Mokala National Park
Dominated by the beautiful and distinct camel thorn tree from which the park derives its name, Mokala (Setswana for Camel Thorn Tree) is a breeding centre for disease free buffalo and various antelope that are then fed back into some of the larger South African national parks.
Proclaimed as a new national park as recently as June 2007, Mokala’s landscape varies between koppieveld (hills), sweeping plains sprinkled with isolated dolerite hills and the large open sandy plains towards the north and west of the Park. The Riet River runs through the park and visitors can hire canoes for 1-5 hour trips down this waterway. Fly fishing (on a catch-and-release basis) is also permitted.
The Park is 19 611ha in size and boasts the following species: Black Rhino, White Rhino, Giraffe ,disease-free Buffalo, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Reedbuck, Gemsbok, Eland, Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blue, Black Wildebeest, Kudu, Ostrich, Steenbok, Duiker and Springbok.
The three lodges are Mosu, Mofele and Lilydale. Mosu and Mofele are relatively close to each other and both lodges have restaurant, pub and conference facilities. Lilydale, is perched above the Riet River (about 70km from the main lodge) and has a fully equipped conference centre. At Haak & Steek, about 10km from the main lodge, you’ll find a small rustic cottage and the camping area that has been established around the waterhole.
Mokala National Park is one of the most easily accessible of the national parks in the Northern Cape being only 80km southwest of Kimberley. Take the N12 freeway from Kimberley to Cape Town and after 57km, on the Heuningneskloof Crossing turn right, then travel 21km along a gravel road to the Park turn-off. It’s an ideal stop when driving between Cape Town and Gauteng.