Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya – the rainforest at Kakum national park

Index
The human pin cushion
Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya trip report – pre-trip
The flights
Accra
Coconut Grove
The rain forest
Nigeria Air and Sheraton
Flight problems
Kenya
The trip home

Today was an excursion to the Kakum National Rainforest. The rainforest covers an area of about 350 square meters. I hoped on a bus from the Coconut Grove hotel that took about an hour to get to the rainforest. I made sure to drench my clothes in Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent ahead of time to ward off as many mosquitos as possible. I wore jeans and a long sleeve shirt to try to give the critters as little surface as possible to bit me.

This was my first trip to an actual rainforest and I was amazed at how humid and muggy it was. I understand that it is part of being in a rainforest, but it was still surprising just how humid it was.

Our guide took a large group of us on the hike up towards the canopies. I consider myself generally physically fit – but this was a pretty intense hike. By the time we reached the top where the roped walkways were, I was completely drenched in sweat.

At this point, I was about 40 meters above the rainforest

There were roped bridges that allowed you to walk on top of the rainforest. It was a pretty relaxing walk as all you could hear were the natural sounds of a rainforest with all the animals and birds. The entire walk took about 30 minutes.

On the way down, it started to rain and rain hard.

It makes sense being in a rainforest, but I didn’t expect it to rain this hard. I had luckily brought a light rain jacket though without a hood. I started to run down the trail and found a wooden shelter that I ducked under. There was a group of 30 local schoolchildren under the wooden shelter as well. They took this opportunity to talk to me and ask me all kind of questions about why I was here.

After trying to wait it out about 10 minutes, it became apparent that the rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. There was only one option and that was the run down the trail as fast as possible. I started to run getting absolutely soaked. My pants and shoes were completely drenched. I ducked under a shelter at the bottom of the trail and filmed how hard it was raining.

I jumped back into the bus once everyone in the group was back down the trail and headed back to the Coconut Grove hotel.

When we arrived at the Coconut Grove hotel, the staff had fresh coconuts waiting for us.

Fresh coconut water

Fresh coconut water

I removed all of my wet clothing to access the damage. Having been so used to carrying my passport with me in Russia, I had foolishly stuck it in my jeans pocket for the trip to the rainforest. My passport was drenched and the corners of it had started to curl up. Luckily my visas were still intact and so I laid out to dry.

That night I had dinner by the pool. I was impressed by the quality of the food at the Coconut Grove hotel. The next morning was going to be a long bus ride back to Accra and taking a flight to Lagos, Nigeria. It was the one stop on my trip that I really wasn’t looking forward to and certainly had no idea what to expect.

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