Monday, August 9, 2010

They Do Like Bananas!

Mona monkey eating bananas at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary

I can't believe I'm already at this point, but I took my last tourist trip this weekend! Since it was my last trip, I made sure that it would be blog-worthy.

It all started with hitch-hiking a ride from Tamale to Kintampo to meet the IFMSA obroni coming up from Kumasi. I am still very surprised that this haphazardly orchestrated "let's meet up somewhere in the middle of Ghana" plan worked out. I am indebted to the nice gentleman from Accra who was willing to give me a ride.

The roads are infinitely smoother from Tamale to Kintampo than they are from Kumasi, so I ended up arriving at the town's center much earlier than my Kumasi obroni. While waiting at the gas station (called filling stations in Ghana), I run into the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana, Muhammad Mumuni. He was on his way to Tamale and unfortunately got a flat tire and was waiting for the tire to be changed. While we were both waiting, we discussed several topics including the public school system in Ghana and fufu. He greatly admired the shirt I was wearing that said, "Make Fufu. Not War."

After waiting for about twenty minutes, I decided that it would be best if we continued driving towards Accra and attempt to deliberately run into my friends from Kumasi so that this nice gentleman could make it to Accra by sunset (a 12 hour drive). After relaying my plans to my flatmate Shy, who was leading the obroni from Kumasi, we were on our way-- keeping our eyes wide open for a white tro-tro filled with obroni. After just 10 minutes of driving, we found them! There is apparently just one road you can take all the way from Tamale to Accra, which passes through Kumasi, so it was inevitable that I'd be reunited with the obroni.

Bringing an AADT Dai dance pose to Kintampo Waterfalls in Ghana

As soon as I climbed into the tro-tro, we sped towards Kintampo to our first destination, Kintampo Waterfalls. For a 2 Cedi admissions fee, you gain access to these gorgeous waterfalls. I thought it was too cold for a swim, so I busied myself as group photographer. The rocks just underneath the waterfall are very slippery and arranged in such a way that you can slide down the side slopes of the waterfall. The falls are located at the bottom of a small hill and at the top are pavilions perfect for a picnic. We were in a rush to reach our next destination, so after drying off, we were back on the road.

Our next and last stop on this trip was the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary. Even though I'd already been to Mole, I just had to see more animals! At the sanctuary, you can see two species of monkey: the playful Mona monkey and the shy Colobus monkey. Like Mole National Park, the animals at the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary live side by side with the humans of the village. Since most of my assumptions about animals in Ghana had been scrapped on my visit to Mole, I was shocked to see that the Mona monkeys loved interacting with humans and eating bananas! I suppose the association between monkeys and bananas extends far beyond Curious George. The Mona monkeys were all very excited to grab bananas and peanuts right out of our hands!

Just a small note: Although the Mona monkeys live freely with the villagers, two Canadian visiting zoology students reminded us that these monkeys were still wild. Our tour guide probably would never admit to this, but there have been cases where the monkeys would bite or attack the human tourists if they ever felt threatened. So them feed with caution!

Hitch-hiking, waterfalls, and monkeys! What better way to usher in my last week in Ghana?

1 comment:

  1. Hi I run kayobi clothing - we make the 'make fufu not war' shirt you are wearing in your picture. If you dont mind me asking where did you purchase yours from.