Situated approximately 30km south of Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom, in a vast crater, Lake Bosomtwi the most expansive natural body of fresh water in Ghana. It is also the deepest, reaching a maximum depth of 80-100m, and 10.7km2 in diameter. Some people believe that the lake was created by a volcanic action and others say it was created by a falling meteorite causing a crater to be formed however piles of heavy rainfall over the years filled the crater with water causing the lake level to rise. 

The lake water size varies according to seasons in question, there are times it overflows it banks and other times the water level will be so low. The Lake houses fish verities such as endemic cichlid Hemichromis frempongi, and the near-endemic cichlids Tilapia busumana and T. discolor. Come let us go fishing in a traditional boat or canoe, an experience worth evoking.
Historic Accounts

Traditional Ashantis hold the believe that in several years past an Ashanti hunter named Akora Bompe who hails from the city of Asaman was chasing an injured antelope through the forest. Swiftly, the animal vanished in a small pond. It was as if it was a design that this body of pond should save the animal’s life and not an accident. The hunter never got the antelope; nonetheless he settled close to the water and went into fishing. To them this place he named “Bosomtwe”, meaning “antelope god”. Each village around the lake area has its own shrine and many continue to look for traditional help in bad times or against diseases.

There is a stone at the lake side called Abrodwum Stone and held to be the spiritual centre of the lake. Usually, when the fishermen fishing and the yield is poor, it is considered a bad omen, thus sacrifices would have to be made. This deed is undertaken in the presence of his Kingship, the Asantehene himself. In the ceremony, the cow’s innards are offered to the stones ,part are thrown into the lake and the rest are thrown into the water and the crowd rushes into the water with cutlasses and axes to take their share of the meat, this is an event very much worth seeing.

Considering the above belief, Lake Bosomtwi is held sacred by Ashanti traditionalists, though the finer details of its exalted status are rather elusive. Some claim that Bosomtwi is where a deity called Twi resides, others that it is visited by the souls of the departed on their passage to eternity. It is also the sacred water body of the Bosomtwi (one of five divisions in the matrilineal Nton system which the Asante and other Akan people believe passes a father’s attributes to his children), on account of it being as round as the sun, the model for members of the Bosomtwi Nton. There is a taboo on the use of irons on the water and modern boats

It must be admitted that it is not clear whether the crater in which Bosomtwi lies is volcanic in origin, was formed by a meteorite or a small pond. Either way, the lake is a beautiful spot, encircle by mountainous, thickly vegetated crater walls raising several altitudes and with ample opportunities for walking, birding, fishing, and canoeing.

How to get there

Direct tro-tros from Kumasi to Abono takes no more than one hour. The alternative is to take a tro-tro to Kuntansi, where you can pick up a shares taxi to Abono. Either way, all vehicles leading in this direction leave Kumasi from Asafo station at fare of GH₵4.50.

There is a hotel in Abono, apparently anonymous and more lavish. It has a great lakeshore location, with a swimming beach directly in front (reputedly there is no bilharzias) and a balcony of proportions for evening view of the lake and relaxation. The price of rooms appears to vary ranging from GH₵30.00, GH₵50.00, GH₵60.00 and more. Food can be cooked on request for around GH₵10.00 per plate- fish with yam chips or rice, much as you’d expect. In the village, a couple of shops also sell beer and soft drinks. (Prices as of Nov 2016)

Lake Bosomtwi is a place for everyone. Are you a geographer, an Environmentalist, a Historian, Climatologist or a Biologist? You have something to take home, come and see and experience.



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