Tamale is one of Ghana’s fastest growing cities and the third most populous area of the country. Although Ghana has become a popular tourist destination in the last two decades, Tamale is still relatively unknown and remains well off the beaten path. This is what makes this city so unique: it’s an authentic introduction into the remarkable North Ghanaian culture and hospitality and genuine snapshot of the West African way of life.
Tamale has been consistently voted the cleanest city of the country by the Ghanaian Government. It has a distinctive architecture that combines modern high-rise buildings with traditional mud houses and an array of intricately designed mosques. The city is easily explored by bicycle and bike tours are the best way to get lost in the humble neighbourhoods.
Located in the northern region of the country, the city’s population is predominantly Muslim. Praying is an important requirement of the Islamic faith and the Call to Prayer can be heard echoing through the city 5 times a day. Tamale’s Central Mosque is the most popular one, a humongous and imposing structure with tall minarets and emerald domes, right in the centre of the city.
It is a well-known fact that people in Ghana are extremely friendly and approachable; the same goes for Tamale. Locals simply love to get to know visitors and will frequently start conversations in order to know more about you but also share their own stories and wisdom. Language is not a barrier as English is widely spoken. With their warm attitude and eagerness to help, the locals will easily win your heart.
Strolling around the local markets should probably be number one on visitors’ lists. The National Cultural Centre is the place to go for cheap souvenirs and original traditional crafts. Some days, later in the evening when the weather cools down, you can enjoy and even take part in traditional Ghanaian dances and cultural performances.
One of Tamale’s greatest attractions can be found 120 kilometers west of the city. Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest wildlife conservatory and is certain to be an unforgettable experience. Here you can really experience elephants in their natural habitat as well as spot antelopes, vultures, beautiful birds and monitor lizard to name just a fraction of the incredible fauna of the area. There are various safari tours that can be arranged for different times of the day. The park is never very busy and there are options to go for day excursions or stay over night in one of the hotels, if you’d prefer to take your time exploring the Ghanaian Savannah.
As Ghana’s most fertile area, Tamale is an agricultural heaven and offers some of the greatest produce in the country. This means that local restaurants cook delicious hearty meals at very reasonable prices. There are also various tours you can join, from cotton spinning to traditional food cooking as well as spending time with local families and learning about how the locals live, earn a living and have fun.