After arriving in Mole National Park in northern Ghana the previous afternoon, I kicked off my first and only full day in the park with an exciting game drive! Come with me as I spend 24 hours in a luxury African safari camp, try delicious Ghanaian food, and explore the local attractions in Mole National Park, Ghana!
My morning kicked off with me admiring the view from my terrace overlooking the grounds at Zaina Lodge. The lodge is the only luxury resort in West Africa and is one of only two accommodations in Mole National Park. The park was established in 1958 in northern Ghana and is the best place to see wildlife in the country.
The “rooms” at Zaina Lodge are actually large tents with one interior wall. They’re super spacious and lavish! I recommend staying two nights to maximize your game drive opportunities. You can also take day trips into nearby Larabanga and see the famous mosque there!
I woke up to an elephant outside. Then, I headed to the dining hall, where the roof is built in the Burkina Faso style. The walls inside are built to look like Larabanga Mosque.
Before breakfast, an elephant showed up outside in front of the resort, so I went to go see him. He was beautiful! It was a priceless experience, but I had to make sure to keep my distance, as African elephants can be territorial and very dangerous.
My breakfast consisted of a double espresso, jam, doughnuts, granola, fruit, and eggs. I had the entire lodge to myself, so it was super relaxing and beautiful.
I started with some fresh papaya and some fresh watermelon juice. Then, I went to the kitchen, where they cooked up some omelets with peppers and chilies and put them in the salamander grill. I’d also have some spicy sausage!
The eggs were beautiful! The texture on them was amazing, and the chilies added some nice heat. It was so unique! Then, it was time for my game drive! You can do two per day, as well as a walking safari in the mornings. The rangers accompany you on tours to ensure your safety. If an animal gets too close, they’ll shoot in the air to scare it off, but will never actually shoot the animal.
There were some crocodiles in the watering hole in front of the lodge. Then, we headed to another watering hole, where there were 4 elephants feeding and drinking. Then, the resort called us and told us that there were six elephants back at the other watering hole! We raced back there and passed guinea fowl and antelope. Mid-morning around 9-10 is the best time to see wildlife.
There were four elephants bathing in the water and two along the shore. I also saw a water monitor scamper into the water! The elephants were so beautiful. The ones in the water were about 15 meters away. This was the closest I’d ever been to a wild elephant!
Then, we went into a small stone structure called the Hide, where you can view the elephants without them seeing you. The view from there is even better!
Then, we headed back to the resort for lunch at 11:30. I had grilled chicken, veg stew, salad, green pea soup, and garlic rice. The presentations were breathtaking!
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The green pea soup was creamy and flavorful, and the cabbage salad was outstanding. I loved the other salad, too!
I also couldn’t get enough of the baked chicken with beet glaze. I added some chili sauce to it, and the rice and spicy vegetable stew were full of flavor! Dessert was three different flavors of gourmet ice cream.
Next, I met back up with Ben and Isaac from Jolinaiko Eco Tours to drive to Mole Village, a village of mud huts with grass roofs. The architecture here is different from southern Ghana. It was similar to the ones I saw in Lesotho.
Two minutes from the village is the Mole River, where we took a canoe ride! The river gets really high during the rainy season. Best of all, there are no crocodiles here. A full river tour takes an hour, but we only did 15 minutes. We saw lots of birds, including kingfishers and the western green plantain eater! I recommend wearing bug repellant to keep away the tsetse flies!
From there, we continued on to Larabanga. It’s a bustling village with vendors and lots of people and homes. There, we came across Larabanga Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the world. It’s 600 years old and is gorgeous with low doorways with prayer halls to the left and right! The architecture is incredible!
It was built by a man named Ibrahim. Outside is a 500-year-old baobab tree. It’s said Ibrahim told his friends to bury him there after he died and that the tree would sprout up atop his grave and have edible leaves!
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From there, we drove to the Mystic Stone, which is said to have legendary powers and is said to return to its current position whenever you move it.
Back at the resort, there were three elephants right outside my room! It was so spectacular that I decided to not go on the afternoon game drive. The game came to us! This African safari camp in Mole National Park, Ghana is beautiful!
Seeing these big, beautiful beasts up close and personal was not only the highlight of my time in Mole National Park, but also one of the highlights of my entire Ghana trip!
Then, I went for an early dinner at 5:30. I started with some pumpkin soup, carrot salad, and Caesar salad. They were outstanding! I followed that with the main course, some chicken kebabs! The onions, chicken, red peppers, and green peppers were the best!
What an unforgettable 24 hours in a luxury African safari camp in Mole National Park, Ghana! I have to thank everyone at Zaina Lodge and Jolinaiko Eco Tours for making this one of the most memorable days I’ve ever had while traveling!
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