In the small village of Buoyem, there is surprisingly much to do. When I arrived there, it was unfortunately too late to do one of the longer hikes they offer here. Ony one walk was possible before sunset: the Valley Trail Walk. This walk, that takes two hours, costs 20.000 per person, no matter how big the group is. Is takes you to two highlights very close to the village.
The walk starts with a climb towards the highest point of the southern side of the valley: the so called Africa Rock. The climb goes through corn and cassava fields and can be quite tough in the heat of the afternoon. As soon as you arrive at the top of the valley, you realise why this top is called "Africa Rock".
A big stone with the exact shape of the African continent lies of the bigger rock. The story goes that it came down by itself, and that is was not influenced by human hands. IF it is true, it is a very special stone. They do itmit that they place the island Madagascar next to it themselves: "Africa is nothing without Madagascar..."
From the top of the rock, you have a great view all over the valley of Buoyem. You can look all over the village, to all sides of the valley and the sandstone formations under you. It is also nice to see the local people working on the field, while you can clearly hear their singing and laughing from up above.
After climbing the Africa Rock of Buoyem, you go all the way back down the hill and you cross the valley through the village. At the other side you start climbing again. Here you cross one of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen during my stay in Ghana.
The hills around Buoyem really are like a huge supermarket: anything you can eat, grows here in these hills. During a walk of about half an hour up and down the hills you see mangotrees, papayatrees, ananasplants, but also palmtrees, bananatrees, yam- and cocoyam-plants and cassava fields. This together with some colourful flowers in between and a great view over another valley, that is completely full with these products, makes the walk towards the next stop to a great one!
The next stop is at the small, but very beautiful Bobiri Falls. From another sandstone formation, the water falls down in a wide, but very thin stream. The Falls are about ten metres wide and over this full length it consists of millions of single drops of water. The rocks around the Bobiri Falls are completely covered with little plants, and of course this place is a great place to have a nice -working- shower after a long, dusty and tiring walk.
When you come to the Falls at the right time of the day, you can see rainbow in front of the waterfall. Too bad, I was just too late to see that, but still: a great piece of nature!
After the Bobiri Falls you go back to the village through the same hills as you came through.
The Buoyem Valley Trail Walk I did was only one of the many possible activities you can do in Buoyem. And in fact the shortest and least spectacular one. Other activities you can do here are:
- Visit the Bat Caves. At about 10 kilometres away from Buoyem you can visit some caves were thousands of fruit bats live. It is said to be a spectacular hike: to get int the caves you have to climb steep rock and crawl through narrow holes. And inside the caves you have to risk of being ***ted all over by the bats. But is must be a really special thing to see.
A tour only to the caves takes about 4 hours. It costs 25.000 cedis per person ($ 2,50) but to get there you have to charter a taxi from Buoyem, which costs 120.000 cedis for a return trip. The taxi will wait for you at the caves for that amount.
- If you want to combine the beautiful landscape around the village with the bat caves, you can also choose for a 8 hours walk that goes all the way to the bat caves on foot, through the spectacular landscape you also see during the Valley Trail Walk. For this one you don't need a taxi, but you do need a long day and be in good condition.
- And if you can't get enough of the environment here, this is what I think would be the best option. It is possible to go on a two days hike and spend the night somewhere in the hills around Buoyem, sleeping in a tent. During this hike you visit the bat caves, the waterfalls, the green hills and the sandstone rocks on top of these hills.
This last hike is only possible for 2 persons at a time, for the simple reason that they only have one tent available at this moment. Otherwise you shoudl bring your own tent.
To get to Buoyem, you should always go to the nearby town of Techiman first. Techiman is situated along the mainroad from Kumasi to Tamale and is an important transport-hub to all the nearby destinations.
There basically is ony one way to get to Techiman from Kumasi, Kintampo, Tamale, Sunyani, or whatever place around: and that is by Tro-Tro. A Tro-Tro is the most important way of transportation in Ghana. It is cheap but it is very uncomfortable. Normally a Tro-Tro is a mini-bus that is packed with at least 18 people. From all the named places you can get a direct Tro-Tro to Techiman. From Tamale that takes 3,5 hours and costs 38.000 cedis ($ 3,50) and from Kumasi the price will even be a bit lower.
When you arrive in Techiman, you will normally arrive in the central Tro-Tro-station. From here you can't get any shared taxi's to Buoyem. You have to walk for 5 minutes to the station in the north of the city. From there you have to ask for a shared taxi. I got an offer for a private taxi for 100.000 cedis ($ 10,-): completely ridiculous. When you just take a shared taxi, you will be brought there for 6.000 cedis per person ($ 0,60).
The road to Buoyem is very, very bad. So over the few kilometres the taxi takes more then half an hour.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: When you want to visit the bat caves, be prepared for it! It is said to be quite a dirty -but amazing- experience. At least wear long trousers and long sleeves when you enter the caves, and wear a cap or a hat! Where are bat droppings everywhere, and you wouldn't want to crawl through there with your bare knees. And it would also be a little bit annoying when you leave the caves with a kilo of batsh*t in your hair.