Wildlife Tourism: Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in Focus

When it comes to Wildlife tourism, Ghana does not rank among the very top destinations in the world. Nevertheless the country boasts of some great wildlife tourism sites that receive millions of visitors annually from all walks of lives. The Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary located in Tafi Atome in the Volta region of Ghana is one such sites.

In Tafi Atome, the townsfolk coexist with the rare monkey species; the Mona and Patas monkeys. The presence of the monkeys in the forests of the village was not by a mere coincidence or work of nature as some would like to put it. It was an intentionally-carried out project in 1993 under the guidance of the Peace Corps in a bid to promote multi-faceted community-based ecotourism as well as protect the rare monkey species. Prior to the project, the monkeys lived in the tropical forest around the village and were very far from the town, having no connection with humans.

The monkeys who live in a relatively small forest just at the outskirt of the town are harmless and friendly to humans, occasionally seen playing on the trees of the forests and on the side of the road leading to the town.

Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary

Over the past two decades, it has become one of the busiest tourism destinations in the Volta Region, with thousands of tourists making the trip to the town to see these rare monkeys who happily live near humans and share bonds with them.

All a tourist needs to do to get the playful monkeys come down from their trees is to buy a banana and display it to them. At the mere site of the bananas, the monkeys rush down the trees towards the tourist with the hope of being handed the fruit.

Tafi Atome is one of the classic examples of the possibilities of community-based ecotourism. If you ever find yourself in the Volta region, The Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary is one places you would definitely want to visit.

Nogokpo: The sacred town feared by all and sundry

Is there any name in Ghana more feared and dreaded like Nogokpo? Probably not. But what is Nogokpo and why does the mere mention of the name send shivers down the spine of many people? 

Nogokpo, to many Ghanaians is the name of a famous deity somewhere in the Volta region of Ghana. But is that all there is to the name Nogokpo?

Nogokpo is the name of a small town in the Ketu South Municipal of the Volta region, just along the Trans-West African Coastal Highway. The small village is one of the most mentioned villages in Ghana because of the presence of a famous shrine located in the village.

According to legend and historians of the towns, the shrine was brought to the village after a heated misunderstanding between the townsfolk and their then chief, Torgbui, in the early 1900s. Since then the shrine has become their spiritual protector offering them protection against evil spirit as well as resolving differences and offering justice to the aggrieved and cheated.

Nogokpo Shrine
Nogokpo Shrine

Incidents of crime such as stealing is almost not existence in the small town due to the fear of being punished severely  by the gods of the shrine, especially in cases where the victim consults the shrine and demands for the thieve or perpetrator to be punished severely.

While the town may not be a huge tourism destination due to the fear it strikes in people, there are a few brave ones who occasionally make the trip to Nogokpo to have a closer look at the shrine that imparts fear into all and sundry, whether old or young, rich or poor.

The very few who have visited the town to go and have a look at the famous shrine have spoken highly of the town people and how friendly and welcoming they are. This may be the time to finally kill your curiosity and go have a look at the shrine that gets men to shiver at the mere mention of its name.

Top Restaurants In Ho, Volta Region Of Ghana

Are you spending some holidays in Ho soon or just looking for a nice place to eat in Ho? If yes, then this post if for you. I am writing about the top restaurants in Ho that you can’t do without.

Food is a basic need of life. It is, therefore, necessary we know the right places to buy in order to ensure a healthy living.

Ho is gradually evolving into a vibrant city and restaurants are constantly increasing in number. Ho offers a variety of options when it comes to food as the restaurants both local and continental dishes.

The list below has the best restaurants in Ho.

Ebunu Ebunu Soup (Cocoyam Leaves Soup)
Ebunu Ebunu Soup (Cocoyam Leaves Soup)

KCS Downtown

This is one of the most popular and sought-after restaurants in Ho. They serve both local and continental dishes at competitive prices. You have a wide range of food to choose from the menu. KCS has foods like Beef sauce, Pizza (All flavors), Apkle and Tilapia, Fried rice and Jollof Rice.

KCS Downtown has a serene environment suitable for couples, families and loved ones to have a get-together. They are located at the Civic Centre in Ho.

Visiting Ho soon? Add KCS to your list.

