Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

WINGS Birding Tours – Information


Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.  

ENTERING GHANA: United States citizens need a passport valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp, and a tourist visa. Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required. 

Citizens of other nations may need a visa and should contact their nearest Ghanaian Embassy for entry requirements required by the embassy or visa-granting entity, WINGS can provide a letter for you to use regarding your participation in the tour.

COUNTRY INFORMATION:You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Ghana at

PACE OF TOUR: On most days we’ll have breakfast at 4:30 or 5:00 am, then return from our morning birding for lunch between 12 and 1 pm. Lunch is usually back at our accommodation but occasionally we take a packed lunch. 

On some days we’ll then take time out to relax in the middle of the day before heading out into the field again around 3 pm until dark (6 pm). On several nights we’ll stay out after dark in search of nightjars and owls, which will mean a late dinner (7:30 – 8 p.m.) and no time to shower beforehand. Otherwise in the evenings we will try to allow time to shower before dinner, after which we will do the day’s checklist. 

The days when we move to and from Mole National Park are effectively ‘travel’ days with the whole day taken up with driving. However we will stop when required or when we see a good bird. The journey takes at least 10 hours and the roads in the north can be very rough in some sections. 

Most of the birding will be done along good paths and tracks, however please see below for exceptions. On most morning walks we will be away from the vehicle for up to four hours. The distance we walk depends entirely on how many birds we see. In Mole, because of the presence of large animals, we will have an armed guard with us and it will not be possible to leave the group to return to the bus as the guard must be with us at all times. 

Forest birding can be very rewarding but there can also be periods of inactivity. On the narrow trails we will operate a rotation system so that each person has time just behind the leader. In a few places we may go off trail.

Atewa:The best forest here is located on top of the plateau, and necessitates a walk of around two hours along a 3.5-mile (6 km) trail, climbing about 1300 feet (400m), and taking a packed lunch with us. We will then spend as much time as possible on the top, possibly walking a further 2 miles (3 km) in total while up there. The trail is not steep, but climbs steadily along its length. In order to get to the top in good timing, we typically go up at a good rate in order to have a better chance at a couple key species. If you have difficulty walking up and down slopes, you may want to sit out this hike. We will return the following morning for a more relaxed paced walk at the lower sections of the trail.

Kakum Canopy Walkway: At over 120 feet high the canopy walkway really is something different. It was built by a Canadian company and the locals have been trained in its maintenance. Along its course are stable viewing platforms. It is wide enough for just one person at a time, and it is best to allow the person in front of you to get over halfway to the next viewing platform before starting your walk. All our birding will be done from the platforms, where there is space for the leader to set up a telescope. On one afternoon we may go back to the canopy and stay until it is dark. 

Ankasa: The conditions here are ever changing. Our journey usually involves using 4x4 vehicles followed by some long, muddy walks. Parts of the walks are steep and sometimes in the dark. Ankasa has new comfortable chalets with en-suite bathrooms and AC and no longer requires camping! 

Rockfowl site: Our ground agents have a community project here and even built a school for the local community. Locals are employed as guides, and we shall meet these in the village where we park. From here, it is approximately a 30-40min walk to the Rockfowl site through farmbush and then forest along a mostly level trail. The final five minutes or so, however, are quite steep and potentially slippery. Some people will find a walking stick beneficial here. We then sit on a bench overlooking the nesting/roosting sites for the Rockfowl and wait for the birds to appear. This may take a long while, and participants should be able to sit quietly and still for that time. A small cushion may be useful here! Cameras are allowed, as is flash. However, flash will not be allowed until everyone has seen the bird well in case it does flush them. Photographers should also be aware that it is closed forest and therefore very dark, so a tripod is recommended.

HEALTH:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. 

Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 


Altitude: All our birding is done at relatively low altitudes.


Yellow Fever:  A current vaccination certificate is required for entry into Ghana. 

Malaria: A malaria prophylaxis is recommended. Note that according to the CDC, Chloroquine is not an effective antimalarial drug in Ghana. 

Meningitis: The CDC recommends a meningitis vaccine if you are visiting Ghana in the “dry season” (December through June).  Please consult your physician. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at

Smoking:  Smoking and vaping is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous : Stomach upsets can be difficult to avoid in Ghana. Bottled water is widely available.

CLIMATE: Temperatures will be very hot (and very humid) with typical day time temperatures around 30 to 40°C (86-104°F). The temperature can drop at night, especially in the north, but not usually below 25°C (88F.). There is still the chance of heavy rain during the trip, especially at Ankassa and at Kakum. 

ACCOMMODATION: Our hotels vary from standard to simple guesthouses with more basic rooms. All have en suite facilities and either a fan or in some instances air conditioning. Water and power can fail at any time. Starting in 2022 we will stay at the new lodge at Ankasa (Ankasa Reserve Lodge) and no longer camp at the reserve headquarters (the lodge is in the same location). There is also a new guesthouse in Bonkro (Picathartes Guesthouse) that will save a 3-hour night-time drive to Kumasi after the Rockfowl viewing. Please note that due to limited rooms, participants may need to share at Ankasa and Bonkro, depending on group configuration. The location of these lodges are worth the limited rooms! Some hotels have swimming pools and there may be time to go swimming on several days.

Internet Access:  Most of our hotels Wi-Fi but the connection can be intermittent or not working at all during our stay. During our time at Ankasa and Bonkro there would be limited phone and internet connection. If you need to make a telephone call at either of these two places our local guide can take you to an area with better reception. 

FOOD: Food is generally adequate but not one of the highlights of the tour. Breakfasts typically consist of toast, jam, omelette and baked beans. Lunch will either be a buffet or we can order from the limited menu, which typically consists of local dishes, pizza, and spaghetti. We may take packed lunches on several days. Dinner usually consists of chicken or fish, served with rice or chips. There will be plenty of opportunity to try local dishes which our Ashanti guide will be able to recommend. Most popular are red-red, fufu, ground nut soup, and fried yam or plantain. Vegetarians may find some of the options offered to them monotonous (such as omelettes) or bland (such as vegetable stews). 

Drinks:  Bottled water, a soft drink or a beer (or wine if appropriate) are provided at meals, as is coffee or tea. In addition we keep a supply of bottled water on the tour vehicles. Bottled or filtered water may also be provided in some rooms where we stay. 

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation will be by comfortable air-conditioned coaster bus. At Ankasa we will be using 4x4 vehicles. On the whole the roads are good, although potholes are abundant! We travel on some dirt roads but these are generally not too bad. The journey to Mole takes about ten hours. The leader will arrange a seating rotation. Participants should be able and willing to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

Updated: 01 November 2023