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12 Things to Do in the Northern Region Ghana

The Northern Region of Ghana is a new world compared to the country’s Southern regions. Located about 12 hours by road from Accra or a short 1.5-hour plane ride, Northern Region Ghana consists of many cities and towns filled with places to visit and experiences to have. 

I’ve taken several trips to the Northern Region, which has quickly become my favorite region in Ghana. I discover new things to do with each trip that make my trips memorable. The North is known for the Mole National Park but has so much more to offer. 

Here are 12 things to do in Northern Region Ghana! 

Take a tour of the remains of the Salaga Slave Market

Salaga is a town known as a trade center back in the 16th century. The slave market is where enslaved people were brought from the Pikworo Slave Camp and sold in past times. 

While the history of the Salaga Slave Market lives on to be told to visitors, the preservation of the market has not been the best. The market has been torn down and has been in the process of rebuilding for the last three years. However, not much progress has been made. The intriguing history does make up for the lack of physical structure present at the tour, making it a great thing to do in Northern Region Ghana. 

Location: Salaga (2 hours from Tamale)

Salaga Slave Market
This sign is the only thing that was still standing from the market (and it wasn’t even standing, just in pretty good condition).

Pose for a picture with a crocodile at the Paga Crocodile Pond 

The Paga Crocodile Pond is one of the most exciting things to do in Northern Region Ghana because of the close encounters with the crocodiles in the open swamp environment. The crocodiles are docile and used to the locals in the community, making them “friendly.” (not my words!).

You’ll witness the crocodiles in their natural habitat and pose for a picture to show your family and friends back home! While I believe that animals will always be animals, this is one of the few chances you’ll get to be up close and personal with a crocodile.

Location: Paga (4 hours from Tamale)

Paga Crocodile Pond
I was not planning on getting up close, but here I was after peer pressure!

Learn the history of what took place at the Pikworo Slave Camp 

Ten minutes from the Paga Crocodile Pond lies a historic slave camp called Pikworo. Opened in 1704, the site was used as a transit center for enslaved people to be later sold at the Salaga Slave Market. 

The Pikworo Slave Camp has been efficiently preserved, with many of the structures still in place. You get to see the eating and drinking place for the enslaved, how food was prepared, the entertainment center, and much more. 

This is one of my favorite sites in Northern Region Ghana. If you visit the Salaga Slave Market before this site, it’ll help to complete a full picture of how each place is connected through history. 

Location: Paga (4 hours from Tamale)

Embark on a 2-hour safari at the Mole National Park 

The Mole National Park is home to wildlife animals such as elephants, baboons, hippos, and more that can be spotted roaming around freely. One of Ghana’s greatest attractions in general, the park is the country’s first, largest, and most protected area. 

Opt-in for a walking safari or hop into one of the park’s safari jeeps for a thrilling ride through the forests. Both options include a park ranger and are equally exciting things to do in Northern Region Ghana. 

Shop for souvenirs to bring back home at the Tamale Arts Centre 

Visiting the Tamale Arts Centre is one thing to do that you will not regret! If you’ve been to the Arts Centre in Accra, you know the prices of items can be set to take advantage of visitors, and having to bargain can be intense. Tamale’s Art Centre is the complete opposite.

Tamale Arts Center

The quiet atmosphere allows you to go from shop to shop and look at the souvenirs with little to no pressure from the merchants. The prices are reasonable, and you can get many items for a fraction of the price it would cost in Accra. This allows you to support merchants in the area who don’t always receive many visitors!

Location: Tamale

Visit the Mystic Stone in Larabanga 

The history of the mystic stone is one of mystery, good luck, and faith. Hear the story behind the stone and its significance to the Larabanga community. The nearby town people now visit the stone to bring about good fortune in their lives.

Location: Larabanga (2 hours from Tamale)

Recount the history of Ghana’s oldest mosque

The Larabanga Mosque is the oldest mosque in Ghana and one of the oldest in West Africa. The mosque is situated inside a small Muslim community. The construction of the mosque is usually what catches the attention of many. Said to mimic a Sudanese style of architecture, its design is impressive up close. 

