I know alot of you are wondering what is next .Today am taking you to tour the Volta part of Ghana, will begin with a brief history and description of the region.
THE HISTORY OF VOLTA
The Volta region was formed by the state union of the former British Togoland which was part of the German protectorate of Togoland. It was administered as part of the Gold Coast by the British and later renamed Trans-Volta Togoland. Volta region is among one of the ten regions in Ghana,with Ho designated as its capital.
It is located west of Republic of Togo and to the east of Lake Volta. It is divided into 25 administrative districts, among this 25 districts we have 5 municipal and 20 ordinary district. Also the region is multiethnic and multilingual, including groups such as the Ewe, the Guan and the Akan people.
The native and largest ethnic group of the region are the Ewes of about 68.5% of the population. They consist of several sub groups such as the Anlo, Tongu Wedome and Avenor. Other ethnicities include the Guan people (forming 9.2% of the population), the Akan people (8.5%), and the Gurma(6.5% of the population).
It contains all types of landscapes and vegetation that can be found in other parts of Ghana such as coast, lagoons, southern savannah, northern savannah, mountains, waterfalls and a large part of the Volta Lake. Because of its natural and cultural diversity, the Region is also called Ghana’s Microcosm. Lolobi, Likpe, Akpafu, Buem,and Nkonya etc .
Ho The Regional capital serves often as a starting point for tours to the attractions in the surrounding area. The town has good value hotels and gastronomy. The recently renovated Regional Museum gives a closer insight into the history of the Region. The Kalakpa Resource Reserve and the Adaklu Mountain fascinate nature lovers.
In terms of education ,Volta Region has four Universities namely
- Volta University College
- Ho Technical University
- University of Health and Allied Science
- Evangelical Presbyterian University College
Volta has a number of tourist attractions and recreational centres which you must visit when you visit Ghana .Examples are the;
Volta Regional Museum
Tafi Agome Caves
Tafi Atome Monkey Sentery
iakpa Falls and CavesK
poeta waterfalls (at Ho West District
Akpom Falls and limestone cave
Snake Village Late Wote
Now let me share with you my Volta Region experience and my journey to Afadjato one of the mountain in Volta and also the highest in West Africa. Get ready to slip—several times—with me as I, at last, brave the legendary .
The rough road leading to Liati Wote was reminiscent of the road to Lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti region.
Two toll booths and half a tank of gas later, we finally arrived at our destination. It was around 1 pm when we reached the small quaint town. It was a bit later than we had anticipated due to the multiple detours and the untarred road we encountered about an hour and a half prior to our arrival.
At last, we arrived and there was a mountain waiting to be climbed.
It all became so real when we spotted the “Home of Afadjato” sign. Our buses parked alongside the visitor’s center and we made our way inside where we were welcomed by Courage, our tour guide. And talking of courage, surprisingly, most of my collegues changed their mind about climbing and came along. I suppose they couldn’t resist the ambience.
I really like Volta! It’s very clean and neat,” my friends said to Courage as we walked through Liati toward the mountain.
About 10 minutes in, we could only stop to admire the beautiful and statuesque green wonder before us, for there we were. . . Face to face with Afadjato.
How long is the climb?” we asked, wondering if we would be back in time to drive to Wli Falls, the highest waterfall in Ghana and second highest in West Africa. Wli is situated about 30-45 minutes drive from Liati.
The first quarter was surprisingly steep. I did not make it very far before beginning to pant, sweat, and gasp for air. Luckily, we brought water along and thankfully it was a bottle which would last the entire journey.
I can climb five times without drinking water,” said Courage in his chale wote. My friends and I could not wrap our minds around how he could climb in flip-flops. I know. Insane!
When I asked him why he was climbing in chale wote and not sneakers, he mentioned that he and the other tour guides did not receive enough pay and since he was saving up to attend school he could not afford sneakers. Courage made us aware that he is an independent tour guide and was not directly employed by the visitor’s centre. So, he relied only on the tips received from tourists and locals who he took up the mountain.
“Are you sure this is the highest?” my friend Kingsley, who at this point was halfway up Afadjato, yelled from atop with curiosity.
“Yes! It is 2905 feet, 885 meters, which is about 3.7 kilometres. Most people give up at the three-forth climb to the top. They give up just when they are almost at the top,” Courage shared. Some words of encouragement, perhaps? Yeah, right!
I was curious about the mountain trail. As I lay underneath the trunk of a random tree sweating profusely while drenching myself with water, Courage shared some trivia. According to him, the path was constructed in 2012.
By this point, we were past the halfway mark with Kingsley nowhere in sight. I made it a point to pause about seven or ten times to enjoy the view and rest in between with Courage by my side. All I could think about in those moments was getting to the top. I was overcome with vim and determination to keep climbing.
How much further?” Of course, I had to ask. . . a few times.
I had never been this excited to hear those two words. One thing about Courage is that his estimations were always on point. I suppose with so much experience it is to be expected.
And true to his word, three minutes later we were at the top looking down. I could not believe we made it up Afadjato, which had been renamed during the colonial era so it could be easily pronounced.
Courage made us aware that rather than saying Mountain Afadjato the proper way was either Afadjato or Mt. Afadja because the ‘to’ means mountain. It would be redundant to say the latter. He also pointed in the direction of the Twin Mountains, which you could see in the distance. We spent about 30-45 minutes at the top of the mountain soaking in the experience and getting educated by Courage.
I was amazed by his strength to climb Mt. Afadja every day and more than once a day is extraordinary. Every time I visit a region in Ghana. I am amazed by the spirit, strength, and resilience of the people. The lack of infrastructure and limited business opportunities, among other issues, did not deter them from finding the courage and ways to make it work.
The climb downhill was a challenge in itself. It turned out to be more dangerous than climbing uphill. The slippery wet leaves were not very friendly, even with sneakers. I slipped several times and had to be rescued by Courage. I pleaded that he continued to stay next to me and not ahead just in case.
After we made our way down the mountain he briefed us on the people of the Volta region. When I asked Courage if he spoke Ewe he said yes. “There are two types of Ewes, the Anlo and the Ewetone. I speak Ewetone. Those in Kata and Sogakope (Volta South) speak Anlo. The pronunciation is different.” Courage then added,
“Farming is the main job here in central Volta. We farm maize, cocoa, yam, cassava and palm nut. In Volta North, they farm yam.” My experience to Volta in just one day was truly not enough. I am looking forward to visiting and staying longer next time even though am a voltarian myself.
There is more to discover and I cannot wait! The people are friendly and have a great sense of humour. The Afadjato experience cost 180Ghana Cedis for both my friends and me.A pretty sweet deal if you ask me.You can also read about why traveling is good for the soul here
Next stop, Wli falls.
Leave you comments if you want to know how it went.