Woke up early the next morning because we were going on a walking safari! The monkeys were out and about looking very nonchalant and totally ignoring me but keeping a sharp eye on me at the same time…They are very elegant with long tails and very inquisitive eyes.
We set off to the Information Center where we would meet our guide. We set off with a group of 7, random strangers who wanted to do the walk. They turned out to be three very nice young women and Robert, from Spain. We set off into the ‘bush’ with our guide looking very official with a lethal looking rifle..
We passed warthogs … all kinds big ones, medium ones, small babies, all sizes but all very ugly. The babies were cute ugly.. There were some very shy deer .. you could see the white of their tails as they darted off. We saw elephant poop….. some footprints of some sort of elk…
Then finally we got to the waterholes and there were the elephants.. What amazing creatures they are. Walking slowly and ponderously. A young guide-in-training told me all about the herd. They were all males with the largest one the leader. The rest of the ‘guys’ had to hang out while he went into the water to wash himself down which he did very slowly and ponderously. Then he came out and went over to some mud which he inhaled with his trunk and then sprayed all over himself .. He did this several times and looked very pleased with himself. There were two young elephants who were not allowed to go and visit the females because they were too aggressive. The females were much deeper in the bush so they could protect their young. The two young elephants would eventually have to fight and claim their own herd before they could mate! It was lovely being able to be so close and to watch them.
We picked a good group, thank goodness because everyone just enjoyed hanging out and watching and taking pictures. While were there two other groups came, took pictures (you know the one ‘me with the Elephant’ ‘ Dad with the elephant’ etc) and then went rushing off again… Been there, seen elephants, done that. We outlasted the two groups who arrived after us … It was finally our guide urging us onwards .. he had a schedule after all!
On our return home it was so great to be able to go into the pool and cool off. The pool is not the icy cold we Canadians are used to but rather quite tepid … very easy to slip into! Then we had breakfast on the verandah.. all in all the good life!!
There were quite a few guests at the Mole Lodge and it was really fun to talk to people who are coming to Ghana for all sorts of reasons… a professor from Denmark who has been studying the trees for the last 10 years… Robert from Spain coming specifically for a holiday! .. a young woman working in Accra who came to Mole Park with a friend visiting from home for the weekend…. Really interesting.
Around 3:30 we went out for a jeep Safari … quite different as we whizzed along .. We saw quite a few deer, i spotted a whole tree of vultures (ugh) , some pretty birds and again some elephants. We found out why we weren’t spotting very many animals today… we had had that storm the night before and this had been the first rain of the season. This rain apparently reignites the smells of their own urine and feces which scares them off and deeper into the bush!!!
Talking of rain the same thing that happened last night started again while we were quite deep in the bush. So our driver decided to try and outrun the storm… so wind was whipping around and we were whipping along!!
Finally just as we arrived big splashing rain came down. So we retreated to our verandah … The hard rain didn’t last long at all and we were able to go for a cool dip!!
The sunset was absolutely spectacular … a real African sunset over the savanah … awesome!
Since the rain stopped we decided to go back to our original plan of going to the new Zaina Lodge for a drink…
Wow, talk about a masterpiece! We met John Mason (who designed and planned the whole endeavour) and he explained that no large machinery had been brought in so as not to disturb the animals. All the work was done by locals. In the totally incredible main restaurant and bar area overlooking Mole Park there are these gigantic walls whose design evokes memories of the north of Ghana … this wall was completely covered by local clay by local women after which they put their handprints and designs all over. Then they polished the clay with shea butter… quite stunning. There are beautiful African masks and exquisite hats (also made in the North) on the wall. The covering on the couches were African fabrics… all in all a real celebration of the African style and craftsmanship. There is a lower level with the pool and deck chairs where we sat to drink our cocktail … It was a delicious concoction of watermelon and other goodies! (we got quite giddy thinking about how we would have to sell our airplane tickets in order to pay for the drinks and how we would have to call our kids and tell them to come and rescue us!!)
We were quite relieved in the end that the drinks were actually affordable and we didn’t have to sell off all our belongings!
Our welcome to the Lodge was so effusive and warm.. we were shown all around … the pride emanating from the staff was palpable …. understandably.
Finally on our way out Lisa asked if it was possible to see one of the rooms. Absolutely no problem … a key was fetched and we were shown around one of the most gorgeous hotel rooms i have ever seen. The wall are left their natural clay colour and all the stonework in the bathroom is from the site…
A big plush bed … more African crafts on display on the wall and sitting on the floor (Bolga Baskets) .. All the toiletry products that are complimentary are made from shea butter and are locally produced.
Usually luxurious expensive hotels put me off. They are so often cold and dead. Not this one … this one has heart and every detail was thoughtfully done. I would recommend a couple of relaxing days here for anyone!!! Check out their website … but the photos just don’t do it service.
After that we all trundled off to our humble abode in the pitch black!!