"Where endangered species roam"
No large predators, no tarmac, no crowds - just 26,000 hectares of koppieveld and open savanna heaven for lovers of Antelope, Birds, Giraffes, Warthogs, space and tranquility. Sable and Roan antelope and Buffalo roam freely and you just might come across a family of Giraffe around the next corner.
There are no ugly high wire fences round the rest camps or picnic sites so you are free to enjoy the beautiful landscape uninterrupted, and some cheeky antelope and Warthogs take advantage of that in the evenings - you might just emerge from your accommodation after dark and find the grass nearby being nibbled, and the Hares and peculiar little Springhares will be hopping just beyond the edge of the light when you walk down the path. Breakfast at one of the open picnic sites on the Matopi or Kameeldoring loops could have you holding your breath as you arrive to disturb the wildlife that has been grazing there at dawn. With no large predators in the park I daydream of doing horseback safaris there, but with the parks so overstretched already with the limited resources they have I suspect I will have to keep on dreaming for now.
For those of us that like to take it slow and are interested in everything large or small, the park is brimming with the smaller side of life, and the trees are alive with birdsong.
The park is also home to Cape and Lappet-faced Vultures, who can often be seen circling high overhead or you might just find them fighting with Black-backed Jackals and each other over a meal provided by a hapless antelope that died during the night, as we did two weeks ago.
It always surprises me that so few people appear to be aware of Mokala, but I am torn between joy that we so often have the park almost to ourselves, and disappointment that more people aren't here to appreciate this incredible sanctuary. An unusual sighting or Vultures fighting over food would cause huge traffic jams in many parks but here we are left in peace and if another car or two happen to stumble across us there is still more than enough space to enjoy the sighting uninterrupted. Usually the only traffic jams you come across are those that you really don't mind...
It's just under 1,000kms from our house to Mokala, 70km southwest of Kimberley, but I will hop in the car at the drop of a hat and head there at every chance I get - we have already visited three times this year, and one visit last year was just for a long weekend ! The accommodation isn't 5-star but neither are the prices, with chalets starting at R.700 per night for two people and camping spots at R.400 or less, each with it's own bathroom and kitchen.
If you haven't visited this special place yet make a plan.
That soft red earth is calling...
Keywords: accommodation, africa, african, african, antelope, birds, camp, conservation, holiday, mokala, national, nature, parks, roan, sable, safari, sanctuary, sanparks, south, travel, vacation, wildlife
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