Last weekend we finally completed our visits to the tourist highlights of Ghana, by going to the eastern hills of the Volta Region. On the trip we stayed in a primitive beach camp, climbed the second highest mountain in Ghana, saw the highest waterfall in West Africa, and had the chance to choose our ideal fantasy coffins.
Between the Volta and the sea
Our first stop was at Ada Foah, on the strip of land between the estuary of the Volta River and the sea. We had lunch at an upmarket resort and a boat trip along the river, seeing the posh villas lining the bank, as well as the local fishing village and the estuary beach camps near the sea.
Later we walked through the fishing village on our way to stay at the Maranatha beach camp, in a grass hut with the Italian flag on the door. The toilet facilities were primitive, but the sun was shining so we walked round the sandy point which separates the Volta from the sea and saw the calm waters on one side and the crashing waves on the other. We could tell our camp because its palm trees were painted red, yellow and green – the colours of the Ghana flag.
Into the hills
The next day we left the beach and crossed the Volta in order to reach Ho, the capital of the Volta Region. To get there took three tro-tros and a shared taxi, and was made more complicated by people not seeming to understand where we wanted to go – ‘Ho?’ – baffled head shake. (How else can you pronounce it?) We stayed one night in Ho and then hired a taxi for the day to take us on northwards into the hills.
Our first stop was at Amedzofe, where a very nice young guide called Destiny took us on a couple of hikes. The first was to the waterfall, and he warned us that it was a tricky descent. He wasn’t wrong – the path was very steep and slippery, and involved clinging to a rope or to Destiny most of the way. We made it, and the waterfall was impressive. We even made it back up, and Destiny said we were the oldest tourists to have made it down and back again!
The next hike was much simpler – to the top of Mount Gemi, the second highest peak in Ghana. We did this quite easily, and got some good views of the surrounding scenery, seeing as far as Lake Volta despite the clouds.
From Amedzofe we drove north to Hohoe, and then to Wli which houses the highest waterfall in West Africa. The walk there was flat and straight (though we still had to have a guide), and led us to the base of the lower falls which plunge 70 metres into a pool. The volume of water was spectacular, and at the base of the falls was a rainbow caused by the late afternoon sun shining on the spray. We certainly picked the right time to go.
We stayed overnight at a pleasant hotel in Wli, and next morning got a tro-tro back to Hohoe (with a free tour of local villages thrown in). From there another tro-tro took us back to Accra, where we stopped off at the Accra Mall for lunch. Our local taxi driver, Alex, picked us up and took us to see the last remaining highlight of Accra – the fantasy coffin makers of Teshie.
We visited two establishments, and were impressed with the variety of shapes on offer for the personalised funeral – eagles, crabs, bananas, crayfish, beer bottles and many more. Of the ready-made coffins, Sandie decided she would have the one shaped like a Canon SLR camera, whereas Ian might have to settle for a Coke bottle, as they didn’t have gin!