Ghana has to be one of our favorite countries in the world. Located in western Africa, nestled between the Ivory Coast and Togo, it is still a relatively untouched country when it comes to being a place to visit for tourists. It is also a very safe place to visit, although with the discovery of oil (which is now Ghana’s second largest export), many fear that the disparity between rich and poor will continue to grow and cause safety issues (similar to Nigeria).
Every moment of our trip to Ghana was amazing, but one of the most memorable parts of the trip was taking the world’s cheapest safari at Mole National Park. Mole National Park is the largest park in Ghana, located about 670km north of the capital of Accra. As we only had a limited time in Ghana (only 2 weeks, and there was so much we wanted to see and do!), we opted to fly from Accra to Tamale to save us some time. This took less than an hour (and there are various daily flights to choose from on a few carriers). From Tamale, the bus ride was about 4 hours.
Sunrise at Mole National Park
While safaris in other parts of touristed Africa can cost hundreds of dollars, be prepared to pay around only US $1.50 for this safari! Why so cheap? Well, for one, the safari is by foot, so be ready to do some walking! Unfortunately, the park is underfunded…and given the amazing wildlife encounters on this walking tour, they really should charge more for the tour.
Our ranger at Mole National Park
Each safari is led by a ranger who knows a lot about the wildlife encountered in the park. Although they carry a gun for safety purposes since the tours are all on foot, they have said that most of the animals in the park respect the human foot traffic and there haven’t been any attacks by the wildlife on any tourists.
Do you recognize the animal that made this footprint? That’s right, the highlight of the park — Elephants!
According to the wildlife experts here, there are 93 mammals that live in the park. The highlight? The elephants, of course. These majestic animals seek refuge here as elephants have pretty much been rendered almost extinct in most of western Africa, including Ghana.
Elephants on their way to the watering hole, Mole National Park
What’s amazing about this particular type of walking safari is how close you feel to the animals when you finally see the wildlife. It is really surreal! To hear the soft but strong footsteps of the elephants as they made their way through the brush was amazing. And they were literally just 50 feet away from us at some points on the tour!
Elephant at Watering Hole, Mole National Park
Warthogs, Mole National Park
It was surprising just how close we got to many of these animals. This family of warthogs was no exception. They didn’t seem to notice that we were just feet away…one of the babies was busy feeding on his mom while the mother was busy feeding on something else in the brush.
Amazing flora of Mole National Park
Equally as impressive as the wildlife were the flora that was found throughout our walk. There were many magnificent trees within the park that made for some amazing photographs. A ton of birds that live in the trees and the areas around the watering holes in the park, make it a perfect place for birding. When we were visiting, there were many birders who were busy walking around with their binoculars in awe.
Camping at Mole National Park
In order to really enjoy Mole National Park, we recommend staying for at least a few days. There is only one hotel at Mole National Park, called Mole Hotel. It has both dormitories and nicer private rooms. The hotel is situated on top of a large hillside and overlooks a large elephant watering hole. You can sit by the pool and watch the elephants play in the brush below…it is quite an amazing site!
Since there is only one place to stay in the park, we recommend making reservations in advance. When we arrived, we did not have reservations and there was no room available. But, the hotel was very accommodating and offered us a tent to rent. For about US $4.00, we had the perfect accommodation for the night — a tent in the middle of the game park! It was quite amazing (and scary!) to wake up to two baboons staring at us when we unzipped the door to our tent in the morning! We opted for a private room at the hotel the next night, which was much more luxurious in comparison.
All in all, Mole National Park was one of the highlights of our trip to Ghana and a must-see for anyone visiting this amazing country!
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