Aburi is located on the Akwapim-Togo Range of Ghana. It’s just three quarters of an hour drive from Accra, the capital of Ghana. The cool mountainous weather of Aburi makes it a destination for people who love the cool side of life. Located in this cool tranquil environment is the Aburi Botanical Gardens. The garden covers a total land area of about one hundred and sixty (160) acres. However it is only three (3) acres that have been developed and the remaining serving as a botanical reserve.
The House of Commons in London in the year 1842 recommended that a garden should be established on the mountains of Aburi. But tried as they could, this first attempt did not come to any fruition. Another attempt in 1865 to establish the garden was also not successful either because the powers that be at the time did not see the need for such expenditure to create a garden far away from home or sheer lack of interest all together. But in March 1890, upon a third attempt, the idea was accepted and this led to the establishment of a garden at Aburi. Why Aburi was chosen over other places such as Amedzofe which also offers the same cooler conditions and had been occupied by the Germans is something that needs exploring. Could they have chosen Aburi over the other mountainous regions of the Gold Coast because it was already home to the British sanatorium? Plausibly! This is because before 1890 the Gold Coast government had constructed a sanatorium at the site in 1875 for government officials who were recuperating. This place later became a something of a holiday retreat for the British colonial masters.
Prior to 1890, a year earlier, under the supervision of a German Basel Missionary and during the governorship of His Excellency, Sir W. Brandford-Griffith, K.G.M.G. some hectares of land were cleared for the start of the gardens. In 1890, Mr. William Crowther (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) was appointed the first curator of the garden. His grand ideas to transform the parcel of land around the sanatorium into a famous garden resulted in the cultivation of 6.8 hectares of land by 1902. His application of botany an area that he had specialized in as student could clearly be seen with the demarcation of the land into three distinct plots for the cultivation of three groups of plants: economic plants, botanical specimen and decorative plants.
The early toils of the forbearers have not gone to waste since today at Aburi stands a beautiful botanical garden that is among the 1800 of such kinds in the world with the primary purpose of preserving and conserving what is left of the earth’s rare plants species. It can be said without any shred of doubt that Aburi Botanic Gardens is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Ghana.