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NORTHERN REGION


Tamale, the Capital, situated in savanna-type terrain, has a pronounced rainy season and dry season. The city has a delightful mixture of different cultures and religions, which co-exist harmoniously.

Tamale is easily reached by road from Accra, and is linked to other parts of the country by regular air service on Ghana Airways and other domestic air carriers.

The Volta Lake Transport Company also has a boat service from Akosombo to Buipe Port. From there, passengers and cargo are moved to Tamale by road. It takes 8 hours to reach Tamale by car from Accra and 22 hours by boat.


TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

NATURAL AND MAN-MADE

Mole National Park
Mole National Park is 160km west of Tamale, and can be conveniently reached by State Transport and City Express Buses. The park has a rich population of elephants, lions, leopards, roan bucks, antelopes, duikers, hartebeest, kob, and all types of monkeys and birds. The optimum time to visit is between November and March, when the grass is low and visibility is at its best. There is a motel inside the Park.


Hand-Made Textiles And Salt Pond - Daboya
55km west of Tamale is Daboya, an ancient 16th century town of the Gonja kingdom. It was built by Ndewura Jakpa as one of the command posts of the kingdom. There you will find the best local fabrics made from hand-spun cotton. These fabrics are woven, dyed and sewn into beautiful indigenous garments in soft, muted colours. Granulated salt, sued in the processing of these fabrics, is mined from the White Volta by collecting the sand and heating it over a perforated pot or calabash. The salt resulting from this process is naturally granulated.


Larabanga Mosque
Larabanga Mosque is believed to have been built by Moorish traders, during the time of the trans-Saharan trade in the 13th century. A copy of the Holy Koran (Islamic Holy Book) is believed to have descended from heaven and is still preserved in the mosque. This unusual and widely-photographed mosque is an example of Sudanese architecture.


Mystery Stone - Larabanga
According to the local legend this mysterious boulder had defied being moved to another site to make way for road construction. As a result, one finds the road now by going to the side of the rock.


HISTORIC

Nalerigu Defence Wall
The Wall was built in the 16th century as a protection against raiders. It is said that Naa Dzaringa (named after the African Viper) ordered that any lazy worker be added to the wall. The entire structure was said to have been built with milk and honey. Parts of the wall still stand in Nalerigu, 120km from Bolgatanga.


German Colonial Cemetery - Yendi
Yendi was part of a 19th century German settlement. Before German rule was firmly established, a pitched battle was fought against the Dagombas. The Germans who died during the battle were buried in this cemetery. Yendi is 96km east of Tamale.


Terra Cotta Site - Yipabongo
The area of the ancient 9th century Koma civilization stretches from Yipabongo in the Sandema area through the Fumbisi Valley to Kubore. Archaeological excavation work has yielded valuable terracotta artifacts, some of which are believed to be older than the Koma civilization itself. You can reach Yipabongo via Walewale.


Salaga Slave Market
This is the famous trans-Saharan slave market where slaves were bought in exchange for kola and gold. Leg pegs used to restrain the slaves can still be seen in the market place. Salaga is about 60km south west of Tamale.


FESTIVALS

Damba Festival
Originally linked with Islam to mark the birth of Mohammed, the festival has gradually taken on a traditional rather than Islamic tone. The 2-day festival is full of pageantry and showmanship and is celebrated in the towns of Dagbon, Gonjaland, Mamprusiland and Nanumbaland.


Bugum Festival
Although the Bugum Festival was also linked with Islam, it has become a major event on the traditional calendar too. It commemorates the flight of Naiyul-Lah Mohammed from Mecca into exile in Medina in AD658. The festival is celebrated in Dagbon, Gonja, Mamprusi and Nanumba. The events begin with processions from neighbouring villages. By nightfall, all the villagers converge at the Chief's palace with lighted torches. Following special invocations by the Chief, the ceremonial illuminate the streets. Festive drumming and dancing continue until the early hours of the morning.


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