Our final program excursion of the year was to Mole National Park in the Savannah Region of Ghana. The Savannah Region of Ghana is in the north-western part of Ghana. It is most immediately south of the Upper West Region, and diagonally south of the North East and Upper East Regions. Mole National Park, the largest game reserve in Ghana, is a total area of 1,869 miles squared. It is home to great varieties of plant life and animal species and is especially well known for its many elephants and beautiful birds. Visitors can go to Mole for day trips to hike and observe wildlife, or they can stay at one of the local lodging options for a longer safari-type experience.

Our group was lucky enough to stay at Zania Lodge, the first luxury safari lodge in West Africa. Zania Lodge is situated on the ridge of a long hill, overlooking the savannah below. Two large watering holes can be seen from the property where elephants, antelope, and other wildlife can be easily observed. This outstanding view can be enjoyed from each individual chalet as well as from the main lodge, where there are patios, nice places to sit, and a beautiful infinity pool. During our few days at Mole, we spent much of our time floating in the pool looking out over the savannah. We were also lucky enough to enjoy multiple colorful sunsets from this wonderful vantage point!

Of course, the primary attraction of the lodge was its guided safari tours. The lodge offered three varieties of such: daytime walking tours, daytime driving tours, and nighttime driving tours. Each tour was about two hours to two and a half hours and included two trained guides. I chose to go on one daytime walking tour and two daytime driving tours – unfortunately the nighttime driving tour was an extra cost for our group.

Each tour had its own unique features. Because they were on foot, the daytime walking tours did not see quite as many animals as the driving tours, but it was fun and adventurous to walk through the bush and at least attempt to track animals. While hiking, we had the opportunity to see some unique things – including elephant bones, awesome anthills, and huge elephant footprints.

The driving tours provided the opportunity to see animals with greater frequency – elephants, antelope, warthogs, monkeys, alligators, birds, and more. The morning driving tour also had another awesome perk – a coffee break! The guides took us to a little platform that had been built overlooking a pond, and there we enjoyed freshly roasted coffee and tea biscuits. This was especially nice and unexpected because fresh coffee in Ghana is so rare (powdered stir-in coffee is more common) – it was a real treat!

All in all, the trip to Mole National Park was an outstanding introduction to a new area of Ghana. It provided an entirely different landscape to that of the coast and offered us great opportunities for experiencing African wildlife. I will not forget it!

Complimentary Twi Lesson:

Hye (To wear)

Mpaboa (Shoes)

Kasa (Shirt)

Duku (Scarf)

Ahuhuro de me (I am hot)

Ashley Young studied abroad in Accra, Ghana in 2018: