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Top Tourist Sites in Northern Ghana: Discover the Hidden Gems

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Top Tourist Sites in Northern Ghana

Top Tourist Sites in Northern Ghana: Discover the Hidden Gems

Today, we explore the Top Tourist Sites of Northern Ghana. Are you looking to explore the rich cultural heritage and natural wonders of Ghana? Look no further than the northern part of the country. With its fascinating history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant traditions, Northern Ghana has become a magnet for tourists from around the world. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the top tourist sites in the region, unveiling the hidden gems that make it a must-visit destination.

Larabanga Mosque: A Testament to Time

Larabanga Mosque

One of the oldest mosques in Africa, the Larabanga Mosque is a true architectural marvel. Located in Northern Ghana, it was built-in the year 1421. This historic site has stood the test of time, with its core foundation remaining intact and unchanged. While the mosque has undergone restoration and architectural works over the centuries, its original essence has been preserved. As you step foot into Larabanga, you will be captivated by the spiritual aura that surrounds this sacred place.

Mole National Park: Where Wildlife Thrives

Mole National Park

This arguably the most popular tourist site in Northern Ghana.

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Mole National Park is a must. This expansive wildlife sanctuary is home to a diverse range of species, making it a paradise for animal lovers. As you explore the park, you will encounter majestic African bush elephants, graceful antelopes, and a myriad of other fascinating creatures. The park also boasts a rich variety of tree species, adding to its natural beauty. Whether you are embarking on a thrilling safari or indulging in birdwatching, Mole National Park promises to leave you awestruck.

Daboya: A Town of History and Craftsmanship

Daboya

A trip to Northern Ghana can be likened to a Time Travel experience. Step back in time as you visit Daboya, a town steeped in history and craftsmanship. Once renowned for its salt mining industry, Daboya was a thriving commercial hub. Today, while the salt market has declined, the town still preserves its cultural heritage through its hand-woven traditional smocks. As you wander through the streets of Daboya, you will witness the intricate artistry of the locals, who continue to weave these beautiful garments. With its rich history and unique craftsmanship, Daboya has the potential to become a major tourist destination in Ghana.

The Mystic Stone: A Divine Wonder

The Mystic Stone

Many associate mysticisms with Northern Ghana, this particular site, lends credence to this belief. Located near Damongo, the Mystic Stone holds a mystical allure that draws visitors from far and wide. This enigmatic stone is believed to possess divine powers, as it has remained in the same spot for centuries, defying all attempts to move it. The stone serves as a place of worship for the local community, who come here to seek blessings from their ancestors. As you stand in the presence of the Mystic Stone, you will feel a sense of reverence and awe, connecting with the ancient traditions of the region.

Gbele Game Reserve: A Wildlife Haven

Gbele Game Reserve

The very obscure region of Northern Ghana has something to offer visitors as well. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Gbele Game Reserve. Nestled in the Upper West region of Ghana, this wildlife reserve boasts an incredible array of animals and birds. From antelopes and warthogs to monkeys and baboons, the reserve is teeming with life. The open savannah woodland provides a unique backdrop for your adventure, as you embark on nature hikes and birdwatching expeditions. For a truly unforgettable experience, spend a day at the reserve, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the wild.

Wa Naa’s Palace: A Historical Marvel

Wa Naa’s Palace

To experience the unique architecture of Northern Ghana, a trip to Wa is necessary. Journey into the heart of Wa, the regional capital of the Upper West region, and discover the majestic Wa Naa’s Palace. This historic palace, built in the early 19th century, is a testament to the rich heritage of the Wala people. Its Sudanese mud-brick architectural style stands as a symbol of protection against the slave traders of the past. As you explore the palace, you will be transported back in time, witnessing the grandeur of the royal home and the final resting place of former kings. The Wa Naa’s Palace is a must-visit for history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike.

Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary: Where Nature Flourishes

Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary

Experience the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary. Located along the Black Volta River, this sanctuary is home to a thriving population of hippos, as well as a diverse range of wildlife. Hop on a boat and cruise along the river, getting up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. The sanctuary also offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, as you interact with the friendly townsfolk and partake in traditional festivities. A visit to the Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Paga Crocodile Pond: Where Humans and Crocodiles Coexist

Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary

In the town of Paga, a fascinating relationship exists between humans and crocodiles. The Paga Crocodile Pond is a place where these fearsome reptiles live in harmony with the local community. Visitors can marvel at the sight of crocodiles basking in the sun and even pose for photos beside them. The spiritual connection between the people of Paga and their crocodile companions is believed to be rooted in the presence of ancestral spirits. This extraordinary bond has turned Paga Crocodile Pond into a unique tourist attraction, drawing curious travelers from all corners of the globe.

