After a long, seven-hour road trip from Kumasi, Ghana, I finally arrived at Mole National Park just in time for the final game drive of the day. Join me as I experience my very first West African game drive and enjoy a spicy Ghanaian pork chop dinner in Mole National Park, Ghana!
My afternoon began inside Mole National Park with my guide Isaac and driver Ben from Jolinaiko Eco Tours. The park is the largest wildlife game reserve in Ghana. It was established back in 1958 and covers 4,840 square kilometers. It’s home to tons of animals, including buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles, antelopes, baboons, leopards, hyenas, and elephants! There are also lions, but they’re very rare.
I was staying at Zaina Lodge, the first luxury resort in West Africa. But first, before I set out on my 3:30 game drive, I had to check in at the lodge!
We followed a paved road until it became a dirt road, which is common in the savannah. We arrived at the lodge, which has a mud wall around it, similar to pictures I’d seen from Burkina Faso.
Inside, they checked my temperature before I checked out the lodge. There was a massive reception area and extra-high ceilings. There was also an open-air dining area that looks out over the resort’s pool and the savannah, but I forgot my bathing suit!
On the grounds is a pair of watering holes where the elephants come to drink. I was greeted with some refreshing lime juice.
The resort has 25 luxury tents, with 12 on one side and 13 on the other. As you walk to your bungalow, you should stick to the path, as animals sometimes wander through the resort.
My tent featured a big terrace looking over the entire game reserve, including both watering holes. There was an elephant at one of them! I hadn’t been to Africa in years, and this is what I loved about the continent.
The tent was huge, with a king-sized bed, workstation, and a TV. There’s a solid wall in the vanity area, but everything else is cloth. The shower was nice and spacious with two sinks and a separate toilet room. It was really special!
I met my ranger and driver and then set off on my game drive. They expected to see eight different species! I had the entire vehicle to myself because I was the only guest at the lodge at the moment. You can stand up in it to get better views of the animals.
Our first animal sighting was of a few antelopes. Game drives can be tricky; sometimes you may see a lot of animals, sometimes you might see nothing. It’s luck of the draw, so I recommend being patient and not setting your expectations too high.
It’s best to visit Africa during the dry season. While the wet season is lush and you may see more animals, the weather is a lot less cooperative with the amount of rain you get.
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We then saw some juvenile waterbucks, but the watering hole where they usually see elephants was empty. Then, we came across a baboon in a nearby tree. It kept grunting at us, almost like it was taunting us.
Then, we saw a warthog! We made it back to the lodge just in time to see the beautiful sunset. I headed to the bar, got a drink, and headed out on the outdoor terrace to relax.
Next, I headed to the kitchen, where they were making me baked pork chops, yam fries, and tomato soup. The cook also made me a Greek salad, and she made some snapper for someone else!
The tomato soup was delicious and creamy, with a touch of sweetness. Then, I jumped on the Greek salad and beets. I love vegetables, and it was great to eat some whole ones that weren’t broken down in a stew. The spicy sauce for the fries was really hot!
I also loved the pork chop. I rarely eat pork, but this was fantastic. It came with a caramelized, soy-like glaze on it that I loved. The pork chop came with vegetables with fish oil on them, which gave them a Szechwan-like flavor. They were crunchy, spicy, and a little sweet!
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What a delicious way to end my first West African game drive in Mole National Park, Ghana! Huge thanks to my friends at Jolinaiko Eco Tours for bringing me to the park, and to everyone at Zaina Lodge for being so kind and hospitable! It’s the only luxury lodge in the park and is a great place to stay.
I hope you liked coming with me on my first West African game drive in Mole National Park, Ghana! If you did, please give the video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!