Saturday, July 7, 2007
In love with Sekyere Caves
By: JACOB OTI AWERE
SOME 98 per cent of people have never seen or entered a cave before, according to a smart survey that was carried out in Ghana (for the domestic market) and some parts of the Netherlands and UK.
I had previously known of caves in the Volta Region (Likpe) and the Nsuta-Atonsu-Kwammang littoral of the Sekyere West District. Now, however, I can confirm that if anyone wants to see caves, and enter lots of them, the Sekyere East District is the place to go.
That is where I have just come from and I found countless number of caves to kill anybody’s claustrophobia, fear of dark enclosed places. Caves are as fascinating as they are romantic.
The Sekyere East District, led by the District Chief Executive and the Assemble, has decided to do tourism development in order to bring out the real benefits of tourism to its people. Such benefits include the creation of both direct and indirect tourism jobs, investments attraction and the proliferation of tourism-related enterprises.
An extensive research carried out to determine possible acceptance of tourism among the people of the District revealed that the people in the communities were already tourism sensitized to an appreciable extent, thanks, per haps to the biennial Papa Festival celebrated in the town of Kumawu and the inflow of tourists that it occasions.
For instance, the people of the District tell us that before any tourism is done, the things that must come first include the removal of refuse dumps, improvement of the dusty environment and the ugly motor station of Effiduase, the district capital, tidying up dirty public toilets and generally getting rid of any filth before tourists are invited in.
The single most important natural tourist attraction in the Sekyere East District is the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary has some wildlife that includes baboons and Mona monkeys, monitor lizards, birds and the three types of crocodile in West Africa.
Even more exciting are the rock formations. Between the park entrance and the waterfall is a vast rock plain covering several hectares and covered with nothing but rocks of all shapes and sizes that confound your imaging nation. Some look like large earthen bowls, others like running shoes, and yet others like a monster riding at the back of some fabulous animal. Rocks that you can interpret for days, depending on your power of imagination.
My favorite rock, pinkish in colour, looks like the carefully braided head of a woman. It lies on the path to the waterfall, just a few metres to the pool.
What would enhance the adventure tourism of the Sekyere East District, however, are the caves. Caves can be found at Wonoo, just before entering Kumawu, at Bisoro right at the edge of the town, and more significantly, in the area of an awe-inspiring hill called Buotwedie on the track that links with Agogo. Near the Buotwedie are the Kojokumaboum caves.
You will never believe the hand of nature until you visit these caves. Natural archaeology has offered these caves perfect banisters that support the cave roofs, and when you enter any of the countless caves, you feel like being in the palm of the creator, very cool with the soft chirping of small bats to entertain you.
When tourism really takes off in the Sekyere East District, I think Ghanaian are going to fall in love with the adventure of playing through caves. The trip to the caves on foot takes one through natural forests and farmlands, with natural resting points provided by shady trees and rocks to sit upon. It is in these forests that you find the most succulent fruits.
At the Kojokumabuom caves, we found this mango tree which nobody had change upon. The large fruits lay strewn about on the soft carpet of leaves with other large ones on the branches, waiting to be washed and sucked. With my two guides, we had a real succulent mango lunch. There were also abundant pawpaws and avocado in the wild.
Indeed, as with all successful tourism development initiatives, the starting point is the preparation of a tourism development plan, and that is exactly what the wise but young District Chief Executive and his lieutenants have done.
Daily Graphic - Saturday, July 7, 2007 Page: 21