Ghana is one of the most mysterious and endowed countries in the world. Most historians and geologists have envisioned it to be the mysterious and fictitious El Dorado (treasure land). Ghana is located on the Greenwich Meridian and latitude 5º north of the Equator. It is the closest land to the centre of the world where the Equator and Greenwich Meridian meet at coordinate (O, O). Libreville in Gabon is located on the Equator and longitude 10º east. Thus, Tema is 555km north of the centre of the world which occurs on the Atlantic Ocean. Libreville is 1110km directly east of the centre of the world. Being a centre of the earth makes it a perfect place to be bedecked with resources.
The climate of Ghana is tropical and there are two main seasons: the wet and the dry seasons. North Ghana experiences its rainy season from March to November while South Ghana experiences its rainy season from April to mid-November. The tropical climate of Ghana is relatively mild for its latitude. The harmattan, a dry desert wind, blows in north-east Ghana from December to March, lowering the humidity and causing hot days and cool nights in northern part of Ghana. Average temperatures range from 21°C to 28°C (70 to 82°F) with a relative humidity between 77 percent and 85 percent. In the northern part of Ghana, there are two rainy seasons: April through June and September through November. Squalls occur in the northern part of Ghana during March and April, followed by occasional rain until August and September, when the rainfall reaches its peak. Rainfall ranges from 78 to 216 centimeters (31 to 85 inches) a year.
The geology of Ghana is dominated by predominantly metavolcanic Paleoproterozoic Birimian sequences and the clastic Tarkwaian in the central west and northern parts of the country. Clastic shallow water sediments of the Neoproterozoic Volta Basin cover the east of the country. A small strip of Paleozoic and Cretaceous to Tertiary sediments occur along the coast and in the extreme southeast of the country. The Birimian terranes in the south part of the West African craton are a mix of metamorphosed volcanic, sedimentary and plutonic rocks and low grade metavolcanics and metasediments. Almost half of the terranes consist of alkaline granites. The rocks formed over a period of about 50 million years between 2.200 Ga and 2.100 Ga years ago. The mineralogy of Ghana includes; gold, diamond, bauxite, iron, dolomitic limestone, copper, halite, quartz, etc.
Ghana is drained by lakes, lagoons, rivers, streams and wetlands. The underground aquifers of Ghana are highly important sources of drinking water. The Volta Lake, which is the largest man-made lake in the world, is located here. The lake begins in the center of the country at the confluence of the Black Volta and the White Volta rivers. Two other major tributaries of Volta Lake are the Oti and Afram rivers. Other important rivers are, from west to east, the Tano, Ankobra, Pra, Birim and Densu rivers, which all flow into the Gulf of Guinea. All are scenic and cultural destinations where a canoe ride would be easy to obtain, but only the Pra River has a developed tourism infrastructure, offering rafting and whitewater excursions.
There are also a number of coastal lagoons, which are home to many Ramsar birding sites, including the extensive Keta lagoon formed by a long coastal sandbar. South of Kumasi (Kuntenase) is Ghana’s largest natural lake, the unique Lake Bosumtwi, Africa’s largest meteorite impact lake.
Wildlife and Forest Reserves
The climatic condition of Ghana has endowed it with many scenic and tourist centres. Among the most prominent tourist centres are: Kakum Natural Park, it is located in Cape Coast and is one of the most famous canopy walkways in the world; The Mole National Park, As with most larger mammals in Ghana, Mole is an excellent place for viewing roan, Kob, waterbuck and bushbuck antelope, as well as the only place to likely see warthogs or the African buffalo; The Gbele Reserve; In the Upper West region is a rarely visited reserve that is a prime location for our hoofed friends, especially roan antelope; The Shai Hills; This small sanctuary is rather close to Accra. It is a good place for morning sightings of antelope, especially bushbuck; Monkey Sanctuaries; 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. Tafi Atome, located in the Volta Region is a traditional conservation area, home to Mona and Patas monkeys; Xavi Bird Sanctuary; Near the Keta Lagoon is the Xavi Bird Sanctuary where a canoe ride down the Lotor River to the Avu Lagoon permits viewing birds not normally seen in other habitats; The Atewa Range Forest Reserve; 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 is better bird watching than Kakum; Owabi Forest Reserve; Close to Kumasi is the Owabi Forest Reserve and Bird Sanctuary, a secondary forest that surrounds the Owabi water reservoir. This tranquil site is Ghana’s only inland Ramsar site and boasts a great variety of birdlife and fascinating forest walks; The Ankasa Protected Area; at the southwest corner of Ghana near the border with Cote d’Ivoire is the Ankasa Protected Area, also known as Nini-Suhien National Park. This evergreen rainforest is estimated to have Ghana’s largest concentration of biodiversity. Forest-obligates are well represented at this park which is located in an area that receives the highest amount of rainfall in Ghana.
Beaches and Waterfalls
The Atlantic Ocean is geographically located at the southern part of Ghana. This gives Ghana many scenic and untapped beaches. Some of the beaches are; Labadi Beach; Kokrobite; Ada Beach; Cocoloco Beach; Busua Beach; Fete beach; Elimina Beach; Ankobra Beach.
Waterfalls are so common and calls for hiking. The famous and tourist waterfalls are: Akaa Falls; these falls are a mere 7 km from Boti Falls and are also seasonal in nature. Like Boti Falls, these falls are also accessed via a scenic 250 concrete steps to the bottom, where a canyon of water can fall around you from 3 sides if the flow is good; Kintampo Falls; This seasonal fall is from the Pumpu River which falls some 70 meters down beautiful rocky steps. The Kintampo Waterfalls has a more festive environment with lots of locals on picnics and shade where visiting individuals and groups can sit and have fun. There are lots of trees, mostly dominated by Mahogany, some of which grow beyond 40 meters; Boti Falls; These spectacular seasonal waterfalls is situated in the Eastern Region of Ghana, about 17km Northeast of Koforidua, the regional capital of the Eastern Region. These waterfalls features two falls, side-by-side and are accessed via a scenic descent via 250 concrete steps to the bottom of the falls; Tsenku Falls; These falls are located in the Dodowa Forest, near to the Shai Hills Wildlife Reserve. The enchanted Dodowa forest is the battle-field of the Kantamanso war which ended in 1826. The defeat of the Great Ashanti Warriors on the 7th of August 1826 marked the end of Ashanti domination of the then Gold Coast. The giant Baobab tree at the edge of Dodowa is where the ceremony was held to mark the end of conflict; Fuller Falls; About 20 a minute drive from Kintampo Falls is the less visited and more serene Fuller Falls. These falls have upper and lower falls in a cool, peaceful, reflective environment.
Mount Afadjato is the highest point in Ghana above sea level, 885m. It forms part of the Agumatsa range which runs along the Ghana-Togo border. The difficult hike to the top is rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of surrounding communities, forests, and in the distance, Volta Lake.
Amedzofe, Biakpa and Logba Tota are three Volta villages that are nestled in the mountains that have a good infrastructure for visitors. A more recently developed village is Likpe Togome, just north of Wli Falls. At this location are ancestral caves, mountain hiking trails, and a soon-to-be-opened paragliding site.