Amansuri

The Amansuri wetland is a complex of peat, swamp and mangrove forests, flood plains, and sandy shores with streams, rivers, fresh water lake, lagoons and the sea as environmental features. The Wetlands is one of Ghana’s most beautiful nature preserves, located in the Western region. It is unique in Ghana, because it comprises several wetland categories and has the only known swamp peat forest and the largest stand of intact swamp forest in Ghana. The wetland is home to several species of plants and animals. Ninety-three of these species made up of reptiles, mammals and birds are of global and national conservation interest.

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The following is an overview of the existing attractions in the wetland:
 

What to Do : Where to Eat and Where to Stay : Getting There : Fact File

 
What to Do


Nzulezo, Village on Stilts

Nzulezo is a village built entirely on stilts on Lake Amansuri. It is constructed out of wood and raffia with one central walkway and about two dozen houses on either side. The only way to get there is to travel 5km on the lake in a local dugout canoe. Nearly everything in this village on stilts takes place on or just above the water - cooking, schooling, recreation, etc. The best time to visit the settlement is during the rainy seasons (April to September). During the rest of the year, as the parts of the lake bed dry out, you will have to walk some distance before taking a canoe to the village. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that you do not mind getting wet. Nzulezo welcomes visitors every day in the week. A tourist could spend the night here; for there are homestays to accommodate guests.

Once at Nzulezo, one has the option to buy the Chief a bottle of gin and learn about the community’s 400 years of history and architecture.

The lake inhabits Ghana’s largest swamp forest. It is the only forest that encompasses bamboo, mangrove, raffia palm, coconut palm, and swamp peat forest.
Tourists are not allowed after 3.00 pm


A Visit to Ebonloa

Ebonloa is a small village 5km from the highway at Tikobo 2, not more than 35 minutes drive from the main entrance of Ankasa Conservation Area. Take a 1 hour and 30 minute canoe ride from Ebonola to Nzulezo under the canopy of the Amansuri forest. A tourist who spends the night in Nzulezo on the other hand could the next morning continue an hour trip to this community using the canoe. On the way, while canoeing through the canopy, you could learn about the local akpetashie distilleries built on the creek.
Once at Ebonloa, a tourist can tour the beautiful nature trail and learn about the local trees and their medicinal values. One could also enjoy a village walk through the community, where he would be taken to a rubber plantation and as well witness coconut oil extraction using the local technology. Ebonloa is one of the best places to do bird watching in the wetlands.


Meandah Trail
From Nzulezo, a tourist would have the option to visit the sacred Meandah Lake as you embark on a 500m nature trail on a boardwalk. On your way to the lake, you will learn about some local tress and their medicinal values. It is closed to visitors on Wednesdays; a day recognized as taboo by the community to visit the lake.


Sea Cruise
Take a thrilling adventure with tour guides, riding 1 to 2 hours off shore in large wooden boats with out-board motors. If you are lucky you might capture a glimpse of humpback or sperm whales as well as dolphins (August to December), most likely to be seen in the months of September to December. Tourists are also left with the option to rent the boats for a longer ride. This trip is ideal for groups rather than individuals. Call in advance for reservations.

Bakanta Trail

This is an hour boat trip on the Amansuri River, starting from the Old Bakanta Community to the Amansuri estuary which serves as a bird sanctuary for many migrated European birds. Once at the estuary one has the option to do swimming, bird watching or a sun bath. From the estuary, tourists can walk back to the community along the beach and enjoy the stunning sea view. On the other hand, they can also join their vehicles back to the community during low tides. Also worth seeing are the amazing water formations interspersed with islands and the thick mangroves that borders the river.
Coming up soon at the estuary is an eco lodge and resting sheds/huts for tourists where they can sit and relax as they enjoy the sea view.


Fort Appolonia
This involves a discovery of the historic Fort Apolonia. Local tour guides will lead tourists to learn the history and the significance of the fort.

Bird Watching

One can observe some of Ghana’s most elegant birds as you hike the trails in the Amansuri Wetlands with local tour guides. The wetland has been selected as one of the important bird areas based on Birdlife International’s strict criteria.

 

Eat a variety of dishes at a resort, home stay, Visitor Centre, local vendor or ‘chop bar’. Try local dishes like fufu (large dumplings made from pounded cassava and plantain) and akyeke (a moist tapioca dish, eaten like gari). These starchy and grainy foods are mostly eaten with bare hands, together with delicious stews and soups. You can also enjoy a snack of locally fried fish. There are several home stays available at Amansuri, including two at Nzulezo.

