Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Northern Ghana

Well, we got on a bus in the wee hours of Friday morning and arrived at Mole National Park 16 hours later.

Needless to say, I was a little stir crazy by the time we arrived.

Transportation to and within the north is rough. Quiet literally...the roads are horrific. With this in mind, Katie, Kelly, and I made the decision to travel with a tour company that organizes trips for international students at the U of G. The vehicle and driver provided by the company for our trip were infinity better than anything we would have encountered traveling on our own.

Mole was beautiful.

Here are a few pictures taken from the Mole Hotel.

Yes, as I ate my breakfast I watched 7 elephants at the watering hole.

We ventured into the park to see more wildlife.
Water Buck

Red monkey, complete with BABY MONKEY!!!
Baby monkeys are in my top 3 cutest baby animals.

However, our main objective was to track down an African savanna elephant. 


We knew we were hot on the trail when we found large elephant poop...Everyone Poops. I'm referencing a childrens book if that is lost on you.


I took a minute to pose about ten feet away from my new friend. He was remarkably calm, just enjoying a few nibbles on some greenery.

Mole was hell in a hand basket to get to; however, I would deem it entirely worth it. Western African is not as well known for game/safaris as Eastern Africa, but I'd say we did pretty well!

Several areas in northern Ghana are home to Nile crocodiles, so we also went to two crocodile ponds while in Paga. I don't have any pictures because I couldn't tear my eyes away from the locals feeding live chickens to the crocs. I'll also say that it's pretty creepy and a little intimidating to see a huge crocodile emerge from the water and  slowly crawl toward you.

On our way out of Mole, we stopped in Larabanga. This village is known for its mud and thatch mosque, said to be the oldest in Ghana; however, there is some discrepancy about the actual date it was built. This mosque is the cover photo for the Lonely Planet West Africa guidebook. It's odd, an interesting site, but I was a little underwhelmed.

The Muslim influence is significantly more prevalent throughout the north. However, it is less so than neighboring Burkina Faso, where 60-70% of the population is Muslim.

Speaking of, check me out:

We took a quick jaunt into BK.

The French influence also grows as you come closer to another French speaking West African country. Unfortunately, I did not eat my weight in baguettes this trip.

I have traversed the entire length of Ghana, top to bottom! ...It only took 40+ hours in a bus over four days. Travel isn't always glamorous, but sometimes the most rewarding things are not.

After this trip, I have now visited 9/10 Ghanaian regions!!! WOOOOO!

My friends and I have really been able to get out and travel and see the diversity Ghana offers. Now, unfortunately, it is time to start thinking about finals...

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