those who can’t take long vacations….

2013 [03 March] - Simon Boyes & Robert Ntakor

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…Our first stop is the coastal Sakumona Lagoon, where a great variety of wetland species has us looking in all directions. There are Black Egrets to compare with Western Reef Egrets, Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers among the Black-winged Stilts and Common Greenshanks, and a united flock of White-faced Whistling Duck. Collared Pratincoles and Kittlitz’s Plovers appear as we walk away from the main road, and along the western shore of the lagoon….

2013 [04 April] - Nik Borrow

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…However we were here to discover the countries avian riches and this short and sweet tour focused on a great selection of Upper Guinea forest endemic birds and one very special species in particular, the strange and bizarre Yellow-headed Picathartes or ‘rock fowl’….

2013 [04 April] - Phil Gregory & James Ntakor

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…Happily the two great stars, the White-necked Picathartes and the Egyptian Plover, showed very well again, and there were some nice bonuses as well: actually seeing Brown Nightjar; a male Standard-winged Nightjar in full plumage along with a nearby female and baby; great flight views of Rosy Bee-eater; Capuchin Babbler; and a wonderful forest skulker group at Ankasa which gave Green-tailed Bristlebill, Forest Robin and White-tailed Alethe showing amazingly well…

2013 [12 December] - Chris Townend

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Yellow-headed Picathartes: Whilst sitting quietly in the magical forest, we were wowed by at least 5 different birds as they returned to their roost site….

2014 [02 February] - John van der Woude

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Nollie and I had a very nice, private birding trip to Ghana, where we were expertly guided by Kalu Afasi (kalu_afasi at yahoo.com). His driver Jonathan also did an excellent job with the comfortable Hyundai H-1 van. The weather was fine throughout. We stayed in middle-class hotels and had good food (and good beer, ask for Star). This whole package has cost us far less than what we would have paid on a group tour by the international bird tour companies….

2014 [12 December] - Mark Van Beirs

PDF Report

...The lowland rainforests in the south and the bushy savanna in the north were the main habitats visited and other much appreciated goodies included Hartlaub’s Duck, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Fox Kestrel, White-spotted Flufftail, African Finfoot, Black-throated Coucal, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle Owl, Brown and Black-shouldered Nightjars, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-moustached, Black, Northern Carmine and Rosy Bee-eaters, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, White-crested and Black-casqued Wattled Hornbills, Yellow-footed and Wilcock’s Honeyguides, Fine-spotted, Little Green, Melancholy and Fire-bellied Woodpeckers....

2015 [02 February] - David & Sarah Blair

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Usually when going to Africa we drive ourselves or get a driver and then just get a guide for tricky forest birding but when we were researching Ghana we really wanted to camp in Ankasa and have a safety net on seeing the Picathartes so that pointed towards Ashanti African Tours but we didn’t want an organised tour as we prefer a very small group as it is much easier to get on birds when just the two of us.

2015 [03 March] - David McLachlan-Karr - Mole National Park

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A free weekend in Accra (on holiday from Sierra Leone) and a snap decision to try some birding in Ghana’s largest national park, Mole. Mole is located in the northern region of dry wooded savannah. The trip was easily do-able from the capital in a weekend and produced some excellent birds. All-in-all, 102 species were seen (31 of which were lifers – marked in bold). The park has some very knowledgeable guides who can provide birding services.

2015 [04 April] - Phil Gregory & James Ntakor

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This was the sixth Field Guides Ghana tour and my seventh in total, and once again it proved very successful, albeit with long drives and lots of early mornings and late evenings in quite hot conditions. Our local operator's guides were again fantastic and worked very long hours with great good humour and marvellous field skills; James was once more our guide, and it is just so helpful to have the local knowledge he provides.

2015 [12 December] - Marcus Lilje

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Our private Ghana Mega trip proved yet again to be a resounding success! We notched up a fantastic total that included some wonderful highlights in all of the great variety of habitats that we covered in the time we covered the length and breadth of this West African country.

2016 [02 February] - Ian Hillery

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We had visited Ghana 2 years previously, covering the “coastal strip” of the Gold Coast and part of the Ashanti region for a week. The birding and the experience of the country in general were superb, so we decided on another week back in the country, this time focusing on the North. Much of the birding in the South is forest birding, at locations such as Kakum and Bobiri, although it is not quite as difficult or time consuming as some forest birding elsewhere in the world.

2016 [03 March] - Charley Hesse

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2016 [04 April] - Julian Thomas

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I had lived in Ghana for the first eight years of my life, before four bouts of malaria meant I was banished to the UK, and it was always a place I wanted to revisit, so we arranged a trip with Ashanti African Tours www.ashantiafricantours.com. The cost for each of us was £1495 for the 12 day tour, which is definitely cheaper than booking a tour through a UK based wildlife tour company, except that as we by necessity had to travel over Easter (Jane being a teacher) there was a hike in air fares. The price was less because we were joined by Alex Anderson from Zimbabwe.

2016 [04 April] - Phil Gregory

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This was the seventh Field Guides Ghana tour (my eighth overall); this time, we had quite hot, humid weather for much of the trip, with unseasonal rain at a couple of sites. Ghana seems to be undergoing a building boom, with half-finished buildings all over the country. It was truly strange, but the place is clearly thriving and makes an ideal portal to West African birding. The trip worked well, with everyone arriving on time (and bags catching up later for Bob). This year, we went to Sakumono on arrival day, which proved good for Senegal Thick-knee and assorted herons, and freed us up for the long drive to Kakum later, whilst Hans and Ann-Margret made a trip to Atewa for Blue-moustached Bee-eater -- a wise precaution as it turned out!

