March 28, 2014

‘Walking Safari’ doesn’t that sound ridiculous, like you’re going to get eaten by a lion? Luckily I survived but it was pretty touch and go.


This was actually one of the best things I have done in my life. Where else are you allowed to go wandering through a safari park looking for animals for about a fiver? So cheap and worth so much more.


I woke up early even for a 7am safari. I was excited like it was my birthday. Today was the day i would hopefully see an elephant in the wild. Pretty much the reason I came to Ghana (…maybe a little something to do with volunteering too).


 Early Morning view of Mole

Early morning view from the lodge

By now there were loads of people staying at the park. They’d all turned up on the tourist coach from Tamale late the previous evening. I was so happy I’d got here early and already been on safari instead of being on the bus all day. We got split into 3 separate groups for the walking tour. I went with my roomie and her friend who I’d hung out with the night before (benefits of staying in dorms). Weirdly I saw some girls there who I’d met at Green Turtle Lodge, although it took me a while to figure out how I knew them. Ghana is a pretty small country for tourists -you will see the same people over and over again!


We set off to the staff village where an elephant had been seen that morning. Unfortunately she’d already left by the time we got there and all we had to admire was her poop. The guide started following her tracks, showing us the footprints and where she had brushed mud high up along the foliage. It was quite a strange experience to be honest as our guide was very quiet and was only talking in his local language to 2 people who turned out to be students working at the park. We were all pretty confused but the students were amazingly helpful at explaining everything he wasn’t telling us and as long as he found us an elephant I would be happy! Tracking seemed to go on forever and I was starting to worry that we were never going to find one. We kept retracing our steps and going in different directions making us think the guide had lost his way. And then we got a call on the walkie talkie, the people who had gone in a jeep had found an elephant –too far away for us to get to. I was pretty sad at this point, and was even wondering if we could go back and get a jeep to find it. But we went down to the plains to see what else we could see instead.


As were walking we came across a fresh leopard print from earlier that day. Not exactly an animal I was hopeful of seeing on a walking safari! Luckily he didn’t materialise :).


Leopard footprint

Leopard Footprint

We were moving down the hill towards the waterhole I had visited the day before when we got a call from another walking group. The elephants were by the river, on our side, exactly where we were heading to. We started creeping along trying to be quiet when we rounded a bush to find 2 elephants right there, just a couple of metres away. i happened to be right behind the guide at this point and forgetting about the need to be quiet let out an “Oh shit!” –he wasn’t pleased. I was so happy we’d found them and never expected to get this close. They walked past us and then one stood for a while, posing perfectly for our photographs.


Elephants walking Mole National Park

Our Elephants

Elephant tail mole national park

“Look at my tail!”

Mr Elephant Mole National Park


The elephant eventually had enough of posing and walked off into the bushes. We started our walk back up the hill past the lodge to find that the elephants had actually decided to go for a swim. I had no idea elephants even could swim!


Elephant swimming Mole National Park

So beautiful


This was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s hard to believe that I was that close to these beautiful animals, in the wild. A walking safari seems like a ridiculous concept but I would recommend it to anyone. Go to Mole, you probably won’t even get eaten by a leopard.