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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 760
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Birds of Ghana
by Nik Borrow and Ron Demey - 352 pages, 145 col plates Christopher Helm 2010 - See Fatbirder Review
ISBN: 9781408122792Buy this book from NHBS.com
Guides & Tour Operators
Ashanti African Ghana Birding Tours
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…
Ghana is a friendly and politically-stable, English-speaking country. The network of well-protected national and regional parks is served by a good infrastructure and well-developed eco-tourism facilities, including the world-famous Kakum canopy walkway. These factors combined with the wide variety of habitats within this small country make Ghana an unbeatable birding destination. The Upper Guinea forest block, an internationally recognised Endemic Bird Area and a severely threatened habitat, is well represented in southwestern Ghana…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Birdwatching Breaks are the market leaders on birding tours within the country…
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…
…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…
Sarus Bird Tours
Here we hope to see Pied-winged and White-throated Blue Swallow, Mocking Cliff-chat, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Stone Partridge, African Hobby, Blue-bellied and Rufous- crowned Roller, Double-toothed Barbet, Violet Turaco and Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike…
GHANA is a fantastic and very safe country to visit with some truly amazing birds. This tour focusses on the Upper Guinea Forest Endemics as well as including a trip to the savannah areas of Mole NP famous for its elephants and then the Bogatanga area for the wonderful Egyptian Plover…
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2008 [01 January] - Mark Finn
…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
…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
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
…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
…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
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
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
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…
2011 [04 April] - Robert Ntakor - Ashanti African Tours
Ghana originally known as the Gold Coast is the gate way to West Africa. It has a beautiful coastline with a lot of cocoanut groves on sandy beaches streaching for the 550km coastline. On this coastline 75% of the entire West African forts and castles can be found from our former colonial masters, eleven of these are now UNESCO world heritage and monument sites. Ghana was the first African country south the Sahara to gain independence from colonial administration in 1957 on the 6th of March….
2012 [04 April] - Herve Jacob - South Ghana
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…
2013 [03 March] - Jon Hornbuckle
…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
…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
…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
…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
…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
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
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
...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
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
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
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
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
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
2016 [04 April] - Julian Thomas
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
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
African Bird Club
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
Ghana Wildlife SocietyP0 Box 13252, Accra. + 233 21 663500 firstname.lastname@example.org
West African Ornithological Society
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.
Afadjato Community Forest Conservation Project
The biodiversity importance of the area is considered exceptional, especially in terms of butterfly and bird species…
Kakum Canopy Walkway
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.
Kakum National Park
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…
Bird Diversity and Abundance in Forest Fragments of Ghana
Birding in Kakum
Ghana has long stood as the top birding destination in West Africa for a number of reasons: there are a variety of national parks and reserves, the country has been relatively stable and peaceful for the last few decades, and English is the lingua franca.