By Dela Ahiawor
Mount Afadja, the highest mountain in Ghana, better known as Mount Afadjato is best suited for outdoor pursuits such as, hiking, climbing and wildlife ogling.
These days, Mt. Afadja is where everyone wants to go hiking in Ghana. But getting to the peak at 885m (2,904 ft)- is an enervating exercise up a steep and rugged trail. Takes about (45 minutes to 1 hour) for the fit hiker to climb and about 2 hours 30 minutes for the unfit.
Indeed, hiking in Ghana has never been more popular. It’s a rising passion now among the youth. Besides, corporate entities are encouraging hiking, aiming to boost employee health, productivity and well-being. As a result, hiking trails are getting crowded on weekends and public holidays lately.
No wonder, this year’s Farmer’s Day in Ghana, December 2, presented the opportunity for journalists/ editors of the MTN Media Republic in Ghana to hit the trails at Mt. Afadja. This writer, joined the MTN Media Republic on the trip- a bus ride of about 4 hours 30 minutes from Ghana’s capital city, Accra.
Once we arrived at the Gbledi-Gbogame end of Mt. Afadja, we limbered up for a couple of minutes, posed for a group photo before disappearing into the trails.
Fair to say, it was a walk in nature. Beautiful! However, I knew I was at the mercy of the elements, the uneven trail, the forest and all that lurked in it.
The trail was rugged, steep and uneven with slippery slopes. I came a cropper once on the ascent. But sprung to my feet quickly…stopped a few moments to catch my breath and also to help other hikers. The climb was physically draining, but I kept at it, leaping from boulder to boulder, jumping over gullies, crawling sometimes and holding onto tree stumps. My legs became a little wobbly…to aid my balance, I snapped a twig off a tree, which came in handy as my trekking pole.
I soldiered on and summited in about 45 minutes. “You made it!” The frontrunners cheered. Friends hugged and high-fived. Summiteers took great photos framed by an outsize photo frame standing sentinel on top of Afadja. The view was breathtaking and all green to my heart’s content. Parts of neighnouring Togo was in sight, as Afadja stood right on the border of Ghana and Togo. After taking 30 minutes rest, I refreshed myself with water before tackling the downward trail.
Surprisingly, the descent trail was more steeper and rugged. The pain in my thighs and legs increased. My shoes chafed the skin on my feet really bad- so, I was more careful with every step I took. My legs became more wobbly. But, I persevered until I reached the bottom of Afadja, this time at the Liati- Wote end. “Now, I have conquered Afadja!” I exclaimed. Next, Kilimanjaro!
Mount Afadja, Ghana’s tourism icon is about 178 Km northeast of Accra and located in Liati- Wote and Gbledi-Gbogame near Hohoe in the Volta region of Ghana. It attracts hiking tours and many tourists across the globe all year round.