This is one of Ghana’s smallest regions, yet debatably, it possesses one of the greatest stocks of tourist attractions. It is a very traditional region and these vary from landmarks of the slave trade, through wildlife, to captivating architecture. The region is the largest producer of cotton, groundnuts, millet and sorghum. The dominant ethnic groups are the Wala, Sissala and Dagaaba. It has eight administrative districts including the Regional Capital Wa, which is also the seat of the Waa Naa, paramount chief of the Walas. These are Jirapa, Lambussie. Lawra, Nadowli, Sissala, Gwollu, Funsi and WaWest. Wa has very decent accommodation and restaurants/Bar services. This can be found in other places such as Nandom, Lawra and Tumu. The main dishes of this Region are “TZ” or “Tuo Zaafi”. Rice balls or Omo Tuo with groundnut soup or green leaves soups, beans, and cowpea or “Tubaani” koko with “koose”. Beverages include “pito” and “Zom
How to get there:
From Accra the capital city you can get to the upper West region by air fly to Tamale and continue by road. By road you can get there by using the daily State Transport Company bus service [STC]. International visitors can also come through Burkina Faso via the Hamile border.
Cultural and Historical Heritage
This is a region that the legacy of the trans-Sahara trade left it with a heavy influence of Islam in towns, which the major trade routes converged. Wa the regional capital is dotted with Mosques, amongst are the Ancient Sudanese Mosques at Nakore, and Dondoli.
The Waa Naa’spalace
This is a magnificent palace located in Wa. built in Sudanese architecture that dates back to the 16th century.
The Jirapa Naa’s Palace
This palace, showcases local architecture, a maze which is the first multi-storey mud building in Ghana.
Slave Defence Wall
The remnants of this defense wall as a result of the 300 hundred year long slave trade that left indelible landmarks are found at the border town of Gwollu, 70 km north of Wa. The wall was built by Gwollu Koro Limann as a defence against slave traders for the local residents of that time. It is also the hometown of the former president of Ghana, Dr Hilla Limann.
A major feature of this region is its ancient caves. The caves found in Bulenga, Dahili and Sankana, were places of refuge for the inhabitants who were fleeing from the slave raiders. Slave Camps can be found at Pizaga and Dolbizon and Slave market at Kassana.
Wildlife and Nature Reserves
The Gbelle Game Reserve/ Bird Sanctuary The reserve [565km2] which is at the south of Tumu, is home to elephants, buffaloes and the country’s largest herds of Roan antelopes. There is also a Bird Sanctuary. The Wechiau Hippoppotamus Santuary [B 4] This stretches along the Black Volta River near Wechiau, also a haven for other reptiles and several birds. A community-protected area is located at the extreme northwestern corner of the Upper West Region southwest of Wa Ghana. It consists of a 40-kilometres stretch down the length of the Black Volta River, which forms the region’s western boundary with Burkina Faso. Remember to spend the night in our Hippo Hide Tree House and experience one of the best dawn choruses (bird song) in all of Africa. The Bat Sanctuary (Sombo), Sacred Royal Python Sanctuary (Jefiiri) The Crocodile pond (Eremon) these are examples of successful traditional wildlife reserves.
Other Interesting Attractions
These include, the smoothly polished mushroom-shaped rocks formations leaning on their sides (Wuling), The Gothic stone cathedral church, the largest in west Africa, built in 1936 [Nandom] the Lobi Houses and the making of Ghanaian xylophone [Lawra]
Notable festivals are the Kobine, Kakube, Wilaa and Zumbenti in Kaleo. These are merry-making occasions, chiefs and people in colourful dresses [Smocks] hold durbars to climax the celebrations.
This festival is celebrated in the last week of January – 1st of February by the Tumu’s.
It is celebrated to thank the ancestors and Almighty God for guidance over the farming season. Farm produce is exhibited along music, dance and general merry-making.
Celebrated in 27th April, at Takpo. this festival is to thank the ancestral shrine ‘Will’ for guidance and protection and also to ask for continued blessing from the shrine and God Almighty.
The significance of this festival is to give thanks to ancestral gods, cleansing of the land of evil spirits and pacification of gods and re-uniting of families. It is considered the most opportune time to contract traditional marriages.
This festival is celebrated to thank family gods and ask them to bless the soil, protect the people during the farming seasons. It is celebrated in the last week of November – 1st week in December by the Nandom. Kobine Festival
The Kobine festival is a post-harvest event to acknowledge the spiritual guidance of the traditional area by the ancestral gods; it is also to jubilate over the bountiful harvest. Dancing competitions are organized. This festival is celebrated 1st week of October at Lawra.
For More Information Contact;
The Ghana Tourist Board
Upper West Region,Wa
Ministry of Trade and Industry P.O. Box Wa358,
WA Tel: [233-756] 22431