On the weekend of my sixth week in Ghana, I set off for a 5-day trip to Ghana’s Northern Region! Since we had Ghanaian Independence Day coming up, we had some time off school to enjoy this vacation. There was five of us girls that planned the trip together (two Americans, two Canadians and one British)! We took a 40 cedi STC bus to Tamale, which is the main city of Northern Ghana. The ride was very long; it took us 14 hours to reach Tamale, but the view along the way was absolutely beautiful! The Northern region of Ghana is much more rural than Accra and the southern coastline, mainly because of the unequal infrastructure built by the British during colonialism. The two nights we spent in Tamale we stayed at a place called the Catholic Guest House, which was nothing fancy but definitely cheap. Exploring Tamale was really interesting and different from Accra–the markets and traffic were much more relaxed, and instead of seeing Christianity displayed everywhere like in the south of Ghana, we saw highlights of a predominately Muslim culture.
After some time in Tamale, we set off for Mole National Park. The park is supposed to be a three or four hour bus ride from Tamale, but we ended up breaking down on the side of the road next to a village for three hours! Traveling hick-ups like this are classic to the Ghanaian experience. Luckily the people of this rural village were very kind, and we ended up spending the whole time playing with adorable children. Between the breakdown and the unpaved, bumpy roads, we made it to Mole in about eight hours.
We spent three nights total at Mole National Park, and it was the time of my life! We went on two safari tours, one by foot and one by car, and I was able to get very close to baboons, antelope, monkeys, warthogs, birds, and even elephants! We got to watch three wild elephants by the main water hole for quite a while–it was amazing! We also spent our last night in Mole in the tree house out in the savannah, literally sleeping under the moon and stars. We heard monkeys, small jungle cats fighting, and even hyenas! Overall this trip to the Northern Region of Ghana was full of new and exciting adventures, and a fabulous way to celebrate Ghana’s 55 years of independence.