I recommend going with a guide and will recommend mine at the end of this blog post to help explain the significance of the mosque. 

There is an entrance fee to the mosque that goes back into the local community.

Location: Larabanga (2 hours from Tamale)

Larabanga Mosque

Get a great view of Tamale from a Tuk-Tuk

Tuk-tuks commonly referred to as “yellow-yellows” in Tamale, are a primary transportation method used in the Northern Region. Traveling in Ghana often means being stuck inside a car, so using alternative transportation methods can be exciting!

Riding A Tuk Tuk in Tamale

Enjoy a 4-course lunch at Zaina Lodge 

Zaina Lodge is West Africa’s first luxury safari lodge, and the luxury begins with its stunning 4-course lunch menu. The menu at Zaina changes daily, but during my time there, I had the following courses:

1st course: Pumpkin soup with a dinner roll. 

2nd course: Cucumber and avocado salad 

3rd course: Fish fillet with carrots and mashed potatoes 

4th course: Chocolate mousse cake 

During my lunch, a family of elephants came to the front of the entrance, where I got an up-close view of them. This is a bonus of having lunch at Zaina. The property is in the Mole Forest, and elephants can be seen wandering around the lodge. You can get to experience this without spending hundreds of dollars a night. 

Location: Mole (3 hours from Tamale)

Admire unique art pieces and structures at the Red Clay Studio 

Opened in 2020, the Red Clay Studio is an art exhibition hosting several art pieces and structures from artists. An extension of the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art, the Red Clay Studio has exhibits from artists worldwide for certain periods. 

Created by artist Ibrahim Mahama to create infrastructure to support the art scene in Ghana, the Red Clay Studio houses the work of many talented Ghanaians.  

Location: Tamale 

Appreciate wildlife with a canoe safari at Mognori Eco Village 

The Mognori Eco Village is located in a secluded area not far from the Mole National Park. For a small fee, you can embark on a peaceful canoe safari ride through the mangroves of the forests through the village’s paddlers.

You can also tour the village for an insight into what life is like at the Mognori Eco Village. Don’t forget to purchase some shea butter to take home!

Location: Mole (3 hours from Tamale)

Master the art of making fufu with a local cooking class 

I learned how to make fufu and groundnut soup (my favorite soup here in Ghana) in a Tamale village. It was one of my favorite things to do in Northern Region Ghana!

You’ll learn what it takes to make one of the most common cultural dishes in Ghana through boiling, pounding, and kneading yam to make fufu. If you’re interested in this experience, contact Shani below, who can make it possible!

Northern Region/Tamale, Ghana Tour Guide Contact Information:

Shani Pino: 

WhatsApp: +233 24 780 4254 

Instagram: @mahama_shani 

I used Shani as a guide everytime I travel to the Northern Region. While I am confident I could explore the region alone successfully. Northern Ghana is not as developed in terms of tourism and having a guide will make your life easier. 

Many people may not know where certain sites you want to visit are, and Shani can take you around using his motorbike (you will provide gas of course) if you are a solo traveler which means saving on transportation and time. 

He has a super chill vibe and has always helped me see everything I set out to see while in town! 

So there you have 12 things to do in Northern Region Ghana! Heading to Tamale, Ghana soon? Check out how I spent my first 3 days in Tamale and the Northern Region of Ghana on my first trip.

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Christina Jane Travel Writer

About The Blogger

I’m Christina, a travel blogger and content creator from Fort Myers, Florida.

Being Christina Jane is my way of inviting you to join me on my travel ventures by sharing the knowledge gained from my adventures and experiences— both good and bad.

This travel blog is filled with helpful travel tips, information, and is a recollection of the lessons I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had while traveling.

My goal is to curate a space that interconnects my love for travel and transparency and I hope you will join me on that journey. 


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