An Excursion to Lake Bosumtwe.

Lake Bosumtwe is a crater lake close to Kumasi. Bosumtwe means sacred in the Ashanti language. Obosom meaning God and Twe is the River spirit. Winding down the road you get to the lake shore where there is a little office.

Fascinating facts are on display about how the lake was formed, who uses it and what it has been subjected to. Apparently the lake was found by an Ashanti hunter who was chasing an antelope. It disappeared in the lake and instead of hunting the animal the hunter decided to settle by the lake, catching fish instead.

You can hire a motorboat and go around the lake which is what we decided to do. We’re each given life jackets and helped into the boat.

Fishermen are out checking their nets. They’re fishing in the traditional manner on what looks like logs. In fact they are called Peduas and are wooden planks made from an umbrella tree that are paddled by hand to gather fish from the nets. Bamboo which grows in the Bosumtwe forest is used as buoys to locate the nets.

The locals are swimming, washing clothes and generally enjoying the lakeside. This fresh water crater lake was formed when a meteorite hit the earth. The water is safe for swimming and drinking and at present there isn’t bilharzia although this may change if pollution continues to rise.

The locals talk of gas explosions in the lake and this is when the sky is cloudless (January and August) which allows the top water surface to cool. There are two distinct temperatures in the lake — warm at the top and cold in the deeper water. When the waters mix the different gases cause an explosion and fish are killed so it is like an act of god.

Submerged trees are found in the lake as the water levels have risen 30 metres in the last 500 years and the local town Abono has had to be relocated each time. There are many stories about the lake, one is about Abrewa, an old woman who goes to the lake shore alone and Twe, the God impregnates her giving her a son — Twe Abodo. He promises to provide for her so whenever she needs food all she has to do is visit the lake and fish will come.

It’s breathtaking particularly when you’re out on the water. Our children loved swimming in the water and they were shown how to catch the fish with their hands which they thought was brilliant.

It’s a wonderful spot and there are hotels dotted around the lake so definitely a great place to stay. You can go riding, fishing and hiking around the lake. We returned to Kumasi but next time this would be a lovely place to relax for a few days.