Wli Waterfall Ghana is the place to go if you want to experience the natural, serene, and mountainous side of Ghana. Cascading from a height of about 80 meters, Wli is the highest waterfall in Ghana.
Locally pronounced as ‘vlee,’ these waterfalls mark the border between Ghana and neighbouring Togo. Wli Waterfall Ghana comprises of two distinct parts – the upper falls and the lower falls. While most are satisfied visiting the lower part, those with a zeal for adventure hike to the upper falls.
As per official records, more than 22,000 visitors trek to Wli waterfall each year. I’ve had my tryst with Wli Waterfall Ghana, and it was absolutely incredible. Now, let me help you plan your trip to this beautiful natural wonder.
Wli Waterfall Ghana: A Brief Overview
Ghana has many beautiful travel destinations. Its beautiful beaches, national parks & wildlife sanctuaries (Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary being one of my favourites) and cultural heritage are bound to leave travellers mesmerised.
Wli Falls is one such beautiful attraction of Ghana. The falls are located in the lush Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary lies very near to the border of Togo, which itself is another fascinating country.
Here are a few things that you must know before visiting the Wli Falls Ghana:
Volta (one of Ghana’s sixteen administrative regions), West Africa
From Accra (capital city of Ghana) to Wli: 220 kilometres
From Hohoe (in the Volta region) to Wli: 22 kilometres
|Best time to visit
April to October
The currency used in Ghana is the Ghanaian Cedi. I’ll be mentioning the conversion rates in terms of the Ghanaian Cedi (GHS), and the American Dollar (USD) at the time I travelled.
1 USD = 5.43 GHS
By taxi, by tro tro (local public transport taxi service)
|Highlight of the trip
The beautiful Wli waterfalls
|Other things to do
Climb Mount Afadjato – the highest mountain in Ghana
Visit and understand some ecotourism projects
Visit the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
To be honest, Wli waterfall Ghana isn’t a very popular destination to visit based on the Google search results. There are not many blogs out there that talk about how wonderful this place is, and what it takes to plan a trip to this natural wonder. So, let me guide you through this.
Taking the Tro Tro to Wli Waterfall Ghana
For starters, a tro tro is the most popular form of public transport all across Ghana. In simple words, it’s a public minivan that can be hailed at any point along its route. These tro tros are privately owned, and the cheapest possible mode of transport in Ghana.
Tro tro-ing Around Ghana: Ground Rules
When travelling in a tro tro in Ghana, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. Here are the ground rules for tro tro-ing around Ghana.
|Where to find a tro tro: For short distances, you can head to one of the many tro tro stops. For long-haul routes or town-to-town travel, make your way to a tro tro station.|
|Buying a ticket: For rides within the city, you simply have to pay your fare to the ‘mate’ on the tro tro. For long-distance rides, buy your ticket at the tro tro station.|
|Finding the right tro tro: While some tro tros have the destination written on the front, many don’t. Most of the times, you’ll notice the ‘mate’ shout out destinations as the tro tro slows down. Locals are generally aware of where the tro tro is headed, so it’s really best to ask.|
|Departure times: The idea is for the tro tro to make as much money as possible. So, it’s not going to leave until the mate thinks it’s absolutely full and has no more scope for any squeezing. So, as a tip, try getting on those that are relatively full.|
|The ride: Do not expect a comfortable ride that you can spread your legs in. You are definitely going to get a seat, so don’t worry about that. However, you most certainly won’t have any personal space. Seats are arranged in a way that maximizes the van’s capacity. People, goods, and sometimes animals even, are crammed together in what makes for one hell of a ride.|
|Luggage: As a traveller, you are going to have luggage with you. Most of the time, bigger bags are adjusted on top of the tro tro. So, make sure that your bag has a cover in order to protect it from the rain.|
Tip: Always carry enough change when you’re to ride in a tro tro.
From Accra to Hohoe
Now, here’s what you do to get to Wli waterfall Ghana from Accra in a tro tro.
Head to Tema Station in Accra (ask any local for directions in case you’re lost). Next, hop on to a tro tro that will take you to Hohoe – an administrative district in the Volta region. This should roughly cost you about 20 GHC one way and will take approximately 4-5 hours depending on the traffic, roads, etc.
Also, in case you feel lost at any point, you can ask any local for Wli waterfalls directions.
Tip: For a relatively comfortable ride, try to get a seat by the window at the back. This way, you won’t be bothered by other passengers wanting to get on and off the tro tro.
From Hohoe to Wli
Once you get off at Hohoe, you can either take another tro tro or a taxi to Wli waterfall. It’s a 30-45-minute drive, and a tro tro will cost you about 3 GHC per person. Note that it can get difficult getting a ride from Hohoe to Wli sometimes. As advice, do not wait for a tro tro if it’s too late and dark. For the sake of your safety, go for a taxi despite it being more expensive.
Tip: For more information on the nitty-grities of commuting in tro tros, you can visit www.accratrotro.com.
