Tamale, the Capital, situated in savanna-type terrain, has a
pronounced rainy season and dry season. The city has a delightful
mixture of different cultures and religions, which co-exist
Tamale is easily reached by road from Accra, and is linked to
other parts of the country by regular air service on Ghana Airways
and other domestic air carriers.
The Volta Lake Transport Company also has a boat service from
Akosombo to Buipe Port. From there, passengers and cargo are
moved to Tamale by road. It takes 8 hours to reach Tamale by
car from Accra and 22 hours by boat.
NATURAL AND MAN-MADE
Mole National Park is 160km west of Tamale, and can be conveniently
reached by State Transport and City Express Buses. The park
has a rich population of elephants, lions, leopards, roan bucks,
antelopes, duikers, hartebeest, kob, and all types of monkeys
and birds. The optimum time to visit is between November and
March, when the grass is low and visibility is at its best.
There is a motel inside the Park.
Hand-Made Textiles And Salt Pond
55km west of Tamale is Daboya, an ancient 16th century town
of the Gonja kingdom. It was built by Ndewura Jakpa as one of
the command posts of the kingdom. There you will find the best
local fabrics made from hand-spun cotton. These fabrics are
woven, dyed and sewn into beautiful indigenous garments in soft,
muted colours. Granulated salt, sued in the processing of these
fabrics, is mined from the White Volta by collecting the sand
and heating it over a perforated pot or calabash. The salt resulting
from this process is naturally granulated.
Larabanga Mosque is believed to have been built by Moorish traders,
during the time of the trans-Saharan trade in the 13th century.
A copy of the Holy Koran (Islamic Holy Book) is believed to
have descended from heaven and is still preserved in the mosque.
This unusual and widely-photographed mosque is an example of
Stone - Larabanga
According to the local legend this mysterious boulder had defied
being moved to another site to make way for road construction.
As a result, one finds the road now by going to the side of
The Wall was built in the 16th century as a protection against
raiders. It is said that Naa Dzaringa (named after the African
Viper) ordered that any lazy worker be added to the wall. The
entire structure was said to have been built with milk and honey.
Parts of the wall still stand in Nalerigu, 120km from Bolgatanga.
German Colonial Cemetery - Yendi
Yendi was part of a 19th century German settlement. Before German
rule was firmly established, a pitched battle was fought against
the Dagombas. The Germans who died during the battle were buried
in this cemetery. Yendi is 96km east of Tamale.
Terra Cotta Site - Yipabongo
The area of the ancient 9th century Koma civilization stretches
from Yipabongo in the Sandema area through the Fumbisi Valley
to Kubore. Archaeological excavation work has yielded valuable
terracotta artifacts, some of which are believed to be older
than the Koma civilization itself. You can reach Yipabongo via
Salaga Slave Market
This is the famous trans-Saharan slave market where slaves were
bought in exchange for kola and gold. Leg pegs used to restrain
the slaves can still be seen in the market place. Salaga is
about 60km south west of Tamale.
Originally linked with Islam to mark the birth of Mohammed,
the festival has gradually taken on a traditional rather than
Islamic tone. The 2-day festival is full of pageantry and showmanship
and is celebrated in the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland
Although the Bugum Festival was also linked with Islam, it has
become a major event on the traditional calendar too. It commemorates
the flight of Naiyul-Lah Mohammed from Mecca into exile in Medina
in AD658. The festival is celebrated in Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi
and Nanumba. The events begin with processions from neighbouring
villages. By nightfall, all the villagers converge at the Chief's
palace with lighted torches. Following special invocations by
the Chief, the ceremonial illuminate the streets. Festive drumming
and dancing continue until the early hours of the morning.