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Friday, June 21, 2024

6 Rain Forest Trip Adventures at Kakum National Park

Kakum National Park, which lies in the coastal environs of the central region of Ghana, happens to be a rain forest zone due to the high amount of rainfall it gets per year. 

The tropical moist, semi-deciduous evergreen forest also brings people near and far to the area.

Kakum National Park harbors the most notable endangered species of fauna. 

It has a striking setting and fascinating wildlife, making it an adventurous area for all kinds of travelers.

Read on as we narrate all the rain forest trip adventures at Kakum National Park.

1. Canopy walkway at the Kakum National Park

The canopy walkway is a famous rain forest adventure at the Kakum National Park in Ghana, commissioned in March 1995. It was the first canopy walkway in Africa at the time.

The canopy walkway offers visitors spectacular scenery, and it passes over seven bridges that stretch almost 1100 feet through the treetops.

While experiencing the jungle at the canopy walkway, you can spot rare species of insects and birds, thus making the spot a paradise for birdwatchers.

Other descriptions of the canopy walkway as a rain forest adventure at Kakum National Park

The canopy walk at Kakum National Park comprises seven bridges/treetops extending over 350 meters and rests over 30 meters above the forest floor.

It is to conserve the biodiversity and ecosystem that led to the construction of the Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway.

Its funding comes from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through a non-governmental organization in the US Conservation International and Wildlife Department and Conservation International in Ghana.

The Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway had a safety net, wire ropes, timber planks, and aluminum ladders. Contractors ensure the protection of the trees by not piercing the tree barks with bolts or nails.

Best time to visit the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park

The best time to visit the canopy walkway at Kakum National Park is early, around 6 am or 7 am. 

At this time, tourists can see the birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats.

2. Kuntan Trail

Another popular rainforest trip adventure at the Kakum National Park is the Kuntan trail. The kuntan trail is a guided walk of two kilometers led by experienced tour guides.

What to expect at the Kuntan trail at Kakum National Park

As you take a group walk through the forest, a tour guide will give tourists extensive information about the traditional medicinal plants in the park.

Tourists will also learn about the rainforest’s hidden areas and many secrets that the forest holds. Some of which include;

  • Bediwunia, also called incest: the Bediwunia is a plant used in room fumigation and the making of pomades.
  • Kaku: Kaku is a tough wood primarily used to construct railway lines across the globe.
  • Kuntan tree: Tourists at the Kakum National Park’s kuntan trail will see and also learn about the kuntan tree (botanical name – Uapacca Guiniensis), whose cover is effective in treating fractures on bones.

Duration of the kuntan trail

Due to the stops and explanations, the guides will give while on the trail, it usually takes two hours to complete the 2kilometers Kuntan trail.

3. Forest elephant tracking

Tourists to the Kakum National Park can go for one of the most popular rain forest adventure trips in the park, forest elephant tracking.

How can tourists go for forest elephant tracking as part of the rain forest trip adventures in the park?

Tourists can most enjoy their forest elephant tracking adventure trip at the Kakum National Park with the help of a guide.

To search for the elephants, tourists can see elephant comb, which is mud lines on ebony trees, evidence that the elephants scratched themselves there.

Another way of tracking the elephants is to follow their footprints path on dung piles. 

It is important to note that some plants can only germinate after they pass through the guts of elephants.

4. Early morning and evening hikes

Hiking early in the morning and all evenings make a part of the rainforest adventure trips at the Kakum National Park.

Things to experience while hiking as a rain forest adventure trip at Kakum National Park

The rainforest of Kakum National Park holds a lot of treasures for tourists, especially nature lovers, to explore.

Among these are 500 species of butterflies, while others include endangered red river hogs, forest elephants, duikers, leopards, buffaloes, large forest antelopes, and bonobos.

Fee for hiking at Kakum National Park

Tourists and nature lovers who want to go hiking at Kakum National Park will have to pay close to 15 US dollars.

5. Bird watching

Bird watching is another adventure nature lovers can explore at the Kakum National Park, Ghana. The park got recognition by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.

Highlights of bird watching as a rain forest trip adventure at the Kakum National Park

Kakum National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, and it is home to about 266 species of birds. Majority of visitors to Kakum National Park book for bird watching adventures because of the park’s abundance of birds.

Some of the species of birds to watch at the rain forest of the Kakum National Park include;

  • Nine species of hornbill
  • Africa grey parrot
  • White-breasted guinea fowl

The Kakum National Park has six treetop display places where birdwatchers can view birds in the park. The treetop spots are 30 meters above the floor of the forest.

6. Wildlife viewing

Another adventure to embark on at the rain forest of Kakum National Park is wildlife viewing. The park is home to about 40 species of fauna and flora and over 500 species of butterflies, including amphibians and reptiles.

List of wildlife to view at the Kakum National Park rain forest

The different kinds of mammals that adventure travelers can watch at the Kakum National Park include;

  • Yellow-backed duiker
  • Diana monkeys
  • Bongo
  • A dense population of forest elephant

Overview of Kakum National Park

Kakum is first Ghana’s national park formed by a local proposal in 1992 and opened officially in 1994. It was initially made a forest reserve in 1925 and presently is the most visited attraction in the country.

The park covers a 360-kilometer square protected area tucked away in the Assin Attandanso Resource Reserve. The park has untouched virgin rainforest, and some of its trees reach 65 meters in height.

Kakum National Park, named after the Kakum River, supplies water to about one hundred and thirty-three (133) villages and towns in Kakum. Surrounding the Kakum National Park is an agricultural landscape and fifty-two villages.

Best time to explore Kakum National Park

Its best time to visit the Kakum National Park in the dry season is between November and March. This time is because it is the dry season and rains little at this period.

 There is a fascinating wildlife experience and modern camping facilities in Kakum National Park.

Things to travel with to Kakum National Park

As you have seen, Kakum National Park has many adventurous activities. However, what you pack depends on the season you are traveling.

Generally, when planning a rain forest adventure trip at Kakum National Park, you will need to pack the following;

  • Telescopes or binoculars to view the wildlife
  • Extra T-shirts to change over when you are wet
  • Camera to capture the memorable moments at the park
  • Snacks. Depending on your choice, you can pack any fruit or nuts that you will eat on your way for energy.

How long is the Kakum canopy walk?

The Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway runs over 1,080 feet, approximately 330 meters. It goes by over seven bridges. If you focus on your walk, it could take 3 minutes or more to walk the canopy walkway.

What can you see at Kakum National Park?

You can see and do many things at the Kakum National Park. Some of these activities include;

  • Discover the tropical paradise
  • Visit the museum
  • Taste the local food and drink
  • Go bird watching
  • Visit the Wildlife Education Centre
  • Enjoy hiking and backpacking
  • Try your hand at camping
  • Explore the canopy walkway

Is Kakum National Park Safe?

Kakum National Park is has a lot of adventures which you can complete with the help of a guide. 

It is very safe to partake in all the activities and see the attractions in the destination.

Why is Kakum National Park important? 

Kakum National Park is important because it houses unusual and endangered mammals, including elephants, Diana monkeys, yellow-backed duikers, and bongos.

Kakum makes history for having the first canopy walkway in Africa and home to many woody and herbaceous plants.

Bottom Line

Kakum National Park is almost an untouched virgin forest in Ghana packed with lots of adventures, especially in the rain forest.

You can take pictures of everything in the rainforest, but you cannot take out anything because of the active protection against poaching.

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