Adventures in the Treetops

Written by Danielle Gehrlein ’21

Today was our only free day since the summer program began, so my friends and I decided to make the most of it. About two and a half hours away from the Greater Accra Region, is the Kakum National Rainforest, which features a rope bridge walkway over the forests’ canopy. This attraction was on all of our “Things to do in Africa” bucket lists, so we knew we had to set aside one of our remaining days to go visit.

We started our day at 5am and walked to the tro-tro (public transportation van) station about ten minutes away from campus. There are no tro-tro schedules, so the way you figure out which one to get on is by listening to someone lean out the window and yell out their destination. In a half an hour’s time, we caught the only one that was going to the central tro-tro station, where we boarded another one that would take us an hour north toward Kakum. Once dropped off, we had to take a taxi the rest of the way since the roads are too rocky for tro-tro’s to handle, so we piled the six of us into a tiny cab for the hour-long drive.

After what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at the National Forest and couldn’t wait to get out of that cramped cab and explore. We got set up with a tour guide, and trekked up hundreds of stone stairs to get to the rope-bridge.

Once we got there, I was in awe over how breathtaking it was. The view looking down was a blanket of trees and vines, and looked out over tall mountain ranges. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before and as an avid hiker, I have seen my fair share of mountain tops but none of their views could hold a candle to this one.

So, although our journey was incredibly tiresome, it was all worth it in the end, especially since I was in great company the whole time. And as gratitude floods through my veins every day (and even more so since I’ve been in Ghana), this was just one more experience to remind me of how lucky I am to be able to witness sights like Kakum.

Danielle Gehrlein is a rising sophomore at Pace University. She is pursuing a double degree in Adolescent Education and English. She is in Ghana from July 15 – August 8 and is posting about her experience here on the School of Education’s blog.

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