on half way between kumasi and mole np or half way tamale-kumasi you find easy kintampo waterfall..quickly to reach on foot..very refreshing
The Kintampo waterfall is located 4 kilometres away from the Kintampo-Tamale Highway. The fall is from the Pumpu River which falls some 70 meters down beautiful rocky steps. The Kintampo Waterfalls has a very green environment with lots of shade where visiting individuals and groups can sit and have fun There are lots of big trees mostly dominated by Mahogany which can sometimes grow beyond 40 metres. This site receives visitors from people from all parts of the country including foreigners. The Fuller Fall is another waterfall located near the Kintampo fall. This fall is known because of the stream which is seen to disappear underground to appear again 40 meter away.
Many people may know the beads market that takes place every thursday in the capital of the Eastern region, Koforidua. It's something almost every guidebook talk about... what many people don't know, though, is that less than 40 minutes drive from Koforidua there's a wonderful place, hidden in the forest, where you can have a great stay, hike, swim in the river, enjoy village life and eventually have some nice dancing and drumming classes. The bungalows (5) are simple but clean and cool, thanks to the thatch roof, same applies to outside toilettes and showers. The huge summerhut serves alternatevly as kindergarten for village kids, training ground for local artists, restaurant and bar for the guests. The food is delicious, whether you choose local dishes or italian (!!!) ones (yes, the place belongs to a Ghanaian-italian couple and wow, having a yummy capuccino in the middle of the forest is a great experience!!!).
The guide books aren't lying when they say this isn't a cruise, the volta ferry is a cargo ship that carries passengers to suplement it's income. It travels once a week from Akosombo to Yeji and back with a few stops in between and one-way takes about 36 hours.
It supposedly leaves Akosombo at 4pm Monday arriving into Yeji Tuesday evening from 8pm onwards and sets off again at 3am to arrive in Akosombo early in the afternoon on Thursday. However, delays are far from unheard of when I travelled on it we left Akosombo at 7pm arriving at Yeji at 11pm and the boat was still there at 9am the next morning so don't plan your time too strictly.
There is limited cabin space at 30 Cedis (about 15 pound or 27 dollars) if not for 7.5 Cedis you can sleep in the dining room or on deck. The food sold was decent and suprisingly honestly priced. There is one sit-down toilet two squat toilets and a shower. Do be warned that affordable accomodation in Yeji is pretty grim but i found a place where the sheets were clean and for six hours sleep that's all i needed.
From Yeji you can either travel to Kumasi or cross the lake and travel on to Tamale. I had an amazing time and met an ecclectic mix of people to swap stories with.
This village was purpose built in the 60's to house the dam builders, but it isn't that special.
BUT the dam!
It measures 370m. across and 124m. in height and turned the Volta into a lake of 850.000ha. with several islands in it.
The surrounding area of Akosombo is also very attractive.
For instance, the town of Atimpoku, a small but very lively place along the Accra-->Ho road, near the suspension bridge.
Over here you can always find transport, a bus to the east, a car to the south, a pirogue to go down river and near Akosombo you can find a boat to go up north
The spectacular Bamboo Cathedral at Nkwanta about 8km from the Ankasa N.P. gate. Though not a church building and has no human Bishop, a priest nor a creed, the site showcases nature’s perfect architectural design. 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.
Take a day tour to Wli falls next to Hohoe at the Togo border. This is an easy couple of hours back and forth through a forest with a guide to take you and explain about vegetation and animals. Very cool and relaxing place.
S h i t o is a typical Ghanaian sauce.
You will receive it in all restaurant to accompany rice.
It is made of dry fish, dry shrimps, dry hot red pepper, mashed onions, mashed ginger and some red oil for cooking.
Everything is mixed in a powder and cooked longly with oil.
The best one are more expensive because they don't use too much oil and then use more expensive stuffs.
It is special but very good.
Don't forget to buy some to go back, it is one of the flavours of Ghana
Millet is grass-like grain grown throughout Ghana for use as food for humans and animals. Millet is separated from the husks, then washed and toasted. It can then be eaten more or less as it is, just boiled with water (used as an accompaniment to meat in the same way as rice may be used), flour can be made from the grain, as well as beer.
