Welcome to another edition of #TravelBucketlistTuesday where we take a look at popular and not so popular hidden tourist gems across Africa.
Ghana’s Lake Bosumtwi or Bosomtwe is the travel destination you need to be saving and packing up for if you want to experience nature, biodiversity and culture in the same place.
Lake Bosumtwi which is the only natural lake in Ghana and one of six meteoritic lakes in the world is situated in the Ashanti Region. Scientist believes that a meteorite created an ancient crater in the area which used to be dense rainforest about 6.5 m in diameter some one million years ago.
Bosumtwi which means “Antelope God” in the Akan language was discovered by a hunter who was chasing an Antelope. According to legend, the antelope disappeared into the lake and the hunter had to fish beside the banks instead.
The are several tribes living in the area with the Ashanti as the main population in the area. Other tribes includes the Frafras, Mamprusis and others who are mostly farmers.
Lake Bosumtwi is about 30 km (19 mi) south-east of Kumasi the capital of the Ashanti Region and can be accessed by road.
A little fee is taken at a makeshift post before proceeding to the lake. Funds are used to develop the area and have provided mechanised boreholes, a hospital and few other amenities.
Here are the top reasons why you should put this eco-tourism destination on your bucket list.
Recreational Activities (Fishing and Swimming
Did you know that the lake iron or modern boats are not allowed on the lake? In fact, it is basically a taboo for anyone to use any iron material on the lake.
However, you can ride the lake with a Padua which is a wooden plank and go fishing with locals who have expertise in this area. Fishing during July and August is frowned upon because it is believed the spirits are resting.
Swimming in the lake is allowed according to our sources but you have to take precaution.
The abundance of diverse green vegetation, mountains and faunal species
The area around Lake Bosomtwe boasts of three forms of ecosystems namely mountains, wetlands and forests which has some major animal and tree species. The lesser-nose monkey, the endemic cichlid, pangolin, butterflies and endangered species of birds live in this area.
Despite the increase of deforestation and erosion around the lake area, there is still luscious vegetation around the area which can also serve as picnic area or campsite.
Other people use this location for yoga and other meditation activities
To sample traditional Akan cuisine
Boasting of some of Ghana’s favourite and popular dishes, the indigenes in these area who are Ashantis make the best fufu and Ampesi you’ll ever eat.
If you crave spicy foods as well, ask them to put extra ginger into your light or Palm nut soup. Order for fresh palm wine which is tapped right from source.
Go horse riding, hiking and watch the lake from the top
Hiking is one of the activities that has become popular near the lake. It is mostly organised in groups with a local resident as a guide and a map to get you back to ground before sunset. The sacred groves also serve as perfect spots for hiking.
The beauty of hiking is appreciated when you finally get to the top and have a pretty nice view of the lake.
The Green Ranch at Lake Bosomtwe, a new popular hospitality spot for tourist offers a cabin to sleep, horse riding services, vegetarian dishes and more upscale tour of the area.
Because it’s also a great place to learn about Ashanti history
Kumasi has some pretty awesome history of the Ashanti empire but Bosomtwi is not left out.
The area, for instance, was a bone of contention between the Ashantis and Akyems for a number of years.
Most of the villages in the area still practice African Traditional Religion despite the prevalence of Christianity. Every village in the area boasts of a sacred grove or shrine with the Abrodwum Stone considered as the spiritual centre of the lake.
To explore the 30 communities surrounding the lake
There are about 30 villages near crater lake Lake Bosumtwi, with a combined population of about 70,000 people. Most popular amongst the villages which has become a tourist hotbed is Abono. Local dwellers who mostly speak Twi and a little English are known to be friendly and cordial to guests.
Learn about climate change
Climate Change has been happening for years now and this an area that has records of how our world is changing. Prior to the asteroid impact, the area was a lush rainforest filled with animals. This is visible due to the tree stumps and animal fossils that have been found in the lake. The area is an important site for international conservation and biodiversity studies