Jump to content


Coordinates: 10°47′N 00°51′W / 10.783°N 0.850°W / 10.783; -0.850
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First-top picture: Avenue Landscape and Hotel in Bolgatanga • First-bottom picture: Highway in Bolgatanga • Second-bottom picture: Restaurant in Bolgatanga.
First-top picture: Avenue Landscape and Hotel in Bolgatanga • First-bottom picture: Highway in Bolgatanga • Second-bottom picture: Restaurant in Bolgatanga.
Official logo of Bolgatanga
Bolgatanga is located in Ghana
Location of Bolgatanga in Upper.East region
Coordinates: 10°47′00″N 00°51′00″W / 10.78333°N 0.85000°W / 10.78333; -0.85000
Country Ghana
RegionUpper East Region
DistrictBolgatanga Municipal District
Elevation177 m (581 ft)
 • Total66,685[1]
Time zoneGMT
 • Summer (DST)GMT
Area code039

Bolgatanga (Frafra: Bɔlegataŋa), colloquially known as Bolga, is a town and the capital of the Bolgatanga Municipality and Upper East Region of Ghana,[3][4] adjacent to the border with Burkina Faso. Bolgatanga has over 2012 settlements and a population of about 66,685 people.[1] Bolgatanga is 161 km (about 100 miles) to the north of Tamale. Bolgatanga lies in the Red Volta River Valley (which serves as a major migration route of elephants), with the White Volta River and the cliffs of the Gambaga Escarpment to the south of the town forming the southern boundary of the Upper East Region.[5]/

History of Bolgatanga

Ancient style painted bungalow house in the suburb of Bolgatanga

The name Bolgatanga (Bolbatanga) was derived from the Guresi words "Boole" Clay and "tanga" rocks. Historically, Bolgatanga was situated at the southern terminus of the ancient Trans-Saharan trade route. The eastern route converged with the Sahelian route, near Bolgatanga. Along the route, handicrafts—especially straw baskets, hats and fans, as well as leather goods, metal jewellery, and indigenous attire—were exchanged for kola nuts and salt. The Upper East Region, where Bolgatanga lies, is part of what used to be known as the Upper Region. Between 1902 and 1960, the Northern Territory was a British protectorate; it was separated into the Northern and Upper Region on July 1, 1960. The Upper Region was apportioned into the Upper East and Upper West Region in 1983.

The inhabitants of Bolgatanga migrated from Yoa, a community in the Kasena Nankana East Municipality.

Among the communities in Bolgatanga are Atulbabiisi, Dagweom, Bukere, Zaare, Yekine, Sumbrungu, Yorogo, Sirigu, Bolga-Soe, Yarigabiisi, Zuarungu, Poaliko, Tindaamoligo, Zokor, Gumbiisi Zongo and Zongo.

The Apoka-biisi's of clan Bukere, a community in Bolgatanga, were led by Apoka Kariyane.[6]



There is public transportation from Bolgatanga to major cities such as Accra, Kumasi, Mim, Ahafo, Cape Coast, Sunyani, Tamale, Tema, Ho, Wa, Elubo, Aflao, and Techiman.

The most popular form of intracity transport is a covered rickshaw popularly referred to as 'candoos'.[7][8] For the transportation of goods, an uncovered tricycle popularly known as 'motor king' is used.[9] Though the use of Donkey Carts for carrying goods has been part of the life of the people of Bolgatanga it is scarce due to rapid development.

Life in Bolgatanga

Street in Bolgatanga

Bolgatanga is known as the crafts centre of the Upper East Region, with a large central market. Apart from items found elsewhere in the Upper East Region, the so-called "Bolga hats" are made and sold in Bolgatanga. Bolgatanga and its surrounding suburbs also comprise the largest producers of leather goods, straw baskets, and smocks. The artists sell their works at the Bolgatanga Market, which is open every third day.[10] There is also a museum in the town, which houses objects of historical importance of the Upper East Region.[10]



Bolgatanga has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh).

Climate data for Bolgatanga
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 32.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 18.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 5.1
Source: Meoweather.com [11]

Occupation & food


Farming is the main occupation of the people of Bolgatanga. They engage in subsistence farming of millet, maize, guinea-corn, rice, beans, groundnuts, and sweet potatoes during the rainy season and irrigation farming of onions, tomatoes, and peppers during the dry season. Almost every farmer rears at least a bird or animal.

Millet nearly ready for harvest

The main food of the people of Bolgatanga is Tuo Zaafi (TZ)[12] made with millet, corn, or Guinea millet flour with leaf soup (beto), okro soup, rice porridge.



Architecture and sights of Bolgatanga


Schools in Bolgatanga


Bolgatanga Library


The Bolgatanga Library is a notable design of award-winning American architect J. Max Bond Jr., who was influenced by Le Corbusier. Bond lived in Ghana for four years in the 1960s.[10] The Bolgatanga library was his first major project while working for the national construction company. The design features perforated walls and an "umbrella"-shaped roof, so the structure remains cool and well ventilated.[10]

Paga Crocodile Pond


Forty kilometers (about 25 miles) from Bolgatanga, is Paga, home to the sacred crocodile ponds.[10] These are purportedly the "friendliest" crocodiles in Ghana, and it is said that the souls of the royal family reside in them. The crocodiles roam freely throughout the ponds, and it is unthinkable that anyone should harm them.[10]

A crocodile emerging from a pond at the Paga Crocodile pond covered in green algae

Bolgatanga Craft Village


The Craft Village is an art centre that showcases and sells woven baskets, smocks, hats, bags, leather works (bags, sandals), local and foreign beads, figurine dolls, sculptures, ceramics (bowls), local drums, art work from Mali, Nigeria and many other art works.

It was constructed in 2003 by the municipal assembly to promote the cultural heritage of Ghana and Africa.

Political Administration


The political head of Bolgatanga Municipality is the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and in 2021 President Nana Akufo-Addo appointed Rex Asanga[13] as the municipal chief executive of Bolgatanga.


  1. ^ a b "World Gazetteer online". World-gazetteer.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-11.
  2. ^ "Traffic Rescue". Traffic Rescue. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  3. ^ "Upper East Regional Police Command acquires 3 motorbikes to increase patrols". Graphic Online. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
  4. ^ Adeaga, Favour (2021-01-27). "The Upper East Region districts and their capitals in Ghana". Yen- Ghana news. Retrieved 2023-09-16.
  5. ^ "Ghana » Upper East Region » Bolgatanga Municipal". Bolgatanga Municipal. 2014-03-12. Archived from the original on 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  6. ^ "Apoka Karenyanne one of the Warrior Queen of Northern Part of Ghana , West Africa". KonkonsahGH. Retrieved 2023-09-16.
  7. ^ "Tricycle operators urged to comply with traffic regulations - A1 Radio Bolgatanga". 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  8. ^ "Bolga Cando drivers mull over increment in transport fares - A1 Radio Bolgatanga". Radio online. 2022-05-11. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  9. ^ "Feature: Authorities must focus on training tricycle operators - A1 Radio Bolgatanga". Radio online. 2022-05-03. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Upper East Region Attractions - Ghana Tourism Homepage". Touringghana. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  11. ^ "Bolgatanga Weather Averages". Meoweather. 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  12. ^ "How To Prepare Tuo Zaafi And Ayoyo Stew In Ghana. » My Recipe Joint". Myrecipejoint. Retrieved 2023-09-16.
  13. ^ "Rex Asanga confirmed as Bolgatanga MCE - A1 Radio Bolgatanga". Radio online. 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2023-09-20.

10°47′N 00°51′W / 10.783°N 0.850°W / 10.783; -0.850