The truly extraordinary White-necked Rockfowl in Ghana by Dubi Shapiro.
A fine portrait of a Blue-moustached Bee-eater by Dubi Shapiro.
West African endemics
Ghana to Guinea-Bissau 1 Ussher's Flycatcher.
Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire 12 White-breasted Guineafowl (rare and unlikely to be seen), Rufous Fishing-owl (rare and unlikely to be seen), Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Western Wattled Cuckooshrike, White-necked Rockfowl, Black-headed Rufous-warbler, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Copper-tailed Starling, Nimba Flycatcher (rare and unlikely to be seen) and Red-fronted Antpecker (rare and unlikely to be seen).
(The 14 Upper Guinea Endemic Bird Area (EBA) endemic birds are White-breasted Guineafowl, Rufous Fishing-owl, Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Western Wattled Cuckooshrike, White-necked Rockfowl, Sierra Leone Prinia, Sharpe's Apalis, Black-headed Rufous-warbler, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Copper-tailed Starling, Nimba Flycatcher and Gola Malimbe. Recent research suggests Liberian (White-winged) Greenbul may merely be an aberrant form of Icterine Greenbul)
Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Togo 2 Sharpe's Apalis and Yellow-chinned (Green) Sunbird.
Guinea to Nigeria 4 Melancholy (Gabon) Woodpecker, Fanti (Velvet-mantled) Drongo, Western Bearded Greenbul and Finsch's Flycatcher-thrush.
Guinea to Cameroon 7 Blue-moustached Bee-eater (also Bioko), Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Kemp's Longbill, Baumann's Greenbul and Buff-throated Sunbird.
Guinea to Cameroon, and Mali 1 Togo Paradise-whydah.
Côte d'Ivoire to Cameroon 1 Black-crowned Capuchin Babbler.
Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria 1 Togo (Yellow-billed) Barbet.
Egyptian Plover, Chattering Yellowbill, Black and Rosy Bee-eaters, Rufous-sided Broadbill and Fiery-breasted Bushshrike. Also a chance of Brown Nightjar and an outside chance of White-crested Tiger-heron.
Hamerkop, Black Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Palm-nut, White-backed and White-headed Vultures, African Cuckoo-hawk, Bateleur, Black Sparrowhawk, White-spotted Flufftail, African Jacana, Four-banded Sandgrouse, pigeons, doves, Grey, Red-fronted and Senegal Parrots, Green, Violet and Yellow-billed Turacos, Western Grey Plantain-eater, cuckoos including African Emerald, coucals, Fraser’s and Greyish (Spotted) Eagle-owls, Long-tailed Nightjar, spinetails, Narina’s Trogon, kingfishers including Blue-breasted, Chocolate-backed and Giant, Red-throated and Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, Abyssinian, Blue-bellied, Blue-throated, Broad-billed and Rufous-crowned Rollers, woodhoopoes, hornbills, barbets, tinkerbirds, Greater Honeyguide, Cassin’s Honeybird, woodpeckers, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Brubru, African Golden, Black-winged and Western Black-headed Orioles, African and Red-bellied Paradise-flycatchers, Piapiac, Preuss’s and White-throated Blue Swallows, greenbuls, Oriole Warbler (Moho), Grey Longbill, Black-capped Apalis, Tit Hylia, Violet-backed Hyliota, Vanga Flycatcher, White-crowned Cliff-chat, White-tailed (Fire-crested) Alethe, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Forest Robin, starlings, sunbirds, malimbes, weavers, negrofinches, waxbills, Western Bluebill and Exclamatory (Long-tailed) Paradise-whydah.
Also a chance of African Pygmy Goose, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent-eagle, Crowned and Martial Eagles, Forbes's Plover, Rock Pratincole, Greater Painted-snipe, Black-collared and Red-headed Lovebirds, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Pel’s Fishing-owl, Akun and Shelley’s Eagle-owls, Freckled and Standard-winged Nightjars, White-bellied Kingfisher, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, Yellow-footed Honeyguide, African Piculet, Bioko Batis, Many-coloured Bushshrike, Sabine’s Puffback, Blue Cuckooshrike, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, Chestnut-bellied Starling, African Spotted Creeper and Black-bellied Seedcracker, and an outside chance of Hartlaub’s Duck, Crested Guineafowl, Spot-breasted Ibis and Nkulengu Rail.
The unusual Yellow-throated Cuckoo, by Dubi Shapiro.
African Elephant, Common Bushbuck, Kob, Defassa Waterbuck, Olive Baboon, Warthog, Callithrix, Geoffroy’s Pied and Olive Colobuses, Lowe’s (Mona), Patas and Lesser Spot-nosed Monkeys, Lord Derby’s and Pel’s Anomalures, Demidoff's Galago and Potto.
Some sites support over 500 butterfly species, including Bobiri (500+) and Ankasa (600+), and it is easy to see a hundred species in a day at some places, including acracas, charaxes, foresters, harlequins, mother-of-pearls and playboys. The peak time for butterflies is the second half of October.
Rufous-sided Broadbill in Ghana by Chris Townend.
October-December, especially November, and February to mid-April.
Helm Field Guide: Birds of Ghana by N Borrow and R Demey. Helm, 2010.
Birds of Western Africa by N Borrow and R Demey. Helm, 2014 (Second Edition (paperback)).
Birds of Western Africa by N Borrow and R Demey. Helm, 2002 (First Edition (hardback)).
Birds of Africa south of the Sahara by I Sinclair and P Ryan. C Struik, 2011 (Second Edition).
The Birds of Ghana: An Atlas and Handbook by F Dowsett-Lemaire and R Dowsett. Tauraco Press, 2014.
The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals by J Kingdon. Bloomsbury, 2015 (Second Revised Edition).
The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals by J Kingdon. Bloomsbury, 2016 (Second Edition).
Primates of West Africa by John F Oates. Conservation International, 2011.
Butterflies of West Africa by Torben B Larsen. Apollo Books, 2005.
The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals.
Where to watch birds in Africa by N Wheatley. Helm, 1995.
Don’t know which country/countries to visit in Africa? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them on the continent, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Ghana, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Ghana. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Ghana' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Ghana include the following.