Let’s Explore Western Region III

The Village on Stilt of Nzulezu
An amazing village where life goes on in the centre of lake Tadane, just 90km west of Takoradi. The houses are built on stilts, and traditional village life adapts to the watery conditions. The excursion from Beyin involves a walk through the reeds at the lake’s edge, and a trip in a dugout canoe to the village.

The spectacular scenery of the 400-year old stilt propped water settlement of Nzulezu, built on Lake Tadane in the Western Region, stands out as a magnificent interplay between man and his environment.

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Nzulezu is an Nzema word meaning ‘surface of water’. The inhabitants of the village are said to have migrated from Walata, a city in the ancient Ghana Empire, the earliest of the Western Sudanese States. According to tradition, ancestors of the village were brought to their present place by a snail.

The serene ambiance of the surrounding landscape, coupled with the general activities of life on stilts points to a dynamic relationship between man and nature. Traditional village life is adapted to the unique environmental conditions, and all activities such as the pounding of fufu (a traditional meal), schooling, worship, baptisms and burials are carried out on the lake. It is said that the lake averts possible disasters such as fire outbreaks.

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The people of Nzulezu still adhere to traditional norms and taboos. For instance, Thursday is a sacred day on the lake, and on this day, the villagers do not engage in any strenuous activity.

Akatekyi Crocodile Pond
30km west of Takoradi, the local fetish priest entices the crocodiles from the water with a live chicken. Bring a bottle of schnapps for the libation.

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Akatekyi Crocodile Pond is located about 30km west of Takoradi, the Western regional capital. The crocodiles are usually enticed by a sacrifice of fowl by the fetish priest.

The crocodiles are sacred and are part of the cultural embodiment of the people in the area. Visitors may bring a bottle of schnapps for libation. The public are admitted to the pond from Sunday to Saturday with the exception of Wednesdays which are sacred days

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The Beaches of the Western Region
Western region is famous for some of the best beaches in Ghana. Some of the most popular beaches are:

  1. Busua Pleasure Beach – only 5km from fort metal cross
  2. Sports Club Beach – behind the Atlantic hotel in Takoradi
  3. Ajua Beach – just 200metres from Dadowa lagoon
  4. Princess Town Beach – off the Takoradi/Elubo highway
  5. Mimia Beach – a secluded beach with rocky cave perfect for picnics.

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Dr. Nkrumah’s Grave
The original grave of Dr. Nkrumah, first President of Ghana and now buried in the mausoleum in Accra, can be found at Nkroful, 83km west of Takoradi.

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Ankasa Conservation Area

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Ankasa Conservation Area is twin Wildlife Protected Area comprising Nini-Suhien National Park and the Ankasa Resource Reserve. It is about 500km2 situated in the Western Region of Ghana. Ankasa is the only area in the Wet Evergreen Forest Zoo. It’s about 365 kilometers west of Accra near the border with Côte d’Ivoire. It incorporates the Nini Suhien National Park and the Ankasa Resource Reserve.

The park is approximately 500 square kilometers, and consists largely of tropical evergreen rainforest. The Ankasa, Nini, and Suhien Rivers all pass through the park, and are known for their rapids and waterfalls.

The forest has the most biological diversity of any in Ghana, with over 300 different plant species having been recorded in a single hectare of forest. Animal life includes the elephant, bongo, chimpanzee, Diana monkey, and 263 species of birds.

The Southwestern corner of the reserve is about 5 kilometres from the border town of Elubo. Takoradi is about 120 kilometres east.

Being the area with the highest rainfall in Ghana, Ankasa is the richest forest in terms of botanical diversity in the Country. Its natural resources are the best in Ghana and enough to announce its presence on the world tourism map as haven and Ghana’s tourism address therefore, there is no wonder that Ankasa remains as one of the natural treasures of the nation.

Its attractions include:

  • Flora

Being the area with the highest rainfall in Ghana, Ankasa is the richest forest in terms of botanical diversity in the Country. About three hundred (300)plant species have been recorded in a single hectare.

