Nzulezu Stilt Village is a place that captured my imagination when I traveled to Ghana looking for adventure in 2003. Certainly a stilt village had to be one of the coolest things to see.
Well, Nzulezu was very cool, so when I had the opportunity to take my husband to visit in 2019, we had to do it.
Don’t worry, we didn’t let Blind Man Tim tip off into the water.
In the time between trips, Ghana has modernized and grown up a great deal, though it’s not so modern that it’s lost it’s soul. But when I first visited Nzulezu, after getting on the wrong tro-tro, it was a wild ride over a bumpy dirt road where one guy kept hanging out the back door of the car to bang the hubcap back on.
Fast forward to 2019, and the road is nicely paved all the way to Beyin, the landside town that’s the gateway to get to Nzulezu.
They also have motorized boats to take you out to the stilt village, now. Though we stubbornly insisted on a traditional paddle canoe.
See, the first time I visited in the dry season, and paddling (and pushing with the pole), which was the only option, was much easier. In 2019, we were there in the rainy season. The vegetation is lush, but the water is deep and we had to do a lot more hard paddling than I anticipated.
Nzulezu has grown, too. It’s much bigger than when I was first there. You can get a sense of the size in the video. It’s a stilt village over Lake Tadane, so it’s still not huge, but there’s a full school and community center, now.
So here’s a fun look at what we think is a great stop in your Ghana travels, if you have the time. It’s on the far west coast and you’ll want to use Takoradi as your point of departure to get there.
Definitely worth your time.
Nzulezo is a stilt village located in the Western Region of Ghana, on the far west coast. It is built on the Amansuri Lagoon and is entirely constructed on stilts, making it one of the few stilt villages in the world.
Nzulezo is believed to have been founded by the Nzema people, who were displaced from their ancestral home by invading tribes. They built the village on stilts as a means of protection from future invasions and to maintain their independence. Nzulezo has been continuously inhabited for over 800 years and is considered an important cultural and historical site.
The village itself is the main attraction in Nzulezo, as it is a unique and fascinating example of traditional architecture. Visitors can explore the village and see the traditional homes, public spaces and places of worship. Visitors can also take boat rides on the lagoon, visit the local school and learn about the village’s sustainable living practices and fishing techniques.
Nzulezo is located about 6.5hours from Accra, the capital city of Ghana. If you want to break up the trip an overnight in Takoradi works well. If you’re taking a tro-tro be sure to tell them you’re final destination so you’re sure to get on the right ride.
The landside village of Beyin can be reached by car, tro-tro or bus. A boat ride is required to access the village. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the village in a motorized boat and 90 minutes by paddle and push canoe, depending on how many people in the boat are helping.
Nzulezo hosts a number of annual festivals, including the Nzulezo Yam Festival, which is celebrated in August. The festival is a traditional celebration of the yam harvest and features traditional music, dances and cultural activities. Additionally, the traditional fishing festival is celebrated annually in the village, which features traditional fishing techniques, canoe races and other cultural activities.