With a population of 917,253 the Upper East region covers 7.8% of Ghana's land mass. It is the gateway to Ghana from Burkina Faso, which is the traditional crossroads for the trans-Saharan trade routes. An exciting introduction to Ghana, much of the landscape is broad savannah grasslands, dotted with the strange-looking baobab trees, or striking Sahel terrian. In the villages, with their distinctive round huts, communal activities go on as they have for generations.
The principal border posts from Burkina Faso are found at Hamale, Kapulima. Paga and Kulungugu.
For political administration, the region is divided into six Districts: Bawku East, Bawku West, Bongo, Builsa, Kassena-Nankana and Bolgatanga (or 'Bolga' as it is known locally) being the capital of the region has always been a meeting point for traders from Mali and Burkina Faso on their way south to Tamale and Southern Ghana. The markets continue to be important trading points, and 'Bolga' is a famous centre for handicrafts, including straw hats and baskets, leather goods and metal jewellery.
The local villages with their distinctive building styles that have evolved through the generations, and adapt so well to the lifestyle of the people and local conditions, provide a distinct contrast to those in other parts of Ghana and welcome visitors.