Stages of Exploring the Natural Wonder
The Wli waterfalls are nature’s wonder and you have to go through stages to see it in its entirety. Although a lot of travellers visiting the region for the first time opt to go in for a day tour from Accra that includes Wli waterfalls, Afadjato Gbledi and Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, I visited the falls myself.
Here are the stages of the Wli Waterfall exploration:
Arrival at the Wli Waterfall Ghana
Finally, you shall arrive at the entrance of Wli waterfalls, in the luscious green tropical forests of the region. Here, you’re going to have to pay an arrival fee. The fee differs depending on whether you want to visit just the lower part of the falls or both lower and upper.
Ghanaians: 15 GHC (2.85 USD); Non-Ghanaians: 20 GHC (3.8 USD)
|Both lower and upper falls
Ghanaians: 35 GHC (6.65 USD); Non-Ghanaians: 40 GHC (7.6 USD)
The Wli waterfall entrance fee is lower for students, volunteers, children, and those travelling in groups. If you want to engage in photography, you’ll have to pay an extra fee – different for cell phone and professional cameras.
At the entrance, there is also a tourist information centre, in case you need details of any sort.
The falls are a 45-minute walk away from the entrance. The path is absolutely beautiful – log bridges, fresh fruits hanging off branches of trees, and the sound of birds and insects.
Getting Closer to the Falls: The Experience
As you pace between the tall leaves to the final scene of the waterfall, the sound of water gushing down forcefully can be heard. Finally, we reached a clearing, and one more turn opened up to the roaring waterfall. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Wli waterfalls stood there in complete grandeur, and it was a sight I am never getting over.
At some point, the stream looked like a semiprecious stone and was as white as snow.
In that moment, everything felt worth it. The crammed tro tro ride from Accra to Hohoe, the sweating, the pushing, and the chaos. Floating in the water on my back, all I could see was the gushing water, some exotic birds, fruit bats, and all shades of green.
Hiking to the Upper Falls: For the Adventurers
While the walk to the lower falls was all flat and simple, hiking to the upper falls is completely different. I must say, the views are absolutely gorgeous but you must only go for this if you’re absolutely fit and have the stamina for it.
|Average time taken
2 hours from the lower falls
During my hiking trail, I couldn’t help but take a short break to let the beautiful views of Togo (one of Ghana’s neighbours) sink in. You can also take a short trail to the eco village of Wli Todzi, and step closer to the local Ghanaian life.
The journey is slippery, with steep and rough cuts occasionally. This is not going to be an easy hike, but it will definitely be worth it. Wear good and waterproof hiking shoes for the hike.
Then, I got back to hiking since I wanted to get back before sunset. Sooner than later, I made it. It almost felt like a feat. The best part according to me, was the fact that it’s so quiet up there. The winds near the falls were so strong, that I got soaked simply standing and marvelling at the falls.
Note: Ensure that you’re wearing strong climbing boots. Additionally, keep yourself hydrated and well-fed. Only then, will you be able to complete this hike comfortably? Also, you could choose to carry a stick for better grip and support.
The Food Scene Around Wli Falls
The first thing to remember when it comes to eating out in the Volta region is that you cannot be picky. Thanks to the increasing number of tourists, a large number of restaurants now offer a variety of cuisines, but as an advice, be prepared for anything.
You’ll find a number of restaurants in Hohoe town, so make sure you stuff yourself when your tro tro drops you here.
Following are the names of a few eateries in Hohoe –
|Carlito Pizzeria and Club|
|Majestic Ville Hotel|
You will find many other restaurants to pick from. In addition, there are also grocery stores and pharmacies here, where you can pick up some supplies from.
Eating in Wli
When in Wli, you won’t have as many options to choose from. Wli Waterfall Lodge that falls on the way to the waterfalls serves some delicious and reasonably-priced food. Basic refreshments and beverages can be found at the tourist information centre.
My advice to you would be to carry some food with you – bread, chips, energy bars, chocolates could come in handy when you’re hungry with not many dining options around. You can also carry cup noodles, and other kinds of ready to eat foods.
In case you plan on spending the night in Wli, your place of stay will most certainly serve freshly cooked food. As a matter of fact, the Voltans are said to be wonderful cooks.
Lodging and Boarding
Not everyone that visits Wli decides to spend a night here. However, I would recommend staying at least a night in this beautiful tropical forest. It will also bring you closer to the food, the culture, and the life of Ghanaians in this remote place.
Camping at Wli Waterfall Ghana
Camping is provided as an additional attraction for travellers that excitedly visit Wli waterfall Ghana. If you made your way here, chances are that you like adventure, and also like camping.
|Camping out here is as easy as speaking to any of the tour guides. They will help you set up your tent, and will also provide you with any other equipment that you need. All of these arrangements are available at the Tourist Information Centre right at the entrance.|
This makes for a great experience because you step out of your comfort zones. I mean, you’re going to be sleeping in the middle of the forest, and eating local food cooked on a bonfire.
