First Two Safaris


Two Safaris – 7am Walking Safari with Christopher on February 20th and 6am Birdwatching with Osmond on February 21st




6:29. The sun is up and we’re ready to go. Christopher led us down the escarpment towards the water hole.




Within half an hour we were standing on the edge of the water hole watching the elephants frolic in the cooling water. Christopher was surprised to see them enjoying a dip so early.




We couldn’t get over the size of the footprints those elephants leave in the mud.




There were plenty of new birds to appreciate and Christopher was quite willing to help us identify them. The large nest in this tree is built by the Hammerkop who reuses it year after year, unlike most other birds.



Jeremy studies balls of elephant poop, wondering if it can be made into biodiesel.




Wart hogs need to eat too. This guy was just minding his own business rooting around in the waterlogged bog for stuff to eat. We were surprised to see so much standing water this far into the dry season.




Amy drinks in the sight of a dozen bull elephants in various states of wet, muddy and dusty. From what we saw, they browse in the bush, then mosey over to the water hole for a swim, then roll in the mud (insect repellent and sun block), then clean out their trunks and get a long drink. Eventually they wander off into the bush to eat some more and begin the cycle all over again.




Christopher is very happy that the elephants gave us such a good show. We could have watched them from the deck for hours. You can tell by our smiles what a great tour this was!




But the day was getting long and our stomachs started talking about breakfast so we climbed down from the deck and headed east towards the Mole Hotel up on the escarpment above the water holes, taking advantage of photo ops along the way.




Amy and Jeremy stand in front of the elephant herd. We learned that elephants, at least this herd of bulls spend a lot of time standing motionless, giving new meaning to the word statuesque.




At 6am, it’s dark and buggy and we trustingly follow our guide Osmond off onto the Savannah in search of birds, Camille with her notebook in hand. The plan was to hike to a place where we could watch the succession of birds as they woke up and went about the business of getting themselves breakfast. Three hours later we had added close to thirty new birds to our list. We ultimately added four dozen new birds during our week in Mole and Tamale. Camille tied a one-cedi handkerchief around her nose and mouth to keep the flies out.




It looked like rain but we thought it too early in the season for that nonsense. Rain it did anyway but we stayed out until it cleared. However, the second time the skies darkened, Osmond took us to a culvert where we could stash our cameras, bird books and binoculars if need be and then called for transport. Which required loading more MTN minutes into his cell phone. The ranger on the other end of the call assured Osmond that it wasn’t going to rain again and after some hesitation we went on with the safari. It did rain again but by this time Osmond had located a plastic bag deep in a cargo pocket and so waterproofed the books. The cameras weathered the day without problems. Bob had to disassemble the binoculars and dry them out.




We got a good long look at the flashy blue-breasted kingfisher and as we were ending the tour ran into a flock of school children wearing the same color!

Other birds we saw on this day included:
African wattled lapwing
Black kite
Black-billed wood dove
Chestnut sparrow weaver
Common sandpiper
Denham’s bustard
Double spurred francolin
Green-backed heron
Grey headed northern sparrow
Little weaver
Northern black flycatcher
Purple heron
Red-billed firefinch
Red cheeked cordon bleu
Red-eyed Dove
Red-throated bee eater
Rose ring parakeet
Senegal Eremomela
Senegal Kukel
Senegal parrots
Senegal Thick-kneed
Snow crowned robin chat
Swamp flycatcher
Wool necked stork
White backed vulture
Yellow-crowned gonolek


[Latest] * [Troutsfarm] * [Green Ranch] * [FS2BD February] * [Journey to Asempa] * [Mole National Park] * [First Two Safaris] * [Final Safari] * [Meeting Savannah Plants] * [Mbanayili Village] * [ Tamale]