Lord’s Garden Restaurant

If you are looking to have a taste of the best local food in Volta Region, then you should visit the Lord’s Garden Restaurant. They boast of a menu full of Local dishes and dishes from other parts of Ghana.

They have beautiful natural scenery of flowers and trees that makes the place lovely.  Locate the Lord’s Garden beside the Guinness Ghana depot in Ho.

Christian Gardens Restaurant

This is also a top-notch restaurant in Ho serving customers with mouth-watering dishes, both local and continental. You can get your favorite pizza flavor at Christian Gardens Restaurant.

They have a nice scenery that makes the place appealing to clients. Locate them at the Medical Village, Behind the UHAS Trafalgar Campus, Ho.

Freedom Hotel and Restaurant.

Freedom Hotel is must-go place during your stay in Ho. Like most Restaurants, its menu offers an impressive culinary array which includes breakfast food, sandwiches, snacks, local and continental dishes, and vegetarian option.

You get a tasty sampling menu with different flavor at the Freedom Hotel and Restaurant. Locate Freedom Hotel on the Police Depot Road.

Amedzofe Township: History And Tourism

Amedzofe is a popular town in the Volta region, located in the newly created Ho-west District Assembly, and lies in the mountainous North of the regional capital. Historically, Amedzofe is one of the few volta regional towns that saw development very early in its history, with developmental initiatives such as school buildings being constructed there as early as the late 1800s by the German missionaries who had settled in the area.

In the 1800s when the Europeans were flooding Ghana for various purposes including trading and missionary works, the Germans chose to settle in the then unknown and relatively obscure township of Amedzofe, due to the cool and humid climate of the area as opposed to the hostile tropical and warm weather in other parts of the country.

The Germans referred to Amedzofe as their national headquarters where all the German officials, traders and missionaries were based, calling it a Home away from home.

It is believed that the Germans spent more than sixty years in Amedzofe with official document stating 1842 as the year they settled in the town and by the time they departed in the early 1900s, they had put up a lot of basic infrastructure like schools and other buildings which could be used for various purposes.

One of the schools built by the Germans, the German Missions School, is what is today known as the Amedzofe EP Training College after it was converted from a basic school to a teacher training institution long after the Germans had left.

Tourism

The Amedzofe Township is also blessed with a number of tourist sites (including Mount Gemi and Ote falls) which have proven to be of great importance to the community and district at large in terms of revenue generation and employment creation.

Amedzofe has a population of 5,500 based on the last population census which was carried out some years ago.

History of Adomi Bridge

The Adomi Bridge is situated between Atimpoku on the Eastern side and the small town of Adomi on the Western side of the bridge. It was designed by the famous British structural engineer and bridge designer William Christopher Brown in the early 1950s with construction setting off in 1956 and seeing completion a year later in 1957.

While the design was done by Williams W. Brown, the actual construction was headed by famous engineering firm, Sir William Halcrow and Partners which is now known as Halcrow Group Ltd.

The facility according to official documents cost Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s government $2.4million and weighs around 900 tones, however, major renovations in recent years may have possibly changed its weight.

Sixty years after its construction, many still praise Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for his vision in seeing the need to have a major bridge that connects the Eastern region and the Volta region and making it one of his priority projects upon assumption of office as Prime Minister in 1957.

HISTORICAL FUN FACTS

-The bridge was commissioned by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and senior British government official, Sir Charles Noble Clark on January 25th, 1957, two months before the official declaration of independence.

-Adomi Bridge is currently the second-longest bridge in Ghana with a length of 334metres, second only to the Sogakope Bridge which measures at 650metres long.

-In 2009, the government of Ghana imposed a weight limit on the Bridge in a bid to slow down the rate of damage after it was revealed that the Bridge was being damaged by heavy-load trucks.

-In 2014, the government closed down the bridge for major renovation and rehabilitation works to take place at a cost of 14million dollars

Bridges in Ghana: Adomi Bridge

The Adomi Bridge is a popular vehicular and pedestrian bridge that spans across the magnificent Volta Lake and connects the Volta region to the Eastern region making it one of the most important and commercially busy bridges in Ghana.

The bridge has a total length of 334 metres making it the second-longest bridge in Ghana behind the Sogakope Bridge, also in the Volta region. The design of the bridge includes a hinged steel arch bridge with a special deck suspended by cables.

