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Larabanga is the gateway to Ghana's largest national park, Mole, and home to the Larabanga Mosque, traditionally dated to the 15th century. The Mosque, of the Sudanese style, is among the most revered in Ghana, housing an ancient Koran of Arabic origin. Also of central importance to local and regional history, the Mystic Stone shrine can be visited just outside the village center.
With a local history going back to the 11th century, Larabanga is one of the oldest Moslem villages in Northern Ghana. Inhabited by the Kamara people in the midst of the Gonja region of the country, Larabanga counts some 5000+ inhabitants, most of whom earn their living through agriculture. Commerce has its place too, with ever-increasing food and lodging opportunities (besides those offered inside Mole Park).
The rich historical tradition is kept alive through storytelling and dance. LECLARA, Larabanga's cultural organization, schedules events and can arrange sessions -- even at short notice -- for individuals and groups.
Community-trained guides offer walking tours through the village center. You'll learn more about the Larabanga's history and meet residents at their homes as they go about their daily tasks. You can also witness local commercial activity, such as milling operations and shea-butter production, as part of tours offered.
Larabanga is also a great point of departure to see numerous other sights in this part of Ghana. Just 16 km. to the south is the Savannah Region's capital, Damongo. Home to the Gonja Kindom Overlord, in this attactive and bustling town of some (est.) 25,000, you will find banks, filling stations, restaurant and other facilities. There is a small daily market and the streets are lined with shops and vendors. Above all, if you have the chance, absolutely don't miss the large, colorful and lively market on Saturdays, just southeast of the center. Along the road between Damongo and Larabanga, you pass Nabori, with its Fulani herders.
Just a few kilometers to the north is the Eco-Village of Mognori. It is a perfect example of a traditional north Ghanian hamlet. A 5-minute walk away is a canoe dock which serves as a starting point for river-safari trips along a branch of the White Volta River.
There are numerous other ancient mosques constructed in the Djenne style located in Ghana's Northwest, many of which can be visited on interesting one-day excursions from Larabanga.
Here are a few additional sources of information about Larabanga.