Thirty tour operators and journalists from Nigeria on Wednesday experienced life in Nzulezo village built with woods and raffia on Lake Amansuri.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who was among the team reported that the place is called Nzulezo Stilt Village and is located in the Western Region of Ghana.
NAN also reports that village has many wooden houses built on piles of wood and rafia with one central walkway serving as their road.
The team was led to the village by two tour guides who are indigenes of the village. They also narrated the history, tradition and culture of the village to tour operators and journalists.
The tour operators and the journalists were in Ghana to attend the Accra Weizo fair organised by Africa Travel Quarterly (ATQ) in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
The fair with the theme, “Seamless Travel in West Africa” would start tomorrow, June 28, 2019 and end on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
The tour guides in separate interviews during the tour told newsmen that the village used to attract tourists from across the globe due to its unique features.
They told newmsen that the settlement, located about 90 kilometres west of Takoradi in the Jomoro District of the Western Region used to attract several local and foreign tourists.
They said that the most striking features that had been catching the attentions of tourists at Nzulezo were the wooden houses hanging some five feet above the lake level.
One of the tour guides, Mr Fredrick Yankey, said that their ancestors told them that they were led by a small god from Mali thousands of years ago to settle in Nzulezo.
He said that the villagers are both traditionalists and Christians.
Yankey said that children from Nzulezo were usually trained on how to paddle small boats because that was their major means of transportation.
“I am a tour guide and a native of this village; we are happy living here, though secluded from people living on the land but we are not different from them.
“We are majorly traditionalists and Christians and we have three churches here built by the community members.
“Our major means of transportation is local boats and we encourage our children to learn how to paddle them from a tender age.
“We are happy living here because we do not have security problems. We have rules guiding us which are strictly adhered to by everyone,” he said.
Another tour guide, Mr David Blay, said that the women of Nzulezo were farmers while their men used to produce local gin.
He said that their local language: `Nzema’ was derived from the Akan language.
He also said that some of the villagers were living on the on the land.
“We usually relocate our aged parents to the land when they are no longer able to paddle boats.
“Our major occupation is farming and the distillation of local gin. We have traders among us who sell our products within the village.’’
NAN also reports that the tour operators travelled a distance of about five kilometers in a local canoe on the lake from Beyin to Nzulezo village and expressed how impressed they were with what they saw at the village and in other places they visited.
Mr Gideon Onuoha, a tour operator and Chief Executive Officer of Deontours Limited, expressed his excitement at the visit to the site.
He said that it would be properly promoted among tourists across the globe.
“It is amazing to see people secluded on water and still living happily.
“It is also amazing to know that these people are living a normal life, having sound health despite the dirty water they consume daily.
“ I am quite moved with this and I have donated a token for the kids, to support their education.
“I am already marketing the site in order to bring in people to have a taste of what we had seen here,” he said.
Also, Miss Joy Nwachukwu, a representative of Nje Tours, said that she was fascinated by residents’ hospitality and show of love.
She said that having explored the stilt village, definitely West African would take the centre stage in the world’s tourism space.
According to her, truly happiness resides within an individual as the people of Nzulezo appeared happy despite been secluded from the town.
“The village’s environment is quite fascinating, serene and cool.
“I respect these people for the fact that they have been able to maintain their culture and tradition.
“I was made to understand that a German resides among them and has built his house there. This is great and it is a place tourists should visit,” she said.
Miss Esther Edoho, Chief Executive Officer, Portable Travels, said it was such a beautiful experience and a place to explore for tourists, a beautiful destination to sell.
”I have been to Cape Coast, Greater Accra but this is my first visit to this part of Ghana; it is a site to sell to those that do not have phobia for water,” she said.
Newsmen also report that the tour operators also explored: Karela Beach and Resort, Golden Beach Hotel, Elmina, Cape Coast, and Maaha Beach Resort in Atuabo.