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10.02.2009 Travel & Tourism

Kakum Park: A Safe Place For Holiday-makers

By Daily Guide

Kakum National Park is a priority area for conservation in Ghana. Many Ghanaians as well as foreigners visit this major tourist area, mostly on public holidays to have fun and discover nature's creations. 

The park protects plant and animal treasures of the African tropical forest and is a haven for the casual visitor, birdwatcher, and amateur botanist.

The Kakum National Park is in the southern part of Ghana; it is the best preserved region of virgin rainforest in the country, and provides the easiest access to the rainforest for tourists along with the famous canopy walkway.

Located just 20 kilometres from Cape Coast, it is a home to elephants, monkeys and elusive bongo antelopes which roam among over 800 rare species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians.

But besides its vast natural endowment of plant and animal species, the world-class receptive facilities for visitors such as the 333-metre long tree-top walkway and a multi-purpose visitor centre have accounted for the park's status as an irresistible destination for eco-tourism.

There are rare plant species, with some trees reaching heights of over 50 meters.

The drama of the jungle always comes alive when the park's guides provide insight into this complex ecosystem. Tourists always learn about traditional forest product uses for medicine and daily village life.

The flora at ground level may be familiar to you as house plants, and be sure to watch out for one of the estimated 550 butterfly species. A beautiful butterfly, new to science, was discovered in Kakum in 1993, and has been appropriately named Diopetes kakumiú!

Looking carefully, you will see signs of life, much of which thrives well overhead in the forest canopy.

Trails provide self-guided day hiking opportunities where you may sight some of the over 200 bird species represented: The parrot, bee-eaters, blue plantain-eaters, hornbills, and kingfishers.

The dense vegetation provides cover for globally endangered species such as the forest elephant and bongo - the largest forest antelope - as well as various types of monkeys.

Chances of viewing wildlife are increased by allowing time to sit quietly in the forest staying at one of the free-standing camps, or by taking advantage of some upcoming attractions such as the canopy walkways, viewing stations and blinds.   

With light cotton clothing, long trousers, sturdy footwear, a water bottle, snacks, binoculars and a camera, the wonders of this leafy green world are open for your exploration.

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