The quest to make Kintampo Waterfalls in the Bono East Region the preferred tourist destination is really gaining momentum, as the construction of a zip-line there is almost complete for use.
The 77.6 metre zip-line is being constructed by Bonsu Arboretum Canopy Walkway Limited, a wholly Ghanaian-owned and managed company. The project is being executed under a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative. Managers of the facility say the zip-line is about 85 percent complete and will be ready for use in a month’s time.
When completed, the zip-line at the Kintampo Waterfalls will be the first of its kind in the middle and northern parts of the country. It will add to a suspended 80 to 90 metre canopy walkway at the tourist site.
The Site Manager at Kintampo Waterfalls, Bismark Baiden, in an interview with B&FT disclosed that had it not been for the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic which led to a temporary closure of the site, the project would have been completed already.
“The initial date for completion of the zip-line was December 2020, but COVID-19 shattered our plans of opening it to tourists during the last Christmas festivities. The contractor is currently working assiduously to make ready in one month’s time; this time around, the contractor will add an additional 20-metre canopy walkway that will give people more access to the main canopy walkway,” he said.
The B&FT learnt that tourist visits to the site are gradually picking up as compared to during the first wave of the pandemic when patronage declined to all-time low. Visitations during the first quarter 2021, Mr. Baiden indicated, stood at approximately 3,500 – adding that strict enforcement of safety protocols has earned public trust, hence the rising number of tourists to the waterfalls.
Since refurbishment of the Kintampo Waterfalls after the infamous fatal disaster in 2017, there has been an upsurge in visitation numbers. The total number of tourists (domestic and foreigners) who patronised the site increased from 19,223 in 2018 to 23,806 in 2019. However, the number plunged deeply by almost 50 percent in 2020 to 12,149 people. The decrease was largely caused by COVID-19 and its containment restrictions such as travel bans and lockdowns.
It is expected that the construction of additional recreational facilities such as the zip-line will attract more tourists to the middle-belt town of Kintampo. Moreover, success of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination exercise will also serve as a catalyst to revive the distressed tourism industry. It will boost the confidence of citizens to move out to public places like the Kintampo Waterfalls.
Additional facilities at the Kintampo Waterfalls include pavilions and summer huts, mechanised bore-hole water, washrooms, a cafeteria, museum, rehabilitated staircases and mini-shops that trade in provisions and traditional artifacts among others. The lawn zones are specious enough for outdoor events as well as spacious car lots.