Traveling to amazing destinations is the best travel experience ever. Ghana is one travel destination you would love to visit anytime you think of adventure. Remember childhood when school is planning a trip to some of these adventurous places, we all hurry to pay so we can experience. Nzulezu stilt village is a destination I will pay twice to visit.
Nzulezu stilt is a popular village in Ghana because it is built on a lake.
Near the coast at the far western side of Ghana, near the border with Cote d’Ivoire, is a village that is unique in all of Ghana. Spectacular scenery of the 400-year old stilt propped water settlement of Nzulezu, is a unique village built on stilts in Lake Tadane, which is home to hundreds of people in the Western Region. They believe that is the place their gods want them to settle, no wonder it is one of the most visited villages in Ghana.
Nzulezu is a Nzema word meaning ‘surface of water’. The inhabitants of the village are said to have migrated from Walata, a city in the ancient Ghana Empire, the earliest of the Western Sudanese States. According to tradition, ancestors of the village were brought to their present place by a snail. You can just imagine how slow the trip was but they had believed.
The serene ambiance of the surrounding landscape, coupled with the general activities of life on stilts points to a dynamic relationship between man and nature. It is essentially one long pier, called Main Street by the locals, with buildings constructed on both sides. One side of the ‘street’ are living quarters while the other side of the street has businesses, the school, a community center, and other commercial ventures.
Nzulezu stilt village is adapted to the unique environmental conditions, and all activities such as the pounding of fufu (a traditional meal), schooling, worship, baptisms, and burials are carried out on the lake. It is said that the lake averts possible disasters such as fire outbreaks.
The people of Nzulezu stilt village still adhere to traditional norms and taboos. For instance, Thursday is a sacred day on the lake, and on this day, the villagers do not engage in any strenuous activity. This is what they believe their gods want, it is more like a resting day for their gods.
It is not known why the village has been built over the water, the main activities of its inhabitants is agriculture, while the fishery plays a secondary role.
Why it’s a must-visit destination
This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on January 17, 2000, in the Cultural category. The village was nominated to become a World Heritage Site for its importance in anthropology: in addition to being one of the few ancient settlements on stilts and platforms left in the world, there is a preserved wealth of local traditions connected with the cult of the lake. The village host local and international tourist every year.
How and when to get there
The Nzulezu stilt village has been opened to tourism, but with certain constraints (visitations are allowed only once a week). The village can be reached only by a canoe; the route, which crosses the rain forest, takes about an hour to 5 km away. In the village there is a church and a school. As the village is extremely isolated, Nzulezo suffers from numerous health problems, including the vast spread of malaria.