Near death experience on the summit of Drama- Mountain Afadjato and the caves of Likpe Todome.

I honestly didn’t think I’d make it through the year without going on a break! The year hasn’t ended but can we acknowledge that 2020 has been one heck of a year? It’s been absolutely crazy and working from home even made it worse for me. I’d go hours without taking a break from my screen and at times missing my lunch. The workload has tripled, so much pressure, it’s been manic to say the least.

I decided to finally take a break and just zone out! I took 2 weeks off work and planned a trip with my friend who was also in dire need of a holiday. We were supposed to be somewhere else this year spending her birthday but hey this trip turned out to be the best!

I must admit, I can be the worst planner when it comes to trips. I mean, I’m all for spontaneity! LOL! Someone totally disagrees but all the trips I have planned so far have ended up being mad fun and memorable. 🙂 . The original place I had in mind for our trip was booked to capacity and that was my fault because guess what? I made enquiries 2 days to the start of the trip. lol! I assumed with Covid-19 and all that was happening, folks were not really travelling that much and I figured we’d have the entire place to ourselves. But I was so wrong.

Anyway, the second choice was absolutely the BEST!!! All thanks to me. hahaha. We spent 3 days at the Wli Heights Hotel in Wli, Hohoe. Yes!! We went to the Volta Region. I can confidently chip in here that Wendy’s love for banku and okro soup made her agree without hesitation on the destination.

Now, something we didn’t anticipate was the terrible road network from Akosombo to Kpando. We took public transport and did not foresee a rather long, dusty and bumpy journey. We had the most tiring 5 hour journey to Hohoe. We finally got to the Hohoe station and chartered a taxi to the Wli township (by the way, the locals pronounce it ɛWli). The drive from the station to Wli was pretty awesome! The scenery was to die for. I’m glad the driver didn’t get mad at me for asking continuously whenever I spotted a tall mountain whether it was the famous Afadjato Mountain. Wendy was definitely tired of me at this point. Oh Hmmm.

We got to the Wli Heights Hotel and received a very warm welcome from the staff. There weren’t that many guests the day we arrived. I think we were the second guests to arrive so it was very quiet. We took a bath to clean off all the dust that settled on our skin from the dusty roads before settling down to a delicious meal of proper banku and typical Ewe okro soup at dinner. Wendy says I exaggerate a lot, but guys, the okro soup is the best I have had in a very long time. It was on point and I enjoyed it. After dinner the owner of the hotel, Aunty Martha, such a sweet woman welcomed us and told us some of the places we needed to see. She literally made our trip very fun! She knows all the nice places in and around Wli. We ended up doing the following:

  1. Visited the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
  2. Hiked Mountain Afadjato
  3. Played in the Wli Waterfalls
  4. Visited a Palm Tree Farm and drank fresh palm wine
  5. Visited the ancestral caves of Likpe Todome

On the first day, we visited the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and hiked the Afadjato Mountain. Trust me, if you want to do these two, it is advisable to visit the monkeys first before the hike. You will end up tired if you do the reverse as you will have exerted all your energy on the hike. Our mode of transport during the entire trip in Wli was on a motorcycle with our very able and friendly rider, Sonia. It was our very first time riding on a motorcycle. Our bums suffered the first day, but on the subsequent days we rode like pros. There is a history behind the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. It is believed that the monkeys were messengers to the gods.The guides are very friendly and will tell you everything you need to know. The Mona monkeys are really beautiful creatures! Make sure you buy plenty of bananas if you want to see them. Some of them are friendly and will approach you and even take a picture with you.

From the monkey sanctuary we headed to Mountain Afadjato. We were the only tourists around so let’s just brag that we had the entire Mountain to ourselves to hike. lol! We got a guide and began the hike. It took us 2 hours 45 minutes in total to go up and come down the mountain. Wow! We really enjoyed the hike! We fell twice when we were descending. A few pains here and there but nothing serious. I think it was Karma because Wendy fell and I laughed at her. Not long after I was also on my bum in PAIN!! Wendy laughed at me and about 20 minutes later she was on her bum again. I promise I didn’t laugh…well maybe I did in my head and soon slipped and landed on my side. Thank God I held onto a tree branch sticking out, otherwise it wouldn’t have been funny. Lets just say, we ended up watching our every step critically. hahah! The descent was way harder than the ascent. Safe to say we made it down in one piece!

On the second day, we woke up rather late as the Wli waterfalls was only about a 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Sonia, our guide took us to the place on his motorcycle. We made the necessary payments and began walking to the waterfalls. it took us about 41 minutes to get to the waterfalls. We crossed 9 bridges before getting to the waterfalls. It’s a bonus if you love butterflies as you’ll see many of them on your hike. Again we were lucky to be the only people at the waterfalls when we got there. We spent an hour enjoying the breath-taking beauty of the place, taking lots of pictures and of course playing in the water! We headed out when a couple of tourists arrived trying to keep the covid protocols and socially distance as much as possible.

Next, we went to an oil Palm plantation to enjoy fresh palm wine. The owner kindly showed us the process of tapping the palm wine. We bought an extra bottle and took it back to the hotel to enjoy. We rested a bit at the hotel and headed out to the ancestral caves of Likpe Todome which was a 30 minute ride. We got there and were lucky to be given access to view the caves. The guide however told us that they were officially opening it to the public the next day. We made the necessary payments and began the hike to the caves. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the caves. It was a tedious hike and we looked like we were going to collapse. Lol. Oh my days… Who sent us? We kept on asking ourselves. Now upon reaching the caves, we were supposed to climb through a series of six caverns, each of them different in shape and size. I did 3 whilst Wendy did 2 and half (halfway to the third cave). There were caves that demanded a straight-up vertical ascent. Even using ropes to aid in descent and ascent, it was scary! If you fear heights or being in closed or tight spaces, I don’t recommend this adventure for you. I was getting dizzy halfway on the descent and I had only reached the third cave. We had to head back up which was even scarier but thank God we made it out of the caves. At this point we had seen enough and decided to head back to the hotel.This video definitely describes the caves very well. Make sure you carry a bottle of water and wear sensible shoes. We obviously didn’t!

On the last night, we took a stroll in the town and went to the Togo Border. It’s just about 15 minutes away from the Hotel. We couldn’t cross unfortunately as the borders are still closed. We had Banku and Okro Soup for dinner on our last night and topped it up with chilled palm wine.

Overall, we had a good adventure, met lovely people and learnt a lot about our beautiful country! Totally recommend all the sites to anyone up for an adventure. I also recommend the Wli Heights Hotel. Aside from being close in proximity to most of the tourists sites, the staff are very warm and welcoming.

With love