Yovo! Cascade!



In August 1990, on my first trip to Togo, Andy and I "discovered" Yikpa following a lead for some waterfalls. As it turned out, there are several spectacular waterfalls in the plateau region. The most famous, and most advertised waterfall on the plateau is probably the Cascade d'Akrowa in Badou, at the northern end of the small mountain range. I only went there once, and it was very impressive, if a bit touristy. The other popular waterfall is the one in Kpimé, between Kpalimé and Adéta. For some reason, I never made it there, although, I drove through Kpimé all the time on my taxi route.

The directions Andy and I initially got were probably for the cascade de Kpimé, but we drove too far, turned left in Adéta, and climbed onto the plateau. When we asked for directions for the cascade on the plateau, people directed us to the nearest waterfall, which from there was the cascade de Yikpa.

The cascade de Yikpa is not so widely known. Mostly people direct tourists to the ones in Badou and in Kpimé. Only the local farmers know how to get there. There are no signs, and it is a hour's hike over a steep mountain ridge. But if you make it there, it is quite spectacular. In a narrow valley, a small river cascades over a rock and plunges maybe 100 feet (35 meters) into a deep rock pool. The pool spills into onto more rocks and plunges down another 150 (50 meters) feet into Ghana. There, that waterfall is know as the Wli waterfall.

Later, I had several opportunities to go on day trips to the cascade with some of the guys from the village, with Laura and with visitors. The hike is really a lot of fun and at the top of the ridge you get a great panorama view of the valley with the three villages of Yikpa. Climbing down into the narrow valley with the waterfall is a bit tricky, though. The path is extremely steep, muddy, and often slippery.