Welcome to the Savannah! As you travel north in Ghana, the landscape changes from jungle to savannah, and the houses take on a different architecture, namely mud walls and conical thatch roofs. Surprise, surprise, the weather is just as hot!
The drive from Koforidua to Mole National Park (only about 383 miles) took about 12 hours in total, mainly due to the quality of roads and traffic near Kumasi. Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge at 4,840 km², although only about 5% of the park is open to the public.
The park is home to a wide range of mammals and birds and other such creatures, but I was only able to get pictures of the largest or most social of animals. During the day safari, I saw elephants, warthogs, baboons, water buck, a variety of antelope, and some iridescent blue and green birds.
Although our ranger carried a gun and bayonet, he’s never once needed to fire it. The rangers all take care to make sure that visitors maintain a respectable distance from the animals (especially the more dangerous male elephants) to avoid any confrontations.
According to our guides, the biggest challenge of maintaining the park is poaching. Elephants are always at risk of poaching, and the African Lion has not been spotted in Mole for many years. Many villages surround the park, which is not enclosed by a fence, and park staff find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to regulate hunting in those areas.
Up next, Mole after dark!