Ghana’s best national parks for wildlife viewing, canopy walks and more

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These nature preserves feature everything from unspoiled rainforest to open savannas where you can track elephants on foot. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a lion or two. Get ready to experience a whole new side of this West African country by visiting five of the most remarkable national parks and conservation areas in Ghana.

Kakum National Park is one of Ghana’s most visited attractions. The park is home to dozens of mammal species, including spot-nosed monkeys, six types of duiker and Ghana’s densest population of forest elephants (the smaller cousin of African savanna elephants). Yet the bulk of this wildlife is elusive, often camouflaging itself from onlookers among the greenery of Kakum’s vast rainforest.

Even if you don’t spot any wildlife in this 375-sq-km (145-sq-mile) national park, you’re in for a treat thanks to the 350m- (1148ft-)long canopy walk at a height of some 40m (130ft), which provides a uniquely breathtaking vantage point. This series of seven rope bridges winds its way through Kakum’s towering rainforest canopy, a world of mostly virgin hardwood trees, including ebony and mahogany. Some of the centuries-old trees grow up to 60m (200ft) tall, with flowering orchids and ferns covering their trunks and a bevy of squawking wildlife in their branches.

The park’s well-built infrastructure includes a visitor center and on-site restaurant, as well as souvenir shops where you can buy anything from hand-carved kpanlogo drums to kente-cloth dresses. Kakum is also home to a rustic treehouse that allows guests to stay the night amid the park’s many creatures. Guided treks, including night hikes, might be the best way to explore the forest, and can be booked at the visitor center upon arrival.

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