The Step-Like Kintampo Waterfall, Ghana



The early settlers of Kintampo who discovered the waterfall believed that the site was inhabited by dwarfs, pythons, and bees and legend has it that no individual could go there alone, especially on Fridays, the holy day of the river goddess.  Alternatively, the goddess of the river was believed to be a good spirit. In addition to those who go there to see the wonders of nature, or cool off, are those who go there to pray for good fortune and success. Every year during the Moslem festival of sacrifice, thousands of worshippers converged at the falls to fetch the water home for use in religious ceremonies.

The Kintampo waterfall have changed names more than any other water falls in Ghana. In the 1940s it was known as Saunder’s fall, named after British medical resident of Kintampo who tried to develop the site for tourism. Then in 1957 after the country gained independence from the British, the falls were renamed the kwame Nkrumah waterfall, after Ghana’s first President who built a private lodge close by. At the end of the Kwame Nkrumah regime in 1966, the name of the waterfall was finally changed to Kintampo and has ever since remained so.

Features of the waterfall

Kintampo Waterfall in the Brong-Ahafo Region is one of the most beautiful in Ghana. The most memorable thing about it, and one which distinguished it from other falls in Ghana, is the shape: resembling a gigantic staircase, with series of small falls tumbling down the dark rock face, and lined on both sides by evergreen trees.


The Kintampo waterfall is made up three separate falls, stretching over 100 meters, and each is distinct from the other. At waterfall number one, half of the river drops off the face of a cave while the rest pushes through perfectly circular holes it has drilled through the hanging rock. Waterfall number two is marked by a small cataract and layers of large rocks through which the river disappears underground and away from the tour path. It is not seen again until the sudden and spectacular appearance at the main kintampo waterfall, depicting the unique step-like nature of the water falls described above, and thundering with loud noise down into a rock-strewn pool below where the river gathers to continue its journey into the Black Volta River.


The full grandeurs of the falls is best seen from the base. To reach there, visitors descend 154 steps from the edge of the entertainment area to the bottom of the deep gorge cut by the river, from where the magnificent waterfall looms about 30ft (9m) high above, glittering in the foreground. Rare birds like herons, moorhen and wild ducks may be sighted along the Pumpum River and colourful trees around the entertainment area attract hundreds of radiant sunbirds when in bloom.

Near the entrance is a parking space and an entertainment grounds dotted with a few summer huts and shade trees. A modern receptive facility for the site comprising eco-lodges, restaurants, a craft centre and shopping areas is ongoing. Meanwhile, inside Kintampo town are a few medium to budget rated hotels. Visitors may also arrange to stay with local families to experience the everyday life of the local people and for further exploration of the nearby attractions.

Culled from dearghana

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