Life on the Amanzuri Lake – Graphic Online

The picturesque scenery of the centuries-old unique settlement built on stilts in the Tandane Lake (also called the Amanzuri Lake) depicts a dynamic relationship between man and nature.
Nzulezu is an Nzema word meaning ‘surface of water’. The inhabitants of the village are said to have migrated from Walata (Oualata), a city in the ancient Ghana Empire found in the present-day Mauritania. According to history, ancestors of the village were guided to their present location by a snail. The snail is, therefore, a totem and revered by the people of Nzulezu.
The stilt village has a population of about 600 people. The main occupations there are farming, fishing and the brewing of local gin (Akpeteshi). The village is ruled by the chief and elders who set out rules and regulations to guide behaviour in the village.
Thursday is a sacred day on the lake, hence the villagers do not engage in any strenuous activity on this day.
Traditional village life is adapted to the unique environmental conditions, and all activities such as cooking, pounding of fufu, schooling, church services, baptisms and burials are carried out on the lake. It is also believed that the lake averts possible disasters such as fire outbreaks.
Nzulezu is one part of the Amansuri Wetland, a ramsar site and the largest inland swamp forest in Ghana. The Wetland is a habitat for a variety of animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, marine turtles and fishes.
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One of the highlights of a visit to Nzulezu is the journey to get there. The 1.4km to 2km canal from Beyin to Nzulezu takes about 45 minutes to an hour ride on a canoe. The journey through narrow passes, lush channels, open plains, and finally the wide expanse of Amansuri Lake revealing the beautiful scenery of the settlement, makes it an exciting trip.
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