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Ankasa - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Wintibird
Ankasa, road to Bamboo Cathedral, April 2014

Africa, Ghana


The Ankasa Resource Reserve and the Nini-Suhien National Park in southwestern Ghana are usually summarised under the name Ankasa. It's located in the Western region, the next bigger towns are Elubo and Mpataba. Accra is about 365 kilometers east. The park covers around 500 square kilometers and consists mainly of pristine tropical evergreen forest.


Notable Species

Ankasa is probably the best spot in Ghana to see the elusive Nkulengu Rail. Other specialities are Hartlaub's Duck, African Finfoot, several species of Hornbills, White-bellied Kingfisher and several species of Greenbuls and Illadopsis.


Photo by Wintibird
Bamboo Cathedral, April 2014

African Pitta has been seen in the park. Other surprises are well possible as the park is not well watched.


Birds you can see here include:

Striated Heron, Cattle Egret, Spot-breasted Ibis, Hartlaub's Duck, African Pygmy Goose, Yellow-billed Kite, African Goshawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Latham's Forest Francolin, Nkulengu Rail, African Finfoot, African Jacana, African Green Pigeon, Yellow-billed Turaco, Fraser's Eagle Owl, Akun Eagle Owl, African Wood Owl, Brown Nightjar, Common Swift, African Dwarf Kingfisher, African Pygmy Kingfisher, White-bellied Kingfisher, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, White-throated Bee-eater, Blue-throated Roller, Black Dwarf Hornbill, African Pied Hornbill, Piping Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill, Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Black-casqued Hornbill, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Square-tailed Saw-wing, Ansorge's Greenbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Spotted Greenbul, Icterine Greenbul, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Common Bulbul, Red-tailed Bristlebill, Green-tailed Bristlebill, Red-tailed Greenbul, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Forest Robin, White-tailed Alethe, Finsch's Flycatcher Thrush, Green Hylia, Grey Longbill, Cassin's Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Blackcap Illadopsis, Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Little Green Sunbird, Fraser's Sunbird, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Buff-throated Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Western Black-headed Oriole, Shining Drongo, Fanti Drongo, Village Weaver, Vieillot's Black Weaver, Maxwell's Black Weaver, Red-vented Malimbe

Other Wildlife

There are still some groups of African Forest Elephants roaming in the park but they are hardly ever seen. Several species of squirrels and primates occur, including chimpanzee.

Site Information

Photo by Wintibird
Campsite near the main gate, April 2014

History and Use

Ankasa is the only place in Ghana with some pristine forest left. The first parts were protected in 1934, the national park was created in 1976.

Areas of Interest

Many species can be seen (or at least heard) from the road from the main gate to the Bamboo Cathedral. Follow that road, pass a power line, turn right and you will reach some small ponds which are excellent for White-bellied Kingfisher or African Finfoot. From the camp site near the Bamboo Cathedral a trail leads to the famous Bamboo Cathedral and continues east through the forest.
A forest trail near the main gate is also excellent for many species.
Ebi Wetland and mangroves are found along the road from Sekondi-Takoradi to Ankasa between Azulewanu and Kamgbunli (roughly 40 kms before the main gate). Hartlaub's Duck can be seen here. Giant Kingfisher, Reichenbach's Sunbird and Brown Sunbird are other specialities at this place.

Access and Facilities

The main road from Sekondi-Takoradi west to Ivory Coast passes some kilometers south of the main entrance to Ankasa. The easiest way to reach the park is by car. Public transport is possible with tro-tros or taxis.
There are several campsites in the park, however you will have to organise your stay in advance, either with the Wildlife Division or with a local tour operator. The campground near the entrance is the most comfortable one. Park fees and permissions have to be arranged before your visit.

Contact Details

Ankasa Conservation Area
P.O. Box 102, Elubo
Tel: +233-(0) 3192395

Ghana Tourist Board
Head Office
P.O. Box 3106 Accra
Tel: +233 (0)21 222153/258730
Email : [email protected]
Web : http://www.touringghana.com

Wildlife Division Regional Office
P.O. Box TD 484,
Takoradi, Ghana
Tel: +233 (0) 031 25322 / 26945
Fax: +233 (0) 031 25327

External Links