Hey guys, allow me take you the community that thrives on water, Nzulezo. I visited Nzulezo with a colleague at work during one of his working visits to Ghana. This stilt water settlement of Nzulezo built on lake Tadane is located in the Jomoro District in the Western Region of Ghana. It stands out as a magnificent love affair between man and his environment. The name ‘Nzulezo’ is an Nzema word which simply translates to “surface of water.” According to our Tour guide, inhabitants of the village migrated from Oualata, a city in ancient Ghana Empire’ the earliest of the Western Sudanese States. We were made to understand that ancestors of the village were brought to their present place under the guide of a snail.
The inhabitants hold a strong superstitious believe that the lake averts possible disasters like outbreak of fire, killing of natives of the village on or around it. The sacred day of the lake is Thursday, a day set aside on which no activity is supposed to take place signifying a strict adherence to traditional norms and taboos. So you dare not go and try to do any activity on the lake on Thursdays.
Me and Martin arrived at Beyin on a hot afternoon after our 2-day visit to Prince’s Town and Cape 3 Point. We registered at the information desk (the amount we paid also covered the canoe ride). I got myself a life jacket (Better to be protected huh?) and Martin, full of confidence in his swimming skills didn’t get one. (Wait! you might probably be thinking I can’t swim; Of course I can, but I just don’t fancy myself in such a huge lake without a backup. This is No swimming pool yeah.) We took off in the canoe from and the ride on lake Tadane to Nzulezo took us approximately, 1 hour. I did some paddling as well, and I must confess, it wasn’t easy. A Big Salute to our Fishermen. So we finally got there and I was excited to see how young kids would be swimming like dolphins. (Well! What was I expecting? They were ‘born in water’). It was amazing to see all activities pertaining to normal life chores such as pounding of fufu, schooling, worship and burial all being done on the lake. I eve saw JHS school children paddling their canoe to attend school in the nearby community (On Land). Fast forward, after all the interaction with the locals we had to leave. Just as we were about 10 minutes away from Nzulezo, it started raining. (you should see my face). We paddled through the rain back to Beyin and made our way back to Takoradi.
How To Get There
If you have plans to visit Nzulezu, then I would suggest you take some of these recommendations I am giving below as a guide for your trip
- You can choose the automotive canoe to the manual one (If you don’t fancy paddling or you don’t want to spend an hour on the lake)
- Always insist on a life jacket
- Carry your food along or get some at the nearby community. (You won’t get food to buy; Maybe fruits)
- Remember Thursday is a sacred day, so don’t do anything on the lake without asking any local or tour guide
- Don’t forget your water bottle
- No accommodation available (accommodation is in Beyin
- Estimated budget from Takoradi to Nzulezu (without Accommodation and by public bus) is $50
- Make sure to pack hiking boots, swim suit, Slippers, First aid, Sun Screen and towel
- Always speak to locals or the tour guide if you want to do anything (Just to be sure it is not prohibited)
- Have FUN and stay safe