Mole National Park

Mole National Park was absolutely fantastic. After being so close for so long and entirely unable to get there, I had built it up in my head a tremendous amount and when I got there it lived up to my expectations spectacularly. I ended up being driven by Frank, one of the company drivers, after hiring the best car in Nsawkaw (which was still pretty crap). It cost 200GHc for the trip which is about £100 but the company footed the bill for absolutely everything except the beers i had by the pool in the evening! The drive took about 4.5 hours to the Mole Motel, an absurdly name seeing as it is about 50 miles from any main or tarred road, down a seriously crap dirt road. The motel is built on an escarpment overlooking a large watering hole and grassy plain which means you can sit on the viewing area, cold beer in hand, and see elephants, kob, bucks, warthogs and all sorts. Being the wet season it was considerably harder to see wildlife as there is grass everywhere and the animals do not need to return to the watering holes to drink and bathe, but nonetheless there was plenty to see just from the motel.

I was there for one night and so I went on a guided walk into the bush twice, in both the afternoon and the next morning. You were not allowed to walk into the bush without an armed guide but it was only 50p an hour so did not exactly break the bank. On the first trip we saw two elephants as well as assorted antelope type things and warthogs. It says on big signs that you are not to go closer than 50m from an elephant which the guide obviously hadn’t read as he happily took us to within 25m. With one he took us to sit on the edge of a village hut which was in the path of the elephant and we sat there while it passed within 10m in front of us. They are absolutely awe-inspiring creatures.

The motel was rather nice, although power only ran from 7 til 10 in the evening. There was a pool from which you could see the view and the food was really good. When I first arrived I walked through the pool area and was quite shocked to see so many white people. Over the past month or so I’ve only seen two others and to suddenly be surrounded by 20 was quite strange. In the evening I got chatting to some English students who’d all come out here volunteering for NGOs and were travelling for the last part of their stay. I was definitely occupying the moral low-ground being here with a gold exploration company! The next day I met a chap who’d come here from Nottingham on public tranport (except Mauritania which he’d flown over because of the coup). He only had 10GHc which would not have even got him away from the park or allowed him to stay so I changed him some more, which I have had no call to use as the company keeps paying for everything!

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~ by goldwhine on 8 September, 2008.

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