Destination of the week - Koforidua
A city surrounded or protected by mountains. Legend has it that the first occupants of the town arrived from the Ashanti Kingdom in 1875 and found the mountains already well placed, which is believed to be the home of the gods of this great town. Koforidua is the town this mountain protects .
It is believed that a man called Kofi Ofori who had built his hut under a huge mahogany tree is the originator of the name. After a hard day’s work, the tree provided shelter and a place for tired farmers who were returning from their farms to relax.
As time passed it became very common for these farmers to say that they were going to rest under Kofi Ofori’s tree. In Twi, the local language, tree is known as "dua" and therefore a mix of Kofi Ofori’s and tree, becomes "Koforidua." It is in many ways a very unique city. It has one roundabout and one main traffic light. It is the capital of the Eastern region of Ghana which is called by most youths around the country as "Koftown".
Top 3 tour sites
The Boti Falls
Boti Falls is a 30m high waterfall within the Boti Forest Reserve about 30 minutes East of Koforidua. It is situated in a village called Boti in the Manya Krobo district in the Eastern Region .There are actually two falls at Boti: The upper falls and the lower falls. These are the main features of the Boti Falls (what has widely been talked about is the lower falls). The locals describe it as male and female (this description is for the lower falls only). When the volume of water is high especially during the rainy season, the two meet in what the locals describe as ‘a mating ceremony’. This ceremony is ‘graced’ by the rainbow that is formed by the splashing water. To get to this beautiful ‘mating’ ceremony, visitors will have to descend over 70 steps. The steps offer timely exercise for people who have not had an exercise in a long time and the plunge pool formed at. What do you mean by the last part of this sentence? It sounds incomplete.
The Umbrella Rock
The Umbrella Rock is about thirty minutes walk in the forest from Boti falls. It can also be reached by car in about 10 minutes. Ask the guides at Boti Falls for directions. The rock is sited on a high land and thus, making it possible to watch nature hundreds of miles away into the green. The Umbrella Rock is referred to as Akatamann, which simply means Umbrella in the Akan dialect.
In order to get to the umbrella rock, one has to hike up a mountain popularly called the Stubborn Mountain. This name emanates from the entirely rough and rocky pathway covered in dirt, which makes the climb a slippery one. At some points, you feel like you are looking straight up at the rock you are about to climb and you rely on the trees along the pathway to help you up. Along the way lies a cave that is thousands of years old. There is an overhang which served as a means of shelter for cavemen thousands of years ago. The rock is extremely hard and for this reason, has barely eroded over time.
The Aburi Botanical Gardens
This is one of the most beautiful, peaceful and fascinating places in Ghana . The Garden covers an area of 64.8 hectares (160 acres) but only a third has been developed into a formal garden with the remaining forming the Botanical reserve. The Aburi Botanic Garden is located in the cooler mountains north of Accra (about 45 minute drive).
Visiting the gardens is both an educational and aesthetic experience, with beautiful palm lined lanes and a wide variety of traditional, medicinal plants, including a silk cotton tree that is the sole survivor of the original forest that once covered the Aburi hills.
This species is one of the largest trees in West Africa, growing to 48m or more. It has over the years become a very important and popular tourist site in Ghana with groups, schools and several tourists frequenting the place all year round.