HomeBentsifi's TattleOf Cape Coast cousins, touring cocoa farms & a swinging see-saw in...

Of Cape Coast cousins, touring cocoa farms & a swinging see-saw in the forest by the ‘Big Tree at Oda’

It’s International Day of Forests. That was last Monday, March 20. This year, the theme is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption.” I mention it to my Cape Coast cousin Raj, who I’m currently on the phone with, and she regrets not having known earlier. “It’s rather late for anything elaborate to be done but perhaps a dinner-time conversation with the family on the importance of forests will suffice for today.”


There, I knew Raj would make a comment about this that would bring meaning to the idea. Throughout the years, days are set aside to celebrate many causes, issues, and subjects. But, sometimes – and I’m sure you feel the same – it feels so far-fetched to do anything significant about it, especially if it is a subject close to your heart. But, you see, even just having a conversation about it with your family, or some friends, can make a world of difference! Not only does it help to create awareness about the cause, but it also offers the opportunity for ‘tittle tattle’, even like we’re having here, now.

Book a WangoWango Tour: Connect with nature on our ‘Dine-in-the-Wild’ ‘OKERE Valley Fix’

Better to tattle about this, than about other people’s lives which does not put any food on your table! The day before, Raj had experienced her first WangoWango encounter! She had visitors from the US, Glenda, and her family, who wanted to appreciate the value of cocoa, and wanted to visit a cocoa farm to educate, especially, their daughter Zariya. So, the ever-resourceful WangoWango tourism curators, yours truly, made calls and put together a road trip itinerary to a farm in Asamankese.

Being a Sunday, we didn’t have to leave Accra too early to avoid traffic. The roads were empty, so the drive was smooth. And rather quick. Farm manager, Mr Adu acted as our pleasant and very knowledgeable guide. He heads the cooperative in the district and was happy to take us round, explaining the planting, nurturing, and harvesting processes. We lost track of time as we took an idyllic but unexpectedly sweat-breaking hike along a small portion of the 10-acre farm. Raj was surprised how the seemingly low-lying ground could give such a moderate cardiac workout. The dead cocoa leaves strewn along the paths hide the real inclination. Thankfully, dressed appropriately in comfortable sneakers, it was a welcome addition to the day’s activities.

Book a WangoWango Tour: Connect with nature on our ‘Dine-in-the-Wild’ ‘OKERE Valley Fix’

When it was ended, it felt invigorating as we stood at the entrance of the farm gazing out at the beautiful Koforidua-Wenchi escarpment – also home to Atewa Forest – a distance away! After posing for a few selfies, we bid Mr Adu and co goodbye and took off, further westward to see the “Oda Big Tree” – said to be the biggest tree in West Africa – which is nearby at Aprokumase in the Asene Manso Akroso District. Not having been there in a while, I was delighted to see that the site has a facelift, with a new welcome center and signage. It looked so organized. A short forest hike brings you to the enormous trunk of a tree, and upon sighting it, the forest reverberated with some thrilling shrills of delight! And even more so when you get on the suspension swing and get a big push! The ladies so enjoyed this.

The tree is of the Bako species, its botanical name being Tieghemela Heckle. The locals gave it a nickname; Duabrantie (literally – gentleman tree; referring to its strong, virile, energetic stature. There’s a knowledgeable guide here too. A KNUST forestry degree holder who tells us we were in the Essen-Apam Forest Reserve, but I’m just finding out that some claim it’s the Asuboni Forest reserve, and that Duabrantie has a circumference of 12 metres and stands 66.5-90 metres tall. Its girth is 10.11 metres at 1.4 metres and 8.63 metres at 3.1 metres. It’s over 400 years old.

Book a WangoWango Tour: Connect with nature on our ‘Dine-in-the-Wild’ ‘OKERE Valley Fix’

There’s a certain reverence here, in the presence of this magnificence! When you stop to listen, the noise of silence in the forest brings an amalgam of emotions. It is calming, and yet exciting! We soon went for frolics, and when I opened the WangoWango box, there was a lunch of slow-cooked chicken with sweet potatoes to be served. We had it in true Wango style under the shade of a tree opposite the forest, by the roadside, at the visitor center, listening to our own playlist of afro beats, Amapiano and such.

What a relaxing afternoon it’s turned out to be. We felt the breeze brush against our cheeks, sitting under the tree and watching cars speeding past. Yeah, this is the life! Touring in Ghana is just a beautiful thing, when you find the right spots to visit. Today was so good!

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