Located in Ghana – the Ashanti region (of course) lies the largest natural lake in West Africa Lake Bosomtwe/i (boh-sum-chwe) translated to Antelope God.
I spent five days in Kumasi and one day was spent visiting Lake Bosomtwe. It was a last minute suggestion by a family friend. There were a few things you could do at the lake from horse riding, take a boat ride along the lake or just enjoy the scenic views of the mountains.
I enjoyed a short-lived boat tour around the lake. The lake is serene and remarkably beautiful. After taking a walk on the sandy shores and giving my feet a wash in the water we took a stroll to the mountains around the lake. Abono prayer mountain was one of those mountains – there were two people passionately praying. It was interesting! There were buildings built on the mountain. They were built for the purpose of praying. Christians would visit the mountains and stay up there for some time to pray. In the middle of some empty space between the buildings was an altar where people had left bibles, anointing oil and other offerings. The view of the lake from above was also stunning.
It’s beauty, however, isn’t why I decided to dedicate a whole post to it! The thing about this place that fascinated me or should I say makes me laugh was the history behind how the locals believe the lake was created.
According to the locals, the lake was discovered in 1640 by a hunter named Akora Bompe who was chasing an injured antelope, which disappeared into a small pond (kind of like quicksand?) which later formed into a lake. I was so confused as the tour guide was explaining this absurd story. I was looking at my uncle and thinking…does he hear what is coming from his mouth ? Is he really sure about this ?
Being the devil’s advocate, I asked the guide wasn’t the lake, in fact, the result of an impact crater which later filled with rainwater? He did not deny that either and pointed me to the posters behind him which explained the science behind the lake. The science explained that the lake wasn’t formed around the 1600’s and is in fact 1.07 million years old. He clearly did not believe that! He went on to explain how the large dead trees that surround the lake are over 300 years old and this somehow provided evidence for the local story. I was a little confused, to be honest – science and geography were definitely not my strong subjects!!
Although, I found it very hard to believe the story was fascinating. It took me back to my childhood, my brother and I would beg my auntie to tell us bedtime stories and they would always be local tales from Ghana. I loved them, even though at times they scared me.
If you happen to take a trip to the Ashanti region of Ghana and have time make sure you visit where the legendary antelope disappeared!
Do you have any similar tales to tell? I’d like to hear about them leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading