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Mole National Park is located in northern Ghana and is the biggest National Park in Ghana. The park covers an estimated 4,577 square kilometers in the district of West Gonja and is home to several species of mammals and birds. It is thus by no wonder that this Ghana National park rates as the most popular game park and the best visited of all parks and reserves in Ghana.
Part of the park lies in the Guinea Savanna Zone which is a large expanse of open savannah grasslands often interrupted by a few woodlands. The grasses normally grow to 3m high especially during the wet season making game viewing difficult although the dry season turns it brown and more sparse. The river banks are covered in forest woodlands attracting both woodland species and water birds.
The park is an important water catchment area with smaller water streams and other rivers pouring their water in the White Volta. Polzen is one of the rivers in the park with spectacular falls downstream. There are an estimated 742 species of plants and trees in the park of which 4 are endemic species and more than 20 are classified as rare species
This park is just 24 km from the town of Damongo and only 146km south east of Tamale. It is also 700km from the capital Accra while the drive form Kumasi to Mole National park is 430km. There is an airstrip at Mole which serves private Ghana flights to Mole and tourist charters from Tamale and Accra.
The park is home to an estimated 94 mammal species, 300 bird species, 9 amphibian species and 33 reptile species. Regular sights in Mole Park include kob, elephant, roan antelope, waterbuck, vervet monkeys, hartebeest, buffalo, patas, baboon, caracal, aardvark, bushbuck, lion, spotted hyena, civet, mongoose, genet, leopard and several species of duikers. The best time to adventure on game drives and game watching is during the dry summer months of November to March. This season brings many animals to the different water point in the park thus giving better game viewing chances.
More than 250 birds are recorded in the park and some of the residents include egret, kingfisher, Egyptian goose, pelican, Guinea fowl, stork, Bateleur eagles, Rollers, Ground hornbill, malachite kingfisher, rock partridge and many other birds. Bird watching is excellent during the rainy season of April to October and also in the short rains of July and September
The area receives an average of 1100mm of rain every year with the heaviest rainfall falling during the long rainy season of April to October. The highest temperatures are recorded in the dry season 26-31ºC. The hottest months being April and March before the start of the rainy season
Other Tourist Attractions
Slave Caves in the park are a must visit and these have a heritage and stories from the slave trade era. The caves are said to have been a hiding place for people who fled the wrath of the infamous slave raiders Babatu and Samori. The park headquarters were at the time, an important slave trade centre and fort.
Several rivers cross through the park leaving behind spectacular waters falling on towering rocks. Konkori falls in 100km in the north eastern part of the park headquarters while Polzen falls leaves you in awe! Nevertheless, access to these spectacular Mole sights is a hiking challenge that pays off on sight!
Cultural visits to the different communities near Mole goes without say. More than 33 different tribes have settled near Mole National Park bringing a whole Ghana cultural heritage nearer to the tourist. Some of the interesting villages include Larabanga and Mognori, where visitors have a feel of the real African Village life of farming and animal husbandry. One kilometre from Larabanga is the revered sacred stone of the community. It is worth hearing the story behind this stone.
Canoeing and boat trips on Mole River are exciting. The rides are on local dug out canoes operated by local guides. Other excting ways to adventure in the park include hiking, biking, forest walks and many others.
Overnight accommodation is available at the Motel located near the park headquarters. The Motel has facilities for up to 90 people, a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Camping is also allowed in the park for designated areas