Wechiau Sanctuary is a famous tourist site that was officially established by the Local Village chiefs in 1999. Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary is situated along with the Eastern Bank of the Black Volta River at the north-western corner of the Upper West Region of Ghana. It is not only a home of Hippos only but also houses other animals. If you like exploring nature, this is the perfect place to visit in Ghana because you’ll get a great chance of experiencing the wealth of wonder and other tourist activities in this place.
It is a protected area for Hippos and other wild animals that cover around 40km. So far, there are only two sets of hippos that still exist in Ghana. Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary is home to around 200 species of birds, bats, chameleons, hedgehogs, lizards, and snakes. The Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary has a prime spot for bird watching comprising woodland savannah, forest shorebird species, and riverine.
Tourists walk through several hiking paths in this sanctuary to trace lizards, bats, hedgehogs, pythons, and chameleons. The Black Volta River is at Ghana’s western region border and Burkina Faso, a major tourist site that offers an amazing, exclusive, and rare eco-travel experience. While at this place, tourists ride the foxhole canoes to spot the hippos and other mammals at the river. Besides, they also interact with fishermen while executing their daily duties.
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There are two well-designed tourists’ lodges strategically situated at the center of the Lobi communities. The Lobi community has a great culture with unique marriage systems and funeral rites. Visitors get a chance to meet and interact with the local people.
During your visit, you can spend the night at the Hippo Hide Tree House and enjoy one of the finest morning melodies from the various bird species. You can enjoy taking some local beer called Pito with the resident while listening to good music. Another interesting activity in this place is taking a river safari on the Black Volta, where you can spot Hippopotamus, Malachite Kingfishers, Violet Turacoes, and Vervet Monkey. Visiting the Lobi communities gives you a chance to experience a cultural tour and learn their traditional ways of doing things and other traditional practices.
It is advisable to spend a night at the available accommodations in this area to explore all the tourist attractions in this Sanctuary. The best views of the hippos, birds, and other animals in this sanctuary can only be experienced on Mornings or in the Evening when the water at the river is moving. During the afternoons, you can hike or visit the local homes or relax at the Sanctuary.
The dry season is the ideal time to visit this place, particularly between June and November. It is much easier to spot the Hippopotamus during this season because the water levels are low. When the rainy season is ongoing, the Hippos disappear, and these locations are not easy to access. The best time to see the birds in their colorful breeding feathers is from June to August.
It is never easy to access this famous Sanctuary regardless of whether you are using your car or hired transport or even public means of transport. It is situated 50km southwest of Wa, and it’s around sixty minutes’ drive. Arriving at the Wechiau marks the beginning of your tour in this place. Visitors stop at the Wechiau welcome office, where they are issued with a local guide. The role of the guides is to help the tourists in case of any need and offer the needed information concerning the local culture and the history of this place.
From Wechiau to the Sanctuary is only 20km. Some mini busses operate between Wa and Wechiau. Besides, the Wechiau Visitors Centre is ever ready to assist the visitors in hiring either a bicycle or motorbike to cover the minor distances within this area.