Kakum National Park in Ghana
Named after the Kakum River which originates from it, Kakum national park is a national park positioned in the coastal areas of the Central Region of Ghana. The park was established in 1931 as a game reserve and later in 1992, it was gazetted as a national park after the conduction of avifauna survey.
With an area of approximately 375 square kilometers, Kakum national park is covered with tropical forests. It is one of the only destinations in the African continent with a canopy walkway which is about 350 metres long. Kakum national park is home to different endangered species and among the notable ones include; the Diana monkey, yellow backed duiker, giant bongo antelope, African bush elephant and others. It is also a destiny to more than 266 species of birds including the white breasted guineafowl and about nine species of hornbills and the grey parrots. Also, the park is rich in butterfly species as well.
Kakum national park derived its name from the river of Kakum which drains in it. The river has a number of tributaries which flow through the park and among these include; Obuo, Kakum, Afia, Sukuma, Nemimi, Ajuesu, and Aboabo. The river is located about 33 kilometers north of Cape Coast and Elmina near the small village of Abrafo.
How to access the park
Kakum national park can be easily accessed from the town center of Ghana by the use of road transport like tour buses or 4×4 safari vehicles. At the welcome center of the park, there is a lodge, a restaurant, camping area, a picnic area and a wildlife education center where you will learn more about the park and its wildlife.
Vegetation of the park
Kakum national park’s vegetation is mainly wet forest. Other vegetation types of the park include the swamp forests and the riverine forests. Kakum national park encompasses over 105 species of vascular plants consisting of 57 trees, 9 climbers, 17 herbs, 10 shrubs and also 12 grasses. Among the species in moist forests include the Guarea cedrata, milicia excelsa, anigeria robusta, cola gigantea and others. Among the swamp forests include the Raphia vinifera, scandent, Laccosperma opacum, paullinia pinnata and many others. With the riverine forest, it includes xylopia, ceiba pentandra and then the boval vegetation includes the commelina, ceiba pathandra, sansevieria liberica, Albizia ferruginea and others.
Safari activities in Kakum national park
Spot a number wildlife in Kakum national park while having guided game drives through the different trails of the park. The park is a home to variety of wildlife including the rare animals like; the forest elephants, cats, civets, and forest buffalo. The park records more than 200 forest elephants and other animals like the pottos, African civet, Demidoff’s galago, leopards, bongo, and many species of duikers. Other animals to be sighted include red river hog, long tailed pangolin, North African crested porcupine, dwarf crocodile, serrated tortoise, home’s hinged tortoise and others.
Kakum national park also hosts some primate species like the colobus vellerosus, procolobus verus and the cercopithecus Diana roloway.
Kakum national park records more than 266 species of birds and about 56 are confirmed. All these species are resident and almost all of them are under the Least Concern categorization. Among the birds to be sighted include the green tailed bristle bill, Rufous winged illadopsis, copper tailed glossy starling, red fronted ant pecker, copper tailed glossy starling, brown cheeked hornbill, yellow bearded greenbul, yellow casqued hornbill and many others.