Mole National Park
Of course, there are elephants in Mole National Park. One should not hope to see one during a visit there. I had read this statement before my first trip to Ghana in a report about the Mole National Park by a noticeably disappointed author. It is clear that if you are planning a safari trip, Ghana is certainly not Africa's first destination. Too small the variety of the large mammals and even the ones that exist here, you get to see first. However, if you are already traveling through the country, the Mole National Park should be the largest in the country in the route. So on my first trip there was also quite quickly agreement that a corresponding visit should be part of our tour. In fact, getting to such a tourist destination proved more difficult than we would have thought. The bus connection from Tamale is not exactly highly frequented and as is so common in Ghana, such a bus does not run at fixed travel times and certainly not half empty. So it turned out that on our first trip we arrived in the park only after sunset and only with difficulty and need there were still enough sleeping places available. In general, there was a certain nervousness, but this was to give way very quickly to the fascination for the wonderful nature that Mole reveals to its visitors.
Already on the evening first way from the reception of the lodge to the accommodations, antelopes grazed not far from the path, which were only visible in a sketchy way, but their eyes glowed in the faint light of the complex. The night was quite short, because as everywhere you want to watch animals, it was said to get up early. In addition to some individual special tours, the guides here mainly offer a foot safari or a jeep safari in the early morning or late afternoon. We had decided for the morning foot safari as the beginning and after a short introduction and the borrowing of recommended rubber boots we started my first little safari adventure.
As I said, the expectations for this were not too great to see large animals, even elephants. Our path led directly to the small settlement in the national park, where people live directly with the animals. One of the first pictures I took here in the park was a woman feeding the warthogs wandering with leftover food. Our guide led us purposefully directly to the bush edge at the settlement, where it could already be heard from a distance clearly cracking. Here, obviously, something worked its way through the vegetation – and behold, this one quickly turned out to be a grey thick-skinned. So it took less than ten minutes to see an elephant here until the event, which was described as so improbable. What a great luck I thought to myself and of course everyone took the opportunity to take some photos here before the tour continued.
Pretty quickly it turned out that it wasn't so special to see an elephant that day. In total, it will have been on the small foot tour about the 15 specimens, to which we have sometimes even come very close. In addition, antelopes in particular characterize the picture, we were able to observe some monkeys, waterbucks and especially the warthogs intensively. A similar picture was also revealed by the afternoon jeep tour, which showed further parts (and still only a small developed part) of the park, but did not produce any new aspects of the fauna.
The travel times of the bus made it necessary that we had to spend a few more nights in the national park, but the next morning without further tour had to leave very early to continue our journey along the country. When I visited the park for the second time, this time with much more experience in our luggage, we organized a private driver together with other travellers and had him give us the number, so that we had the opportunity during our stay in Mole. , also spontaneously take a tour to the nearby village of Larabanga and be much more flexible in time. This type of travel is then clearly recommended and if properly planned, not really more expensive, because you can save yourself, for example, an additional overnight stay in the country-wide quite expensive lodge.
Also on the second visit we saw elephants on both days in the park. Both on the tours and from the great viewpoint of the lodge and one even said "Good morning" for breakfast on the hotel terrace. Either the people of the reports I'd read before were incredibly unlucky or I just had incredible luck. In any case, the high elephant quota even led me to wish during the safari tours that the focus would be a little less on the thick-skinned, because after all, the park has so much more to offer on exciting animals. An individual tour was not worth this idea to me and the very large part of the mole visitors would like to see an extensive elephant observation here.
Overall, I can say that every single day I spent in Mole made me happy. In the end, besides all the hustle and bustle of the big cities and the rigours of travel and projects, I found my peace here for at least a few hours. Peace with a wonderful view.