The animal and plant diversity on Earth work together in order to maintain a balance and make life possible, however the growing industrialization and development of our modern way of living have caused dwindling numbers of our wildlife. In a bid to stall an extinction episode, there have been several initiatives and legal structures put in place to conserve them for the viewing pleasure of both our current and future generations.
There are a number such wildlife sanctuaries in Ghana, many of which are protected legally. Visiting a wildlife reserve – like the one at The Accra Zoo – and interacting with it is a refreshing experience that can also raise awareness towards a greater love for our planet Earth. These are the most important wildlife sanctuaries you can visit in Ghana.
Wildlife reserves in Ghana
Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary
The Aesthetic sight of butterflies fluttering in our gardens is always magical to behold. Now imagine a 54 square kilometers of virgin semi-deciduous tropical rainforest occupied by these beautiful creatures.
Created in 1931, this sanctuary is the only of its kind in West Africa and boasts over 400 species of butterfly. It is located on the main Accra-Kumasi Highway at the village of Kubease which is about 30 kilometers from the capital of the Ashanti Region (Kumasi).
Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Hohoe-District of the Volta Region and nestled in a range of dramatic hills marking the border between Togo and Ghana, this sanctuary is a nature paradise with a myriad collection of ecosystems (moist semi-deciduous forest and savanna grassland).
It is home to over 300 butterfly species, 200 species of birds, thousands of tree and plant species and numerous mammal species including monkeys and baboons. The crown Jewel is of this sanctuary is Wli waterfalls which is the highest waterfall in Ghana with a height of 600m from the top. This is truly Nature at its best.
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
If you’re a stickler for lore and legends, then this is the exact place for you to be. Located at Hohoe in the Volta Region, some 230 kilometers northeast of the capital Accra, this beautiful rain forest is home to the Mona monkeys amongst other wildlife animals.
Legend has it that the Mona monkeys are believed to be messengers of the gods and as such are viewed to be sacred by the indigenous inhabitants of Tafi Atome. This perception has been held by the people for more than two centuries. The sanctuary was created in 1996 by a coalition of villagers, public institutions and NGO.
The indigenes are receptive to visitors or tourists and the monkeys are not hostile. Tourists frequent the place to share not only in the spectacle of these creatures but gain a firsthand experience of the people’s culture.
Shai Hills Resource Reserve
Ever been greeted by a family of baboons? Shai Hills Resource Reserve gives you that experience. Located at Doryumu in the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region, this reserve is 51 square kilometers (5,100 ha; 20 sq. mi) in size.
The former game production reserve used to be the home of the Shai people who were ejected by the British colonial administration in 1892. The Shai Resource Reserve is populated with all manner of astonishing wildlife creatures from antelopes, bats, different species of birds, ostriches, baboons, cats, monkeys, duiker, Kobs, Zebras, pythons and many others.
The reserve itself is grassland with low dry forest vegetation. It has more than 400 exotic plant species spread over the Hills of The Shai Reserve. Part of the tour of the reserve is a hike of the hills which culminates in a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the whole area. For tourists seeking to get attuned with nature, this is the place to be.
Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Ashanti Region, the Owabi wildlife sanctuary is 13km² in size, and lies approximately 23km northwest of Kumasi. It has an inner Sanctuary of about 7km, which surrounds a lake, formed by the damming of the Owabi River in 1928.
The sanctuary has a plantation of exotic species of plants including Cassia siamea which accounts for 10% of the sanctuary’s vegetation. It is worth noting that 190 species of plants have been identified. These include 91 tree, 19 shrub, 40 herb, 14 grass, 1 parasite, 6 ferns, and 29 climber species.
The avifauna is relatively rich with indigenous birds species and some migrants. 161 birds consisting of 29 families have been recorded, 13 of which are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Sanctuary is also the only inland Ramsar Site in Ghana. It also has other wildlife species such as monkeys, baboons, antelopes and many more.
Tourists who visit can expect to be treated to activities like bird watching, recreational fishing, and boat riding as well as picnics. As a bonus, visitors are given a treat with a visit to the waterworks. The Sanctuary has trained and experienced tour guides who ensure that visitors enjoy their time there.
Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary
The Ashanti Region not only houses some of the most significant cultural landmarks in the country, but also some of nature’s most beautiful and intriguing forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Ghana.
Established under the Ashanti Authority Ordinance on 23 March 1946, the Bomfobiri Wildlife sanctuary located in the Kumawu Traditional area is one of nature’s gems in the region. The area is 53 km2.
This consists of a jungle and a grand savannah landscape with more than 140 bird species, such as hornbills and 26 types of other mammals. The Pame waterfalls which are close by, which gives a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Tourists are given a tour to some of the historical caves and magnificent hills surrounding the sanctuary. You can immerse yourself with nature by camping in three camps which are Yiribontiri, Kagyaworses and Wala, with the Game and Wildlife Staff.
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