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Here they are – the most interesting and sought-after birds in all of Ghana according to Africa Geographic travel director Christian Boix.

1. White-necked Picathartes

Bounds through the forest stealthily and effortlessly from one liana to the next in gollum-like fashion. These birds gather in silent and mysterious crowds by cave entrances to breed  in overhangs – building half cup mud nests just like swallows do. Ravishingly gorgeous and enigmatic this afro palaeo-endemic is Ghana’s indisputable MEGA!

2. African Piculet

 Africa’s smallest Woodpecker may not be the most colourful, but it sure oozes plenty of energy… and if you ever  catch sight of one, you will no doubt be amazed by its relentless twig drilling prowess. The very trait gives away its whereabouts.

3. Great Blue Turaco

Photo copyright Benjamin Schwartz

Bigga, betta and several times louda, this  gargantuan Loerie on steroids never disappoints!

4. White-throated Blue Swallow

Scarce and fleeting, this riverine swallow never fails to dazzle the observer with its electric and eclectic blues

5. White-crested Tiger Heron

Photo copyright Christian Boix

Although it may never be admitted, this extremely shy yet chunky Bittern of the lowland forests will continue to represents a rite of manhood, coming of age and significant milestone in anyone’s afrotropical birding existence/endeavours.

6. Egyptian Plover

Africa Geographic Travel

Arguably the most handsome shorebird in the world, this radiant and gutsy wader can be easily seen strutting its stuff along the shores of the Volta, and per-chance picking debris off a crocodiles dentures if you are extremely lucky.

7. White-breasted Guineafowl

Vulnerable, rare and localized this chunky and sought-after game bird moves in ghost-like fashion through the glooms of Ghana’s lowland forests, providing but glimpses to the lucky few patient enough to track them down.

8. Standard-winged Nightjar

Photo copyright Ian Fulton

Displaying the most exquisite and delicate plumage in Africa, this lekking nightjar will have you reeling in awe as it approaches or hovers over you with its feathery trains, which at dusk twirl and whirl as they are trailed, resembling two mobbing drongos in hot pursuit. Indeed – a MUST see to BELIEVE!

9. Yellow or Black-Casqued Hornbill

Loud, loquacious and voluptuous, both these species may be seen with relative ease from the canopy walkway at Kakum NP, a huge advantage form the usual dappled and fleeting glimpses provided from the forest floor. Listening to their approach in the canopies of Kakum, with wing beats that closely resemble a steam engine at full speed, eyeing out these canopy behemoths as they fly past you a few meters away is something you can never forget.

10. Western-wattled Cuckoo Shrike

Resembling one of Madagascar’s Vangas, this near mythical canopy-dwelling and elusive species has graced very few birders and kept many more wishing, hoping and dreaming for a fleeting a sight.

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I left my native Spain, its great food, siestas and fiestas to become an ornithologist at the University of Cape Town and to start Tropical Birding, a company specialising in bird-watching tours worldwide. During that period of my life I travelled to over 60 countries in search of 5,000 plus bird species. Time passed, my daughter became convinced that I was some kind of pilot and my wife acquired a budgie for company – that’s when the penny dropped. I then joined the Africa Geographic team and run our safari business from England. Hardly contained in an office, I look forward to reporting on new and exciting travels, and continue to share the joy of safari, birding and exploration.

Africa Geographic Travel