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UPPER EAST  REGION


The Upper East Region, located in the savanna grassland of Ghana, is rich in indigenous architecture and natural attractions.

With its capital as Bolgatanga (shortened to Bolga sometimes), the Upper East Region occupies the extreme north east portion of Ghana. This region is very dry. Upper East is noted for its cattle and cereals like millet, sorghum and rice. The area is also noted for its handicrafts and locally brewed beer known as Pito. In terms of tourism, the Upper East does not have major landmarks that make waves in tourism. However, its people have much to offer in tourism. The main attractions include the following:


NATURAL TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Bolga Market
Bolga is the meeting point of the ancient trans-Saharan trade routes from Mali, which passed through Burkina Faso down to Tamale and southern Ghana. A second route, from northern Nigeria through Bawku, converges at Bolga and then joins the main route from the south.

Dawadawa (spice used in preparing soup) and handwoven cotton fabrics were exchanged for kola and salt from the south. Today, Bolga is famous for its handicraft industries, which include leather goods, local northern attire, straw-baskets, hats, fans and metal jewellery.


Tongo Rocks
Just 10km from Bolga is Tongo; a town built on granite rocks which rise dramatically from the terrain. These ancient rocks have interesting geometric shapes and are naturally perched precariously on top of one another. During the cold, dry "Harmattan", which blows across the Sahara from November to March, the persistent wind forces its way through the rocks, producing an eerie whistling sound.




Paga Crocodile Pond
Paga is located at the northeast border between Ghana and Burkina Faso. The Paga Crocodile Pond is the sacred sanctuary for crocodiles, which are said to be the totems of the Kasena people who reside in Paga and surrounding villages.

At the Crocodile Pond, these reptiles can be enticed out of the water by the whistling of the caretaker and the brandishing of a chicken which the crocodile will snatch with its long snout. If you are fearless enough, you can hold the beast's tail and pose for pictures. There is a small charge for the chicken and a token fee to the caretaker.


Naa Gbewaa's Shrine
Legend has it that Naa Gbewaa, the founder of the Mole-Dagbon tribes, finally settled at Pusiga in the Upper East Region in the 13th century. His descendants continue to worship at the shrine. (The Mole-Dagbon tribal area extends from northern Ghana into Burkina Faso).


Kulugungu Bomb Site
In August, 1962 Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, visited Kulugungu, a village in the Bawku district of the Upper East Region. In his honour, a reception was held near a local school, but the event was marred by a bomb blast which killed a young child and injured many others, including the President. A memorial has been built on the sport where this event occurred.


FESTIVALS

Gologo Festival
This festival is celebrated in March by the Talensis of Tong-Zug just before the planting of grain. During the three-day festival, sacrifices are offered to the gods for plentiful rain and good harvest.


Eiok Festival
The annual Fiok Festival is celebrated by the Builsas of Sandema in December. This is a war festival which re-enacts the ancient heroic exploits of the Builsas. Amid drumming and dancing, the gods are invoked for protection and for a bountiful harvest.





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