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Tusugu: The Gambaga Escarpment settlement behind rock paintings in Ghana

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Most often when we hear of lost and found cities, our minds flip to the wonderful city of Pompeii that was covered by a volcano eruption. Little do people know that we have similar places and hidden ancient settlements in Africa. In this article, Jetsanza.com explores Ghana’s mysterious and ancient settlement of Tusugu.

Tusugu is a well-preserved remains of an ancient settlement on the Gambaga Escarpment. Tusugu was discovered in 1961. The town remained hidden for a long period because it was almost inaccessible and was only revealed to the natives of the land.

History has it that, in the year 1961, a British surveyor was contracted by the newly founded nation of Ghana to officially demarcate the border between Ghana and Togo. This was after World War I had divided the people of Togoland among the French and the British. It was during this assignment that the British surveyor, P.L Carter discovered a brass pot, an indication the place once bore life. He returned to inform a group of archaeologists who returned to the survey site together with Carter in the year 1963.

Tusugu Cliff Dwellings – Ghana’s North East Region
Creator: William Haun
Copyright: ©2017, William Haun

Among the things that were discovered were small granaries, over 4 meters high. Farther west along the cliff, they discovered nearly a dozen more structures gathered around a stream that provides water 24/7. The amazing thing was, everything that was discovered was in good shape and state as compared to over 55 years later.

One astonishing thing that would marvel tourist and visitors of Tusugu is the literacy and creativity of the dwellers of Tusugu. The place is filled with painted rocks covered with inscriptions about the culture and the beliefs of the people. The vast publication of rock paintings in Ghana started with rocks from Tusugu.

Location and direction to Tusugu

To visit the ancient town of Tusugu, tourists must first get to Nakpanduri on the Gambaga Escarpment. From there, the tourist must head to the southeast on the Bunkpurugu road for 5km and take a left turn heading to the northeast. After another 6km, you will turn left again at a fork in the road. Travel northeast another 3 kilometers and you will arrive at the village of Tusugu.

The services of tour guides are recommended.



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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.

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