This weekend we had free time to do whatever we wanted. I decided to take a solo trip to Nzulezu, which is in the Western Region of Ghana. The village is famous because it dates back to the 15th century and the entire community lives in houses that are on stilts in the middle of a river.
On Friday morning I left the house and grabbed a tro-tro headed to Takoradi, the fourth largest city in Ghana, since it was in the direction of my final destination. After arriving in Takoradi I walked around town for a bit and eventually found a tro-tro headed to Nzulezu. I waited for the van to fill up so that we could depart and made friends with a few other passengers. Finally, we headed toward our destination and had a view of the ocean the entire way. A friend I made on the tro-tro told me when to get down once we arrived in Nzulezu and pointed me to the tourism office that would guide me to the actual village.
My tour guide, John, was a boy who had graduated JHS (Junior High School) and was saving money to go to SHS (Senior High School). First, we paddled down a canal that feeds into the larger river that Nzulezu is on top of. He told me that in the dry season, you can walk or drive to the mouth of the river but in the rainy season, you have to paddle and that all the residents of Nzulezu have their own canoes to use for travel. John also explained that a lot of wildlife used to live around the canal but the motorboats that people have begun to use have scared off most of the animals. We could see the stilt structures from afar and arrived after paddling for about 30 minutes as well as a couple of houses. Once we tied the boat down, I got to walk around and saw peoples’ houses, a small guest house, a couple of community areas and a primary school that children living there attend. Around 500 people live in Nzulezu and most are fishers while a few community members farm the land on the other side of the riverbank. I talked to many of the residents for a while and bought a couple souvenirs.
While I wanted to stay in the area for the night, I realized that I was almost out of cash so I made my way back to Cape Coast. After a long drive in a shared car and tagging along on a mega-bus that was headed to Accra, I finally reached Cape Coast and met with everyone at the guest house.