Some of the naturally arranged rocks at the Tongo Hills
Some of the naturally arranged rocks at the Tongo Hills

Iconic Tongo hills, Tengzug Shrine, Whistling Rocks - Revamping needed to boost tourism

Tongo, the capital of the Talensi District in the Upper East Region, is endowed with attractive rock formations and natural rock shelters which also serve as the epicentre of the Talensi people and home to many shrines.


The iconic Tongo Hills, Whistling Rocks and Tengzug Shrine have over the years won several awards for being a site which has preserved the unique culture and tradition of the people in the area.

These famous natural resources continue to place the area on the tourism map, both home and abroad.


Information gathered indicates that students, prominent researchers, anthropologists, archaeologists and academics often troop to the sites to undertake academic and research activities.

The Tongo Whistling Rocks are located about 10 kilometres from Bolgatanga, where granite rocks dramatically form the terrain.

It is well-known that the rocks also make strange whistling sounds in November and December when the harmattan wind blows from the Sahara across northern Ghana.

A tourist on a tour of one of the shrines

A tourist on a tour of one of the shrines

Also, the Tongo Hills, with its alluring rock formations, caves and natural rock shelters, is the sacred epicentre of the Talensi people and home to numerous sacred shrines.

There are three prominent shrines - the Tona'ab, Bona'ab and Nyoo.

Indeed, at the Tongo Hills one can find the Cave School, the Chief’s Palace, donkey, hyena and hiding caves, making them some of the busiest tourist attractions in the region, Ghana and the world at large.

The Tongo Hills nurtures powerful shrines, which people from all walks of life visit for consultations, spiritual healing, fortification and pursuit of wealth, among others.

The shrines are also the venues of the principal ritual festivals of the Talensi people which are often associated with particular seasons and are usually accompanied by song and dance performances.

Boost tourism

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Wisdom Ahadzi, said it had become necessary for the Tongo Hills and Tengzug Shrine to be well-developed to boost tourism in the region.

He stated that there was a unique culture attached to the site, which was mixed with modernity which when developed could attract tourists to the area and added that the place needed a receptive facility to keep the site’s history and host visitors as well.

He noted that the site had a lot of potentials and that it needed a little touch to open it up to tourists, stressing “there should be a clear-cut pathway through the rocks to make it easier for tourists to walk through the rocks.”

He mentioned that it was the intention of the GTA to collaborate with the municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) to identify all attractions for them to be developed to promote tourism in the region.

He noted that over the years too much attention had been given to tourist sites within the Paga enclave to the neglect of other equally important facilities which needed revamping to attract more tourists to the area.

He said “when we have enough and well-developed tourist sites spread across the region, the focus will obviously be shifted to the others to boost the local economy.”

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