Ghana: Tongo Hills

Tongo Hills is a remote area in northern Ghana that has an amazing terrain of fields of boulders and hills as if thrown around by giants during there game of marbles. The entire landscape looks very different and otherworldly from the savanna around it. Add to this several traditional villages with bizarre bunker-like mud and rock traditional houses that haven’t changed structurally in thousands of years – yes, there are real houses and people live in it. The entire Tongo area is deeply traditionalist in beliefs so various animalistic shrines and sacrificial platforms are all over the place as are special sacrificial caves with cattle skulls in them. Above all of this, in the largest cave on the highest hill is the Tengzuc Sacred Shrine. Hiking here is an uphill slump with spectacular panorama around you. Once we got on top, I was told you need to be barefoot and shirtless to enter the shrine – a small and narrow dark cave where animals are slaughtered and hundreds of equally semi naked people pray to their gods. Here’s where I politely refused (with the voices in my head quietly whispering “bubonic plague” and “anthrax” as well as “animals feces” and “decaying flesh” – not the most stellar descriptions for an adventure).