Northern Ghana lie wholly out of the forest belt that stretches inland from the coast for about 200 miles, and are covered in uncultivated parts with rank grass, which is burnt annually. All over the country is a scrub of dwarfed trees, chiefly acacia, except by the rivers, where fine trees are found, characteristic of the Southern Forest.
Every village possesses a shade tree, either cotton, baobab, or one of the twospecies known to the Hausa as kinta and pissa (or fisa: Blighia sapida), characterised by a compact growth of dark and glossy leaves.
The trees that persist in their growth in spite of the fire are, as a rule, with the exception of the shea-butter tree, with several usages and benefits but mostly used a fuel. Some bear salmon-coloured blossoms and some white, and occasionally laburnum is met with. Amongst the larger trees, where they exist, are found mahogany and one or two very fine-grained woods, but these are all scarce, especially in the north.
RIVERS —The main water-system of the country runs generally from north to south, and is formed by the Black and White Volta with one or two large tributaries, chief of which are the Kulpawn, which rises near Tumu, and the Sisili River, which comes from the north between Tumu and Navrongo and joins the Kulpawn a few miles before entering the White Volta. These rivers are in the higher reaches often dry in places during the dry season; but canoes are able to reach Daboya at all times of the year, though in the dry season it is often necessary to unload them and carry them and their cargo over the dry or shallow places. Generally, however, the river for many miles above Yeji can be considered as available for transport during the whole year, and a large number of canoes are in constant use bringing up salt.
The rivers are infested with crocodiles, and a very large number of hippo live in them and do much damage to the natives' crops. The crocodiles are scattered and can be spotted at random places.
SEASONS — the rainy season lasts from May to October and is heralded in April by terrific wind-storms, which often cause a badly-made roof to collapse. The rain during the rainy months falls often daily, in violent storms lasting about 2 to 3 hours; but seldom continuously throughout the day. The result of this is that all the river beds in the dry season appear much deeper than the importance of the river would justify, the river being an impassable torrent for some hours after the storms and very quickly subsiding again. The average rainfall is between 40 and 50 inches.
The harmattan is a dry and dusty wind that blows from the Sahara desert in late December and continues until early February. During some years, it is somewhat pleasant because it dims the sun and decreases the humidity. In other years, a bad harmattan day will a very thick fog.
The region may be described as a gently undulating plateau rising gradually northward from Kintampo, and ending abruptly in a sheer scarp running south-west to northeast, and passing six miles north of Gambaga, the drop being about 500 feet, a break existing west of Gambaga to admit the passage of the White Volta River.
Politically there is no frontier caused by this scarp, but there seems to be a difference in the climatic conditions that exercise considerable influence on the life, agriculture and occupations of the inhabitants.
In the north-east and north-west corners of the region is more broken, and small hills from 100 to 500 feet high are found, sometimes isolated and sometimes formed into small ranges.
SURFACE — the basis of the soil is sandstone, covered in the lower levels with a thin layer of alluvial deposit. In the scarp and hills generally the sandstone occurs in large blocks or in thinly laminated strata, but whereas in the hills these formations are almost horizontal, in the latter they are in many instances tilted vertically. Granite and quartz are found associated with the hills, and are more common near Lorha. Iron enters largely into the composition of some of the rocks, and laterite crops up persistently. The regions cover a geographical area of approximately 146,219 square kilometers, representing 48.7% of the total land area of Ghana.
TRIBES — Northern Ghana is home to numerous ethnic groups and people with diverse traditions and cultural practices. The region is inhabited by very diverse group of people from different ancient lineages. The major tribes of the region are the; Mamprusi, Wala, Grunshi, Dagomba, Lobi, Ktusaa, Gonja, Dagarti, Kanjargah. However, you are reminded that there are numerous other tribes in northern Ghana, some are situation in either both Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso or Ghana, Cote D’ivore and Burkina Faso. Some of the tribes have same ancient lineages and celebrates same festivals. Yet, the region still remains the most distinct in Ghana.