Lake Bosomtwe is the only natural lake in Ghana, Africa we Ghanaians can boost of as a nation. It is also an important national cultural and natural site of particular importance for international conservation.
Why the name Lake Bosomtwe?
According to legend, in 1648 an Ashanti hunter named Akora Bompe from the city of Asaman was chasing an injured antelope through the rainforest. Suddenly, the animal disappeared in a small pond.
It was as if this body of water wanted to save the animal’s life. The hunter never got the antelope and he settled close to the water and started catching fish. He named the lake “Bosomtwe”, meaning “antelope god”.
This story suggests that at that time the lake level was very low. The large dead trees standing offshore in the lake also evidence this, for they are over 300 years old.
Facts about Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana’s natural lake
Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana’s natural lake is located about 30 km south-east of Kumasi, Ashanti Region, and is a popular tourist destination every year receiving thousands of tourists. There are about 30 villages near this crater lake, with a combined population of about 70,000 people.
Tourists who visit the lake and intend to spend some days settle in hotels around the lake. Activities for tourists include canoe riding, swimming, and many other activities. There is a traditional belief according to the Ashanti’s, they consider the Lake Bosomtwe scared water.
According to traditional belief, the souls of the dead come here to bid farewell to the god Asase Ya (land goddess). Because of this, it is considered permissible to fish in the lake only from wooden planks and it is a taboo to fish with a modern boat.
Before the asteroid impact
Before the asteroid impact, the area was a lush rainforest filled with animals. Following the impact, the resulting crater filled with water forming Lake Bosumtwi. Periods of heavy rainfall filled the crater with water, causing the lake level to rise above the lowest points of the rim. Lake Bosomtwe was formed by a falling Meteorite about 1.3 million years ago. This was discovered by Rock analysis in 1965 in the USA. Fossils of many animals including Lions, Elephants, Tigers, Black Cobras, Pythons, Alligators, and many more were found along the lake’s banks indicating that these animals once inhabited the area around the lake.