July 16, 2007. Mole National Park, Ghana.
Early in the morning we set off with our guide, Samuel Anponsah Mensah, and headed into the park with the hopes of shooting elephants. We would not be disappointed. Samuel guided our vehicle down over the escarpment and into the alluvial plain. We passed through grasslands, and through the dense bush on a road that resembled a trail. After about a twenty minute drive, we took off on foot, and we didn't have to walk very far before meeting our first elephants taking their morning bath. As you might imagine, we were all thrilled to see these majestic animals at such a close range. For their part, the elephants didn't give us a second thought -- they lounged in the water, spraying, drinking and occasionally rough-housing.
There are approximately 800 elephants in Mole National Park, and unlike their distant cousins living in East Africa ( in places like Kenya) very little is known about these animals. Their groups have not been identified and none of them have been studied as individuals. The elephants of Mole present an incredible opportunity for any budding biologist looking to contribute to science.
Elephant footprints that have filled with water from rainfall the previous night.
Our Guide on this morning, Samuel Anponsah Mensah.
Elephants departing the watering hole stop to take a look at us before heading back into the bush.