Tghanks to Phil Marshall for passing on this detailed & up-to-date information sheet about Ankasa:
Ankasa Conservation Area lies in Southwest Ghana on the border with the Ivory Coast. Covering 509 km2, this Protected Area falls within an ancient rainforest and is the most biodiverse in Ghana. It represents the only wet evergreen protected area in almost unspoiled state. It is home to over 800 plant species, including some endemic ones like the recently discovered Psychotria.
The forest still holds viable populations of large and charismatic mammals, such as the Forest Elephant, Bongo, Leopard, and Yellow-backed Duiker. Primates are represented by six confirmed and 3 unconfirmed species, including Western Chimpanzee and 3 rare or endangered subspecies endemic to Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana: Roloway Diana Monkey, Geoffroy’s Pied Colobus and White-naped Sooty Mangabey. The area has an impressive bird list of over 200 species, the majority of these being truly forest dependant. Several rare birds endemic to the Upper Guinea Forest, e.g. White-breasted Guineafowl Agelastes meleagrides, Yellow-throated Olive Greenbul and Rufous-winged Illadopsis are found in the area.
The extensive network of streams, together with the 3 main rivers of the Protected Area, supports a variety of reptiles including the Broad-fronted Crocodile.
Over 600 butterfly species with many endemic species have been recorded, and the network of streams is an important breeding ground for many of the fish species in the region as well as being an important catchment for the rivers to the west and south of the Protected Area
With many yet-to-be discovered plants and animal species, Ankasa offers a virgin laboratory for scientists and students. Its quiet milieu is equally conducive for religious and recreational tourism.
The entrance road to the park is located at Sowodadzem, 120 km from Takoradi and 22 km from Elubo along the Takoradi-Elubo section of the Ghana to Côte d’Ivoire international highway. Visitors have various options to get to the park, from using private vehicles, public transport (locally called “tro-tro”) or taxis. There are plans to station bicycles for hire at Sowodadzem (6km from the park entrance) for backpackers.
The visitor information centre is located some 100 metres from the main gate. Staff are in place to provide necessary information to visitors.
Although over 20km of park roads are motorable, (with 4-wheel drive) it is best enjoyed through guided walks. Five tourist trails enable the visitors to feel the rainforest. Although forest animals are difficult to see (because of the closed vegetation), visitors can hear calls from many species, especially monkeys who can sometimes be seen jumping from tree to tree in the canopy.
Interesting sights to visit include:
A) The Bamboo Cathedral
The spectacular Bamboo Cathedral is located at Nkwanta about 8km from the Ankasa Gate of the Park. Though it is not a church building and it has no human Bishop, a priest nor a creed, the site showcases nature’s perfect architectural design. The Bamboo Cathedral has become a very popular site with its quiet environment and benches and picnic tables are provided for visitors.
B) The Waterfalls
The Ankasa rainforest serves as water catchment for many streams and rivers. Three of them from which the forest gets its name are the Ankasa, Nini and Suhien. In several places there are small waterfalls and rapids. The breezes along the rivers and rattling noise of the rapids are a delight to tourists.
C) The Big Tree
The “Big Tree” (Tieghemella) is one of the tallest trees in Ankasa forest. Towering up to 60 metres, this massive tree offers a good opportunity to see what big rainforest trees are like. This species is commonly used by forest elephants to scratch their thick skin and visitors might be lucky to see recent signs of elephant scratching.
Accommodation and food
Four temporary tourist chalets (with 2 beds each) are located at the heart of the park. Basic cooking facilities are provided but visitors need to bring their own food and drinks. Other facilities include potable water, shower, toilet, and solar powered electricity. Large groups of up to 34 people can make special arrangements to be lodged at the Ankasa Exploration Base with facilities similar to those at the Tourist Chalets. It is hoped that more accommodation may become available if a private sector investor can be found for a concession agreement to build a lodge. Visitors can also chose to stay at Frenchman Home Stay just about a kilometre from the park or chose any of the following hotels and beach resorts located along the West Coast and only a 1 to 2 hours drive from the park: King James Hotel and Osamidi Hotel in Elubo offering basic accommodation and restaurant. Better services are offered at Beyin Beach Resort in Beyin (Amansuri Wetland); Ankobra Beach Resort, Axim Beach Resort and Lou Moon, all around Axim; Busua Beach Resort, Tess’s Hideout, Fanta’s Folly and Ghana Spirit at Butre, Green Turtle Lodge and Safari Lodge around Cape Three Points and Miemia.
Entrance fees in the table that follows vary depending on the nationality, age, duration of stay and means of transport. If in doubt please contact the park for details.
|CATEGORY “B” PARKS ANKASA)||GHANAIANS
|B. ALL PARKS:|
|Birding 1 Day||5.00||20.00|
|Birding 2 Days||7.00||30.00|
|Birding 3+ Days||10.00||50.00|
|C. VEHICLE ENTRY FEES:||Ghanaian Registered||Foreign Registered|
|Pick-ups / 4WDs||4.00||20.00|
|D. CAMPING SITE FEES:|
|Undeveloped (cleared open & sanitized space)||5.00|
|Nkwanta camp chalets: self-catering kitchen with cooker, utensils and crockery||15.00|
|E. COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY / FILMING:|
|Still cameras up to 3 days||200.00|
|Every extra day thereafter||50.00|
|Video/cine cameras up to 3 days||500.00|
|Every extra day thereafter||100.00|
|F. RESEARCH IN PROTECTED AREAS:||Ghanaian Researchers||Foreign Researchers|
|Short-Term (1 month – or part of)||Free||US$100 or equivalent|
|Medium Term (2 – 6 months)||-||US$300 or equivalent|
|Long-Term (7 months – 1 year)||-||US$600 or equivalent|
|FOREIGN RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS:|
|Short-Term (1 month or part of)||US$300 or equivalent|
|Medium Term (2 – 6 months)||US$500 or equivalent|
|Long-Term (7 months – 1 year)||US$1,000 or equivalent|
|Guide/Guard Overnight Allowance||GH¢25.00|
|Ankasa Conservation Area||Ghana Tourist Board|
|P.O. Box 102
|Ghana.||P.O. Box 3106 Accra|
|Tel: +233-(0)31 92395||Tel: +233 (0)21 222153/258730|
|Email : email@example.com|
|Web : www.ghanatourism.gov.gh|
|Wildlife Division Regional Office
P.O. Box TD 484,
Tel: +233 (0) 031 25322 / 26945