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Ghana - Calendar
Wobble above the forest floor on Kakum’s legendary canopy walk
There's actually no bad time of year to visit Kakum National Park, but January, being the driest month, is well suited to rainforest walks without too much risk of your binoculars or camera being doused in a sudden shower.
Track elephants in Mole National Park
An estimated 500 elephants are protected within Mole National Park in northern Ghana, and several herds visit the developed southern part of the park regularly, where they are often approached closely on guided game walks. Sightings are most frequent during the dry months of October to March, and generally improve as the season draws to a close and sources of drinking water become scarcer.
A birder’s delight!
This is the cusp of two important avian seasons. These are the northern winter, from November to March, when resident species are boosted by a wealth of palaearctic migrants, and the local breeding season, which usually coincides with the rainy season starting in late March.
Paraglide from the Kwahu Plateau
Since 2003, the Ghana Paragliding Festival is an enjoyable annual fundraising event held at Nkawkaw, at the base of the Kwahu Plateau. In addition to paragliding from the tall cliffs above Nkawkaw, this festival – which takes place over the Easter weekend, usually in April – involves various traditional ceremonies and live music.
Watch the famous Aboakyir Festival in Winneba
Said to be more than 300 years old, this popular festival in the first weekend of May is centred on a hunt in which Winneba's oldest two Asafo companies, dressed in traditional regalia, attempt to capture a bushbuck using only their bare hands. The hunt takes place on Saturday and the captured animal is sacrificed to the oracles at a fetish shrine the next morning.
You’ll have most sites to yourself – but bring an umbrella
This is the height of the rainy season, with some parts of the country receiving a monthly average rainfall in excess of 300mm. It's still possible to travel at this time of year (with the north generally being drier than the south) but plan and pack accordingly.
Celebrate one of the country’s oldest festivals in Elmina
Thought to pre-date the arrival of the Portuguese at Elmina more than 500 years ago, the Bakatue Festival, held on the first Tuesday of July, heralds the start of a new fishing season. A variety of processions and competitions take place in the vicinity of St George's Castle, the oldest European building in sub-Saharan Africa.
Celebrate the Bontungu Festival in Anomabu
Set in the small but historic seaside town of Anomabu east of Cape Coast, the five-day Bontungu Festival is a riot of drumming and dancing rituals, held to invoke divine blessings for the coming year.
Catch a break at Busua
September is the peak of the surfing season, with swells usually being at their highest for a month or so either side. No better place to catch a break than Busua, a popular west coast resort village whose two recently-opened surf shops make it the focal point of West Africa's nascent surf scene.
Track turtles at Ada Foah or Winneba
Usually starting in late August or early September, the turtle breeding season is now in full swing, usually running on through to March. These gigantic marine reptiles typically lay hundreds of eggs on the beach, and leave them to hatch a few weeks later. The only two official sites for nocturnal turtle tracking recognised by the Ghana Wildlife Division are at the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Wetland outside of Winneba and the Songar Ramsar site west of Ada Foah.
Hike in the Eastern Highlands
The early dry season is the ideal time to hike to the likes of Wli waterfall (West Africa's tallest drop) and Mount Gemi in the Avatime Hills. Rainfall is low, but the countryside is still green, the sky is clear (prior to the arrival of the haze-carrying Harmattan winds in December) and waterfalls are still at close to full flow.
Head inland for Christmas and New Year
Coastal resorts tend to be busy and charge premium rates over the festive season, so this is an excellent time to explore the wealth of offbeat attraction in northern Ghana.