While Ghana may not be the first destination people think of when they hear the word “vacation”, it is ideal for those looking to experience African culture in a relatively safe country. For those wishing to venture out of the chaotic, diesel-infused capital of Accra, head over to the Volta Region to explore the natural beauty that Ghana has to offer. An added bonus: You are way less likely to be hit by a tro-tro here.
Located in the eastern part of Ghana, the Volta Region has much to offer in terms of the outdoors that many of the other popular destinations in the country do not. Mountains, lakes, hiking and wildlife can all be experienced here, while giving travelers a chance to get away from constant shouts of “oburoni” (foreigner) and being able to relax while surrounded by the beauty of natural landscape.
How To Get There
When visiting the Volta Region, head over to Wli-Afegame to be in the most ideal location. From Accra, you can take a tro-tro, which is basically a packed out mini-van, to Hohoe from Tema Station for 8 Ghana Cedis and 50 Pesawas (about $4.49). The ride will take about four to five hours. Once in Hohoe, you can take a tro-tro to Wli-Afegame for less than 1 Ghana Cedi. Although taxis are the more expensive option, if you are arriving at night opt for a cab for your own safety. You can get one for about 8 Ghana Cedis (about $4.23) during the day and about 15 to 20 Ghana Cedis (about $7.52 to $8.53) at night. Remember, there is a local price and a foreigner price, so don’t be afraid to bargain.
Where To Stay
If you are looking for comfort, Wli Water Heights offers nice rooms for a reasonable price. For a room with two beds and an ensuite bathroom, expect to pay about 40 Ghana Cedis (about $21.15). If you do not mind having the bathroom outside of your room, the hotel offers double rooms for 29 Ghana Cedis (about $15.33). There is also a restaurant on site, which can be convenient as there are not many dining options in the area. While a bit expensive, the service is excellent, something that is very hard to find in Ghana.
For the backpackers who want something cheap and rustic, head over to Ras Madesko’s place, which is right up the road from the falls. From Hohoe, just tell your taxi driver to keep driving on the main town road of Wli-Afegame (you will pass the turn for the falls on your left), and continue down the road about one mile. Ras Madesko’s will be on your right. For about 10 Ghana Credis (about $5.30) per night you can stay in one of the small huts set up around the property. There are outdoor showers and bathrooms, as well. During the day you can enjoy drumming with Ras, whose real name is Stephan, and at night hangout around one of his nightly bonfires.
Whether you stay at his place or not, Ras can take you to the major sites of the Volta Region in his rainbow-colored truck for 40 Ghana Cedis (about $21.15), which you will not be able to find with any of the taxis.
Things To Do
Hike The Waterfalls
Hiking the Wli Waterfalls is a major attraction of the area and the site is walking distance from both of the accommodations listed above. If your fitness level is not great, you can opt to do the 40 minute walk through the forest to the lower falls. This will cost you about 8 Ghana Cedis (about $4.23), or 5 Ghana Credis (about $2.64) if you tell them you’re a volunteer. For those looking for more of a challenge and to burn a week’s worth of calories, you can opt to do the two-to-three hour hike to the upper falls, all of which is completely uphill and cannot be done without a walking stick due to the extreme steepness of the trail. This more intense hike will cost about 10 Ghana Cedis (about $5.29). Once again, this is discounted to 8 Ghana Cedis (about $4.23) if you mention that you’re a volunteer. While they say you must pay a 1 Ghana Cedi (about $0.53) fee if you are using a camera, they honestly will have no idea if you use one or not.
Visit Volta Lake
If you are looking for a more relaxing experience, visit the Volta Lake, which is what the region itself is named after. The lake is huge with a mountainous background and small fishing boats in the foreground, making it an ideal spot if you need some scenery pictures of Ghana. Surrounding Volta Lake is a bustling market where you will be able to get food, drinks, clothing and jewelry. There are options to take boat tours of the lake, which you can hire for about 30 Ghana Cedis (about $15.86).
Visit The Highest Mountain In Ghana
With an altitude of 2,905 feet, Mount Afadjato is the highest mountain in Ghana. It also happens to be located in the Volta Region right near Wli Afe-game. If you are interested in crossing ‘Scale the Highest Mountain in Africa’ off your bucket list, then you should consider Climbing Mount Afadjato. Because nothing is free in Ghana, be aware there will be a fee of about 8 Ghana Cedis (about $4.23) to do this, but you will be given a guide and also information about the area. If you’re not a hiker and would just like to see the mountain up close for some photos and information, you will also be expected to make some kind of donation.