The Gambago Escarpment, also known as the Gambaga Scarp, is a line of cliffs along the Volta River basin in northern Ghana. This scarp forms the elevated northern boundary of the Volta River and the Eastern region of the granite Wa and Mamprusi plateaus. Gambaga Escarpment stretches for approximately 100km from Walewale to Tusugu at the border of Ghana and Togo. The only major road of the scarp runs from Gambaga to Walewale and from there to Kumasi.
At the Escarpment near Nakpanduri, some hidden structures are along the cliff face at the Scarp. These structures have stones incorporated in their walls and either connect to the rock shelf above or have wooden beams creating a flat roof.
The Gambago escarpment is a significant physical feature that attracts many people, particularly nature lovers. It features horizontal sandstone layers, stimulating the southbound white Volta River to turn west and follow the Western half until it turns south again at Kpasinkpe.
Apart from being a striking physical geological feature, the Gambago Scarp is composed of horizontal sandstone layers, which causes the southbound White Volta River to turn west and follow the Western half of the until it finally turns south again at Kpasinkpe. The name of the escarpment originates from Gambaga, the capital of the ancient, powerful Mamprugu Kingdom. It was a prominent kingdom led by a powerful warrior called Tohazie and affectionately called the “red hunter.”
To the south of the Gambago Scarp is another small plateau, followed by a gradual descent to the surrounding land. The plateaus’ height greatly influences the climate; it is relatively cool and moist. Grains and yams are the major products farmed in this area. Besides, stock raising is also common in this area.
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the Gambaga Escarpment. There are several places where you start the hike, but the best place to start your hike is Nakpanduri because of the accessible nature of that portion of the scarp and because it is among the highest points. It only takes around 20 to 30min to get to the top of this escarpment. It is advisable to carry water when going for a hike.
Hiking along and down the cliffs will bring you up close and offer a personal experience with various beautiful and interesting smaller animals, such as squirrels, geckos, and insects. You can spot snakes sometimes, but it is a rare scene. Birdwatching is also especially rewarding both on top of and below the cliffs.
Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu-Nyakpanduri District guarantees some of the best and most accessible views from the plateau. It is a famous tourist destination in the Region with its epic viewpoints and luxurious overhangs.
Gambaga is also home to the Gambaga Witch Camp, a group of women and men accused of witchcraft and wizardry forced to leave their homes. This village is still, and it comprises more than 50 huts with basic amenities. Some old beliefs and customs still exist in some parts of Ghana, but it’s worth your time.
A few years ago, you could spot herds of elephants and antelopes while standing at the top of this escarpment. Although you can still spot some animals these days, it is a rare thing because the residents of this region have hunted antelope despite strict rules against poaching. Patas monkeys and Baboons can still be spotted in this area regularly along the cliffs. Rock hyraxes are still many, but it is not easy to spot them staying at the crevices. Nocturnal animals like porcupines, genets, and lynxes still roam in the forest below the escarpment at night.