A Unique Journey
A VISIT TO MOLE NATIONAL PARK
Photo : Wiki Commons
Mole national park is in the Northern Region of Ghana and is the largest nature reservation in the country. It was founded in 1970 and covers an area of 4.840 km² of savannah woodland and riverine forest. About 740 different species of plants are growing in the park and the wildlife comprises of about 93 species of mammals, 344 species of birds and 33 species of reptiles.
The Mole national park offers Safari Tours through the park, which is recommended by tourists. One of the tours is in the early morning, when it is cool enough to walk. The other tours at midday and late afternoon are by car.
Once on safari, visitors can enjoy the beautiful view over the landscape of the park and there is also the possibility of seeing wild animals like elephants, antelopes, bush –and waterbucks, baboons and buffalos. The safari in the morning contains a walk to a water hole, where visitors can also see crocodiles. Tourists can get very close to the animals so they can take pictures of them. The elephants even cross the road around 5 meters ahead of the cars.
Wildcats like Lions, Hyenas and Leopards also live in the park. Unfortunately they are very retiring and usually hide from humans. One of the tour guides says that he has been working in the park for years now and all that he has seen of the wildcats are their traces. He explains that it is really rare to see these animals and that the tourists should not expect to get eye contact with them. However, the wildlife experience in Mole is still definitely worth seeing.
Of course, going on safari and seeing the wild animals are the most interesting African experience for foreigners but the park is not everything that Mole offers. The Mole hotel has a spacious patio with an amazing view over the park’s landscape. Visitors can have their breakfast, lunch or dinner on the veranda and watch the animals and the nature at the same time. The pool right in front of the patio is another favourite place for tourists. People can swim in the water, lie in the sun and have their drinks at the pool while having the same beautiful view they have from the patio.
Since the sun in the Northern Region is really hot, it is recommended for tourists to take sunscreen with them. During the day the temperatures can raise up to 40 degrees and the sun shines very intensely, so it is easy to get sunburned. The mosquitoes that whir around the pool are a major annoyance to everyone but with some insect repellent it is easy to prevent them from biting. During the night, on the other hand, the temperatures fall significantly. Travelers are advised to bring long pants and a pullover because in the night and in the early morning it is really cold. Moreover, visitors need these long pants, as well as hiking boots, for the safari in the morning, because they have to walk through the woodland.
In addition, travelers should pay attention to their valuables, never mind if they are on the safari or if they relax in the hotel. The animals at Mole are free to go wherever they please. This causes some undesired visits from monkeys at the hotel area. Basically the monkeys (mostly baboons) are peaceful and not aggressive but they like to grab different items from tourists, like cameras, sunglasses or drinking bottles. Sometimes they even jump on the tables to steal the tourists’ food. But people do not need to be afraid of the baboons. It can be scary when they come near, but they do not intend to harm anyone. Anyway, tourists should keep their items with them and pay attention to them. However, if a monkey does take someone’s stuff, it is not advisable to counter it and to try to get the things back because in this case baboons can become very aggressive.
Either way, Mole National Park is a great attraction for foreigners from all over the world. The landscape is beautiful, the view, the sunrise and sunset are stunning and seeing the animals is a fascinating experience. Even if the trip to Mole takes some time and the journey is not the easiest to handle, the whole park, including the hotel and its rooms, the patio, the safaris and the environment are totally worth the effort and costs. Whoever intends to travel in the Northern Region of Ghana or anywhere around the country, should take some days to visit Mole. It is definitely worthwhile.