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BRONG AHAFO REGION


The Brong Ahafo Region is divided into 2 major climatic zones: the southwest sector, which lies in the rain belt, and the northeast sector situated in the savanna belt.

People in this region are Akans. They are principally farmers and raise important cash crops such as cocoa, cassava, yams and maize in addition to a variety of fruits. It rains about 9 months during the year hence the soil is rich and productive. Brong Ahafo is therefore often referred to as the "Bread Basket" of Ghana.


Sunyani - The Capital
Sunyani is a well-planned city with an idyllic environment. It is a pleasant change from the hustle and bustle of larger, more congested cities like Accra and Kumasi. Once a week, Ghana Airways used to provide a scheduled air service from Accra to Sunyani.

If you have planned a visit to the Ashanti Region, then Brong Ahafo would be an easy addition on your travel circuit. Sunyani is just one and one-half hours' drive from Kumasi via one of the country's highways.

The Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Kintampo Waterfalls and Techiman, the birth place of the Akan civilization, are located along the main highway leading into Brong Ahafo.

Techiman
Techiman is 60km northeast of Sunyani by way of a somewhat bumpy, yet passable, road. It is believed that this was the birth place of the Akan. The legend is supported by pre-historic evidence discovered in the area. These relics are now preserved in the Chief's Palace.

The town comes alive on market days (Wednesday through Friday), when people arrive to sell their wares. You will enjoy this typical market scene. The Tano River flows through Techiman, and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the river's large sacred fish, which are said to have golden crowns.

About 6km beyond the city is the town of Tuobodom. The Catholic Monastery is the only one of its kind in Ghana, and may be visited by appointment. The Catholic Church also has a grotto at Asuoeye (about 6km from Techiman).


TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Traditional Cloth-Making In Boama
About 20km from Techiman, on the Sunyani-Techiman Road, is the traditional cloth-making village of Nsuta. There a type of coarse jute-like cloth called "Kyenkyen" which is produced from the bark of a tree by the same name. It is fascinating to watch the cloth-making process of this special fabric that was worn in ancient times, long before the introduction of machine-made textiles.

Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary
Plan a visit to the Monkey Sanctuary at Fiema, which is just 22km north of Nkoranza. Colobus monkeys with black silky fur, cute white noses and long curly tails are everywhere, as well as the light brown, mischievous Mona monkeys. They are an enchanting sight.

Held sacred by the people of Boabeng and Fiema, it is a taboo to kill a monkey. The Government has also taken steps to protect their habitat and to guard against poachers. (The Mona is a worldwide endangered species).

Try to arrive in the villages before 9am, when you will find the monkeys arriving for breakfast. Then they go to the school yard to play! This phenomenon happens every day. For many generations the villagers have encouraged this harmonious blend between man and nature by giving the monkeys access to all parts of the village. They have even planted fruit-bearing trees the monkeys enjoy. When one dies, it is buried in a coffin and special funeral rites are performed.

Entry to the sanctuary is free for tourists. However, there is a small fee charged for taking pictures. Those who intend to observe and study these primates are also charged a fee.

Kintampo Waterfalls
To get to the waterfalls take the highway from Techiman, 75km north to Kintampo. There you will find the beautiful waterfalls where the water flows from the falls and then disappears underground and resurfaces 200 metres away.

Yeji Port
Yeji is one of the many beautiful scenic attractions in Ghana. It is a small fishing port located on the banks of the Volta Lake and is accessible by road as well as by boat from Akosombo.

Kwaku Fri Shrine
The shrine is located in Nwoase, a village some 6km from Wenchi. Right in the centre of Nwoase is a mighty Odum tree. This marks the shrine, which is only accessible on Wednesdays and Sundays. On those days, the traditional priest performs cures for ailments, divinations and pours libation. People who are not cured on the spot are admitted to a native hospital, equipped with wards and consulting rooms. The best time to visit the shrine is November, when the Apoo Festival is celebrated.

Hani Archaeological Site
50km from Wenchi is Hani, one of the best-documented archaeological sites in Ghana. According to experts from the University of Ghana who have been conducting research here, this site is believed to have been inhabited by the Beghos in 1200 B.C. One can still see the ancient caves as well as Stone Age tools such as hammers, cutting blades and grinding stones.

Mim
The only industrial center in the entire Region is located in Mim, some 50km southwest of Sunyani. Mim is situated in the heart of a dense tropical forest which provides trees for one of Ghana's largest timber firms, the Mim Timber Company. Besides its value as an export, the timber from the forest provides raw materials for another important company, Scanstyle Mim, which exports collapsible furniture.

When visiting Mim you will notice two rocky hills called "Mim Buor". They are a fetish to the people at Atekyem Buor and Mim. On a nearby hill is a private resort complex. It has lovely gardens, an orchard swimming pool, and a bard. From the summit, you have a panoramic view of the plantation and surrounding areas.


FESTIVALS

Apoo Festival
Apoo is celebrated in Techiman and Wenchi in November. It is a festival for the purification of the people to rid them of social evil. The festival lasts one week and includes a variety of traditional cultural activity. It ends on the sixth day with the Apoo procession, when insinuations are cast about the evil doings of some of the citizens. Even the Chief is not spared. This period is a time for family reunions and unity among the people. You are welcome to join the festivities.

Kwafie Festival
The people of Dormaa Ahenkro, Berekum and Nsuatre celebrate the Kwafie Festival between November and December. This event is celebrated in remembrance of the ancestors and it is also meant as purification. Among the many activities the most interesting is the burning of a large bonfire in the courtyard. The Dormaas are reputed to have brought fire to Ghana and this legend is symbolically remembered through this bonfire. A durbar is also held during which homage is paid to the Paramount Chief by his sub-chiefs and subjects.

It is a period when all descendants of original Dormaas (who broke away from the Akwamus and migrated here) come home to a grand reunion. Like Apoo, this festival fosters a spirit of unity among the people.

Highlights of the activities include a pageant of the royal courts with drumming, dancing and a display of the rich paraphernalia of the Chiefs.

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