The ubiquitous goats are found everywhere – every village has them and every available pieces of land, be it beside the road or between the buildings in the town had one or more goats grazing on it. Goats are one of the oldest domesticated animal species, being kept for their milk (of which you can also make cheese), meat (which is more nutritional than mutton), hair (there is less fibre per goat than per sheep) and skin. Goats are favoured over cattle as they are easier to manage, cheaper to purchase, more versatile in their diet and they have multiple uses.
For some time I did have a real problem distinguishing between sheep and goats in West Africa. Goats, however, have a coarser, straighter coat than sheep and the ears are often different.
This is not a case of slash and burn, more a way of clearing off the undergrowth to encourage new growth of young saplings for the cattle to eat. We saw many scrubs burning like this along the side of the road everywhere we went.
All along the road are large grey bags full of charcoal, topped with straw. I've often wondered why people cook over charcoal. It seems so labour-intensive to stack up wood in huge, dirt ovens and bake it slowly down to little black lumps. Why not just burn the wood? To make charcoal, wood (mostly acacia trees are used here) is baked slowly under layers of soil to deprive it of oxygen. With the volatile components (water, tar and methane) baked away, all that is left is a pile of black pellets just 20- 25% of the original volume of the wood. It is now mostly carbon, and when it burns, it doesn’t emit lots of smoke, and it will burn hotter, longer and cleaner than wood, which means that it can easily be used inside the mud huts without filling the houses with smoke
This is a common sight in every village all over Ghana (and the rest of West Africa). Yam is pounded in these tall, wooden, hollow containers with a long, wooden mallet for about half an hour to make fufu, the main staple of the area. Fufu is similar to a dumpling, and is usually served with meat and/or vegetables in a sauce.
Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented oily seed of the cacao tree. Although originating from the Andes, 70% of the world cocoa production now takes place in west Africa, with Ghana taking second place after Ivory Coast. The Latin name theobroma cacao means food of the gods. Like the flower (see picture five), the pods grow straight from the trunk of the tree. The red or orange pods are of poorer quality and generally used for industrial chocolate (see picture four). Normally they are harvested when they are yellow (picture one).
The cocoa pods have a thick outer shell, which contains up to 50 beans contained in a sweet pulp. Although this pulp is edible (in fact it is very nice – we tried sucking a covered bean and it tasted a little like mange to me), the pulp (called baba de cacao) is imperative to the processing of the bean.
The beans, complete with the pulp, are piled in heaps on the ground for several days, during which time the pulp ferments and runs off. Without this fermentation process the cocoa beans will not taste right. Some producers also use the liquified pulp to make alcohol.
The beans are then spread out on trays or the ground and allowed to be dried in the sun before being trodden on much in the same way as grapes during wine production. To make 1kg of chocolate, up to 600 beans are required and the cocoa production is very poorly paid.
I was fascinated by the various gas stations in urban Ghana. The modern, clean and conventional gas stations as seen in the Western world are of course available all over Ghana, but many people still get their fuel from these traditional road side sellers. It is mostly used by the small motorbikes, but also cars, lorries and motor boats use this.
There is a known problem in Ghana with illegal imports of gas from Nigeria, and in fact, when we were on a lake in Benin, close to the Nigerian border, we did see some counterfeit barrels being smuggled across.
Zomi Palm fruits are used to make oil. Traditionally the juice was extracted manually – a task usually done by men as it was physically too demanding for the women – but these days a machine is used for the process. See picture one.
The juice is then boiled over an open fire to make the oil (picture two).
The resulting oil has a deep red colour (see picture three) and is sold as it is in the markets for cooking, although larger organizations will bleach the oil prior to export. It is this natural pigmentation that gives the fried plantain its name in the dish red red. (See the restaurant tips for more details)
As well as culinary uses, the oil can be used to make soaps and candles, as a lubricant and to protect iron surfaces before tin is applied in the tin plate industry. It is also used textile and rubber industries.
This small industry is run as an income generating / poverty alleviating program run by the Methodist Church in Assin Nyankomasi. Local women benefit tremendously from this as it offers them the opportunity to earn some money (see picture four).
The remaining pulp is dried and used as fuel or animal fodder (picture five)
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