2016 [05 May] - Steve Braine

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2016 [09 September] - Guillaume Péron

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...My top five on this trip would be something like 1) white-necked picathartes; 2) white-breasted guineafowl; 3) yellow-footed honeyguide + thick-billed honeyguide; 4) yellow-casqued hornbill and 5) African piculet. I suppose folks for which Ghana is the first taste of rainforest birding would...

2016 [11 November] - Nick Bray

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...Our first trip birds appeared along the drive, nothing special but still nice to get the trip list started and we saw the common Pied Crow, Piapiac, Western Grey Plantain-Eater, Yellow-billed Kites, Bluebreasted Kingfisher, Black-winged Red Bishop and both Palm & Little Swifts. Upon arrival at the lagoon it was readily apparent that it was a very high tide and there were only a few small islands showing. However, a decent hour or so of scanning produced a few shorebirds such as Marsh, Common and Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt and Spur-winged Lapwing. Ron then spotted a small group of Collared Pratincoles flying in to land on one of the islands, and we also saw a few Western Reef Herons dotted around the area and a Striated Heron flew by...

2016 [12 December] - Nik Borrow & Paul Mensah

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However, the aim of our ‘Ultimate’ tour was to discover Ghana’s avian riches and our focus was on an exciting selection of Upper Guinea forest endemic birds and one very special species in particular; the strange and bizarre White-necked Rockfowl aka Yellow-headed Picathartes. We only had to wait for 30 minutes or so before the first furtive birds hopped into view and our success with this charismatic species was total and absolute with prolonged views of at least eight posing individuals at remarkably close range and this event was voted the highlight of the tour! Our tour started with a bang at Shai Hills where we managed to see the scarce Etchécopar’s Owlet in the thickets that surround the base of the rocky outcrops frequented by White-crowned Cliff Chats and noisy Stone Partridges...

2017 [02 February] - Jaap Westra

PDF Report

Forest birding is not easy, you have to be quick and patience is a necessity when it comes to observing and making pictures of canopy dwelling species hidden in all shades of green, but I would say we did fairly well, with 176 lifers in nine days (and if we had not been to The Gambia in 2009, this list would have been a lot longer).

2017 [02 February] - Wise Birding

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...Yellow-headed Picathartes: This “must see” species did not disappoint as we were treated to at least four different birds coming in to roost near the village of Bonkro...

2017 [03 March] - Nik Borrtow

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...Spending time at Kakum National Park with its famous canopy walkway and in the surrounding farmbush we were introduced to a mind-boggling array of forest zone species that included Upper Guinea endemics such as Fire-bellied and Melancholy Woodpeckers, West African and Red-cheeked Wattle-eyes, Sharpe’s Apalis, Ussher’s Flycatcher, Buff-throated Sunbird and Red-fronted Antpecker and other mouth-watering species...

2017 [04 April] - Phil Gregory

Report

Field Guides Tour Report Ghana: Window Into West African Birding 2017 Mar 30, 2017 to Apr 18, 2017Phil Gregory & James Ntakor For our tour description, itinerary, past triplists, dates, fees, and more, please VISIT OUR TOUR PAGE. See this triplist in printable PDF format with media only on page 1. White-necked Rockfowl, or Picathartes, is always the hoped-for highlight of this tour...and we had great looks again this year! Photo by guide Phil Gregory. The favorite birds among our Ghana group this year were varied as might be expected, but Picathartes (Rockfowl) and Egyptian Plover came out on top as always, with Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Standard-winged Nightjar, White-crested Hornbill, Violet Turaco, Yellow Penduline-Tit, and Cassin's Honeyguide also scoring highly -- there were some difficult choices amongst so many great birds!

2017 [08 August] - Bob MeinkeRob Gordijn

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Canopy walkway: We started here the first morning, spending most time on the furthest platform of the canopy walk where you have a great overview of the surrounding forest. The morning was very productive with the highlight being a pair of Red-fronted Antpeckers in a flock below us. We left the walkway at 10.30 as tourists started coming and because after a few hours you have to pay an extra fee. We birded some more on the trails below the canopy (African Piculet). After lunch we returned and first birded some more of the trails (Rufous-sided Broadbill, HO White-spotted Flufftail), the last hours until dusk were spent up on the canopy walk where a Brown Nightjar started to call. We searched for owls some more around the HQ but without luck.

2017 [08 August] - James & Kojo

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...Change of plan: rather than early breakfast and being at Shai Hills for dawn, we were out in the dark, walking towards the fields behind the hotel to follow up on a nightjar report. We were diverted for a moment by a Yellow-winged Bat hanging by an outside light, but ten minutes later we were watching a Swamp Nightjar flying past building sites and maize fields on the edge of Tema, giving its “choog choog” song. Its identity was readily confirmed by James Ntakor, our amazing guide with his incredibly sharp eyes and ears....

2017 [11 November] - David Hoddinott

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...The following day, we enjoyed more time at Kalakpa, where we saw Spotted Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Grey Kestrel, African Hobby, White-crested Helmetshrike, elusive Baumann’s Olive Greenbul, Red-winged Warbler, Yellow-bellied Hyliota and Western Violet-backed Sunbird....

2017 [12 December] - Janos Olah

PDF Report

One of star birds of the morning was a real showy Stone Partridge, which allowed excellent looks at close range. The other major highlight was a pair of White-crowned Cliff Chats as they played hide and seek amongst the boulders with a Slender Mongoose. We also had colourful Vieillot’s and ...

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Birding in Ghana

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With over 755 species of birds, Ghana is an ideal bird watching destination. For any birder aiming to maximize birds seen in Africa, West Africa is a top three destination. These birding trips are cost effective, productive and fun.

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Ian Fulton - Ghana Birds

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Paul Gale - Birds of Ghana

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