Ghana #3

Posted on December 26th, 2010 in MAPA expeditions by Administrator
Travel journalist is volunteering for MAPA in Ghana and this is his latest post…..

Travel journalist March Eveleigh is volunteering for MAPA in Ghana and this is his latest post…..

MAPA Blog 03

19-Dec 2010

The main access route to Digya National Park (according to the head ranger it is the only access) is far from heavily touristed. This year Ghana’s second biggest national park received just three visits, including ours.

These days there are no driveable roads within the park at all. There are a couple of rough dirt-tracks that could take you to within about 10 miles of the park boundary but from there you have to walk.

By far the easiest access point to Digya is along a rough laterite road south of Kwame Danso. This road finally comes to a grinding halt at the banks of a big lagoon, part of the Volta system. Here we had to load necessary provisions for a night in the bush into a canoe for the half-hour paddle that would take us into the park.

The head ranger had told us that there are no longer any communities in the park and that such people as once lived here have all been resettled outside. A group of children was waiting on the far bank to help carry our bags up to what turned out to be quite a sprawling village of mud and breezeblock huts. The rangers live here side by side with the villagers.

The only ‘accommodation’ here for tourists was a couple of mildewy rooms, with the squeaks of bats in the roof giving no doubt as to the origin of the musky smell of guano. Or there was a dusty patch in the middle of the village where we were allowed to pitch our tent. As only the third foreigners to arrive here this year we were of course received almost as a travelling circus by the dozens of local kids.

However, with the help of a couple of guys with machetes, we were able to scout out and clear a great little camping spot near the village. Hopefully this little clearing will be remembered as the perfect spot to take future arrivals.

Who knows when those visitors will next come though.

There are plans for Digya to take its place among Ghana’s wildlife Meccas but for the time being – with no feasible access and no way to get around the park – those days would seem to be a long way off.

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