UPPER EAST REGION

THE UPPER EAST REGION

INTRODUCTION

With a population of 917,253 the Upper East region covers 7.8% of Ghana’s land mass. It is the gateway to Ghana from Burkina Faso, which is the traditional crossroads for the trans-Saharan trade routes. An exciting introduction to Ghana, much of the landscape is broad savannah grasslands, dotted with the strange-looking baobab trees, or striking Sahel terrian. In the villages, with their distinctive round huts, communal activities go on as they have for generations.

The principal border posts from Burkina Faso are found at Hamale, Kapulima. Paga and Kulungugu.

For political administration, the region is divided into six Districts: Bawku East, Bawku West, Bongo, Builsa, Kassena-Nankana and Bolgatanga (or ‘Bolga’ as it is known locally) being the capital of the region has always been a meeting point for traders from Mali and Burkina Faso on their way south to Tamale and Southern Ghana. The markets continue to be important trading points, and ‘Bolga’ is a famous centre for handicrafts, including straw hats and baskets, leather goods and metal jewellery.

The local villages with their distinctive building styles that have evolved through the generations, and adapt so well to the lifestyle of the people and local conditions, provide a distinct contrast to those in other parts of Ghana and welcome visitors.

Historic Sites

Paga Nania Slave Camp

Three kilomteters west of Paga is the suburban village called “Paga Nania”. In this village are a slave transit camp and relics of the slave trade. Founded by a brave hunter and farmer,…

Navrongo Catholic Cathedral

This cathedral, established in the early 20th century, symbolizes the roots of Catholicism in the Northern region.

Wuriyanga Mosque

This ancient mosque, about southeast of Bawku, was built by Muslim missionaries.

Places of Interest

Bolgatanga Market

Traders from all over the region congregate at the Bolga Market – souvenir-hunters will find an amazing selection of local goods.

Tongo Whistling Rocks

Tongo rocks, just outside Bolgatanga, are a dramatic landmark, and create eerie sounds during the harmattan.

Bolgatanga Museum

A focus on ethology over history makes this museum, established in 1991, an interesting stop for those intested in Ghana’s cultures.

Kulungugu Bomb Site

August 1962, an attempt to assassinate the architect of Ghana’s independence and the first President of the Republic, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was made. En route to Accra…

Navrongo-Tono Irrigation Dam

The dam offers opportunities for water sports and relaxation at the guesthouse.

Bolga

Bolga is the shortened version of Bolgatanga, which is both a Regional and District Capital. It is north Tamale and takes an hour drive on newly constructed asphalt road. Bolga used to be a terminus on the ancient Tans-Saharan trade route…

Paga Town

Paga is the major port of entry on the Ghana-Burkina Faso border. It is 40 km and a 45-minute drive from Bolga. The heritage and vestiges of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade can be found across towns and villages in Northern Ghana…

Pusiga

A short drive from Bolga is Pusiga. Legend has it that the founder and ancestor of the Mole-Dagbani kingdom, which extended from Ghana to Burkina Faso, finally settled in…

Navrongo

Thirty minute drive and 18km northwest of Bolgatanga is Navrongo. The key attraction in this town, which is also a major educational center, is the architecturally unique Catholic Cathedral.

Widenaba (In the Red Volta Valley)

The people of Wadnaba have a rich cultural history that began a long time ago in Burkina Faso to the North. Then there was an area known as Kusanga, where the Kusanga clan multiplied into a very large family over the years. The chief landlord of Kusanga

Festivals and Events

Gologo/Golib festival

The Gologo or Golib festival is celebrated by the Telensis who reside at Tenzug.

Fao Festival

It is held at Paga, Chiana, Kayoro in the Page/Chiana and Kayoro Traditional Areas.

Samanpiid Festival

This Festival is celebrated by the Kusasis in the Bawku Traditional Area in November…

Feok Festival

This is the annual festival of the people of Sandema in the Builsa. It is held…

Adaakoya Festival

Adaakoya is celebrated at Bolgatanga and Zuarungu by the Gurunsis. It is held between….

Kuure Festival

This is the festival of the people of Zaare who are predominatly blacksmiths.

Tengana Festival

As a thankgiving offering, the Tengana Festival is held at balungu, Winkongo and…

Damba Festival

The Damba festival is celebrated bythe Mamprusis. The main venue…

Boaram Festival

Boaram is the festival for the Talensis in the Bongo Tradition Area who reside at Bongo. It is held between october and November every year.

Local Art

Sirigu Murals and Traditional Arts

Sirigu boasts unique traditional architecture, interesting mural art, and traditional basket-weaving and pottery.

Adventure Tourism

Paga Crocodile Pond

Have you ever wanted a close encounter with an amazingly ancient predator? Paga Crocodile Pond is an experience you won’t soon forget.

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