Since its completion in 1957, the Adomi Bridge had been under the authority of the Asuogyaman local assembly however in April of 2019, a consensus was reached between the local assembly, the Ghana Highway Authority and Ghana Tourism Development Company for Adomi Bridge to be classified as a tourist site due to the large number of tourists that visited the facility on a daily basis.

Mount Afadjato: Origin of name, activities and nearby attractions

Mount Afadja is located in the small village of Liati Wote in the Hohoe district of the Volta region. Arguably the most talked-about mountain in Ghana, Mount Afadja, is the tallest mountain and highest point in Ghana measuring approximately 2,904 ft above sea level. At the top of the mountain, one can see some parts of neighbouring Togo as the mountain is close to the Ghana-Togo border.

While it is officially known as Mount Afadja, the Ewe people who dominate the region largely refer to it as Afadjato with the suffix ‘to’ meaning ‘mountain’ hence Afadjato simply means Afadja Mountain.

Origin of the name

According to the oral history of the Liati Wote people who live just some few kilometres beneath the mountain, the name came about when they first settled in the area and realized that the mountain was shaped like a mound for planting water yam. The people then resorted to calling the mountain Avadze, an ewe name for water yam. With time as the mountain gained fame and word about it travelled the name metamorphosed into Avadza-to.

Tourism Potential

Statistically, Mount Afadja is one of the most visited tourist sites in the country and receives an average of more than a million tourists annually, with some of the tourists coming from as far as Europe and the Americas. It has become a favourite for hikers and is seen as some sort of sport where getting to the summit of the mountain is the ultimate prize for visiting tourists and hikers.

Other Attractions

Mount Afadja is not the only attraction in the small village of Liati Wote, the town is also blessed with two waterfalls; the Tagbo Falls and Wli Waterfalls with the latter being the highest waterfall in West Africa and located just some few metres Mount Afadja.

Local Reception

One can expect to be treated very well by the locals as they are very welcoming and hospitable, ever ready to help tourists who may need any form of assistance that is within their capacity.

 

 

Mountains in Ghana: Mount Gemi

It is almost cruel to know that Mount Gemi does not get the same recognition and mention as Mount Afadjato considering the fact that Mount Gemi only fell short of being the highest mountain in Ghana by some 85 metres, standing at 800metres while Mount Afadja stands at 885metres.

That notwithstanding, Mount Gemi, located in Amedzofe in the Volta region, is arguably one of the most visited mountains in Ghana, second only to the iconic Mount Afadja but with a more checkered and storied past compared to its compatriot.

Origin of the name

While the rest of Ghana refer to the mountain as Mount Gemi, the original and traditional name of the mountain is Mount Gayito, which means ‘God of Defense’ in the indigenes local dialect. The name Mount Gemi, however, was derived from an abbreviation GEMI which stood for German Evangelical Missions Institute.

German Evangelical Missions Institute (GEMI)

The Germans in 1939 decided to mount a cross on Mount Gayito to celebrate their 50yrs of settlement in Amedzofe and on this cross, they inscribed the name German Evangelical Missions Institute (GEMI). As more tourists visited the mountain and found it hard to pronounce GAYITO, they resorted to calling the mountain by the abbreviation (GEMI) of the name inscription on the cross they had seen at the summit of the mountain.

Gradually the name Gayito faded away and people, especially those living outside Amedzefo adopted the abbreviation GEMI as the name of the mountain, hence today it is known by all and sundry as Mount Gemi instead of Mount Gayito.

Origin of the Original Name, Gayito

It is believed that during the early 1800s when tribal and ethnic wars were very rife, the Ashantis who were the most powerful group attacked them several times, however, on each occasion, they were defeated by the Amedzofe people who believed that the mountain was behind their victory as it protected them and made an attack on the town difficult, giving them an advantage over their enemies. They then decided to name it Gayito meaning God of Defense with the belief that the mountain was a god offering them protection.

Forts and Castles in Ghana: Fort Prinzenstein

Fort Pinzenstein, found in Keta, in the Volta Region of Ghana, was built by the Danish traders in 1784 as part of their effort to protect their slave-trading business. The Fort is one of the very few built outside the Central and Greater Accra region by the European slave traders.

