Writing a 'bucket list' of places i want to go always gets me excited. A bucket list for me is like a to-do list without the added pressure. For the past year, i have been living in the northern part of Ghana for my national service ( a mandatory one year spent working for the government upon completing a tertiary institution) but i am done with the service therefore i am back home in the south. Whiles living in the north, i took a one week backpacking trip to explore some of the beautiful tourist sites that the northern region had to offer. The northern parts of Ghana consists of three political regions namely the upper east, upper west and northern regions. All these regions have a variety of tourist sites and places of interest. My backpacking trip could not take me to all the places i wanted to go because i did not have the time or enough money to go there. I am writing this post as a public to-do list or travel bucket list which will make me extra committed to going to these places i'm about to mention.
First on my list is Mole National Park: The Mole park is a wildlife game reserve located in the northern region of Ghana. It is about the most popular game park in Ghana and has a variety of wildlife for viewing pleasure. There are elephants, antelopes, monkeys, Buffalos, leopards etc This park is one of the tourist sites i can't wait to visit. Information i've gathered so far tell me its best visited during the dry season which is usually from November to April. I am making plans to go there early next year. Mole has onsite catering and accommodation therefore it would be great to spend a few days watching the wildlife especially the elephants since i've never seen one in real life. Whiles returning to Wa (capital of the upper west region of Ghana) from my backpacking trip, the bus i was travelling in passed by the Mole park but all i saw was tall trees and vast forest. I thought i could catch a glimpse of an elephant or a baboon.
Larabanga Mosque and Mystery Stone: Close to the Mole National park is the Larabanga Mosque. The mosque is an ancient work of art built by an Islamic trader in the 15th century. Larabanga is one of Ghanas revered tourist sites and receives lots of visitors both nationals and non-nationals alike. It also features prominently on some post stamps from Ghana. Over the years it has gone through several repair works because it was built with mud but the essential design that set the mosque apart has been maintained. The mosque is not very far from the Mole national park (about 10 kilometres) therefore i plan to visit this ancient mosque as part of my trip to Mole
Close to the Larabanga mosque is the Mysterious stone. Legend has it that during the colonial era in Ghana, a road was to be constructed where the mysterious is situated therefore the stone was removed and displaced but it was found at the exact spot where it was removed the following day. The stone found it's way back when it was removed the second time. This by any standards is not normal hence the name "mysterious". This said stone is believed to have healing powers therefore pilgrims to the Larabanga mosque also touch the mysterious stone for healing and spiritual purification. The road has since been diverted around the stone and a wall built around it. I caught a glimpse of the wall which encompasses this stone whiles travelling to Wa but i was really sad i didn't see the stone itself.
Tongo Whistling Rocks: These rocks can be found in Tongo in the upper east region of Ghana. The rocks at Tongo makes ghostly whistling noises during the harmattan season (December-February) in Ghana when the weather is generally dry and airy.
Tono Irrigation Dam: The last tourist site on my northern Ghana travel bucket list is the huge irrigation dam in upper east region of Ghana. It was built in the 70s for agricultural purposes but has clearly served another purpose which is tourism. Tono dam is an ideal destination for water sports and relaxation and it's very popular in the upper east region since there are not enough water bodies in the northern part of Ghana.