Mokala is a malaria-free park that lies off the N12 about 75 kilometres southwest of Kimberley in South Africa – a perfect stopover on a road trip between Cape Town and Johannesburg. But don’t rush it, stay two or three nights and discover some of these 15 things to do at Mokala National Park.
2. Listen to the surround-sound
Switch off your engine and listen to the chirp of birds in the thorn trees, the hum of insects, the swish of grass as it sways gently in the breeze.
3. Take yourself on a game drive
4. Drive a 4x4 trail
You can combine a third 4x4 trail, the Doornlaagte loop in the Mosu section, with the Kameeldoring loop for a good chance of seeing the endangered roan and sable. Sadly, during our visit in March both these loops were closed for repair after rain damage.
5. Go on a guided game drive
A sunset drive is your chance to see the landscape soften as the sun sets. You might also see owls, genet, hares, jackal, bat-eared fox, African wild cat and caracal - even aardvark or aardwolf. The vehicle will have a spotlight so take your binos and camera.
6. Notice the small creatures
7. Reach for the stars
Here in the dry air the night skies are crammed with stars, the Milky Way brighter than you’ll ever see it in the Big City. On a night drive, ask your guide to switch off the headlights so you can appreciate the stars for a few moments. If you’re camping, don’t forget to look up.
8. Enjoy a picnic
9. Appreciate the plants
10. Cool off
11. Go fly fishing
12. Enjoy sundowners with the animals
13. Have dinner under the stars
14. Stay over
The Kameeldoring tree house is almost halfway between Lilydale and Mosu, with its own private waterhole where animals come to drink. There’s a minimum two-night stay; phone Mokala directly to book, tel 053-2048000.
For something different, sleep over at the Stofdam bird hide. You get four fold-down beds, solar shower and flush loo as well as an enclosed braai area, which is the only means of cooking. The drawback is that you can only take possession an hour before gate closing time and must be out by an hour after gates open so it can return to its job as a bird hide for other visitors. Bring your own sleeping bag, cutlery and crockery. Book ahead on tel 053-2048000.
15. Go camping
If you want to camp at Haak & Steek (see 14 above), you can only book the campsites in conjunction with the cottage as part of a single group.