There is a small exhibition within the Park Head Quarters, showing the wildlife you COULD have seen in the park, what is being done on conservation in the area, as well as explaining about various aspects on general life in Ghana. Worth a visit and there is no additional entrance fee.
The walkway was constructed in 1975 and is the only one of its kind in Africa. It is also reputed to have the longest ‘bridge’ in the world at 333m long. There are seven bridges and six platforms to walk across, and they vary in height from 11m to 40m above the ground.
The primary vegetation in Kakum is moist, semi-deciduous forest – popularly known as a rain forest. The forest is the most extensive rainforest habitat in Ghana with the number of plant species exceeding 200!
The vegetation can be divided into five different tiers:
1. The forest floor, which is sparsely vegetated and dominated by herbaceous plants.
2. A layer of shrubs r4eaching a height of about 4m
3. Tress with large spreading crowns, up to about 18m in height
4. The main canopy of the bigger trees, which form the ‘roof’ of the rainforest, at about 40m
5. The protruding trees above the main canopy, most of which are very old, and some reaching as much as 75m in height
As part of the Park Head Quarters, there is a small gift shop selling T-shirts and various arts, crafts and souvenirs relating to Ghana, including post cards and bags.
Do not attempt to do the walk if you suffer from vertigo!
The walkways are supported by ropes from trees and you walk on narrow wooden plants. There is a hand rail of sorts to hold on to, but of course this is just rope too, so does wobble and swing with the rest of the bridge.
The longest one was a little uncomfortable in my opinion, and I do not have any issues with height or vertigo. Two-thirds of the way across there is a joint in the bridge, and it starts to swing in a different manner. This is exaggerated if there are two or more of you on the bridge at the same time, as not only do you get your own swaying, but you get the other person’s rocking too, which may not always be in unison.
Although the guide will tell you that there are 240 elephants’ in the forest, as well as 40 other mammal species, and over 300 different species of birds, in reality you are unlikely to see very much wildlife at all.
Unique Suggestions: We went early in the morning, just after dawn at 06:30, which is reputed to offer the best animal viewing opportunities, but we hardly even saw a bird, let alone anything ‘interesting’ in the way of animals. We heard some rustling in the trees, which the guide claimed to be monkeys, and saw some tiny little birds in the tree tops, but that was all!
It is, however, a beautiful experience, especially in the early morning mist, and offers you an opportunity to see the rainforest canopy from a viewpoint otherwise not presented to ordinary travellers. We did not actually expect to see any mammals, having walked across a few of these walkways before, so we weren’t actually disappointed.