Kakum Rain Forest

(Kakum rain forest)

For most MPAGErs, the Discovery Channel was the closest they’d ever been to a rain forest.  That changed last Saturday.

Students arrived at the Kakum National Park, a government preserved luscious rain forest north of Cape Coast, around noon.

(Entrance to the rain forest trail)

Kakum was established in 1932 and officially opened in 1994. The park attracts thousands of tourists each year due to its exotic and rare population of plants, butterflies, birds, and elephants. Kakum’s largest attraction is the canopy walk.

The canopy walk is a world famous attraction that allows visitors to walk across a suspended rope bridge on the rain forest’s canopy (100 feet in the air).  From the treetops, students would be able to see the rain forest from the perspective of the forest’s climbers and flyers.

(Borley Quaye makes her way across the rope bridge)

Students clamored along a stony path led by a Ghanaian tour guide. Warm rain poured from perfectly clear skies, but everyone was determined to finish the hike and reach the canopy walk.

“This is really about to be a spiritual experience for me I guess because I’ve never done anything like this before,” said Roman Johnson as he hiked to the canopy. “And we’re so closely in tune with nature.”

The forest was teeming with life. Thick tangles of vine hung low from skinny and thick branches. Fat, ancient trees poked the clouds. Frogs croaked, birds chirped, and the wind sang. After 45-minutes, MPAGErs arrived at the beginning of the canopy walk.

(Entangled vines in the rain forest)

 “Pray for me, “ Khadijah Aleem told the camera before her first step.

A narrow opening only permitted four students to stagger across the bridge at a time. Miles of forest stretched in each direction and with each step or gush of wind, the bridge swayed.

When students finished the daunting canopy trek, their stomachs were growling. Before visiting Kakum National Park, students purchased a ram from the community to barbecue. On the way to the MPAGE house, the bus stopped by the market and students picked up some condiments to accompany the barbecue Hajj prepared.

(Emmanuel Saint-Ange poses with dinner)

In the evening, MPAGErs enjoyed a family feast of rice and barbecued ram seasoned to perfection with Hausa (a West African tribe) spices.

Written by Kwabena ‘Kobi’ Ansong

August 4, 2012, Accra, Ghana

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