The next time you plan of travelling to the biggest region in Ghana, Northern region, these are places you surely have to visit.
You can also decide to go with your family to have a little fun at any of these nice natural environments in the Northern Region.
After having the fun and enjoying yourself, you can thank me later.
Mole National Park
Famous for its elephants, Mole National Park is located in northern Ghana and is the biggest national park in the country. The park covers an estimated 4,577 square kilometers in the district of West Gonja and is home to several species of mammals and birds. It is no surprise that this Ghana National park rates as the most popular game park and the most visited of all parks and reserves in Ghana.
Some 600 elephants, 2,000 roam antelopes, 3,000 hartebeests, 4,000 waterbucks, 5,000 buffalo and 6,000 warthogs roam freely in the park’s grasslands. Uncounted lions, leopards, hyenas and various primates can also be seen in Mole.
Part of the park lies in the Guinea Savannah Zone which is a large expanse of open savannah grasslands often interrupted by a few woodlands. The grasses normally grow to 3m high especially during the wet season making game viewing difficult, although the dry season (September to March) turns it brown and more sparse, making viewing easier. The river banks are covered in forest woodlands attracting both woodland species and water birds.
The park is an important water catchment area with smaller water streams and other rivers pouring their water in the White Volta. Polzen is one of the rivers in the park with spectacular falls downstream. There are an estimated 742 species of plants and trees in the park of which 4 are endemic species and more than 20 are classified as rare species.
Mole is accessible by public transport from Tamale. Once at the park, the only accommodation is available at The Mole Motel. The park entrance gate is about 4km north of the turn-off in Larabanga. The park headquarters and the motel are a further 2km into the park. Guided walks are offered twice daily, at 6.30am and 3.30pm. You are not permitted to walk (or drive) in the park unless you’re accompanied by an armed ranger. It is best to take provisions with you or buy food at the hotel as facilities at the park are very basic.
The Larabanga Mosque is a mosque, built in the Sudanese architectural style in the village of Larabanga, Ghana. It is the oldest mosque in the country and one of the oldest in West Africa, and has been referred to as the “Mecca of West Africa”. It has undergone restoration several times since it was founded in 1421.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has contributed substantially to its restoration, and lists it as one of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. The restoration works have revived the knowledge of mud-plaster maintenance.
The mosque has an old Quran, believed by the locals to have been given as a gift from heaven in 1650 to Yidan Barimah Bramah, the Imam at the time, as a result of his prayers.
The mosque, built with mud and reeds, has two tall towers in pyramidal shape, one for the mihrab which faces towards Mecca forming the facade on the east and the other as a minaret in the northeast corner. These are buttressed by twelve bulbous shaped structures, which are fitted with timber elements.
The mosque is located in the Islamic town of Larabanga, close to Damongo in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region of Ghana. The town is situated about 15 kilometers north of Damongo, and 4 kilometers south of the Mole National Park entrance.
Nalerigu Defence Wall
The Nalerigu Defence Wall is the remains of the Naa Jaringa Walls, which lie under a grove of trees. The wall is located in the village of Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District, about 120 km south-east of Bolgatanga, about 156 km from Tamale and 8 km past Gambaga, in the Northern Region of Ghana.
This wall was built in the 16th century by Naa Jaringa (named after the African viper), a powerful chief of the Mamprusi ethnic group. The Defence Wall initially surrounded the entire village, but now only a few ruins remain.
The slave route, between Ouagadogou in Burkina Faso and Djenne in Mali, passed close by. The wall was erected for two reasons: firstly, to protect inhabitants from slave raiders, and secondly, to ensure that Naa Jaringa’s name would always be remembered.
According to local tradition, the wall was built with stones, mud, honey and milk.
Said to be built in the 16th century to protect Nalerigu (120km from ‘Bolga’) from raiders, this has now been recognized as part of the slave route.
For more than 3 centuries, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, Salaga was one of the most important market centers in West Africa where they traded in everything.
Some of the items traded in were Kola, beads, ostrich feathers, animal hides, textiles and gold. However, from the 18th to the 19th century, Salaga became the biggest slave market where humans were exchanged for cowries or by barter.
Source: touringghana, ghanaweb, wikipedia, photoconcepts2, ghanahotels.