Amedzofe, a city like no other city in Ghana. It is not only characterized by its rich history, Also the location of the mountain town is simply stunningly beautiful. It is even that beautiful that the native inhabitants of Amedzofe described it as the origin of mankind.
With just over 700 meters above sea level, Amedzofe is the highest city in Ghana. Compared to other mountain towns in the world, this is not high. Nevertheless, Amedzofe lies in a breathtaking environment. Where the people of the avatime are at home, this city is located wonderfully on the Avatime mountains between the Volta Lake and Togo. The Avatime Mountains are part of the Akwapim-Togo mountain chain which runs through Ghana and Togo. But not only because of its high altitude, the city is closer to heaven. Amedzofe is also called Mawuwe in Ewe. Literally translated, this means “apartment of Mawu”. Mawu again means God. Thus, one could describe Amedzofe as “the kingdom of God”. A place where even the climate is heavenly. Due to its high altitude, Amedzofe usually have pleasant temperatures.
By the way: Mawu is pronounced more like “Mauu”. With emphasis on the “U”.
Amedzofe, a city with history
Even today the Avatime people live in Amedzofe. These were originally ruled by a King named Peki. Due to migrations of peoples, the Ewe people intermarried with the Avatime people. Initially, however, the Ewe who fled from Togo before the cruel king Agorkorli, had settled in the area of today’s “Western Region”. There they had to flee before the then warlike Ashanti. After that they finally arrived in the Volta region in Amedzofe. Because of the location the Ewe could defend themselves well against the Ashanti. As a defense large boulders were rolled down the slope. Additionally the Ewe used the surrounding caves as a hiding place.
The Volta region was part of the former German colony Togoland from the middle of the 19th century. At this time, the Basel Mission built a mission station in Amedzofe. The mission station included a church, a cemetery, a hospital and a primary school. In elementary school was taught in Ewe. Soon this became the most important school in whole German Togoland.
The city lies at the foot of the holy Mount Gemi. In 1939, during the 50th anniversary of the station, the Germans established a summit cross. Under the local population, the rumor that the cross served as an antenna in the first world war was stubbornly held.
How do I come to Amedzofe?
From the south:
In the city of Ho at the Tro-Tro Mainstation there are several connections a day to Amedzofe. The journey time is about an hour and costs about 5 Cedis (≈ 1 Euro).
By private car or taxi you will need a good half an hour. Simply leave Ho in the direction of Hohoe until you arrive in the village of Vane. From there, turn right into a side street. Continue along a very winding road which leads higher and higher to Amedzofe. During the day, the one-way taxi ride should cost not more than 50 Cedis (circa 10 – 12 €).
In older travel reports one reads again and again over the bad road conditions through the mountains. However, much has happened in recent years. The streets in Ho were completely paved. Likewise, the road between Ho to Fume has been renewed and therefore is very easy to drive.
From the North:
Amedzofe can also be reached from the north. For example, a tro-tro from Hohoe to Ho costs around 10 Cedis (circa 2 – 3 Euros). Accordingly, it should not cost more to Amedzofe. Whether there is a direct connection from Hohoe to Amedzofe, is not known to me. But in case there is none, you just get off in Vane. From there you wait for the next Tro-Tro to Amedzofe or use a taxi. But be careful, the road from Hohoe to Fume is not comfortable at all. At the time of my visit, this road was not yet developed. For this it was wrapped in a dust-cloud and littered with a lot of holes.
If you like walking, you can also take a direct footpath from Fume. This is used by local people as a regular footpath. But beware, it should be partly steep and with heavy luggage that could be exhausting. In the rain it should also be slippery.
What will you discover in Amedzofe?
The closer you get to Ho, the greener and lush the vegetation becomes. Alone the view, on the way there, is stunning. Everything beautiful green, everywhere jungle and you will have an awesome view. Once you’re in town, it’s going to blow you out. I at least was deeply impressed. You look over larger and smaller mountains with narrow ridges on which stand single trees. You can see the road which winds from Ho towards Hohoe through the green mountain landscape. At the end of the horizon, when the weather permits, you will also see the largestartificial lake in the world. In the middle of the lake are several small islands. What a sight. If you want to come here, you should especially enjoy the beautiful scenery. Perfect to relax.
On the tracks of the Germans: In the village you can visit the old church and the old cemetery of the former mission station.
Tourist Center & the holy Mount Gemi
Moreover, Amedzofe is a great starting point for hiking and climbing tours to different destinations. Note, however, that all tours must be booked and paid at the local tourist center. If you go by Tro-Tro to Amedzofe, the journey ends near the tourist center. By car just drive into the city center. You can not miss it. The tourist center is by the way super organized. There I booked the two following tours and was extremely satisfied.
