Climate Journalist Visits Africa's Remaining Rainforest in Ghana

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The exceptional rain forest in Ghana

Story and Pictures
By Judith Akolo
in Ghana

Kakum National Park in Ghana is home to the remaining equatorial rain forest that once covered the African continent.
The Kakum National Park is one of the wonders that could one day end up in the world records. It amazes to imagine walking at a height described as a bird’s eye view.

It is dense and dark, as the lianas that form part of the flora weave around the other plants.

As you trudge on the rail above the forest, weighing down on a suspended rail made of wood planks and tied with ropes you see why the ideal situation in a forest must be, a home to animals and plants.

The scenic marvel is a wonder and depending on the weight on each plank, the rail swings from left to right and curves under the weight but it does not break.

As I trudged on with fear written all over my face, shaking and sweating due to the high humidity, the clouds forming above are a constant reminder that indeed the forest is part of the water cycle. Why the heavy clouds? I am reminded of the air escaping into the atmosphere.

I kept staring at the sky. Perhaps in holy supplication that God would hold me if the ropes were to snap. And the swinging continued suspended in space. Kakum National Park hanging bridge in the forest canopy level also called Canopy Walkway, is 40 meters high, it runs over 6 bridges and runs over a length of 330 meter.

After walking the six bridges we came to the end. Looking back at the last plank, I breathed a sigh of relief, and asked myself: ‘ Had I to attempt the feat again would I make it to the end.’
Kakum National Park is a national park in Ghana. It is in the southern part of Ghana, in what is known as the Central Region. The Park was first established in 1990 from an area of 350 square kilometers to the north of Cape Coast and Elmina near the small town of Abrafo.

The entire area is covered with tropical rainforest. In the park gamekeepers trained to take the visitors around mill around waiting for the next group of visitors to take for the canopy walk.

Besides the plant world, comprising rare species, the Kakum National Park presents rare animals, including the very rare and endangered Mona-meerkat, as well as pygmy elephants, forest buffalo, civet cats and a highly developed bird world including the hornbill.

Kakum National Park protects plant and animal treasures of the African tropical forest and is a haven for the casual visitor, birdwatcher, amateur botanist and eco-tourist alike.

In East Africa, remnants of the equatorial rain forest are to be found in Kakamega forest in Kenya, Mabira Forest in Uganda and the now diminishing Mau forest.

Kakum National Park is protecting what must serve as an example to the rest of Africa, a lesson on how to keep our rain forests intact for posterity. And with this the water cycle will be maintained and the rivers will continue to flow.

Edited by Patrick Luganda