Travel Journal

Larabanga - Wechiau - December 1 - 2 - Battlefield

(Monday 3 December 2007) by Karin
Woke up early but still needed to do some unpacking and repacking for the weekend. Glad I did laundry yesterday cause even though I don't have a mirror here I can tell by the size of my clothes that I will leave a few kilos behind. Not much left that fits me.
A bus ride to Wa, where I got to listen to the Ghanaian hitparade again, where a taxi driver tired to overcharge us for a ride to the tro-tro station. We walked.
Tro-tro wasn't the usual little bus where they try to fit in as many people as possible but a pick-up truck with a bench on each side and two little ones in the middle. After a 45 min. wait for more people to come, and there was already no space, I decided to pay for the two left over seats at my feet and make sure they enjoyed a little space, and we could leave. My butt was hurting already and some bumps in the road were not helping there. We did make it to Wechiau and the hippo Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary consists of a 40-km stretch down the lenght of the black Volta River, which forms the Upper West Region's boundary with Burkino Faso. The Sanctuary is home to the second largest hippo population in Ghana, with a total of roughly 24 animals.
For the first night we choose to experience a night in the bush on one of the hippo hides or tree platforms. Falling asleep out in the bush to the evening symphony of thousands of crickets, birds, frogs and who knows what else is not as silent as expected but it sure beats the "Rising Sun" disco.
First problem comes around once we are settled on the mattress under the mosquito net. Nature call for Danielle. What do you do? You find your way down, with a flashlight and, tip, check where you sit down. Danielle did not choose her spot very carefully and within seconds she was covered in ants. Ant Attack. Screaming and jumping she races up the ladder and still screaming and jumping undresses. I just laughed. Not very nice, I know, but it sure was a funny sight. Did not laugh for long because they had managed to get into her hair 7-) (which she did not check), so when she found her way back under the mosquitonet she surprised me with a few of her new friends. Ouch. With the help of my flashlight, and when the batteries died, my camera and telephone, we became serial killers and an hour later, even though we were in the minority, most of them had died on the battlefield. Unfortunately only AFTER biting us several times . We sure are no good "Expedition Robinson" material.

Woke up to the dawn bird chorus the next day. Amazing. During the morning we made a canoe trip on the river to see the hippo's. When we got to the river and I saw several canoes with several centimeters of water in them I wasn't really reassured. But when the guide just scooped the water out and got in I figured it probably was safe. During the trip I did scoop out water a few times though. I guess the canoe wasn't leak proof 8-O. The hippos were hard to see but I did see some ears sticking out of the water. As they had young ones we could not go closer. Not if you want to choose for your own safety. And attacked by ants last night, I choose for a safe distance and only got pictures where "find the hippo" is a very appropriate title.
The sanctuary was surely worth it and the experience was even nicer as we where the only tourists.
After our ant attack we decided to sleep on the roof of the lodge. Unfortunately not too well as even though we were dressed in long sleeve t-shirts and long pants, we were cold and we did not have sleeping bags. Did not think we needed these here. Nights surely are getting cooler.

  • terugvoer by Rudy
    • Huis by Karin
  • trouwen? by Mohammet
  • vraagje by jessica
    • Geld he.... by Karin
  • hippo by laila
    • hippo by Karin


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