JONKANOO/HIDEOUT 2 NIGHT JOINT ANKASA/AMANSURI TOUR.
Ankasa forest reserve is a 500 square km tract of tropical evergreen forest in the extreme south west of Ghana. Contained within its borders is an immense variety of flora and fauna, in fact the greatest bio-diversity of any reserve in Ghana. Our tour furnishes our clients with ample opportunity to explore what is as yet a tropical garden of Eden whose existence few local inhabitants, let alone tourists , have yet to discover. Nevertheless it is managed by park rangers whose mission it is to protect the whole area from any kind of depredation.
Our tour party will set of from Hideout Lodge in the early morning after breakfast. The journey takes two an a half hours but will involve a refreshment stop at Axim Beach Hotel, where lunch will be served and there will be an opportunity to swim in the pool or indeed in the sea .
Arriving at our hotel in the afternoon, guests will be able to drop their bags in their mosquito proof rooms , fully equipped with fans and shower baths, before rejoining the vehicle to pass trough the park gates.
In one sole hectare of forest 300 plant species have been counted. The total number for the park is a matter of guess work!
Among the 70 odd species It should be possible to see the following animals : elephant,, bongo antelope, Ogilby's duiker, golden cat, giant forest hog and all 10 varieties of forest primates , including chimpanzee.
There are 100 bird species in the forest ; among them spot breasted ibis, white breasted guinea fowl and blue turaco. The very rare Akun eagle owl may , if you are lucky, be seen in the evening . At waterholes, a variety of rare duck, white crested tiger heron, white bellied, blue breasted and shining kingfisher congregate in large numbers, . Myriad butterflies are also to be seen.
Those who wish to take a guided walk can do that as well.
Dinner will be taken at the hotel and next morning early we set off for AMANSURI WETLANDS (The AMANSURI WETLANDS can alternatively be carried out as a single day and overnight trip from Hideout)
After hotel breakfast we set off to visit the Amansuri Wetlands (a large intact swamp forest) and Nzuzelo stilt village, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After booking in at The Ghana Wildlife Society Office and our hotel at Beyin we drive to the Amansuri River where we will be punted in dug-out canoes through breathtaking riverine scenery. During an hour long boat ride to Nzuzelo we pass through marshland and open pools fringed by raffia palm thickets and lush jungle until we reach the wide expanse of the lake itself. Both on the river and the lake we should be able to view abundant wildlife and plants : a cornucopia of birds flutter and soar over head or dive for fish. Pygmy geese, African Jacana, Squacco Heron and Purple Heron can all be viewed in the reeds or lily covered pools. Purple Gallinule and Black Crake , Hornbills and Plantain-eaters are all sustained in large numbers by a super- fertile watery world of their own. In the trees of the adjacent landscape bee eaters , rollers and kingfishers perch or make winged excursion from branches.
Nzuzelo village is unique in Ghana. It comprises one solid wood construction built on stilts wholly above the lake. A central wood and raffia walkway leads to around 25 individual houses on either side. An old folk tale relates how the inhabitants were once led there from the city of Walata in the ancient Ghana empire (confusingly situated in modern day Mali) by a snail. More likely is that a Nigerian tribe were chased there 500 years ago after defeat and loss of territory in war. An hour or so should keep us in the village, where photography of inhabitants must only be carried out by permission of the individuals.
It is likely we shall want to extend our tour of the lake to more than just the trip there and back to embarkation point as there is such a diversity of flora and fauna to be observed.
The afternoon can be spent on one of the top 25 beaches in Africa where our hotel is situated.
We have dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant; overnight at same beach hotel.
Next morning after breakfast we swim or walk about the beach before visiting the nearby Fort Apollonia, built by the British in 1770 for the slave trade. There is now a historical and ethnographical museum inside the building, which was much damaged during the early nineteenth century Anglo-French wars, only to be renovated in the late 1950s. The basic structure was nevertheless preserved, due to the solidity of construction. After some more beach time and lunch we drive back to Hideout Lodge.