A Search For Wild Life in Mesomagor

Mesomagor is a small village of about 400 people in the central region of Ghana and approximately 40km Northwest from Cape Coast; with its rainforest been an extension of the Kakum National forest.

My adventure here, would begin with a special bond with Haruna, Chris and Kwaakye, all wildlife guards who know the forest quite well. This adventure was my quest to find some forest elephants. I had being told these species can only be found in this part of the world. There is however a 50/50 chance that we would find any, as during this part of the year, they all have migrated to where they can find water. 

Mesomagor Forest, December 2018

This adventure required an overnight stay in the  primary forest and so enough food and water was necessary. I would however stay in the secondary forest another fortnight until my departure to my next destination in Kruwa forest.   

I had packed enough water, banana and peanuts to last me the night and the next day, but was quite disappointed in my self when I saw the preparation the rangers made. They had a lot of carbohydrates, fish, tomatoes, chilly and earthenware utensils. 

It would be dark by the time we entered the primary forest. Kwaakye, lead ranger, took the coordinates of the boundary line where we stood. Unlike many places in the world with trails, this forest has none. This is why its important to venture it with someone who knows the place so well and can guide you to and fro. Geo location is important to know where we began and where to exit.

wildlife rangers at boundary line picking up coordinates from geo locator.

Dusk would soon be upon us at 1645, our first encounter would be getting in the way of a swarm of bees. Thankfully, Kwaakye was able to figure it out and got us to make a quick detour.

After a few hours of hiking, we arrived at our accommodation for the night, a tree house located next to the bako tree, claimed to be the biggest tree in West Africa. This would be our base camp from where we would wait for any signs of animal life.

Treehouse in Mesomagor Forest

Ladder to treehouse

The night was an interesting one, there certainly was a creature that shook our tree shelter. It was too dark and too swift to record anything. It was after midnight, gun shots was heard a few minutes after. I suspect they were that of hunters. My flashlight however didn’t miss the tarantula spider on the roof.

Tarantula Spider

Sleep came after staying awake too long, my grey leather cape would be my sleeping mat on the hard wooden floor about 15 feet from the ground. The monkeys had become smarter, they have changed their routine to prevent predictability. 

I guess it’s more a protective mechanism. 4am seem to be the best time to feed and then go into hiding, away from humans. I wonder why we have become a threat to them, but doesn’t surprise me when we scare them away.

Our adventure into the Mesomagor forest gave me a sense of appreciation and familiarity of both the Kakum forest and this one as I could identify many plant species and bird sounds. We didn’t find the elephants, but the journey was worth it. 

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