The Best of Mokala National Park

January 24, 2019

Located 70KM from Kimberley, you’ll find one of South Africa’s newest parks and one that is highly underrated; Mokala National Park. Mokala is the Setswana name for Camel Thorn, a hardy, drought-resistant tree which covers the deep red sand landscape.

Not only is this 30 000ha Nama-Karoo and Savanna biome beautiful, but it is also home to a variety of endangered and rare species which is all the reason you need to visit the park.

The park has various accommodation options in the south, a treetop cottage in the center and my favourite; Lilydale Rest Camp in the north.  The Lilydale cottages overlook the Riet River below which you can walk down to or even enjoy some catch and release fly-fishing.

There are various areas to explore in the park, but these ones are my favourite:

Vaalbos Loop is in the north of the park and has a small waterhole called the Annex. As the area consists of grassland, it is much easier to spot wildlife such as by eland, buffalo, various antelope, zebra and if you look closely, you’ll even see super colourful lizards. During our visit, we also found a hyena den with bones scattered all around. Unfortunately, no hyenas were seen but we will keep our fingers crossed for next time.

The best part is the Lookout Point near Lilydale. Visitors can alight from their vehicle and enjoy the scenic vistas from a small hut which overlooks a waterhole. It is also the perfect place to watch the sunset over the plains.

Kameeldoring Loop offers visitors the best chance to see giraffes enjoying a bite out of the tall trees. There is also an unfenced picnic area surrounded by Camel Thorn trees with tables and braai grids.

As you move south, you’ll see a noticeable different landscape than in the north. The flora becomes denser, there are mountainous areas and what seems like far less wildlife. The Matopi Loop has a large picnic area and the Tsessebe Loop is beautiful even if the only wildlife you see are springbok and ostriches.

Mokala National Park seems highly untouched by mass tourism which makes this location ideal, not only for the wildlife sightings but also for a relaxing getaway in the African bush.