Arriving to Mole National Park

ARRIVING TO MOLE NATIONAL PARK

  • Arrive to the STC bus station one hour before your bus departure time.
    • You must catch a taxi to get to the STC bus station depending on what part of Accra you are coming from. Expect to pay 5 – 8 Ghana cedis.
    • Your bus may come early, on time or late, so be prepared.
    • The STC bus station grid can be slightly confusing and usually the Tamale bus is in the back of the station.
    • While you are at the station, load up on snacks and other essential items. There is a tiny mart next to Tamale bus stop, where you can multiple items. BUY SNACKS!
    • Once your bus arrives, have your tickets ready and board the bus!
  • Once you arrive in Tamale, prepare for an overnight stay.
    • Tamale is the capital of the Northern Region in Ghana and a necessary pit stop for you on your way to Mole.
    • Since the earliest bus leaves Accra at 8am, you won’t arrive to Tamale till 8pm. Also the bus from Tamale to Mole leaves at 3pm, hence why you would have missed the Mole bus, and you have to stay overnight.
    • Book your lodging ahead of time. There are not many hostels in Tamale and they fill up quickly depending on the season. Don’t take chances and book your lodging early. Have 2 backup hostels just in case.
    • Recommended Hostels
      • Christian Council Guesthouse
      • TICCS Guesthouse
      • Catholic Guesthouse
  • The next day in Tamale, take a taxi to the Metro Mass Bus & Tro-Tro Station to buy your bus tickets to Mole.
    • You should take the Metro Mass bus because it is the cheapest and easiest way to go to Mole National Park. It will cost you around 6 cedis for the bus ride.
    • The bus from Tamale to Mole is about between 4 to 6 hours long with various stops along the way.
      • You can take a private car or bus, but it will cost you a lot of money and you usually have to book them one day in advance.
    • You must take a taxi to get to the Metro Mass Station. Negotiate with your taxi driver to take you for 2-3 cedis. Don’t pay more than 5 cedis. ***BEWARE OF OBRUNI PREJUDICE!***
      • Avoid confrontation with your taxi driver in Tamale. It will create a scene.
      • DON’T check out of your hostel when you go to the bus station in the morning Wait until check-out time if you can.
        •  Once you have signed your name on the list, you can return to the hostel to wash up and pack your belongings.
        • Only DO this if you are traveling with friends, so they can watch your belongings while you are gone.
        • Decide who is going to the bus station ahead of time to get the tickets.
    • You need to leave early in the morning to buy your ticket. You should arrive between 6AM and 7AM to sign your name on a list to get your ticket.
      • You can try to buy your ticket the day before, but very often ticket tellers will tell you to buy your ticket the next day. Also if you take the 8AM bus ride from Accra to Tamale, the Metro Mass bus station will be closed by the time you arrive.
      • You have to sign your name on a list because they don’t officially sell bus tickets until 2pm (or an hour before the bus arrives). If you’re not present when they call your name, you forfeit your bus ticket.
      • The Tamale to Mole bus sells out quickly!
      • The bus is NOT air-conditioned. Also it gets very cramped because there are a lot of people on the bus and each person tends bring a sizeable amount of belongings (there is no overhead storage). There may be wild chickens running around the bus, but they don’t bother you.
      • The bus ride is VERY bumpy due to the rocky, unpaved roads on the way to Mole. Buses have a tendency to break down, but you will be fine.
  • Take care of yourself and your belongings at the Metro Mass station.
    • Most likely, there will be very few foreigners at the station. Some of them are usually heading to Mole and some of them are heading farther north (ex. Burkina Faso). You will stand out, no matter what race or creed you are. The locals can tell when someone is an obruni (foreigner).
    • Watch your belongings while you are there. Certain people have no problem touching your belongings, even while you are sitting right next to it. You can read about my experience with that on the My Experience at Mole page.
  • After all of the effort of getting to Mole National Park, you have finally made it!
    • The bus will drop you off right in front of the welcome center at Mole Motel.
    • Once you arrived to the motel, go the front desk and check in. The front desk closes around 10pm.
    • One of the Mole Motel staff members will show you to your room. Once you are settled, you can lounge around, explore the grounds, and/or go to the restaurant before it closes to get dinner.
    • Be careful roaming around the motel late at night. Since the motel sits right in the middle of the wildlife reserve, animals do roam the grounds at night. It is best to be in your room by 11pm at the absolute latest.
  • Go and participate in some activities! Also eat something!
    • You know those activities you researched about before you left? Ask the motel staff about them and get more information so you can plan your day accordingly. Also inquire if there are any additional activities you can do while you’re there.
    • There is a pool at the motel that you can splash around in.
    • There is a restaurant onsite but it can be pricey depending on your menu choice.
      • There aren’t many other places you can eat otherwise, so budget for the restaurant’s prices
        • It starts at 8-10 cedis for an entrée, not including drinks.
    • MAKE YOUR TRIP WORTHWHILE!

NEXT: Leaving Mole National Park

PREVIOUS: Preparing For Your Trip

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