Shea trees, rare across the planet, can only be found growing in the wild across a broad swath of savannah in Sub-Saharan Africa. This region is also known as the Shea Belt region and ranges from Senegal to Ethiopia. The shea tree grows wild in the savannah lands of Northern Ghana. The “picking” of the extraordinary nuts of the shea tree “the preserve of women in the village” marks the beginning of the elaborate, laborious and meticulous extraction of shea butter and its allied oils that constitute a basic and important ingredient in a wide range of skin and hair moisturizers, conditioners, emollients, soaps and cooking oils! The product of the shea tree plays a vital role in the global cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Our Shea Trail tour affords participants the opportunity to experience every stage in the chain of manual activities and processes involved in the extraction of shea butter, as well as an introduction to pure, unrefined shea butter and its traditional uses in traditional communities. During this hands-on tour, participants will become well acquainted with the extraction and determination of premium shea butter and will return home with a sample of the shea butter they made themselves during the tour. For businesses utilizing shea butter in any of their products, as well as for end-users or customers using products containing shea butter, this tour delivers invaluable insight into the people and methods behind the finished and exported raw ingredient that they purchase and use.
An added bonus of this tour is the inclusion of our guided tours of game and wildlife parks and animal sanctuaries that are a part of the wild, natural savannah ecology where the shea trees thrive.
- Learn about Ghana’s shea butter industry
- Visit areas in Ghana where shea trees grow in the wild
- Visit a government owned shea tree plantation
- Visit villages where women harvest and produce shea butter
- Observe the shea butter production process
- Visit a co-op and other community based projects
- Attend discussions, workshops and seminars with industry leaders and officials
- Learn about sustainability and conservation efforts
- Enjoy sightseeing excursions
Arrive in Ghana. Meet at airport and continue directly to the region where shea trees grow in Northern Ghana.
Full day visit to a shea farm for picking nuts. Orientation on selection and preparations. Return to the community to prepare for gathering the nuts
Picking nuts in the morning. Transport/cart nuts back to farm/home compound for boiling, drying and traditional/machine crushing
Separation of nuts from the shells. Afternoon visit to Mole National Park.
Roasting and grinding stages of shea butter production
Visit the Hippopotamus Sanctuary and historic sites
Separation and collection of oils. Harvesting of the shea butter.
Continue separation and collection of oils. Harvesting of the shea butter
Farewell interaction. Depart for Accra.
Visit Makola Market, shea butter section. Check in at airport for return trip home.Tour ends.