Hiking in the Volta Region

This past weekend I traveled to the Volta Region in Ghana. The Volta Region is right on the eastern border of Ghana that is next to Togo. 10 of us ProWorld interns went on the trip. We started off on Friday afternoon and traveled to Accra for the evening. Then Saturday morning we left for the 4 hour journey to Volta in a trotro. It was the bumpiest ride I have ever had in a trotro – it didn’t help that I was in the very last row of the van too. [BTW a trotro is a large passenger van that has 3-5 rows of seats depending on the type of van. In America we would fit 2 people on a row and a third person on the fold down seat; her4 people are usually squished in the row – its always a way to make new friends.] Most of the roads we traveled were paved, but we would encounter huge potholes. And we went got within an hour of our destination, we were basically off-roading on dirt roads. Then we made it to the park where the waterfalls are located.

We should have asked more about the hike we were about to tackle, but we quickly learned it would be very rigorous we our guide, Mathias, handed us walking sticks at the fork up to the upper falls and we only saw an uphill path across the side of a mountain. It took us about an hour and a half climbing up 800 meters through the jungle to the upper falls. It wasn’t just a hike, I was climbing over trees, roots, rocks and through muddy downhill portions too. But it was amazing. Many hikers had traveled the path we climbed, but it was not well cleared, so I would use my walking stick to move branches and leaves. It felt so good to see us getting closer to the waterfall. And when we got there, we jumped into the water and tried to stand under the falls. But let me tell you, the water came pelting down on us. It was challenging trying to sit on the rocks directly under the falls. That climb was one of the coolest experiences of this trip, and probably of my life. It was so beautiful, taking in all the green trees covering the area as I hiked up and down the mountain was just as breathtaking as making it all the way to the clearing with the upper falls. I was amazed at how the area has been preserved and not developed at all. I think it was so special and beautiful, since the area seems to still be untouched by man.  So happy I got the chance to go up to the upper falls and I decided I would have to come back and do it again (definitely while I am young and energetic)!!

Once I get better internet connection, I will post pictures.

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2 Comments

Filed under Ghana

2 responses to “Hiking in the Volta Region

  1. Liz

    Dear Kelsey,

    Wow. I am a 1st year at Berkeley and I am currently considering the GPP minor. I happened to come across your blog and I really love reading about your experiences. I went to ghana 2 summers ago on a service trip within the volta region, and I remember so well climbing this same mountain, going to the same waterfall, and even sitting in the internet cafe in Accra. I hope to one day return to Ghana, I really love the people there! I’m sure you can agree with me on that. Your work in so inspirational. Keep it up!

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth

    P.S. Paul Farmer is my hero. I love what you wrote about him as well! I’m currently reading “Haiti After the Earthquake” and it is so inspiring.

    • Hi Liz!

      Thanks for your comment! I would love to hear about your experience in the volta region – feel free to send me an email through my contact page. And if you have any questions about the GPP minor, let me know. I would really recommend pursuing the minor if you are interested in international development. Its a great program and I’m sure you would love another chance to travel to Ghana or another developing country. Hope you are enjoying your first semester at Cal! Go Bears!

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