After a 9:00 am pick up at homestays, we were off with Francis, the driver and owner of the tro-tro, for the one hour trip north to Kakum Forest, which is Ghana’s largest remaining tract of rainforest, according to the most recent (6th edition) Bradt guidebook for Ghana written by Philip Briggs. The roadway through Cape Coast, takes us very close to the ocean and palm tree lined beach. On the shore we see about a dozen men moving in unison, and we learn they are pulling in a fishing net. I observe the majority of the men standing in 2 lines, and then one man is sitting using a palm tree as brace for his feet, as he feeds the rope from the net around the tree and then one more man is coiling the rope. We didn’t get to see the catch, but hopefully we will have this opportunity.
Once off the main road, our short journey took us through small villages with roadside stands, lots of people walking on the side of the road going about their Saturday morning chores. I saw small children carrying water on their heads, women with bowls on their heads filled with water, peanuts, or anything that needed to be carried. Babies are carried on women’s backs, and a piece of cloth tied in front secures the child. I am still working on getting a photo of this, which I am finding more challenging than I would have expected.
The landscape gradually opened up and palm groves and woodland lined both sides of the packed red clay roadway. Since rainy season has just passed, there are many pot holes, which kept Francis on his toes. In a couple of spots, the road was only passable via one lane.
Once we arrive we make our way to a natural history display at the visitor center then await our group turn for the walk across the rope canopies or the guided medicinal walk on the forest floor. Saturday is a very busy day at Kakum National Park so we joined hundreds of school children dressed in their school uniforms. Their excitement contributed to the experience as we made our way across the seven rope bridges. While we didn’t see more than one of them there are said to be some 250 butterfly species, more than found in all of Europe, according to Philip Briggs.
Soggy after dripping rain, we make our way back to the tro-tro, headed now for some free time in the town of Cape Coast, and oh, yes, some lunch.
The three photos above of the little boy, Nicholas, were taken at our hotel in Accra, just as we were departing.