Chased twice by elephant - Incredible experience at Mole National Park
I never thought 40 seconds was such a long period until my tour group and I were chased twice by an untamed elephant.
In those seconds, with our hearts in our ‘throats’ and heads filled with adrenaline, we run mindlessly to wherever our legs led us. Someone might ask, “mo k) h) k) y3 d3n? (MKHKYD)", to wit, who sent us there?
We were a seven-member group on a tour of the beautiful Savannah Region organised by the PaaJohn-led WangoWango tour team.
After a tour of the Larabanga Ancient Mosque, we were eager to explore mainly the elephants, other wildlife and the beauty of the Mole National Park.
“The park is Ghana’s largest and refuge to many wild animals, including the largest population of elephants in the country. It is located within the communities of Mole, Larabanga and Daboya”, our tour guide briefed us on arrival.
We climbed on top of an assigned safari jeep to begin our tour
Into the wildlife
The sun had just begun to set when we climbed to the top of an assigned Safari Jeep. While on the trail, our tour guide, Seidu Dugbon, armed with a rifle, further briefed us on the features and traits of the various animals in the park.
He further emphasised how important it was not to disturb them because they were untamed and so would defend their territories if they felt threatened.
As we drove through the beautiful dry forest, the antelopes, monkeys and wild pigs came out to ‘model’ for us. While the jeep slowed down for us to capture the moments, we ‘awwwed’ and called out sweetly to them.
Soon, we had covered about 38 minutes of the thrilling yet bumpy ride, gearing towards the muddy waters and grazing fields of the elephants.
I remember our tour jeep met another group and one foreign tourist with them told us; “the elephants have split up to different areas, it will be ideal to continue on foot in order to find them.”
With me “adventurously” leading the group, haha, we then continued on foot for about 10 minutes and were thrilled when we finally beheld two majestic elephants grazing.
The only problem was that they were hidden behind a lot of trees and so we wanted to get a better view.
“This is a mother and child and the child is about 13-years-old. Elephants can grow up to 13 feet tall, weigh up to 22,000 pounds and live up to 70 years. Elephants use their trunks to breathe, smell, drink and grab things,” our guard educated us.
He then cautioned us not to make any loud noise to disturb the giants. While we took videos and pictures, we tried our best to adhere to his caution but the clicks of the phones and dry leaves beneath our feet betrayed us.
Suddenly, the teenage elephant, which had moved from behind the trees into clearer view, let out a loud roar and charged at us.
As the others run for their lives into different parts of the forest, my brain recounted all the fond memories I was going to miss after my ‘death’. If you have ever watched the movie “Jurassic Park”, you would appreciate this better.
The funny part was that we had to run ‘quietly’ so not to annoy the animal even further. For me, this meant all my fears were exploding inside me but I was not allowed to scream.
As the elephant closed in and roared again, the tour guide, who was running with us, stepped up and tried to calm us and the elephant down.
Thankfully, it stopped, took a sharp look at us and probably said, ‘this is your first warning’. Well, we did not listen and so there was a part two of the chase waiting.
After part one of the chase, for over a minute, my legs and whole body shook like a leaf.
The second chase happened after we had followed the same elephants into a much clearer open space. We got to take better ‘selfies’ and videos and admired the African giant in all of its glory until it stomped at us again…
It was a scary, incredible and fun experience and as I looked at the flushed faces of my colleagues, I knew we would never forget this.
Thankfully, we left unharmed but with a newfound appreciation for nature and the importance of conservation.