Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bats at Elmina Castle in Ghana

We took a tour of Elmina Castle in Elmina, Ghana. Part of the tour took us into a dungeon that was full of bats hanging from the ceiling. The floor had about a two-inch thick dusting of guano, which I stepped into to take some pictures of the bats. I have been looking in vain to try and find what species of bats these are. There are many, many species of bats in Ghana and so far I've not found a good guide for them. If anyone sees this that can help me out - please do.
Bats hanging from the ceiling in a dungeon at Elmina Castle.
Some hang by one foot, others by two.
They have quite large ears.
With outstretched wings, this bat reminds me somewhat of the Wright Brothers airplane. 
I've not seen many bats up close, so this was very fun.


  1. Super creepy if you ask me. If bats can be tame, these came close. They were either stupefied by the daylight, in a comatose sleep state, or they just didn't care that we were there.

  2. I agree with Judy. I know bats are useful creatures, but they are just so spooky. That's real photographic dedication to step into poop for a good picture.

  3. Excellent shots of leaf-nosed bats (Hipposideros sp)! Would you add your photos as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist?:

    AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

    Please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi AfriBats!
      I put the same bats on iNaturalist and joined your project, but still don't know the full name of these bats.
      Can you tell me which ones these are?
      Many thanks!

  4. Thanks for sharing your bat observations with our project, much appreciated!

    The bats roosting in Elmina Castle belong to a species group that cannot be identified to species based on photos alone, hence the ID must stay at genus level:

    Please keep on posting interesting stuff, I hope you like the platform!