Tongo Rocks and Tengzug Shrines: Ancient Wonders

Tongo Rocks and Tengzug Shrines

Tongo, the capital of the Talensi-Nandam District, holds two hidden treasures: Tongo Rocks and Tengzug Shrines. The Tongo Rocks, also known as the Whispering Rocks, are a series of fascinating rock formations that defy gravity. Their mysterious arrangement and the whistling sounds they produce during the harmattan season make them a sight to behold. At the top of the rocks, you will discover the ancient Tengzug Shrine, a place of religious significance for the local community. Witness age-old rituals and immerse yourself in the rich traditions of the Talensis people. The Tongo Rocks and Tengzug Shrines offer a glimpse into Ghana’s ancient past.

Conclusion: Uncovering the Treasures of Northern Ghana

As you delve into the top tourist sites of Northern Ghana, you will be rewarded with a wealth of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and historical marvels. From the mystical Larabanga Mosque to the breathtaking landscapes of Mole National Park, the region offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler. Whether you are seeking adventure, tranquility, or a deeper connection with Ghana’s rich traditions, Northern Ghana has it all. Embark on a journey of discovery and uncover the hidden gems that make this region a true treasure trove.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tony Ayelbis Atubiga

    June 19, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this…
    God bless you

  2. Pingback: Nautyfication Revolutionizes: 1 Bold New Era in Ghanaian Sound - thesavannaonline

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Savanna Features

The Safest Ways to Northern Ghana exposed

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Northern Ghana

Northern Ghana
Northern Ghana

Introduction

Traveling alone can be a fulfilling experience. It offers an opportunity to appreciate and fully immerse yourself in new cultures and landscapes. But the challenges associated with traveling are vast, especially safety. In this post I will share a few tips to note when traveling alone to and around Northern Ghana.

Understanding Northern Ghana 

As you prepare for an exciting trip to Northern Ghana, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the area before you start. The region is well known for its rich and diverse cultural heritage. With numerous exciting markets, art and craft lovers find it a heaven.

For people who love breathtaking landscapes, the Northern Region would leave visitors in awe. Northern Ghana also boasts several tourist attractions that will be the icing on the cake. Travelers should endeavour to know the nature of the area. It will be useful. Especially in devising your travel routes and plans while assessing the security risks should be a priority. Once you know the security risks, mitigation becomes easier. 

Before embarking on your journey, it is essential to familiarise yourself with the region you will be visiting. Northern Ghana is known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant markets, and stunning landscapes. 

However, like any travel destination, it is very important to be aware of potential safety risks and how to mitigate them. The cultural diversity of Northern Ghana is enormous, be sure to have an idea of the different ethnicities you will encounter. 

What to consider before you travel 

While Northern Ghana is generally safe. There are incidents of robberies, ethnic conflicts, and the likelihood of getting lost. You’ll need to consider personal safety, health, and the safety of your personal belongings.

You may consider using a tour guide for ease.

Also, where possible, you should consider travel insurance.

Knowing about local laws and customs would also come in handy. Most people in Northern Ghana still hold traditions in high regard. Knowing the above will help avoid being offensive to locals. For example, learn how to wear hats in Tamale.

You should also ensure you have all necessary vaccinations, such as yellow fever, a malaria vaccine, and any others.  

If you are not like me, you’ll try to avoid street food and sachet water. 

As a personal preference, I always carry a first aid kit with painkillers, medications for malaria, something to help with stomach aches, and any other essentials that can come in handy. I do so because there are many places where access to healthcare is a nightmare.

Before your trip, keep copies of your travel documentation, passport, and all other necessary documents with someone before you leave.

Be sure to have a reliable means of communication.

You will also want to know the weather conditions before you set off. Northern Ghana generally experiences a dry season and a rainy season. The rainy season can be a hindrance in accessing several places. Thus, knowing the weather pattern will help you avoid getting stuck on your journey.

Have a fair idea of nearby medical facilities close to your locations.

If you prefer driving, it is worth knowing the road conditions. You can also hire a local driver who knows his way around.

Finally, you’ll need a list of emergency contacts. That list should include your country’s embassy, local authorities, and insurance provider.  

With the above done, you can enjoy that lifetime thrill of traveling through and around Northern Ghana.

Tips for the actual journey 

You would also do well to seek permission before taking pictures.

Be aware of your surroundings, avoid displaying valuables, and avoid too many distractions.

Use reputable transport and accommodation services.

You may want to prioritize traveling during the day instead of just at night.

Where the services of a guide is needed, be sure they have a good reputation.

Keep valuables safe by ensuring they are in secure places.

Don’t stand out. In many places, criminals target people who they know are not indigenes or locals. So, while it may be evident that you are a tourist or traveler, do not exhibit any naivete to attract attention.

Always be hydrated and well-rested.

