Nzulezo, The Village On A River


Nzulezo is a village located near the village of Beyin, 90 kilometers west of Takoradi, in the Jomoro District in the Western Region of Ghana. 

Nzulezu overlooks Lake Tadane, and is entirely made up of stilts and platforms. In 2000, it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a major tourist attraction area. The village has about 1,000 residents.

Nzulezu was built over Lake Tadane. The settlement of Nzulezo consists of stilt-supported structures. 

The reason Nzulezo was built over water was for protection and safety during attacks in times of war since it lies five miles inland of the Southwest shores. The main activities of its inhabitants is agriculture, while fishery plays a secondary role. The lake Is perceived by the local population to protect against certain risks (e.g. a fire). 

The village has a primary school and after primary school learners have to leave the village to go for secondary schools and universities. 

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on January 17, 2000, in the Cultural category. 


The village was nominated to become a World Heritage Site for its importance in anthropology: in addition to being one of the few ancient settlements on stilts and platforms left in the world, there is a preserved wealth of local traditions connected with the cult of the lake.   Lake Tadane occurs on the banks of all religious rites, and Thursday, is a day sacred to the lake, and it is forbidden to use and work on the lake for any activity throughout the day of Thursday. 

In recent times the village has been opened to tourism, but with certain constraints (visitations are allowed only once a week).  The village can be reached only by a canoe; the route, which crosses the rain forest, takes about an hour to 5 km away. In the village there is a church and a school but the village is extremely isolated.


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