Lake Bosomtwe: A traditional resort for the modern tourist
Ghana is a country blessed with many aquatic resources from beautiful seas to some amazing rivers that flow through the country. However, one thing Ghana actually lacks is the abundance of natural lakes, with Lake Bosontwe being the only lake nature provided Ghana with.
Lake Bosomtwe is located in the Ashanti region of Ghana, some 30km south-east of the regional capital Kumasi. It is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Ashanti region, receiving thousands of visitors every year.
The lake is surrounded by small scattered villages which have a combined population of about 65,000. Tourists who make their way to the Lake and intend to spend a couple of days at the site usually settle in the surrounding villages, especially Bono, which is the biggest and most popular of all the nearby villages. Activities for tourists include a ride on the lake, swimming and some fun activities at the shores of the lake.
In the Ashanti tradition, the Lake is regarded as sacred water, where departing souls make their last stop to bid farewell to the river god that protected them throughout their lives before making the journey to the ancestral lands. One controversial and popular tradition associated with Lake Bosomtwe is the use of wooden plank fish on the lake. Fishermen are only allowed to ride on the lake using wooden planks instead of boats. This according to the Traditions of the Ashantis is meant to show respect to the Asaase Ya, the river goddess and it is regarded as a taboo to fish on the lake using modern boat.
Origin of the Name
According to legend, the Lake was first discovered in 1648 by one hunter known as Akora. He is believed to have chased an injured antelope in the rainforest. The antelope suddenly disappeared upon getting to a spot where a small pond was located. Akora somehow believed the pond was a god that had come to the rescue of the Antelope. Instead of returning to his village of Asaman, he settled near the small pond and began fishing. He then named the place Bosomtwe which translates into Antelope god.