Aburi Botanical Gardens


Making the most of our trip to Accra as Amy exits the country by driving north to Aburi and sharing some quality tree time. – June 10, 2013




Bob remembers well the hour drive up the escarpment to the Aburi Botanical Gardens although much has changed. His mother used to pack a picnic lunch and load her boys into the car for a change of venue. Back then, the highway was flanked by rain forest. Forty years later, the trees have been transformed into human habitat.




The main road into the gardens are framed in royal palms. The grounds are well-kept and inviting and we found ourselves wishing we lived in Accra so we could continue the tradition of enjoying lunch under the big trees.




Locally known as Kapok, or Silk Cotton Tree, this stately tree with its signature buttressed trunk is definitely one of our favorites.




Another towering Ceiba, covered in vines, the Lady Knutsford, is the sole survivor of the original forest. The energy at the base of this tree was palpable.




Our neck mucsles sure got a workout at the gardens. Bob and Amy admire the flora climbing up Lady Knutsford and Camille stands beneath another one of our favorites, Artocarpus altilis or bread nut wishing a fruit would magically mature and fall into her hands. Other names for bread nut are: breadfruit (U.S. mainland) ulu (Hawaii) lemai (Guam) and masa pan (Belize) 




Just past the Ceibas was a carved Sandalwood tree that captivated us with its signature aroma and intricate carvings.




From the roots to the ends of the branches, humanity and the animal kingdom crawled towards the heavens. We guessed the theme to be “Mother Africa.”




A rhino above a backwards-looking goose a monkey and a giraffe were some of the many animals mingling with the humans on the Sandlewood tree. No doubt there are many cultural stories attached to these fanciful carvings. The only one we know for sure is the goose. Otherwise known as Sankofa (literally “reach back and get it”), the goose symbolizes the idea that “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”




One after another, we found our favorites and even a bit of history. Bob stands beside a Grevillia Robusta (Silver Oak) tree which was planted by Prince Charles in 1977. At that time, the Prince of Wales visited Bob’s family but Bob was away at boarding school. He was aware that Charles planted a tree at Aburi while visiting Ghana, so finding the tree was something of a compensation price.




Amy stages a nature photo involving a leaf, flower and nut underneath a nutmeg tree. We learned that the filigreed coating or (aril) on the nut is Mace, an often over-looked spice similar to nutmeg but more subtle with hints of cinnamon, raw sugar and citrus.




Another case of humans mimicking nature – the park building is supported by pillars much like the pandanus.


[Latest] * [Troutsfarm] * [Camille’s 59th Birthday] * [Obroni Friends] *[The Kumasi Zoo] * [Aburi Botanical Gardens] * [Accra Revisited]