On The Run

Running in Akosombo, Ghana | First Impressions

My first-ever visit to West Africa was in 2021 when we landed a work project in Ghana. Having heard so many wonderful things about Ghana’s warm people, flavourful food and rich culture, it felt like a dream come true. As luck would have it, the scope of the project expanded, and this is now my fourth trip! For each visit, I’ve brought my running shoes along, exploring the capital city Accra, as well as many interesting small towns in the Eastern Region, from Big Ada to Senchi to Atimpoku where I ran across the famous Adomi Bridge. This time, I’m in Akosombo, a small town north of the Adomi Bridge and the site of the Akosombo Dam where hydroelectric power is generated by the Volta River Authority (VRA) which was established in 1961. As always, I’m bringing you along as I explore this new town – so far, I’ve had three runs – 5km, 6km and 8km.

What Has Surprised Me About Akosombo?

1/ Beautiful and Purpose-Built Town. All my runs have started at the Volta Hotel situated on a hill overlooking the Volta Lake, the Akosombo Dam and the adjoining mountain slope.

For my first run, I turned left at the hotel gate and found myself in a very neat neighbourhood with good quality roads, clear street signs and similar styled buildings, probably a combination of staff housing and offices. On another run, I turned left towards Dodi World which offers various adventures on the Volta River. It was a steep and winding road with a large rock face bordering one side. When the space on the roadside became too narrow, I turned back. I’ve also headed onto the Ausogyaman-Atimpoku Road which is a long downhill stretch with the Volta River in full view. What has struck me on all these runs is how beautiful, neat and organised Akosombo is with beautifully manicured streets and no trace of litter anywhere.

2/ Quiet and Peaceful. Most of my runs in Ghana have been in more rural and traditional settings with a lot of hustle and bustle – children making their way to school, traders organising their stalls, honking trotros, buses, trucks, and motorbikes, and often goats and chickens wandering around. Although I like the excitement, so far, I have appreciated the tranqulity in Akosombo. There are hardly any people, cars or motorbikes on the roads. Of course, there may be more action downtown, but where I am, it has been a quiet and peaceful running experience.

3/ Hot and Humid. When I first ran in Ghana I was struck by the humidity – it felt like I was running under a thick blanket. This time, I felt psychologically prepared for the heat and humidity… only to find they have turned it up a notch! When I set off at 6am, temperatures are already approaching 30˚C with humidity in the 85%+ zone. I’ve now been told that March is indeed the hottest month in Ghana! No wonder, I’ve been struggling out there!

4/ Offers a Range of Views. Depending on the direction I run, there are diverse views – whether it’s the hydroelectric power station, the dam itself, the river, the mountains, the cliffs, it is beautiful. I was initially disappointed that I wasn’t as close to the riverbank as I’ve been on previous trips, but my runs have truly made me appreciate the town from different angles.

5/ It’s Hilly! I recall Senchi being a bit hilly but this is next level hilly! It doesn’t matter what direction I go in – whether it’s in the neighbourhood close to the hotel, on the road towards Dodi World or on the Ausogyaman-Atimpoku Road, I’m faced with hills, hills, and more hills! Given how flat Gaborone is though, I’m taking full advantage of running while I’m here. My 8km run this morning was torturous but I’ll be a beast when I get back to Gaborone!

I have several more days here, so this won’t be the last you hear about Akosombo! But as I sign off, I’m filled with so much gratitude that I get to run in such beautiful places. Seeing the world on the run brings me such incredible joy. And this morning felt extra special as I saw many other runners on the road – even high-fiving one of them as we battled the hills!

I hope you have enjoyed another run with me in a new town! Have you ever expected a place to be a certain way and found it to be completely different?

I’m joining two fabulous runners, Kim from Running on the Fly and Deborah from Confessions from a Mother Runner for their link up – the “Weekly Run Down”.

15 thoughts on “Running in Akosombo, Ghana | First Impressions

  1. Looks like a beautiful and quite scenic place! You’re not only getting a great tour of the area, but great training with the heat, humidity and hills 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow- hot, humid and hilly! That’s quite a combination. It does look really beautiful though, and it’s always so much fun to run in a new place. Enjoy the rest of your time there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your trip to Ghana with us! Good job on your hilly runs. After running those hills, you will be a beast indeed!


  4. This was so interesting, thank you for taking us along with you! I’ve really noticed how litter-strewn the UK is after being in Spain for a week where they wash the pavements daily!


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