Updates from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions

ASUMURA CONSERVATION INITIATIVE:

Due to continued illegal logging and wildfires, there were only 2 rockfowl breeding sites remaining. And report written by wildlife manager in January 2017 was that no rockfowl had been spotted even in those spots.
The hunter Frank Agbeko moved to another community and isn’t really available to help search for these spots.
If you still want to go, it’s best to visit the Wildlife Division (NOT Forestry) in Goaso for guidance. However, the manager is in Australia until December, and the rest of the staff cannot really help. If you want to talk to someone about Asumura before December, best to visit Wildlife office in Sunyani. Current manager is the one who helped set up Mognori Eco-Village and has a lot of insight about this region.

GWOLLU

The project to visit the slave defense walls seems to be dead. There’s no guides, the tourist office is closed, the people I spoke with said that there wasn’t proper management to keep it going.

KINTAMPO

Falls Executive Lodge is now called Okumah Executive Lodge, new management.

LARABANGA

call Ibrahim Sobaru to visit mosque, as noted by previous commenters to this site. 0549632615. I had gotten his contact through an unrelated recommendation by staff in Mol. He did not mention his orphanage that was already noted on this site. He also didn’t ask if I wanted to see “Mystic Stone.” Everything very normal and hassle-free, and no one will bother you if you’re with him.
10 cedis to see mosque. Still cannot enter but apparently Ibrahim and other young guides are trying to change that.
Savanna Lodge no longer has food, or bikes to rent.

LAWRA

The original kyil (xylophone) maker is now very old and has some problem with his hands. His son Samuel Saaku Baaru is making them, speaks English very well, and is set up for tourists to visit. His workshop is actually in Mwaasogi village, a couple km south of Lawra. Samuel started learning to make kyil from 9 years old. 0541022929 Whatsapp. sssbaaru@yahoo.com
He charges $15/day. So a demo of how the xylophones are made is about $3, while actual lessons would be charged daily.

MOGNORI

As mentioned by previous commenter, there is no guesthouse in Mognori. There are several families that have agreed to do homestays on a rotating basis. It’s perfectly comfortable and very rustic, but unless you are a couple you will likely be staying in a different house than any friends you travel with. 35 cedis including simple dinner.
Mr. Abukari is still the manager, but actually moved to Damongo. 0506677060, 05499354406. If you just show up directly, ask for Lateef Sumba or Kwame Anawra, those are the only guides actually based in Mognori. They aren’t using their visitors center anymore.
Phone service is VERY poor, so if you want to make advance contact, be patient.

MOLE

There is a guide fee to sleep at the more remote, basic campsites, which might mean they are more willing to go now than noted in 7th edition. 50 cedis per night for a group of campers.

NAVRONGO

if you want to visit the mud cathedral, which is very cool, they prefer you ask at the parish office first. Someone will show you around and doesn’t ask for any tips. Masses are held weekdays at 6pm, in addition to Sunday schedule.

OTHER MUD MOSQUES

Note: I always wore a scarf and long trousers.
Banda Nkwanta: no problem at all. Did not give any money, they seemed pleased I wanted to take a look. The stairway was blocked off.
Maluwe: unfortunately I passed by during prayer time, so I didn’t ask.
Bole: there’s a proper register book at the chief imam’s palace. 10 cedis, they didn’t seem to require additional tips. Can climb to roof.
Wa: (Nakore). Not sure when the imam or assistant is around. A younger guy was taking me around and said he was related by marriage to the people who have historically taken care of the mosque. Cheekily asked for 50 cedis. I gave 20 as that was what everyone in the visitors’ log had given.

PAGA

there’s no more overall community tourism project. Just visit each site (crocodile pond, Paga Pia Palace, or Pikworo Slave Camp) directly. Each site is 15 cedis.
Beads of Hope store: exists, but may not be open during rainy season.
We Pe Paga no longer has food.
Burkina Faso visa on arrival: 24,000 CFA 3 days, 94,000 for 3 months single entry, 122,000 for multiple entry. They’ll let you walk to the border if you leave your passport at the Ghana office, if you want.

SONYO

the road from Bole to Sonyo starts in a different place now, a little further south of original road which now leads into a school.
Now the (licensed) guide is Francis, who can be found in a yellow cement building in the center of town.

TECHIMAN ECO-TOURISM

Buoyem Caves: They don’t use the visitors center anymore, the director is very old and usually stays home. Call his son who is a guide: 0200810362, 0559691498 or email him at justkoandu@yahoo.com. Share taxis now come from Techiman daily, no need to stop in Wenchi. The bees have been removed from the cave so it’s possible to walk around but the path is badly overgrown. Also, we wrote that the cave is an hour’s walk away, but they told me it’s 10km, FYI in case you’re planning a tight schedule…
Tano Sacred Grove: Technically they use visitors center, but mostly the guides hang out at the summer hut right at the turn from main paved road to the dirt road towards the visitors center. Can contact head guide in advance at 0244071208 (Whatsapp). They’ve had issues with embezzlement and an office break-in and the guesthouse isn’t functioning at the moment.

TONGO OASIS

no longer functions as a regular restaurant. Can only take orders about 2 hours in advance. But if you can wait—for example, place an order, then visit Tenzug Hills and come back—the food is indeed excellent.

WECHIAU

There’s now a closer launch point for canoe safari to see hippos (in season) at Kpanfa.

ROAD INFO: There’s a bridge over the Black Volta that is out, so if you’re going to Bole from either Kintampo or Techiman, there is a very long diversion towards Bui National Park. Road is paved all the way from Bolga road to Tenzug now. Road is paved from Bolga road through Nalerigu, but then becomes rough towards Nakpanduri. Road from Sonyo to Larabanga isn’t passable in rainy season, best to travel through Sawla.

NEW TRANSPORTATION: since last year, converted motorcycles have been introduced in towns that don’t have intracity trotros, mostly in the north. These are the same as tuk-tuks or auto-rickshaws in other countries. Official name is mahama camboo, but each region will have a nickname for it. They do private rides as well as shared routes, cheaper than car taxis.

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One thought on “Updates from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions

  1. Ineke says:

    I don ‘t read anything of Bonga(tanga). There are no guides anymore. Meet africa and the information office are gone. No travellers at all.

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