While on the journey, stay connected to someone at home or with other companions. Check in regularly to let them know you are safe.

Listen to local advice. Paying attention to advice from local authorities and experienced people.

As you journey with an open mind, be prepared for emergencies.

In all of it, trust your instincts.

Who are the Bulsa Ethnic Group?
Who are the Bulsa Ethnic Group?

Be culturally sensitive; respect your hosts.

Your journey is to experience diversity on many fronts. From culture to landscape, you will encounter different things. To fully enjoy the hospitality in all places, you must be culturally sensitive and respectful.

Your cultural preferences must not become the reason you trample on other people’s cultures. How people dress, hand gestures, and how to address the elderly and chiefs are very important on trips like this. Also, you should try to know what aspects of your culture may be offensive. For example, it is culturally unacceptable to wear footwear before many chiefs. The use of the left hand in greetings or gesturing can also be offensive. Once you respect the culture of the people, you will earn some love from the locals.

Stick to your plan.

While traveling alone can sometimes offer the will to make detours, it is best to avoid such unplanned changes to your itinerary. This is because you may not have been adequately prepared to visit other places. Travel and enjoy the beauty of your destination and journey; don’t outdo yourself with extra stops.

Remember to always have your emergency contacts at hand. See you around!

Here are some tourist attractions you may be interested in:

Top Tourist Sites in Northern Ghana: Discover the Hidden Gems

Khaya is Language AI that helps translate and recognise speeches. Checkout it out for Northern Ghana Languages. It may just save you a lot of talk-time.

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Savanna Features

#OnTourWithAwedana : Rocks of Fear – Pikworo Slave Camp (Paga, Ghana)

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The sight and the overall experience of Pikworo Slave Camp take away all doubts about the veracity and reality of the slave trade in Africa. The presence of empirical evidence in the form of relics is enough to disabuse all doubting minds. Perhaps the cliché, “seeing is believing” should be the emphasis here. 

Pikworo Slave Camp is geographically situated approximately 3 KM West of Paga in the Upper East region of Ghana.  It’s located in a village called ‘Nania’. The camp is one of the few tourist sites in Africa with remarkable routes of historic relevance and is known in history as the hoarding, auctioning, and transmission point of slaves. It acted as a transit camp for the slave trade. Slaves were held hostage in the Pikworo slave camp before being transferred to Salaga in the Northern Region. In short, it acted as an intermediary between slave traders.

Legend has it that, the Pikworo Slave Camp was founded by a brave hunter and farmer. The village (Nania) was then developed into a trading center for the Hausa, Mossi, and Zambrama traders where their exchange activities took place.

The story of the slave trade sound is really gory sometimes. However, coming face to face with the facts of history gives a refreshing feeling of how far we have come as humans in our very existence. It’s sometimes incomprehensible and shocking how the purpose of a fully-fleshed human being could be altered and converted to the extent of being a slave. But the evidence available is more factual than fiction.

Centuries back, the slave trade was a very lucrative business activity and because of its dominant nature, it enriched slave masters and other people of higher ranks in the slave market. Nania became the first stopover and an auction market for slaves captured in surrounding lands as well as those brought from the Sahara. It was situated in a very rocky area hence the name ‘Pikworo’ which means ‘rocks of fear’. The rocky nature of the place largely defined the living conditions of the slaves in the camp. 

Life in the camp could best be described as rude and crude. Unlike the luxuries we enjoy today, slaves captured and sent to Nania had to be tied against trees and rocks to sleep. They ground cereals on rocks. They prepared food on rocks. They ate from holes created on rocks and drank from a nondrying opening in rocks.

They walked barefooted and experienced inhuman treatments as penalties for wrongdoing or non-compliance with directives. For instance, there was a site of the camp dedicated to punishing slaves where they were tied to a rock and made to watch the sun.
Dead slaves were buried in groups in a single hole dug around the camp and covered with a medium-sized rock placed on top of the grave as an epitaph to indicate the site as a burial ground for the dead. 

One interesting aspect about the stopover of slaves at Nania was that, despite the harsh conditions they faced, slaves had the chance of producing music with stones used to hit the rocks in a rhythmic manner, creating a pleasant sound with some of the slaves dancing to the tune. In all it won’t be wrong to say slaves in Pikworo slave camp lived “rocky” lives since almost every aspect of their lives was hinged on rocks.

Visiting the slave camp gives a lot of flashbacks and touching memories to behold-Memories that indicate the actual toil of our forefathers and some of the circumstances they faced and memories that give you insights towards making the world a better place. Until you visit the ‘Pikworo’ slave camp, you’ll always be tempted to liken the storylines of “12 years a slave” to “Tom and Jerry”.The former is a real-life issue and the latter is fiction. Don’t dwell in doubts for the rest of your life. Spare a moment, explore and reconnect with the past: it’s a priceless experience.
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Story by: Bobi Awedana Herty/thesavannaonline

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Savanna Features

Impressive! Ghanaian Rapper Dr. Pushkin Releases New App & Book ahead of “Outlandish” Album

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Paul Azunre

Who is Dr. Pushkin?

