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Bosumtwi Lake


Location Guide

This lake and its surrounding crater was created by a large meteorite strike that took place around 1.07 million years ago. The lake is around 25sq km, and up to 90m deep, while the crater it is within is larger, with crater walls rising to 600m and covering an area of 49sq km, 8.6km across at its widest and 8.1km at its narrowest, this is the largest natural fresh water body in Ghana, and is filled by rainwater. Lake Volta being artificially created by adding dams.

Over long historic periods the level of the water has risen to the lowest rim point of the crater and down to only a small pond. It is said it was a small pond up to about 300 years ago. In more recent history the lake levels have increased submerging several villages, and causing people to move up the slope.

The legends say that in 1648 an Ashanti hunter named Akora Bompe from the city of Asaman was chasing an injured antelope through the rainforest. Suddenly, the animal disappeared in a small pond. It was as if this body of water wanted to save the animal's life. The hunter never got the antelope, though he settled close to the water and started catching fish. This place he named “Bosomtwe”, meaning “good antelope”. This story suggests that at that time the lake level was very low. The large dead trees standing offshore in the lake is also evidence of this, for they are over 300 years old.

Some people like to use the hotels on this lake as their base for exploring this part of Ghana rather than being in Kumasi.

The white plank in the foreground is the fishing boat

Click on these images to see larger versions

Some local girls bathing in the lake

Locals hold the lake sacred, with several groups having different beliefs. Fishermen don't use traditional boats but a modified tree trunk, that looks like a shaped plank and their hands to get along. You can often see nets drying and a forest of small sticks, coming out of the water marking where the nets are currently located. Locals bathe in the lake, and it is said to be safe to swim in. A number of the hotels have beaches.

Walking the total circumference is quite a journey but undertaken by some, you can also hire a bicycle to travel, but tracks are not good. You can hire canoes, pedaloes and similar.

Fishing and birding are other attractions. There are quite a few birds some you can get quite near.

Each village in the lake area has its own shrine or fetish grove. With the arrival of Christianity, some of the people gave up former beliefs, though many continue to seek traditional help in bad times or against diseases.

There are about 30 villages near the lake, with a combined population of about 70,000 people.

Currently there are concerns about over fishing and farming development damaging the crater.

NASA Image of this crater
Click on image to see a larger version

We have a fuller and more varied set of photographs in the Bosumtwi Lake Photo Gallery

Location: Bosumtwi Lake, Ghana

Map Reference: 6°30.3′N 1°24.5′W / 6.505, -1.4083 Country/region: Ghana

Map Link:

Aerial photo: see above

Getting there: Located 30km south of Kumasi, about a 45minute drive, via Abono or via Ejisu, both of these places can be reached from Kumasi for about US$1, local taxis allow you to reach the lake. Some hotels also have courtesy vehicles that will collect and drop you off, (you need to check the cost of these).

Access: Via good roads to at least the top of the lake crater.
Website: Wikipedia

Other Useful Websites:

Lake Bosomtwe Ecotourism Map and Guide (notice: "Bosomtwe" is the correct spelling according to Kumasi University)

Lake Bosomtwe Drilling Project

Friends of Lake Bosomtwe NGO Informational Website

Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times:

Charges: There is no official cost to visit the lake, but there is a toll booth where 0.5 GHS is requested, but if an official receipt is requested this is avoided. Some locals may also ask for a fee, but there is no basis for this, if in doubt ask at one of the hotels.

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Bosumtwi Lake Photo Gallery




Page Ref: bosumtwi_lake

Classification: Landscape

Date Updated: 01/2009


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