My Experience at Mole

My Experience at Mole

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

One of the many elephants at Mole National Park in northern Ghana.

The moment I overlooked the cliff of the animal reserve at Mole National Park, I knew I was in for an adventure. After the arduous 12 hour bus ride from Accra, the overnight stay in Tamale with its share of spontaneity, and the crazy morning at the local bus station, I was very happy to see Mole National Park and Mole Motel. Actually, let me clarify, I was OVERJOYED! It felt like it took an eternity to arrive there. When my friends and I indeed made it, I didn’t think it was real. I thought it was a mirage, but it was real.

A view of Mole Motel at Mole National Park in northern Ghana.

The entrance at Mole National Park

The rooms at Mole Motel are very nice. The rooms are connected to each other by a big patio that is on the edge of the reserve. You can walk out of your patio door and you are standing in the reserve. The closeness to the animals and nature was very cool and I hope I would a friendly visitor one day. My wish did come true, but I will tell you about that later.

A wide view of the wildlife reserve at Mole National Park in Ghana.

Warthogs galore!

The next day, we took off on a walking safari. We were only a few feet away from elephants, warthogs, antelopes and more. I was walking amongst wildlife and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would do something like that. You see people do it in movies or someone on the Travel Channel do it without fear. You only hope you can do it amongst life’s demands, pulls and tugs. However, when you finally get the chance to be in true nature and one of the world’s greatest animals is only 10 feet away from you is an absolutely amazing moment. You go through various emotions like from being flabbergasted to shock to feeling surreal to in awe to absolute calm and peace

A treehouse view of the lake and reserve at Mole National Park in northern Ghana.

Each step we would take, we would hear something move. Then 30 seconds later, we would see an animal like an antelope run from bush to bush. It glided so beautifully and I was in disbelief. I was on a walking safari watching animals I had only seen on television and I was in complete awe. Our safari guide helped us understand the animals’ natural habitats and habits. The coolest thing about our guide was that he carried a rifle filled with tranquilizers, just in case anything happened. I felt protected, but I knew if I attempted to climb on top of an elephant (I secretly wanted to do it badly), I would be the victim of a tranquilizer aimed at me. Trust me, the thought crossed my mind, but I decided it was in my best judgment to stay from the elephant and watch it from afar.

In this picture, our safari guide (right) helped cross a pond on a log. If you look closely, he had his tranquilizer-full rifle. He was a very nice man, but I wouldn’t cross him!

We found this animal bone in the middle of the path. Do you think it is an elephant bone?

After the walking safari, we went on a boat ride in a river in a nearby village. It was so much fun because we were able to row the long boat ourselves and have another chance to interact with wildlife. After the boat ride, we rode on top of the safari Jeep and that was an absolute thrill! The Jeep was driving very fast and I thought we were going to fall off, but thank God, we did not! We were constantly screaming and the driver would drive even faster when he heard one (or all) of us screaming. It was exhilarating and I want to go back and do it again!

Me sitting in the back of the boat on the river. I was slightly nervous, but there was nothing to be nervous about after all.

Row row row your boat, gently down the stream! Merrily merrily merrily merrily life is [but] a DREAM!

Here is one of the oddest times but funny times during our trip. After the safari and river ride, we went to the room to take a nap before dinner. Suddenly, I heard scratching on our window. I got out of bed and open the window curtains. I jumped back and tried not to scream. When I opened the window, I saw over a dozen of BABOONS are on our section of the patio. They were simply relaxing, swinging on the nearby tree and the railing in front of our window.

When we found the baboons on our patio, I felt they started to put a show on for us. LOVED IT!

Just another shot of those adorable baboons!

Immediately, I grabbed my camera and I started to take pictures. I nudged my friend LeeReyna awake to see the baboons and then we woke everyone else. We grabbed our cameras and took so many pictures. We decided to press our luck and go out to the patio and sit with the baboons. I know it sounds crazy, and trust me, I was scared. However, it sounded like fun and we did it. The baboons froze in fright, but when they realized we meant them no harm, they went back to swinging and they even approached us. They didn’t touch us. We just had a staring contest for about a minute. After 30 minutes, one member of the hotel staff came around and shooed them away. Baboons ran away quickly and we were upset that the baboons went away, but I got my wish to have a friendly visit from someone. I just didn’t know it would be from a baboon!

My friends and I on top of the speeding Jeep holding on for our lives! Racing through the safari grounds at such crazy speeds is an absolute adrenaline rush!

In this picture, we finally caught our breath from the crazy Jeep ride! Woo hoo!

For the next couple of days, my friends and I hung out the pool, met the locals, did some shopping and relaxed. It was very nice spring break and if I had the chance, I would go back. I would probably eliminate the pesky locals who wouldn’t leave us alone at the local bus station, but that situation was a small iota of the time we spent at Mole National Park. The trip was one of the most amazing experiences during my stay in Ghana and in my life in general. I think when you can explore the world, get out of your comfort zone, and do things you only dreamed of you truly live your life to the fullest.

Loved the elephants!

My experience at Mole National Park was worthwhile, exhilarating, awesome, pleasantly frightening, exciting and much more. Mole will always hold a place in my heart and I hope that one day you will be able to experience too.

My friends Lena (far left), Katie (right), LeeReyna (far right), and I observing the elephants and everything else. The trip was absolutely awesome!

HAPPY TRAVELS!

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