Set 1 of 2 from our eventful trip to Cape Coast on the 8th - I know, I know, I’m WAY behind on posting pictures. So many photos, so little time! And an unreliable Internet connection!
For this day trip we first went to Kakum National Park, a rainforest reserve near Cape Coast. Being a big fan of national parks in the states, it was great to visit a national park in another country. I loved the walk through the rainforest to get to the walkway - though I wish we could have gotten there earlier, there was a big, noisy group right behind us. It would have been nice to take it slow and enjoy the area, but once we got up on the bridges they spaced us out. If I had done this three years ago, I think I would have been frozen in fear, but thank goodness for high ropes course training at the zoo! Bearing that in mind, I was able to fully enjoy the walkway, taking photos and videos even while wobbling my way across the foot wide plank of wood that served as the floor of the bridge. The best part was watching other people react, I think! It was over too quickly, though, and I wish we could have done it again. Charlotte and I saw a sign advertising an overnight stay in the rainforest at a campsite - flashlights and machetes supplied, of course. What I wouldn’t do to give that a try!!
After the rainforest we went down the road to a small wildlife sanctuary (the name escapes me at the moment), where we were finally able to get up close and personal with some of Ghana’s furrier inhabitants. The Dutch couple who ran the place were great, if a little eccentric. Their original plan was to start a guest house - but, as the woman pointed out, the guest house remains incomplete and the grounds have turned into a wildlife sanctuary with patas monkeys, civets, hyraxes, parrots, a duiker, mongoose, snakes, and turtles. A colony of weaverbirds moved in a few years ago, and have since taken over every tree on the property. It’s a beautiful spot set against a hill, the top of which overlooks the surrounding rainforest and town. I spoke to the couple a bit about their experiences in wildlife rehab - like in so many developing countries, it’s extremely difficult to implement a successful species protection program when most of the population is too poor to care about whether or not their dinner is an endangered species. Poaching is rampant, and without the proper resources to enforce species protection laws, there’s not much that can be done about it. To address the problem, this couple has focused on encouraging citizens to bring any animals orphaned by hunting to their center, inciting them with a small reward (5 cedis - or roughly $2.50 US dollars). It’s a fine line to walk - make the reward too big, and people will make a business of bringing in baby animals, make it too small and nobody will bother to bring them in. The program seems to be fairly successful, as the newly rescued baby civet in a basket on a table attested. I wish we could have stayed longer, and I’d love to go again!