Fort Apollonia located at Beyin is 123 kms from Takoradi. Ankasa nature reserve with its intake evergreen forest is a zone of great botanical beauty and has the famous “Bamboo Cathedral. “Nzulezo – the village on top of water.
The houses are built on stilts and traditional life adapts to the watery conditions. Beaches – 60kms of coastline from Ekebaku to New town The Dutch government is funding the Amanzulley Conservation and Integrated Development project and the Marine turtle Conservation Project to promote tourism in the district.
Efforts are under way by the Assembly to develop lagoon tourism from Jaway Wharf to New town as well as hiking tourism in and on the Adusuazo valley and Nawulley scarp.
Ankasa Forest Reserve. It is the second richest in the world in terms of flora and fauna.
Amanzulley wetland. This wetland has the largest stand of intake swamp forest in Ghana and is home to a variety of animals like moneys, crocodiles, marine turtles and birds.
The Jomoro District abounds in a number of tourism potentials. These include:
Beautiful Sandy Beaches
The Jomoro District has about 50km stretch of sandy beach from Ekabaku to Newtown. The beach is fringed with coconut plantations. It is considered as one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Ghana. The beach is also nesting habitat for marine turtles which are of global conservation interest.
The beaches are yet to be developed for beach tourism, and ecotourism with marine turtle watch as the main product. At the moment Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) is implementing a marine turtle conservation project in all the coastal areas in the district. The project aims at developing the turtle watch eco-tourism activities to generate income for the communities in the project area.
Ghana Wildlife Society has also been able to attract two private investors who are natives of Beyin to develop beach resorts near Ekabaku and Ngelekazo for recreation and beach tourism.
There are a number of wetlands in the Jomoro District. The major ones are the Amansuri, Dormuli and Abby wetlands located near Beyin, Old Kabenlasuazo and Jaway Wharf respectively.
The Amansuri which is the biggest is of national and international importance. It has the only known swamp peat forest in Ghana and nationally the best example of an intact swamp forest. It has been selected as an Important Bird Area of international importance based on Birdlife International criteria. The Government is taking steps to designate the Amansuri Wetland including some coastal area in the district up to Old Kabenlasuazo as a Ramsar Site. The Dormuli wetland although small has intact and beautiful mangrove forest and estuary.
Important animals in Dormuli wetland include monkeys, nile monitor and crocodiles. The Abby Lagoon which is a transboundary wetland is important to both Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire due to its high productivity especially fish. It is believed that there are West African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis) in the Abby Lagoon.
The tourism potentials of the three wetlands in the district includes; boating, sport fishing, nature watch especially crocodile and bird watch, medicinal plants trail and industrial tourism especially alcohol distillation.
Nzulezo – The Stilt Village
The Nzulezo Village is one of Ghana’s main tourist’s destinations. It is located within the Amansuri wetland and on the Amansuri Lake. The Nzulezo village is more than 500 years old. It has been built on stilt and on Lake Amansuri as one solid construction raised above the lake and consisting of a central walkway with houses (about 50) built with raffia palm on either side. The walkway (streets and alleys) in the village is 312 meters long and was originally constructed with raffia palm, tied to beams and supported on forked studs of special timber species.
The only means of getting to the village is by boat through areas of marsh, open pools and the Amansuri Lake fringed by swamp-peat and swampy forest. A number of development activities have been undertaken by the ACID-Project, Ghana Tourist Board, Jomoro District Assembly and other NGOs to boast tourism activities in Nzulezo. These include:
These development activities have made Nzulezo the top tourists’ attraction in the Western Region in term of tourists number since 2000.
The Jomoro District has a few known historical sites. This includes Fort Appolonia in Beyin, Miegyinla community, Captain William’s Tomb in Half Assini and the mystery site in Kengen. With the exception of Fort Appolonia, the other historical sites have not been developed. These potentials sites when developed would diversify the tourism activities in the district.
Ankasa National Park
The Ankasa National Park is one of the two national parks located in the Western Region. A large portion of the park is within the Jomoro District. The park is very important because of its high plant diversity, indigenous forest birds, monkeys especially chimpanzee and forest elephants. The main tourists’ attraction within the park is guided nature walk. Under the Protected Area Development Project Phase 1, a number of development activities were undertaken to boast tourism in the park. These include construction of exploration base, visitors centre, bamboo cathedra and a number of trails.
Sea Tour is not a common tourism activity in Ghana. It is normally done by using a boat to tour on the sea and watching sea animals such as whales, dolphins and turtles. The sea in the district has the potential for sea tour. From mid-July to October every year a number of whales and dolphins visit the seas in the district. Also from August to March is the nesting season for turtles and a number of these sea animals are seen in the seas near their nesting sites. Sea tour is expensive and has limited market, but great returns. In Africa, it is only done in South Africa. The completion of Metal Boat being constructed at Kpong to develop sea tour is expected to boost tourism activities in the Jomoro District.
Current Tourist Arrival in the District
There are two main tourists’ attractions in the Jomoro District. These are Nzulezo and Ankasa National Park. Data on tourists’ arrivals and revenue generated from 2002 to 2005 are found on Table 9. The data shows that while there is a steady increase in the number of tourists and revenue generated from Nzulezo that for Ankasa National Park was irregular. During the period, a total of 24,154 tourists visited the district generating a revenue of ¢518,857,000. Refer to table 9 and 10 in pdf file below.
It has been estimated that these two main tourists attractions in the district can attract about 25,000 tourists and generate more than ¢600,000,000 a year if all the problems and bottlenecks affecting tourism activities in the district are addressed. It is also estimated that if all the tourism potential identified are developed, more than 75,000 tourists would visit the district, generating more than ¢1,800,000,000 a year.