Sometimes when you live in a city like Accra you find yourself in a bit of a nature deficit. It feels like something is missing in your life but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Let’s face it, everyday we deal with the hustle and bustle of life in a large city. People, traffic, noise: it can be chaotic at times. Sure, we live in a great building with a nice garden and pool but sometimes we need a little more. We need to get out of the city to experience the peacefulness that can only be found in nature.

The peace and tranquillity of nature really isn’t so far away. Did you know that there are two waterfalls within an hour of the city? Adem Falls and Dodowa Falls are both accessible from the Aburi area or from Dodowa. Hikes to these falls can be done individually, and depending on your starting point, don’t have to be lengthy hikes. The two hikes can also be combined; to visit both falls in one day is a hike of approximately 13 kilometers over a variety of terrain. Kofi at Aburi Bike and Hike has been guiding in the area for years and can give different options depending on the distance you’d like to do. The guides have plenty of knowledge of the area and will share some stories and insights along the way.

Depending on the route you choose you can find yourself hiking on single track dirt trails used by villagers to access their farms, or dirt roads leading to villages. You may hike past cassava farms and through fields of banana trees with their large leaves shading you; or through small villages where locals are going about their daily lives. You will probably see palm trees being tapped for palm wine, or paw paw, avocado, and mango trees with fruit ripening on their branches. You might also see cattle herders moving their cattle to better grazing areas. You will crest hills and suddenly have beautiful panoramic views appear and you will know that this is what you came for.

But the best reward is still yet to come: the waterfalls! Even in the dry season there is enough water cascading to create an impressive view. There is a small shallow pool at the base of the falls and there’s no better treat after a hot hike than to take off your shoes and wade in. You might even be tempted to stand under the falls for a refreshing shower in the cool water. But whatever you decide, your head will be filled with the roar of the falls and the beauty of your surroundings. You’ll feel far away from the stresses of life in the city. Bring some snacks and plan to relax here for a while before heading back.

The hike from the falls will bring you to Obosumase where there’s a small shop where you can get some cold water or a soda to refresh you after the uphill hike from the falls. There is a place to sit and relax and there are usually some villagers around that will enjoy chatting with you. You can end the hike here or you can continue back to the entrance of Aburi gardens. Either way, a perfect way to end the day is with lunch at the Hillburi where good food and beautiful views can be enjoyed.

What ever option you go with it’s always a good idea to wear sturdy footwear as the trails can be unlevel and rocky. Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated as it’s easy to underestimate the amount of water required on a hot day. If you’ve chosen the longer hike it sometimes takes you through bushier areas and it can be a good idea to have a shirt with sleeves to put on. If you go prepared you will have a wonderful day in nature and return to the city feeling renewed and ready for whatever faces you.