Up Close With Lake Bosumtwi – Antelope God
A visit to Kumasi without passing by Ghana’s only largest natural lake and the most famous tourist attraction site in the Ashanti region is nearly incomplete. While in Kumasi this weekend, I paid an enchanting visit to Lake Bosumtwi also spelt lake Bosomtwe. It is located 30km southeast of Kumasi in the town of Abono. An hour drive from the capitals largest market center, Kejetia.
The lake was came ito existence as a result of a meteorite strike that took place many years ago. As it rained, the raining water filled up the impact crater which gradually formed the lake. It’s 81meters deep, 5.3miles in length and 5.0miles in breadth
History has it that in 1648, a hunter named Akora from Asaman went on a hunting spree. He was unmindful of the day being sacred(Tuesdays are sacred days at the lake and till date remains a sacred day in Abono traditional area). As a result of the day sacredness of the day, Akora had no catch. On his way home, he spotted and shot at an antelope(called otwe in the local language)but it did not die and the hunter chased the injured antelope through the forest till it suddenly disappeared in a small pond.
It’s believed it happened as if the pool of water was saving the life of the Antelope. The hunter referred to the antelope as a god(called bosom in local language). This is how Bosomtwe came to be known among the local populace and across the world. When you visit the lake, there are people around to tell you the history for a little charge.
The lake is currently surrounded by 22 villages. Previously used to be 30 but the lake has washed away 8 villages already. The several tree trunks coming out of the water is evident enough of the washed away villages and the increasing level of the lake over the time period. The lake is currently 368years.
The environment is serene and very peaceful, one can swim in the lake, take boat rides or hike around as well. The communities around the lake are very welcoming and this makes hiking interesting around the lake shore. I would advice you to take a guide. Fishing and bird watching are other attractions that one can find at the lake.
It’s a taboo to touch the water with regular dugout canoe, iron or modern boat. A wooden plank(Padua) is the legitimate method of fishing at lake Bosumtwi.
If you just want somewhere serene to chill out or for a picnic, this is a perfect place for you. Swimming here is allowed but it’s always advisable to ask the locals before you proceed.