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Lady with a Shawl (Indian Darter)
Lady with a Shawl (Indian Darter) | © Anurag Agnihotri / Flickr
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The Best Bird Watching Spots in Ghana

Picture of Kwame Aidoo
Updated: 29 March 2018
With over 760 bird species, Ghana is truly an amazing destination for bird watching. The local tour guides are very proficient in locating and engaging local bird populations. If you’re planning a visit to Ghana and want to check out the wildlife, take a look at our round-up of top bird watching spots.

Ankasa

One of Ghana’s main natural reserves is Ankasa, situated at the southwest corner near the border with Cote d’Ivoire, an area that receives the highest amount of rainfall in Ghana. There are more than 190 bird species here, including the rufous-winged illadopsis (Illadopsis rufescens), the copper-tailed starling (Lamprotornis cupreocauda), the Preuss’s weaver (Ploceus preussi), the white-breasted guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) (classed as ‘vulnerable’ – has been seen and even photographed in recent years), and the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) (classed as ‘near threatened’ – still exists in small numbers in Ankasa). Trapping of wild birds for trade persists in southwest Ghana and numbers overall continue to decrease.

Ankasa Resources Reserve

Forest, Park
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Yellow-billed Turaco | © Francesco Veronesi / Flickr
Ankasa Resources Reserve joins the smaller national park called Nini Suhien National Park, forming a unified conservation area. The area combined is about 500 sq km (193 sq miles), of which the national park comprises about 160 sq km (62 sq miles). The incredibly rich biodiversity is home to African elephants and the endangered Diana monkey, along with 263 species of birds. Sublime views of the Nini and Suhien rivers and waterfalls are available in the park.
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Sun - Mon:
7:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Bird watching in Ankasa | © Francesco Veronesi / Flickr

Sakumono and Accra Plains

Sakumono Ramsar Site is a wetland and Accra plains has vast farmlands, shrub turfs and moderately steep sections where experts have recorded about 70 species of waterbirds with an estimated maximum number of about 30,000 birds.

Sakumono Ramsar Site

Natural Feature
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Spur-winged lapwind, Sakumono Lagoon, Tema, Ghana, 2013 | © René Mayorga / Flickr
Sakumono Lagoon in Tema is a wetland protected area and the closest location to Accra for good bird watching. Urban development has greatly reduced this area, though it is still a recommended bird watching site. Common species to be found here include Egretta garzetta, E. gularis, Glareola pratincola, Charadrius hiaticula and Sterna hirundo, as well as breeding waterbirds and the black heron (Egretta ardesiaca) which is considered sacred and protected by local taboos.
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Abyssinian roller (Coracias abyssinicus) | © Wagon16 / Flickr

Kakum National Park

Visitors can use the Sun Bird Trail here together with the canopy walkway to search for more than 400 bird species. The long-tailed hawk (Urotriorchis macrourus), the rarely seen Nkulengu rail (Himantornis haematopus), the Akun eagle owl (Bubo leucostictis), and the black spinetail (Telacanthura melanopygia), as well as globally threatened and near-threatened species can be found at Kakum.

Kakum National Park

Park
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Canopy Walkway Kakum National Park | © Stig Nygaard/WikiCommons
Canopy walkway, Kakum National Park | © Stig Nygaard / WikiCommons
Located near the coastal area of the Central Region of Ghana, Kakum National Park is a tropical rainforest with many unique species of fauna, flora and animal. These include the endangered Diana monkey, the yellow-backed duiker and the African elephant. Kakum is a chief attraction for the many visitors who annually flock to Ghana to see wildlife and wonders of nature. This park is home to many birds, such as the African grey parrot and hornbill. You should also try the Kakum canopy walkway, a 350m (1,150 feet)-high walkway which journeys through several connecting treetops.
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Sun:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Mon:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fri:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat:
6:00 am - 4:00 pm

Keta Lagoon

Canoe on the lagoon or use the Woe, Fiahor, Tegbi, Adina and Afiadenyigba bird watching lookouts. Find the Tringa erythropus and other species which occur in large numbers, including Calidris ferruginea, C. minuta, Himantopus himantopus, Dendrocygna viduata, and several heron and egret populations.

Keta Lagoon

Natural Feature
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Keta is the largest lagoon in Ghana. It is a Ramsar site and Ghana’s most important marine birding site, home to 76 waterbird species including globally significant numbers with an estimated total population of well over 100,000.
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Sun - Mon:
7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Xavi Bird Sanctuary

Over 90 different bird species reside in Xavi Bird Sanctuary near the Keta Lagoon. Canoes run down Lotor River to the Avu Lagoon for bird lovers throughout the year.

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The violet curaco is approximately 48cm, and is often inconspicuous in the treetops | © Gisela Braun / Flickr

Atewa Range Forest Reserve

At Atewa, you can find the green-tailed bristlebill (Bleda eximius), the red-cheeked wattle-eye (Dyaphorophyia blisetti), and the white-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus).

Atewa Range Forest Reserve

Natural Feature
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Brown-crowned Tchagra at Atewa Reserve | © Francesco Veronesi / Flickr
Atewa is an incredibly beautiful forest located on the way to Kumasi. The Atewa Forest Reserve is only one of two evergreen Upper Guinea Forest ecosystems remaining in Ghana. Recognized as a Globally Significant Biodiversity Area, this forest has an amazing number of butterflies and offers better bird watching than Kakum or Ankasa. Unfortunately access is difficult or impossible during the rainy season.
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Tono Dam

Tono Dam near Bolgatanga in the north of Ghana has large populations of water birds. Tour guides plan unique nocturnal excursions for sightings of rare birds here.

Mole National Park

The largest national park in Ghana also has the largest bird checklist of any site in Ghana, with at least 300 species. The broad-leaved Guinea woodland attracts large communities of birds associated with the drier northern climate – January is the best time of the year to visit.

Mole National Park

Natural Feature, Park
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Meet the elephants of Mole | © Stig Nygaard / Flickr
Mole National Park offers a major draw to nature lovers. Some 94 mammal species, over 300 bird species, nine amphibian species and 33 reptile species have been recorded here. The 4,912 sq km (1,897 sq miles) area is the largest reserve in Ghana, with savannah and forest space, and is home to elephants, buffalo, hippos, leopards and rare birds such as the white-backed vulture.
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Owabi Forest Reserve

Owabi Forest Reserve and Bird Sanctuary is a secondary forest found close to Kumasi. It is Ghana’s only inland Ramsar site and boasts a great variety of winter migratory birds.

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Lady with a Shawl (Indian Darter) | © Anurag Agnihotri / Flickr