Lake Bosomtwe is a little gem, hidden away among high hills in the Ashanti Region. It was this trip I finally considered myself as having been in the region. Passing through and staying in Kumasi for trainings just did not cut it.
I almost did not go on this trip but after an emotionally draining week, it was the best decision I could have made. With an awesome group of other volunteers (some which I met for the first time there), we stayed at the Lake Inn, which is run by dream couple Ra and Abena. They allowed us to sleep more people in each room than the usual, did bonfires for us and whipped up an awesome BBQ chicken dish.
Lake Bosomtwe formed out of a crater and is about 10.5 km in diameter. Little towns and resorts have formed all around it, thus being central to the local economy. Every morning, fishermen paddle out on planks of wood to check their nets, women fetch water from the shores and kids jump in for a quick and cold bath.
One side seems to be better developed than the other with a decent road that runs alongside the shore. The other side, I never even saw but Abena mentioned how difficult it is to pass. So much so that taxis avoid going there if they can. This came up in conversation when I was asking about routes to take for a jog. We ended up discussing how limited mobility is and how dangerous it is for pregnant women. For a place that should be raking it in with tourists, the surrounding area should be better developed. I have seen this too, time and time again with places in the Philippines. It is a shame, when locals could benefit from the way tourism can stimulate an economy and more so, be the impetus for [what should be basic] standards of living: good roads, electricity, running water. Places like Lake Bosomtwe need more people like Ra and Abena, who are not just there for business but are trying to improve the lives of their neighbors too. Abena was full of ideas to improve roads, create a water transport service, teach awareness on water and sanitation, etc. They are a young couple, capable of so much. I know she will make some of those ideas a reality. Also, if you ask me, Peace Corps should place a volunteer there.
I have just realized that maybe I am making it sound like it is not worth it to go just yet. But it is. Right now, it is not crowded, as if not a lot of people know it is there. We got to sit at the water’s edge, enjoy the soft ripples caused by paddles and wind, play with the kids and splash around as if we too were children. I cannot wait to go back.
To have this secluded getaway so close from the crazy hustle and traffic of Kumasi is a treat. At most it is an hour away from the city. If relaxing is what you are after, Lake Bosomtwe is it. Bring your swimming suit, a two yard and a good book. That is really all you need.