|Mount Afadjato. Not that huge.|
Mount Afadjato is Ghana’s highest mountain, reaching 885m. But the usual nicknames given to a country’s highest point are not applied here; no one describes it as ‘the rooftop of Ghana’, for example. And as you arrive at the base at Liati Wote, it’s easy to see why: Ghana’s highest mountain is surrounded by taller ones.
|On the way to the top|
Even the nearest peak, just across the road in the village, looks bigger. As our group from the Ghana Mountaineers pulled on walking boots and paid our hiking fees, I asked Justice, our guide, if the nearby hill was actually in Togo, given how close we were to the border. “No, but it’s much harder to reach the top”, he replied. It seems Afadjato is not even the tallest in its village; its image was quickly becoming irredeemably tarnished.
The answer lies in the complexities of measuring summits and descents in between high points, a familiar issue to anyone who has tried to distinguish between Munros, Corbetts and Grahams in the UK. On the route up, Justice explained that the higher peaks nearby form part of a ridge that switches between Ghana and Togo. So while there are higher points in Ghana, Afadjato is the highest freestanding peak.
|Hot, sweaty and having just been sick|
I think that’s right; Justice wasn’t entirely sure, and didn’t really seem to understand why it mattered. He had a point; a good walk is a good walk, and Afadjato is certainly that. A steep path leads up its western face, with a couple of rocky climbs that provide a nod towards its ‘mountain’ status. And the views at the summit are superb: the Agumatsa Hills, coated by a dark green forest, stretch for miles to the north and south.
Also visible from the top is Tagbo Falls and after descending the hill, we continued along the low-level path to this beautiful waterfall set in a lush forested amphitheatre. The walk up Afadjato had worked up a sweat and Stephen, Quaysie and I splashed under the water to cool off. Once refreshed, we could reflect on our earlier achievement – climbing the highest hill in Ghana that’s not partly in Togo or a bit tricky to get to. Now that’s some achievement.