Also, you can set up your camp anywhere – imagine waking up to the views of the grand Wli waterfalls.
Note: You can also carry your own camping equipment.
Alternatives to Camping
If you’re not a camping person and are looking out for comfort after a long day, that’s okay.
This region offers reasonable and well-located options of accommodation for visitors. Most of these places have all the basic amenities like water supply, electricity, and bathrooms.
Personally, I would recommend the following places for a night stay:
|Big Foot Safari Lodge (81 GHC per person per night)
This lodge offers dormitories, making it a great option for solo travellers. It is also extremely close to the Wli waterfalls, and thus, highly convenient.
|Wli Waterfall Inn (86.75 GHC per night for 2)
This is a great option for a two-person trip. The owner of this homestay is popular for having great conversations, and his wonderful hospitality.
There’s a lot of other options for stay, and you can pick whatever floats your boat. However, remember that all of the hotels, homestays, or guesthouses are going to be basic. You most certainly won’t get access to an internet connection, and power cuts might be frequent. Try to embrace it and enjoy it for a night. It’s a great experience.
The Climate of Wli
Temperatures in this region do not vary much. Average temperatures vary between 20 and 30 degree Celsius throughout the year.
The Wet and the Dry
Rainy season in Wli lasts from April to October. While the falls are stronger, prettier, and grander in these months, make sure you exercise more caution. Paths in the forest get slippery and gets even tougher to undertake the hike to the upper falls. On the positive side, the forest is much greener, fresher, and vibrant.
November to February are drier months in Wli. However, even around this time of the year, the falls are not left dry and tourists continue to visit the region.
Backpack Essentials on your Trip to Wli Waterfall Ghana
Visiting a place as close to nature as Wli Waterfalls is exciting, but it is necessary to pack well. Following are a few things that must mark your backpack when you visit the mighty waterfalls.
|Light, comfortable clothes
Sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes or boots
Hat and sunglasses
Windcheater or poncho
Water and energy-inducing snacks
In addition to these, carry toiletries, and any sort of personal medication that you’d pack on any other trip.
Blue is the New Black
I’d like to mention that even if blue might be your favourite colour, avoid wearing it here. This is because various shades of blue are known to attract the tse-tse fly. These flies, if infected, are responsible for causing the deadly sleeping sickness in humans.
It’s Not All About the Falls – Other Things to Do
Don’t worry, travelling all the way to the Volta region is going to be much more rewarding. The Wli Waterfall Ghana is beautiful but it doesn’t just end there. Here are a few other things that you could choose to do when you visit the region:
Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary
Tafi Atome is a little village in Ghana’s Volta region and is home to hundreds of mona monkeys. These monkeys are found in parts of West Africa, and apparently, they were considered to be sacred at some point. However, with the gradual shift of villagers to Christianity, there was a decline in the belief and thus, in the number of monkeys.
In order to protect a dying population, the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary came into existence. The monkeys here are calm and quiet. There’s almost no threat to you unless and until you bother them first. You can feed them bananas that are included in the small entrance fee to be paid.
Although I did not visit the Tafi Atome Sanctuary, I visited the Boabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary located in the Brong Ahafo region in South Ghana. It was a beautiful experience.
Climb the Highest Mountain in Ghana
If you’re someone that likes hiking and climbing, you should certainly consider this trek. Standing tall at 885 meters, Mount Afadjato is the highest mountain in Ghana. In exchange for a small fee, you can make your way to the top, and enjoy the amazing views.
Mount Afadjato can be climbed and explored with or without a tour guide. There is also a waterfall called Tagbo about 4 kilometers away from the mountain. Make your way there if your heart isn’t full with the Wli waterfalls yet.
Wli is not short of such projects that aim at providing alternate forms of livelihood to natives. One such project you can visit is the Village Ostrich Farm. It is in association with an NGO, and the motive is to create sustainable jobs for locals, through the sale of eggs, rearing of giant birds, etc.
If you have some more time in hand, stop by at this beautiful lake on your way back to Accra. Lake Volta is the largest man-made reservoir in the whole world. It’s spread across 8502 square kilometres and is used by locals as a means of transport. You can sit by the lake, and watch the fishermen rowing away.
If you like, you can also spend a night here. There are a number of homestays and guesthouses around the lake, and they make for a peaceful retreat.
If you want to explore the region but want to stay away from all the hassle, I would suggest you take one of the Eco Volta Adventure Tour from Accra. This tour will take you to Afadjato Gbledi, Wli waterfalls and Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. This is something I would recommend for people who are short of time and are unfamiliar with the region.
Wli Waterfalls Ghana: The Trip of a Lifetime
My day trip to Wli falls was an absolute dream come true. The sound of the gushing water, the chirping birds, and the rustling leaves is still so fresh in my head. If I had the opportunity to go back, I’d agree in a jiffy.
I had my tryst with West Africa, and it was incredible. Now, it’s your turn to set out on this exciting journey.
Happy wayfaring 🙂
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