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If you told me we were going to be climbing Mount Afadjato (one of Ghana’s highest mountains) today, I would probably laugh in your face and tell you to stop lying.
That’s exactly how I felt when my aunt told my sister and I that we (my aunt, her friend, my sister and myself) were going to take a long trip to the Volta Region and climb the highest mountain in Ghana.
Okay… I mean, who would argue with that? Not me.
It seemed like one more thing to check off my bucket list. So we packed up our stuff, got into a car and off we went to Mount Afadjato.
Greenery around Mount Afadjato
For those of you that don’t know, Mount Afadja (popularly known as Mount Afadjato in the Ewe language) is the highest mountain in Ghana.
The mountain stands at an elevation of 885 metres (2,904 ft) and is located near the Agumatsa Range around the Gbledi and Liati Wote villages of the Volta Region in Ghana.
Before heading out on our long journey from Accra to the Volta Region, I wish someone would of informed us what to do or bring for the trip. Maybe with these tips below, the trip could of been a much better experience than what it was. But don’t get me wrong, it was still an awesome experience nonetheless.
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Table of Contents
Check the Forecast
Doing this first step will set the pace for the entire trip. I think the reason we missed this step is because we were just so excited to go. We assumed that the day would be sunny and didn’t think anything of it. Even though the area is beautiful year-round, Mt. Afadjato should be visited during the dry seasons of October through March.
The day we went was in early July. It was raining very hard that day and the air was very foggy. Even though some of the pictures in the fog came out kind of cool, climbing Mount Afadjato was no walk in the park.
Left: Mount Afadjato. Right: Me and the little sis on Mount Afadjato
Now this brings me to my next point of dressing appropriately for the season.
With the amount of rain coming down, we were definitely not prepared at all for the shower that day. Luckily, we were able to purchase an umbrella at a nearby market and that was it. We were off to leave in such a hurry, no one thought of wearing appropriate clothes for climbing a mountain.
My sister and I each had on a pair of jeans, t-shirts, and slippery slip-ons (which were very bad choices in the rain). My aunt, (awww bless her heart) was wearing a dress and slip-ons — she looked cute though.
Gallery of chickens, my sister, aunt, and I at Mount Afadjato
We also had to wear small plastic bags on our heads because we couldn’t all fit under that one umbrella.
What we should of been wearing were some sweatpants, hiking boots, and some dirty old t-shirts.
Just ask my sister how this day went and she’ll let you know exactly how drenched and exhausted we were from climbing Mount Afadjato:
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Bring Lots of Water
Even though it’s a no brainer to bring a water bottle while climbing Mount Afadjato, none of us thought to bring this up. It wasn’t until we were midway into the climb that we were requesting to drink some water.
Once our water ran out, we had to wait until we got all the way down the mountain, take the long walk back to our car, drive and get some water nearby. Be smart ya’ll lol, don’t be like us.
Also, before you go up a long climb like that, remember to always use the bathroom first because you never know when you may have to go to the bathroom again. It’s best to be safe than sorry later on.
Stretch Before and After Climbing Mount Afadjato
This is the perfect time when those weird exercises that you learned in gym class comes in handy. It’s a good practice to stretch all body parts before doing any sort of physical activity.
Because we didn’t stretch before and after the climb, we definitely felt the effects the night after the climb and into the next morning. Our bodies were so sore that we had to stay in bed for a little while until it felt better to move normally. Again, don’t be like us, be smart.
When you’re climbing a high mountain like this, be serious about this step. I can’t tell you how many times we stopped to take a break because climbing up Mount Afadjato was no piece of cake. There was a total of 4 quarter sections to the top of the mountain that got tougher and tougher as we passed through each quarter.
I mean, I like to think of myself as a very healthy person but that mountain showed me just how much health I was lacking.
If you ever need to stop, just do it and let others know that you’ll be stopping for a while to take a breather. Maybe someone will have pity on you and stop with you. It’s important to get up the mountain alive and happy rather than fainting before you get up there or not even enjoying the experience of getting up there.
In conclusion, please remember to pace yourself and follow your instinct of what your body is telling you it can handle.
Bring a Crossbody Bag/Backpack
This is a necessary step so that your hands can be free, especially when it rains! In a small crossbody bag or a backpack, you can keep your phone, a carry-on poncho, keys, camera, water bottle and anything else that is small that you would like to carry with you.
I hated having my phone in my hands the whole way up there because the phone was too big to fit in my pockets. The rain was also beating on it so hard, I was scared it would give up on me and I would lose some of my pictures below.
Left: House near Mount Afadjato. Right: Pile of Tree Bark
Even though everything was not perfect that day, the climb to the top of Mount Adfajato was still one of the best experiences of my life. I got to see the creation of God’s masterpiece up close and personal, and it was everything I could imagine and more.
If asked to go back up there again, I think I would in a heartbeat. I would just better prepare myself with these tips above to have (hopefully) a much better experience.
Now I’m curious, have you ever climbed a tall mountain before and what season was it when you made the climb?
What resources and tips did you utilize or didn’t use that you would like to share? Let me know down in the comments below.