Contact the Town Tourism Development Committee or a tour guide for information about home stays in Akwidaa.

Where to Eat & Stay


Hotel/Lodge

Apollonia Home Stay, Tel: 0248 962 159, Beyin

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 2.50 – 3.00
Lunch/Dinner (Continental)        5.00 - 10.00
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 1.00 - 12.00
Room Range 4 rooms with shared bathhouse and toilet facilities, each room containing a twin bed, hence can accommodate 2 persons per room
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
5 per head, (a room is GH¢ 10) 

Hotel/Lodge

Beyin Beach Resort, www.beyinbeachresort.com, On the outskirts of Beyin, next to the Visitor Centre

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 4.50 – 6.00
Lunch/Dinner (Continental)        7.00 - 15.00
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 7.00 - 15.00
Drinks/Beverages 1.50 – 25.00
Remark(s) Breakfast is included with accommodation; but it can be prepared for non-residential guests
Room Range 4 self contained chalets,  3 rooms(economy) with shared bathhouse and toilet facilities
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
50 for chalet (B&B), 15 for economy rooms (excl. breakfast) Discounts for volunteers

Hotel/Lodge

Dasco Home Stay, Tel: 0541 606 626, Beyin

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 2.00 – 3.00
Lunch/Dinner (Continental)        4.00 - 4.50
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 1.00 - 12.00
Room Range 2 rooms with shared bathhouse and toilet, each room containing  a twin bed, can accommodate 2 persons per room
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
5 per head, (a room is GH¢ 10) 

Hotel/Lodge

Faha Country Kitchen, Beyin

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 5.00
Lunch/Dinner (Continental)        5.00 - 10.00
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 1.00 – 2.50

Hotel/Lodge

Home Lodge (home stay), Tel: 0541 606 - 626, Beyin

Meals & Drinks No food or beverage provided
Room Range Two rooms with a shared bathhouse and toilet
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
4 – 6  

Hotel/Lodge

Kasapa Home Stay, Tel: 0206 816 866, Nzulezo

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 3.00 – 4.00
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 3.00 - 4.00
Room Range 7 rooms with shared bathhouses and toilet facilities.
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
7 - 10  

Hotel/Lodge

Nzulezo Home Stay, Tel: 0208 248 437, Nzulezo

 
Meals & Drinks Price Range (GH¢)*
Breakfast 2.00 - 3.00
Lunch/Dinner (Ghanaian) 4.00 - 5.00
Room Range 5 rooms with shared bathhouses and toilet facilities, each room containing double bed: can accommodate 2 persons in a room
Room Rates
(GH¢ per night)*
7 - 10  

 

 

*Prices as at September 2009

 

Getting There

Beyin is situated 90 km west of Takoradi.

By private vehicle: Beyin is a two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Takoradi. To reach Beyin from Takoradi, follow the signs to Elubo. After Agona, continue driving towards Elubo, passing through many villages. After about 50 minutes, you’ll get to the village of Alabokazo. At Alabokazo, turn left. Drive straight, until you reach a dirt road. When you get to a T-junction, turn right: from here, the road follows the coast. Drive for another 30 minutes, until you get to Beyin. Follow the signs to the Visitor Centre.

By public transport: At the Nzema Station in Takoradi, take a minibus (called ‘tro-tro’) en route to Beyin. Alternatively, you can get on a tro-tro heading towards Elubo, stop at Awiebo, and take a shared taxi to Beyin. A third option is to catch a tro-tro heading for Half Assini, get off at Tikobo 1, and then take a shared taxi to Beyin.

 

Fact

  1. The people of Nzulezo originally came from Mali.
  2. Raffia palm has many uses: the branches are used to weave items such as mats, baskets, and the walls of houses. The leaves are used for roofing; the seeds are used for trapping fish; and the wine is used for gin. In addition, the tree can be used as temporary medicine for snake bites!
  3. The people of Nzulezo do not fish in the lagoon on Thursdays, as their ancient enemies drowned in the lagoon on a Thursday.
  4. The Amansuri Lagoon is some 40 km long, and its deepest part is around 35 metres.
  5. The floating grass along the shores of the Amansuri Lagoon is called Voscia cuspidata.
  6. The Ghana Wildlife Society is helping to provide alternative livelihoods for the local communities around the wetlands, so as to reduce their consumption of the wetlands’ resources.
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