Kakum National Park, Ghana

Walking Along the Treetops

Situated at Africa’s Ghana, Kakum National Park is known for its vast biodiversity and lush tropical rainforest that serves as a reminder of the region’s once rich ecosystem spanning from Guinea to Ghana. Spectacular views along with a collection of some of the world’s endangered plant and animal species make Kakum National Park a one-of-a-kind ecological reserve. With a land area of less than 140 square miles, this national park is definitely a hiker’s paradise boasting a unique ethnobotanical trail.

Experience Ghana through Kakum National Park

A West African nation known for its rich culture, history, and biodiversity, Ghana is where the continent’s only canopy walkway can be found. In order to have a bird’s eye view of the park’s lush tropical rainforest, a trek through the park’s canopy walkway is a must. This attraction may not be for the faint-hearted but the experience is truly a memorable one.

Because the walkway starts at ground level, there is no need to climb in order to get to the actual walkway. Built with the help of expert engineers and climbers, this canopy walkway meets international safety standards. The actual walkway is made from netting, steel cable, and wooden planks. The horseshoe-pattern of this suspended bridge is sturdy and blends perfectly with its natural surroundings.

The actual hike begins at ground level. As the trail goes on, it follows the slopes of the valley. Reaching a height of 12 stories, walking along the forest canopy is a worthwhile experience that shouldn’t be missed. As the hike continues, expect to hear plenty of rare tropical birds as they do their daily tasks and wild monkey troops swinging from branch to branch. According to GORP Hiking Guide, Kakum National Park’s forest canopy serves as a natural habitat for over 300 types of birds and 550 kinds of butterflies. Other wildlife species that consider Kakum National Park as their natural habitat include endangered Diana monkeys, yellow-backed duikers, forest elephants, and bongos.

A Hiking/ Cultural Tour

Aside from the chance to trek the canopy walkway, hiking through this ethnobotanical trail also offers an opportunity to experience Ghana’s rich culture and colorful traditions. The various plants found at the Kakum National Park are known for their medicinal properties and some of them are still used by local tribes when dealing with a variety of ailments. Throughout the hike, a local guide can show to you a traditional chewing sponge which is still used as an alternative toothbrush by members of the Akan tribe. Another plant species that makes the hiking trip a worthwhile experience is the Kuntan tree. Aside from its unique appearance, the leaves of the Kuntan tree are used as effective bandages with natural healing properties.

Accommodation Options at Kakum National Park

Cape Coast offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly inns to more expensive but luxurious hotels. There are also various hotels in between Cape Coast and Kakum National Park. For adventure-seekers, an option is to stay inside Kakum National Park. The park offers several platforms for a unique camping out experience but be aware that these platforms are far away from facilities. For more information, visit official online travel guides.

Accommodation example: Monkey Forest Resort, Frami,Ghana, Africa

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How to get to Kakum National Park

Ghana International Airlines caters to numerous African and western carriers. Nearby ship ports are located in Cote d’ Ivoire, South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Land transport services include regular buses, tro-tros or mini-buses, pick-up trucks, and taxis. The easiest way to start a hiking trip at Kakum is through Cape Coast, the region’s capital. Tro-tros or mini-buses offer trips to Kakum and nearby places. For more details on how to get to Kakum National Park, visit travel sites that offer comprehensive local transport options.

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