Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary: Things to do, Best time to visit
The Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary is one of the many animal reserves in Ghana located in the Upper West region, precisely in the small town of Wechiau which forms part of the Lobi communities. The reserve is about 40 kilometre square in terms of land size and lies along the stretch of the Black Volta River, very close to Ghana’s boundary with Burkina Faso.
Aside Hippopotamus which are the dominant animal population at the reserve, the park is also home to other wildlife animals including bats, chameleons, different species of snakes, lizards, and over hundred species of birds and butterflies.
Tourists who visit Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary also get the opportunity to ride in boats on the Black Volta which lays a few metres from the reserve and meet some friendly hippos in the river. This safari on the river is led by tour guards and boat drivers who are usually on standby waiting for visiting tourists to jump in and take the ride.
The sanctuary also has a special lodge built in the town, where tourists who intend to spend more than a day at the site can spend the night at a small cost. During the night the tourists enjoy some local drinks like Pito with the town folks who usually gather around small fires to tell stories and enjoy the humming of the forest birds together. This is one of the best experiences for tourists who have lived their whole life in cities like Accra and Kumasi where such gatherings are not common or in existence at all.
For the tourists whose main motive is to go and see the amazing hippos, the best time to visit the sanctuary is in the dry season, usually from August through November to January. This, however, does not mean there is no chance of meeting hippos if you go at any other time aside from the specified periods. Tourists can also visit any time of the year and meet monkeys, bats, some colourful and rare bird species and even snakes.