Ingenious Dr. Pushkin, known in academia as Paul Azunre is a certified stunner par excellence. Having chalked immense success as an AI Prodigy, the Texas-based Ghanaian rapper employs his passion and area of study to further our civilization. Well-known for his contributions to advancing the state of Optical System Design Optimization Algorithms, the release of Khaya is a switch in direction.

What is Khaya?

Khaya is a mobile app that runs on Android, iOS and web. Its functionality amounts to preserving indigenous African languages. The App mainly allows for easy translation between mother-tongues. It also has a voice recognition feature that can do a voice-to-text transcription flawlessly.

While Dr. Pushkin and his fellow team members that developed the App strive to collect more data to facilitate the addition of more languages, the App currently carries out translation from English to Ga, Ewe, Twi, & Yoruba. It also allows translation between the aforementioned languages and English. Since the release of Khaya, many philologists and linguists have expressed the joy of an African seeking to preserve African languages. For the Khaya team made up of Algorine Inc and the Ghana Natural Learning Processing group, this is a dream come alive. The rare opportunity to give people an opportunity to learn, understand, and even speak an African language is beyond exhilarating.

Clearly, Dr. Pushkin intends to keep his being grounded in using AI and Music to change the social order.

Dr. Pushkin’s Book – Transfer Learning for Natural Language Processing

Nerdy Dr. Pushkin is probably a case worth studying. True hip-hop aficionados know that the ability to compose songs and verses with the kind of Dr. Pushkin’s depth does not come easy. Couching a theme, piecing the lyrics together, and arranging every aspect of the song to exude finesse and social consciousness is a defining factor for all respected rappers. If that’s not challenging enough, his work as an Artificial intelligence authority should take up all his time. However, the former Brilliant Science & Maths Quiz winner made time to finish another ground-breaking Book. The book is titled “Transfer Learning for Natural Language Processing”.

Obviously, his interests expressed through Khaya have an influence on this latest book. According to Dr. Pushkin, it’s been two years of hard work, but he finally received the first Hardcopy of “Transfer Learning for Natural Language Processing”, defining the experience as “surreal”. The always-smiling scientist made a post via his Facebook profile page.

“The book “Transfer Learning for NLP” is about the machine learning techniques for processing human speech currently taking the world by storm. Personally, I use them in my work with Ghana Natural Language Processing and Algorine for translation, speech transcription, etc, in my business analytics work, and even in my music. The number of applications is truly mind-blowing.”

Get a copy of Transfer Learning for Natural Language Processing

Hard copies and eBooks are available from Manning. The book will also be available on Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble starting August 31, 2021, with pre-order available now.

This very easy to read and practice book is published by Manning Publications.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel for video lectures, and other related content aimed at helping more young people starting out in these fields to take on the upcoming decade with confidence. Several other relevant links can be found via https://solo.to/azunre

As the man behind the development of an algorithm that can guarantee to find the “best possible design” to an optical design problem, Dr. Pushkin is definitely on a growth trajectory that satisfies the soul and enhances life.

Away from artificial intelligence and academic work, Dr. Pushkin has readied a music album for Hip Hop lovers. Having brought to the fore a kind of music that seeks to transform, and bring change, the Outlandish Dr. Pushkin album definitely promises to be a full bouquet of unique music experiences, and it is one to look forward to.

About the “OUTLANDISH DR. PUSHKIN” Album

Akin to his music persona, this album features artistes whose prowess transcend entertainment. Call it an array of well-curated musicians with a touch of social awareness, and you won’t be faulted. Amongst the list of featured musicians are Ghana’s rap contortionist Budukusu, emerging Ghanaian silky voice Teri Wiizi, the ever-present Ataman Nikita, Muphasah, Kwadjo Spiri, Aggie, Kromanteng and AZA The Messenger.

Paul Azunre aka Dr. Pushkin, Nikita Tolkachev, Azkonnah and IV produced tracks on this artful collection of music. The album title speaks volumes – in an era where rap and hip hop has been criticized for being shallow and unoriginal, Dr. Pushkin promises to deliver something unique and special to us. The carefully crusted album has a track to touch each of us, to inspire and sustain us. That has always been the true nature of hip hop & rap.

The first track from the album – Rapinho – drops September 9th. It features a cameo from Loyaltexn. The second track – Hear Me Out, with Palermo-based Ghanain rapper Muphasah – is slated for September 23rd.

Dr. Pushkin is a Ghanaian Artiste of Gurune extraction currently based in Austin Texas, United States of America. He holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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