Discovering Lake Bosomtwe: Ghana’s Only Natural Lake

Lake Bosomtwe is a solitary natural lake located in Ghana, situated within a prehistoric impact crater that has a diameter of about 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles). It is situated approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of Kumasi, which is the capital city of Ashanti and is an admired recreational area. In close proximity to the crater lake of Lake Bosomtwe, there are about 30 villages with a combined population of around 70,000 people. Abono is the most favored village amongst the others where tourists typically settle.

Lake Bosomtwe

The Ashanti community regards Bosomtwe as a sacred lake. According to their customary belief, the souls of the departed come here to say goodbye to the goddess Asase Ya. Consequently, it is only permitted to fish in the lake from wooden planks. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including the endemic cichlid Hemichromis frempongi, and the near-endemic cichlids Tilapia busumana and T. discolor.

It is believed to have been formed about one million years ago due to meteoritic action, where a crater was created by an asteroid impact and gradually filled with rainwater. Being the only natural lake in Ghana and one of six major meteoritic lakes in the world, it is considered a unique national resource. The lake catchment spans two districts, Bosomtwe and Bosome-Freho, and contains a mixture of three unique ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and mountains, which contribute to the conservation of vital biodiversity.

Fishing on Lake Bosomtwe

The major tree species in the area include Terminalia, Ceiba pentandra, African oil palm, Senegalese evergreen, and fig tree. The only faunal species of serious importance for conservation purposes is the tree pangolin. Other species found on the reserve include the western green mamba, the marsh mongoose, the red-chested cuckoo, the white-crested hornbill, and the lesser spot-nosed monkey.

Tourists interested in exploring natural sites and learning about the culture and biodiversity of Ghana may find a visit to Lake Bosomtwe worthwhile.

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Sophia Celestina Apenkro

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