NORTHERN REGION

THE NORTHERN REGION

INTRODUCTION

The Northern Region, one of the ten administrative regions of Ghana, a country lying on 0 longitude of the West Africa Coast. Ghanaian hospitality is legendary, the Northern Region is no exception. And so you are welcome to enjoy the scenic natural features, exotic culture and the legacies of a history of the largest region in Ghana.

LOCATION

Northern Region has 13 of the 110 district of the country. Its goegraphical features are mostly low lying, except in the north eastern corner with the Gambaga escarpment and along the western corridor. The land is drained by the tributaries of the Volta Lake: Rivers Nasia, Daka, Oti, the Black and White Volta covering over a third of the whole land mass of the 70,390km big enough to swallow up other regions like Volta, Ashanti, Western and Greater Accra put together; call it the mother of all Regions!

BORDERS

The region if bounded on the north by the Upper East and Upper West regions, on the west by Cote D’Ivoire and on the east by Togo. The regions on the south are the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions.

POPULATION & ETHNIC GROUPS

With population of nearly 2 million, the main ethnic groups are Dagomba, Nanumba, Mamprusi, Gonja and Komkombas. Other groups include Chekosis, Bimobas and Vaglas.

CAPITAL

Tamale, the capital, is the country’s fourth largest city. It is the nerve centre of all commercial activities in the whole of the Northern Sector of Ghana. Tamale is an incredible juxta-position of the ancient and modern. The traditional architecture of round huts with conical thatched roofs are sights to see.

CLIMATE

The rains come between May and October followed by the dry season which peaks in December and January with the dry Harmattan winds from the Sahara Desert. This tropical climate sustains the Guinea Savanna vegetation made up to grassland, clusters of shrubs, short trees and a sprinkling of big trees like mahogany and baobab. Maximum temperature levels of about 38oC occur in March to April and minimum temperature levels of about 19oC in January.

Historic Sites

Slave Route of Northern Ghana

The Northern Region was a major arena of slave raiders and a key supply source for slaves who were sent to markets and sold to local merchants from the South. They were subsequently marched on the coast and resold to European traders for export…

Larabanga Mosque

A 13th century Mosque, believed to be first built by Moorish Traders, it is one of the holiest sites in Ghana.

Nalerigu Defence Wall

The remnants of this ancient wall in the Gambaga scarps is said to have been built in the 16th century to protect inhabitants…

Larabanga Mystery Stone

Legend has it that this stone on the outskirts of Larabanga (Northern Region) always returns to its original resting place when moved…

Places of Interest

Sacred Groves

These sacred groves are traditonal nature reserveds created around….

The Kraal Buildings

Only a few kilometres north or east of Tamale, visitors will discover the first northern-style kraals set amidst their surrounding millet fields. These traditional habitations are totally different from those of southern Ghana,…

Tamale

The Central market in Tamale sells everything from groceries to motorbikes. Visitors will find this colourful market full of hustle and bustle…

Salaga

One hundred and twenty kilometres to the southwest of tamale is Salaga, the capital of the Gonja East District which used to be the biggest slave-trading center in Northern Ghana.

The original slave market was moved south from…

Daboya

Northwest of Tamale are the salt mines of Daboya. Salt was an important and major item of exchange and used in the barter for slave…

Yendi

Yendi is the seat of the “Yaa Naa’s”, King of the Dagbon State and is 98km southeast of Tamale and connected by an excellent paved road…

Yipkabongo

Yipkabongo is north of Tamale in the Builsa traditional area, with access via Walewale, the District capital for West Mamprusi. Yikpabongo and three other towns, Tantala, Yeziesi and Kubore are noted for terra cottas, which…

Witches Homes/Camps

These witches’ settlements are located at Ngani in the Yendi district, Gambaga in the east Mamprusi district, and Kukuo in the Bimbilla district and Kpatinga in the…

Babatu’s Grave

The infamous slave raider, Babatu who was killed during one of his…

Festivals and Events

Jintigi Fire Festival

It is celebrated by the chiefs and people of Gonjaland in April every year.

Damba Festival

The Damba festival is categorized into three main festivals, namely;

Bugum Chugu (Fire) Festival

The Bugum Chugu is celebrated throughout the Northern Region by the Dagombas, the Nanumbas and the Mamprusis.

Kpini Chugu (Guinea Fowl Festival

This festival is observed in the Dagbon, Mamprugu and Nanung Traditional Areas as a minor festival.

Gobandawu (Yam) Festival

Gobandawu marks the beginning of the new harvest seasons by the traditional areas in the Northern Regions…

National Parks

Mole National Park

One hundred seventy kilometres west of Tamale in the West Gonja District, is the Mole National Park. The scenic ride to Mole, though rough, is ideal for adventurous visitor…

Local Art

Handicraft

Traditional textile in the North is the Fugu. The main centres for its production are Yendi, gushiegu and Tamale. In Doboya the only economic…

Adventure Tourism

Gambaga Scarp

You can make a stop-over at Gambaga and have the opportunity to visit the Gambaga Kings Palace and the…

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