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Notable among the plant is: Makore, Dahoma and Khaya. Ankasa is home to many well know plants including: Marantas, Glory bower, Bloody Lilly. There are also spectacular ferns and orchards.

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  • Fauna

Charismatic and tourist-pulling animals such as the bongo and forest elephant as well as ten (10) primate species including the endangered Diana monkey and west African Chimpanzee abound in Ankasa.

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Bird fauna is also rich – at least 263 bird species have been recorded so far.

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  • The Water Fall

The Ankasa rainforest serves as shed for many steams and rivers. Three of them from which the forest derives its name are the Ankasa, Nini and Suhien.

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The fascinating characteristics of these rivers are the rapids found on them. The breezes along the rivers and rattling noise of the rapids are a delight to tourists. The potential canoeing is been explored.

 

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  • The Bamboo Cathedral

The spectacular Bamboo Cathedral is located at Nkwanta about 8km from the Ankasa gate of the Park. Though not a church building and has no human Bishop, a priest nor a creed, the site showcases nature’s perfect architectural design.

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The giant and suppliant bamboos bow and criss-cross at their apex as if in a handshake to form a dome. The bamboos plants forming a canopy give the semblance of a cathedral over which the breeze presides a perfect habitation for relaxation.

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  • Camping facilities

There are tourist camps here for those wishing to stay for a few nights in the park. The camping facilities are made mainly with local building materials are located at the Ankasa Gate, Elubo Gate and Nkwanta.

These have floor space for sleeping; one can use hammocks. There are toilet and bath places as well as running water. Each facility also has fireplace and kitchen. A staff is close by the fruits abound around the area.

Access at all times from Accra through Takoradi on the Elubo – Cote d’ Ivoire highway by a 365km first class international road. From La Cote D’ Ivoire the part can be reached through Osei Kojokrom and Dadieso.

 

The Amansuri Conservation Area
The Conservation is a project been undertaken by the Amansuri Conservation & Integrated Development Project with the aim of managing the pristine Amansuri wetland and its fresh water lagoon.

The wetland has the stand of intact swamp forest in Ghana and home to varieties of animals like monkeys, crocodiles,marine turtles and birds. It has been selected as one of the Important Bird Areas in Ghana based on Birdlife International criteria.

The project is located within the Western Nzema Traditional Area in the Jomoro District, one of the 11 districts in the Western Region. The area is about 360km west of Accra, the nation’s capital.

 

Bia National Park
Bia National Park is bordered to the south with a 563 square kilometer Resource Reserve and is an International Biosphere Reserve Park. The reserves are situated in the transition between the moist evergreen and semi-deciduous tropical forest and cover much of the drainage for the Bia river.

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The Bia National Park and Bia Resource Reserve constitute a twin conservation area. It is found in the transitional zone between moist-evergreen and moist semi-deciduous forest types. It covers a total area of 305.62km² of the original National Park, which was later divided into 277.92km².

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Bia Resource Reserve and the other 77.7km² represent the National Park.. It is the only the Biosphere Reserve in the country.

Sixty-two species of mammals have been recorded. These include 10 primates amongst which are the Black and White Colobus, the Oilve Colobus, Red Colobus monkeys and chimpanzees. The forest elephant and the highly threatened bongo are present. Over 160 species of birds have been recorded; they include the internationally endangered white-breasted guinea fowl.

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Bia became a protected area in 1935 and an official national park in 1974. Some of the tallest trees left in West Africa are found in this park.

There are 62 species of mammals known to exist in the park including 10 primate species (three species of colobus, the Diana monkey and the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, among others), leopard, buffalo, the forest elephant, Loxodanta cyclotis, and the bongo, Tragelaphus euryceros.

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Over 160 species of birds including hawks, eagles,bulbuls, flycathers, the black-collared lovebird and the threatened white-breasted guinea fowl live in this habitat. The park is the only known home of Agama sylvanus, a newly discovered species of lizard.

 

Sources: nzemayouthassociation, ghanamuseum, touringghana, wikipedia, fcghana,