Wildlife & Birding

Wildlife of Ghana

Ghana wildlife is rich and diverse, with a large number of mammals, reptiles, insects and marine species to be found across the country's varied habitats. Unfortunately there is no one place in Ghana where you can see it all. Furthermore, many of the wildlife locations require long drive times.

Read below about the wildlife of Ghana that you might possibly experience. While wildlife may inhabit various places in Ghana, these maps show where you would most likely be able to encounter these animals.



A two-day drive from Accra, Mole National Park is Ghana's largest, oldest and best game viewing park. While elephants live in many remote places in Ghana, it is only at Mole National Park where you can expect to see elephants in Ghana.

The elephants near the Mole Lodge are accustomed to humans, allowing a close encounter on foot. This is something rare in Africa. Depending on the weather, you can also see antelope, bushbucks, monkeys, warthogs, baboons and other smaller wildlife. Mid-December through mid-April is best because lack of water concentrates the animals at known water sources.



Boabeng-Fiema has a good number of habituated Mona monkeys, and less habituated Black and White Colobus monkeys. The monkeys are revered by the community and therefore they are neither hunted nor killed. The sanctuary has a cemetery where these monkeys are buried with special funerals.
Tafi Atome, located in the Volta Region is a traditional conservation area, home to Mona and Patas monkeys. These monkeys are also quite habituated as they are regarded as gods and are protected by tradition.

Monkeys at any location are best seen in morning or late afternoon. They may be seen at other locations in Ghana, but unlike these two sanctuaries, they would certainly want nothing to do with you.



Ghana has a number of excellent locations for bird watching. This is truly the most abundant form of wildlife to be seen. The newly released Helm Field Guide to the Birds of Ghana (2010) covers over 750 species. The options are so great that we have a separate page for serious twitchers.



Ghana has an estimated 1,000 species of butterflies - as many species as North America and Europe combined. It is impossible to select specific places because butterflies are everywhere, but the Bobiri Forest Butterfly Sanctuary is a beautiful forest reserves with ancient trees that makes this amazing creature a specific attraction. Also of merit are the Owabi Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bunso Arboretum and the Atewa Forest Reserve.

Hippos can be seen only at the remote Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary. Correct timing is important, since hippos stay well hidden when water is abundant. Because of this, you will have the best sightings during the dry season (Dec-Mar).

Located in the far reaches of the Upper West Region you can enjoy a river safari viewing the hippos protected along the Black Volta River. When visiting the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary, be certain to visit a traditional Sudanese style mud-and-stick mosque, the chief's palace or the local Lobi community.