Mole National Park, Ghana's largest wildlife refuge

Stories and facts

Mole National Park, situated in the Savannah region of Ghana, stands out as the country's largest wildlife refuge among its seven national parks. Covering approximately 4,577 square kilometers of relatively undisturbed Guinea savannah, this expansive park boasts diverse ecosystems, including savanna and riparian areas, at an elevation of 50 meters. The park's southern boundary is marked by a striking escarpment, and access is facilitated through the nearby town of Larabanga.

Established in 1958 as a wildlife refuge, Mole National Park saw the relocation of its human population by 1971, becoming officially designated as a national park. Despite its significance, the park has not experienced substantial development as a tourist destination since its inception. However, efforts to protect its resident antelope species have shown improvement, although concerns persist over underfunding, poaching, and sustainability.

Following the resettlement of the human populace, Mole became a critical site for scientific research, offering a unique opportunity to study relatively undisturbed ecosystems compared to densely populated areas in West Africa. Notable studies have focused on the park's elephant population, revealing varying impacts on tree species, particularly economically important ones like Burkea africana and Butyrospermum paradoxum.

Recent developments highlight the park's role beyond conservation. The production of fair-trade honey from Molé National Forest has emerged as the region's pioneering commodity. Local villagers utilize traditional harvesting methods, partnering with international entities to market the honey as a health supplement. Ashanti Chief Nana Kwasi Agyemang spearheads this initiative, aiming to rekindle local interest and expand export opportunities within Africa.

Mole National Park boasts an impressive array of flora and fauna. The park features tree species such as Burkea africana, Isoberlinia doka, and Terminalia macroptera, alongside various savanna grasses and herbaceous plants. Notably, over 93 mammal species inhabit the park, including elephants, hippos, buffalo, and warthogs. Additionally, Mole serves as a primary preserve for diverse antelope species and monkey populations.

Despite its ecological significance, Mole National Park faces challenges, particularly in combating poaching due to inadequate funding. Professional rangers vigilantly guard the park's fauna, with poachers residing within 50 kilometers of its boundaries posing a constant threat. Efforts to curb illegal activities remain pivotal to safeguarding wildlife populations.

Improvements to park access have fueled a rise in tourism, attracting visitors from both Ghana and abroad. However, revenue generation remains limited, primarily due to high local student visitation rates compared to longer-staying foreign tourists. Moreover, infrastructure developments have inadvertently facilitated illegal activities like rosewood logging, underscoring the need for sustainable tourism practices.

The allure of Mole National Park extends beyond wildlife, with nearby attractions like Bui National Park, Paga Crocodile Pond, Larabanga Mosque, and the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows offering diverse experiences for visitors. These sites collectively contribute to the rich cultural and natural heritage of Ghana's Savannah region.

Mole National Park stands as a beacon of biodiversity and conservation in Ghana, fostering scientific inquiry, sustainable initiatives, and tourism. Despite ongoing challenges, concerted efforts by local communities, conservationists, and authorities aim to preserve this invaluable natural asset for future generations.

Explore the timeline of the Mole National Park below.



Be the first to leave a comment!