Click on the photos to enlarge
The mighty Volta River flows into the Atlantic ocean near Ada Foah and creates a giant delta dotted with beautiful islands and sand banks.
When the tide comes in, the Volta’s current comes to a standstill; it is even partially reversed, allowing the natives’ canoes to glide almost effortlessly up the river.
This unique location between the river and the ocean has brought Ada a certain amount of prosperity in the past centuries by enabling the shipping of wares that had come ashore or the nearby produced salt with ocean vessels several hundred kilometers up the river.
The Volta’s lower course and delta have drastically changed since the Akosombo dam was built. Many tributary rivers have dried up and commercial navigability is restricted to routes below or above the dam respectively. An old river ferry from Ada Foah still connects the small settlements in the delta area and up river with one another on specific days.
It is used particularly by the enterprising women from villages on the islands to bring their wares, most often woven mats, sugarcane and mangrove wood cultivated in the delta region, to the market places.
Ada Foah is the ferry’s homeport. There is also a small reloading point there for further transport by road or with canoes to the neighbouring islands.
The river is always clean and clear. This is probably also because of the dam, which allows the water washed in by tropical rain storms to be deposited in front of it. There is little pollution caused by human activities mostly because of a lack of any kind of industry along the river above Ada and because of the absence of settlements.
The elegant river canoes and the beautifully painted pirogues, with which the fishers sail out to the open sea, signify considerable value and status for the owner.
Wealthy Africans and Europeans who live and work in Accra have used this beautiful location on the river to build weekend houses and stately villas along the river shore. This is a bit of a shame since it has sorely limited possible access to the river for the native inhabitants and the (few) tourists. Sure enough hobby skippers with their motor boats and sailboats appear here and there, especially on weekends and holidays.
Local canoes (with or without a “captain”) or trips with larger motor-driven canoes to the neighbouring islands and holiday camps are offered everywhere for tourists. Those who desire can also charter a boat to go deep sea fishing for a considerable sum. Those who prefer a quieter atmosphere can come round to the local sailing club.