Built by the Danish, the main purpose of the Fort back then was to protect the Danish traders from the local Anlo people who were indigenes of the town. The Danes and the local people were engaged in a brutal war over trade-related issues, in which the Anlos were alleged to have looted from the Danish agent stationed on the Coast. The Danish government did not take this lightly and formed an army comprising of sworn foes of Anlo including the Krobos and Gas to attack Keta.

During the 1700s, the fight for territorial control of Africa among the European nations was at its peak, every nation wanted to have control over important trading areas. The Danes realized putting up a Fort in Keta could help cement their territorial control of the area and keep away other colonial powers.

However, after the war, the Fort was used more as a Dungeon where slaves were held for weeks and months before being transported to Europe and the Americas.

In 1803, the Danes sold the Fort and the rest of their territories to the British who had by then managed to gain territorial control over most part of the Gold Coast.

The Fort was finally handed over to the government of Ghana in 1957 upon the declaration of the end of colonial rule and independence of Ghana. Fort Prinzenstein has in recent decades undergone a lot of erosion due to its location, with the sea gradually washing away the once-famous Fort that reminded the people of their colonial past.

Top things to do at Dodi World

Dodi Princess Island is one of the few places in Ghana every Ghanaian family must make a trip to at least once in this lifetime, to enjoy the amazing and breathtaking experience the Dodi Princess World has to offer.

Located in the Eastern region, Dodi Island is situated in the middle of the second-largest man-made lake, the Lake Volta, lying adjacent to the power-house of Ghana, the Akosombo Dam.

An estimated 1.3 million tourists visit the island every year by cruising on the iconic Dodi Princess II; a luxurious 172-passenger capacity cruise boat which carries tourists and families to the Island on daily basis.

Why visit Dodi Island

First and foremost not many Ghanaians get to travel in a luxurious cruise boat, feeling likes of Prince Harry for once in their lives and I am pretty sure you are part of this majority I may be speaking of. And not many tourist attractions in Ghana provide this opportunity aside the Dodi World. This is enough reason for you to make that trip to Dodi and for the first time in your life, cruise on a luxurious boat. Remember no one is ever going to make your dreams come true but yourself.

Things to do at Dodi World

People who have heard or read about trips to Dodi island frequently ask this question but don’t usually get the right answers because they may not know people who have visited the Island and also due to the scantiness of information on the internet. Jetsanza.com gives you a comprehensive list of activities that go on at the Island.

Island Adventure

You may not have been told this or ever heard it, but Dodi Island is a very strange and fascinating place to visit, especially for those who have lived the best part of their lives in cities like Accra and Kumasi. The few hundreds of inhabitants who still live on the island are very welcoming but come across as very unique people, with a set of culture and norms totally different from that of the mainland duelers. Mostly, traditionalists, tourists can find shrines and objects of worship in almost every part of the Island where the people duel, a phenomenon which does not exist on mainland Ghana. The people also live their lives the old ways, devoid of modern technology and equipment, with modern stuff like motors and vehicles non-existent on the Island.

Enjoy Music and Life Band Performances

Memorable activities to enjoy at Dodi World include the incredible live band music and performance which takes place on the cruise boat all the way to the Island. For lovers of music and even those indifferent, you are sure to enjoy the performance of the band as they thrill you with local indigenous music on the lake.

Watersports

While you may be allowed to take a tour of the inner part of the Island, the real fun and activities are on the beach and this is where tourist activities take place, usually after returning from a tour of Island. There are dozens of watersport activities to engage in and tourists have a fill and exciting day partaking in these games, ranging from spearfishing to beach volley and beach soccer.

Kiddi Playground

At Dodi Princess island and tour, there is something for everyone, including children. So if you were ever wondering if you would have to take your kids along or not, you don’t have to worry as they are equally welcomed aboard with special and safe activities for them. A section known as Kiddi Playground has been created on the Island beach for kids to also have a good time partaking in safe sporting activities under the watchful eyes of tour guides who are well trained to keep your kids safe.

Cruising

This is the main feature of tours to Dodi World. Visitors to the island cruise on the luxurious Dodi Princess II amidst onboard entertainment, food and drinks.