This week I had a once in a life opportunity to a take a trip up to Tamale and do some sightseeing! Dr. Wayne planned the trip for us and gave us work off, so I was pretty excited! The trip was pretty crazy but I survived and got to do some awesome stuff! We started off by taking a bus up to Tamale. This took about 8 hours due to relaxed timing in Ghana. Once we arrived in Tamale the driver for the Friends Eye Center located in Tamale picked us up. His name was Foster and he picked us up in the sweet land cruiser because their is a lots of off-roading out there! Foster was the best, he took us all over the place, and I mean all over the place.
We then took about a four hour drive up to Mole National Park. The drive was pretty hot, since Tamale is a lot hotter than Kumasi and Accra. The drive was very interesting though, because we drove past all these small villages in the middle of no where. Most of them were made of small red clay huts. That’s all there was and you would see women with large bowls of water on their heads walking down the street taking it back to their homes. I had never seen anything like it before! I still can’t express how impacting it is to see people living like this, it makes you think a lot about your life. We then finished the drive in the evening and arrived at the park. It was so beautiful!! The motel was really nice with a pool and tables that overlooked the jungle that looked like it went forever. We ate a really good dinner there (some good chicken and rice) and were able to see bush pigs, and baboons already!! They were all around the hotel it was awesome! We were in the jungle! We also got to see other Americans, since it’s a huge tourist destination so that’s always enjoyable. After we ate and watched the sunset we drove a while to go to a guest house. Sadly the motel at the park was sold out, and this was as lot cheaper. By a lot cheaper let’s just say my stay that night was not the most enjoyable. After surviving the night we woke up early and headed to the park for our safari!! Before the safari even started we got to see elephants! We were driving to head out and two elephants had made their way up to the motel and were eating all the trees around. The tour guide said we were very lucky since this doesn’t happen a lot! We got to get super close. (check out the pictures at the bottom!) It was so awesome!! We then took the land cruiser out and Ben and I were able to sit on the racks on top! I have always wanted to go on a safari since I was a kid, so being able to mark this off my bucket list was a dream come true!! We saw all kinds of animals! My favorite was the baboons, antelope, and of course the elephants!! We went to a large watering hole where elephants were taking baths! It was such a cool site to see! We then had a nice breakfast and were able to sit up above and watch the animals from the look out!
After our safari we got back in the car and drove around seven to eight hours to Toga. We didn’t know the drive was this long, so Foster surprised us with that one. It was very hot and again my hand held fan came in handy. Once we had traveled across the entire country ( Literally the entire country from Accra) we went to a crocodile pond! We were in the middle of no where with this pond held about 250 crocodiles. We bought a chick and took it to the pond where they called out this huge crocodile. It came crawling out and were able to hold its tale and take pictures with it. They claimed they trained them but I don’t know if I can believe you can train a crocodile. We then fed it the chick and it returned to the pond. After that we went to an old slave camp, and an art museum. We then took a 4 hour drive back to Tamale.
We got home very late that night and had a pretty rough night. Around midnight a huge storm came through and it began dumping rain. The power went out while I was in the shower which was not a great experience. It was an intense storm. The thunder was so loud and the lightning would light up the whole room! We tried to sleep but it was so loud and hot and humid. My roommate opened the window and I don’t think she realized there wasn’t a screen, so I got attacked by mosquitos as well. The lights were flickering and the cats and goats outside were making the loudest noises literally all night!! I then woke up around 4 am to a pile of mosquitos that had been killed by the fan in front of me. I felt like I was sleeping in the jungle. No one really slept that night. It may not sound that rough but it was a really rough night. The next day we were exhausted but Foster took us to see his friends snake and we got to hold it. Again they claimed it wouldn’t bite but who knows...
All the bus tickets were sold out for Friday we so we had to come home Saturday and take the lovely eight hour bus ride back at 6 am! I was up most of the night again due to very loud hymns and praises all night over a microphone for Ramadan. Overall the trip was an experience and, but it was definitely worth it!! I got to see some awesome things and as you can tell from the photos, I love animals, so I had great trip to Tamale!