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KAKUM NATIONAL PARK

KAKUM NATIONAL PARK
DANNY OWUSU

Kakum National Park protects plant and animal treasures of the African tropical forest and is a haven for the casual visitor, birdwatcher, amateur botanist and ecotourist alike. Thirty kilometers north of Cape Coast via a paved road, you will find rare plant species in a spectacular environment where some trees reach heights of over fifty meters. After viewing the exhibits at the Visitor's Center, the drama of the jungle comes alive as park guides provide insight into this complex ecosystem. You will learn about traditional forest product uses for medicine and daily village life. The flora at ground level may be familiar to you as houseplants, and be sure to watch 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 incresed 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.

Kakum National Park is a priority area for conservation in Ghana. With light cotton clothing, long trousers, sturdy footwear, a waterbottle, snacks, binoculars and a camera, the wonders of this vanishing leafy-green world are open for your exploration.

Located just 20 kilometres from Cape Coast, the Kakum National Park is home to elephants, monkeys and elusive bongo antelopes which roam among over 800 rare species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. But beside it's vast natural endowment of plant and animal species, the presence at Kakum Park of 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.


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KAKUM NATIONAL PARK