From the Amedzofe tourist center my first tour started to the holy mountain Gemi. This tour takes about 20 minutes and is also suitable for untrained people. The climb costs 30 Cedis (approximately 6 – 7 Euro) including a guide. From there the view is even better. Additionally the guide can give you more details about the history of the mountain and the city. I recommend you to bring your food along for a small picnic at the summit cross. Nestled between the mountains is the small mountain village of Gbadzeme. On Mount Gemi with amedeofe in the back, you will discover it in the valley on the right side. From there a tour leads into the jungle to two waterfalls.
Ote Falls & Gbadzeme Falls
Beside the mountain you can visit numerous waterfalls. A shorter tour will take you to the nearby “Ote Falls”. Because of its proximity it is also called as Amedzofe Falls. For on way, you need a bit more then 30 minutes on foot. This tour I did not participate in. That is why, I can not provide more detailed information.
My second tour led to the waterfalls of Gbadzeme. First you walk to the village of Gbadzeme. A very narrow path leads down the mountain to the village. During the hike you have a great view over the valley and Gbadzeme. Once there, you will pass a school, cross a small river and go to another valley. By the way: According to the tales, the rocks are also to be found in Gbadzeme, which the inhabitants rolled down the mountain in defense of Amedzofe.
From here you go down steeply on a difficult path. Without a guide you are squirted here. With his machete, he paves the way for you through the dense jungle. Nestled between rock faces, the first waterfall falls into a small basin. You can also swim in it. Lianas hang down from the sides. More jungle as on this tour you can not experience.
Let’s go to the second much smaller waterfall. The trail runs relatively flat over two small streams, past cola and cocoa trees, as well as manly cocoyamp plants with huge leaves. In doing so, I felt almost like in the land of the giants. Cocoyam looks similar to rhubarb. From this the popular palaversauce is made. The sauce is somewhat similar to creamed spinach.
The second waterfall is not big, but it is interesting to look at. The water seems to shoot out of a natural tunnel into a kind of cave with water basin. The cave can not be entered, too dangerous. In this water basin can not be bathed.
After a short photopause, it goes back up again. On the way we also saw many very colorful insects and butterflies. Just before we reached the village again, our guide stopped in front of an overgrown tree. His eyes were fixed on the tree. When he called me quietly to him and I finally recognized the reason for it. Between the leaves I saw something long, green, supple, wrapped around the tree. A snake. According to research, this should have been a green Mamba. That is a very poisonous snake. Fortunately, humans do not belong to the preferred food. Moreover the serpent is avoiding clashes. Nevertheless, this is another reason why you need a guide. He quickly detects dangerous situations and intervenes with his machete in an emergency.
The whole trip lasted about 5 hours and was extremely exhausting. Therefore, I recommend this tour only for really fit people with a lot of perseverance. For the whole tour I paid a total of 70 Cedis (≈ 15 Euro).
More waterfalls & sights close by
- Kulugu Falls along the Kulugu river
- Apkonu Falls (Near the place Apkonu)
- Tafi Atoms (The Monkey Town)
- Tafi Abuife (The Weaving Village)
Where can I stay in Amedzofe?
In Amedzofe itself there is only one hotel and one guest house. Both are not located directly in the city but on a neighboring hill. From there you have a wonderful view of the city and the Mount Gemi. At the Abraerica Hotel one night in a double room without air conditioning cost 85 Cedis (about 19 Euros). With air conditioning the room cost 100 Cedis (about 23 Euros). In addition, there are even larger accommodations which are correspondingly more expensive. The accommodations are functional. From the outside, the hotel looks slightly better than from the inside. But with this price you can not complain. The guesthouse is again about half cheaper. The Akofa Guesthouse can be booked directly through the tourist center.
€ Abraerica Hotel
€ Akofa Guesthouse
If you do not want to stay in Amedzofe, I can also highly recommend the Mountain Paradise Lodge in Biakpa. Ho also offers itself as a regional capital with many hotels as a starting point for tours. Ho is, incidentally, a surprisingly clean city with a lively weekly market (always Tuesdays).
€ Mountain Paradise Loge (in Biakpa)
Where can I eat in Amedzofe?
Since I have stayed at the Abraerica Hotel, I have eaten there of course. It does not have a star kitchen but is still delicious. The food is cheap as well. The most expensive dish is 25 Cedis (about 5-6 euros). There are international as well as local ghana dishes to eat. Priceless, but still in vain, is the view over the Volta basin while you eat. Attention, like often in Ghana, calculate with a longer waiting time for the food.
Other restaurants I have not seen in Amedzofe. But maybe you have other information?
Amedzofe has an extraordinary environment and a stunning view. Therefore, the city is great to simply let the soul dangle. A rich history completes the offer on site. But the adventure factor is high as well. So the city is great as a starting point for various tours over mountains to abandoned waterfalls in the middle of the jungle.
Have you been to Amedzofe? What experiences did you have there? What have you done? Or do you have questions or an update? Then please leave a comment.
Ben Diaz – travelcap.de