By Joel Savage
KAKUM NATIONAL PARK.
Ghana, formerly Gold Coast, over the past decades, has been a major tourist attraction center in Africa. Many tourists including Europeans and Americans yearly go to Ghana and visit places of interest, including the Cape Coast and Elmina castles, where slaves were kept and shipped, James Fort, Christiansburg Castle, Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, Kintampo Falls, Mole National Park and other interesting places.
In the central region of Ghana, is a semi-deciduous rain forest, which covers 360 sq km, north of Cape Coast, known as the Kakum Park. The park, which records thousands of tourists each year, was formally managed by the Forestry Department for timber. Thanks to the scientific research group, which carried a wild life research and found the place quite satisfactorily for tourism, hence the timber extraction came to an end. Since then the United Nations Development program started its funding, with other financiers such as UNSAID, financing its development through Mid Western Universities Consortium for international activities.
Beautiful fauna likely to be seen are elephants, bongos, duikers, antelopes and a wide variety of birds. Research by natural scientists in the country, counted close to 400 different species of butterfly, with discovery of two, which can’t be found in any part of the world.
Kakum National Park
Be part of those walking through the forest on the Kuntan trail. The trail leads tourists to the park of traditional medicines. Some of the trees are the Kuntan tree. The cover of the tree is used to treat fractured bones. Its biological name is Uapacca Guiniensis.
Others are Kaku, its hard wood used for constructing railway lines and “Bediwunia” (Incest) used for pomade and fumigation of rooms. The two-kilometer guided walk through the park is painstakingly explained by guides, the significance of each tree, as the tourists walk through the trail. When tired and exhausted, dear tourists, please do not be worried over where to take a rest. There are rest points, spaciously built and designed with some of the woods in the forest.
The most important information to tourists who visit Kakum Park is, no matter how beautiful one finds anything in the trail, it is strictly forbidden to be taken out. Due to the explanation by the guides to the tourists, the trail walk usually takes about two hours.
At the administration block, the skull of the elephant, horn of the bongo and various sample of species of butterfly are beautifully displayed. There is a restaurant and also the African gift shop, which has indigenous art works. Going to Kakum National Park, is not a difficult drive. Out of the city of Cape Coast towards Jukwa, the giant sign board reads “You are welcome to National Park.”
HANS COTTAGE BOTEL: On a large acre of land is a man-made lake, approximately about three acres. Dwelling, drinking and dining places neatly on the water, give the best view of fishes and live crocodiles. The place is Hans Cottage Botel. It is beautifully, geographically located that, during weekends, tourists going to Kakum National Park, have to stop-over, likewise those from Jukwa to Cape Coast. They rest, dine and lodged. The forex Buraeu, the antque, souvenir and African shops are open to all.
Tourists who come to the botel,
Hans Cottage Botel
enjoy the worth of their money. The well trained cooks from the polytechnics in the country, and a foreign cooks give their clients the best French cuisines, continental and African dishes, making Ghana a show piece in West Africa. The axiom “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” might have originally been conceived by a domestic idealist, who knows the truth. Touring the cottage, without bird-watching, crocodile-viewing and drifting, could make your visit very dull indeed. Boat riding for adults is very moderate and children pay less to watch the crocodiles without any danger.
Tourists enjoy the activities of the crocodiles, when being fed. Then finally comes the “Monkey trail” The name doesn’t mean that only monkeys could be seen in the trail. There are other beautiful animals and birds tourists could find, if only you are capable of waking up, as early as 6am. Hans Cottage Botel is truly an ideal place for tourists in Ghana.