Ecotourism is a new but burgeoning industry in Ghana, a small equatorial country, about the size of the U.K., that hugs the Atlantic Ocean on the western seabord of Africa.
Ghana – A Wonderful Green Holiday Get-Away
Ghana is renown for its gold and cocoa, for being the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957, and for its warm, friendly populace. Now, it is making a name for itself as a green holiday desination with a lot more to offer the ecotourist than beautiful beaches and majestic palm trees.
Ecotourism – A Priority for the Ghanaian Government
Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism – founded as late as 1993 – promotes the practice of community-based ecotourism, whereby tourists, conservationists, and local communities work together to attract and facilitate visits to the many natural resources across the country in an environmentally responsible and ecologically sustainable manner. Among the many green resources that richly endow each of Ghana’s ten regions, are vast expanses of savanna and rainforest, gently rolling hills encircling tiny valley towns, sixteen national parks, a plethora of avian life, and a number of lakes and lagoons that harbour their own little worlds of vertebral and reptilian life.
Active Ecotourism Organisations
Slowly, this sunny equatorial country is gaining a foothold in the ecotourism market as it makes its abundant wildlife and flora more accessible and appealing to eco tourists. But as it does so, protection of the waterfalls and lakes and wildlife sanctuaries becomes a necessary cause, and organizations such as the Ghana Wildlife Department, the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust, and the Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) are busy making sure that eco tourism does not also invite resource exploitation.
The Nature Conservation Research Centre – An Ecotourism Leader
The NCRC, a Ghanaian non-profit organisation founded in 1996, is focused on the protection of natural resources and the promotion of ecotourism and economic development in, particularly, rural areas. Its approach to rural ecotourism receives international recognition and has been endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism. The NCRC incorporates cultural belief systems into conservation programs and ensures that the communities affected by the development of ecotourism in their area benefit from tangible economic returns. To effectively address conservation issues in Ghana and to provide an ecologically sustainable ecotourism environment, the NCRC also collaborates with numerous local organisations, as well as international organisations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Calgary Zoo, and the Earthwatch Institute.
Eco Travelling through Ghana
Ghana has much to offer the curious ecotourist. There is so much to choose from, and so many regions to choose them from, that you may find it quite practical to narrow down your eco travel itinerary to just a few, specific regions. Many resources are available to help you plan your trip. All that is left, is for you to pack your bags and begin your adventure!