Mokala National Park Travel Guide
Located 78 kilometres south-west of the Northern Cape's capital; Kimberley, Mokala National Park is home to a number of endangered wildlife species including both species of Rhino, Roan Antelope and Tsessebe.
A Travel Guide to the Mokala National Park
Mokala National Park is located off of the N12 national road. Visitors travelling from Cape Town will travel up the N12 for 919 kilometres (569.78 miles) towards Kimberley. 37 kilometres (22.9 miles) outside of Kimberley, just before Ritchie, one will see a signboard to Lilydale. Turn onto the gravel road and travel for 16 kilometres (9.92 miles) before arriving at the main gate.
The national park's internal sand/gravel road network can be in a poor condition and visitors are advised to contact the reserve for an update on the conditions prior to arrival. During the rainy season between December and February some of the roads are closed as a precautionary safety measure. The one road the closures regularly affect is the main road leading between Mosu Lodge and Lilydale Rest Camp. It is recommended that visitors access the nature reserve in a high clearance vehicle that is more powerful than one's average Sedan vehicle.
From either Cape Town International Airport or Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport visitors can take a connecting flight to Kimberley and the drive the final 59 kilometres (36.5 miles) to the reserve.
New, comfortable accommodation and large amounts of wildlife including a number of endangered species such as Tsessebe and Roan Antelope make the Mokala National Park a pleasure to visit. The reserve is also known to offer great bird-watching and the species list is already at 139 and growing.
Mokala National Park offers visitors a number of exciting outdoor activities to take part in during their stay. Daily guided game drives both in the early morning and at sunset provide an interesting insight into the reserve and the plants and African wildlife found there. For two activities with a difference, guests can also embark on either a guided horse riding or mountain biking trail. The surrounding area is rich in rock art engravings and visitors can take a guided drive to view the artwork and learn more about the regions cultural heritage.
The park-run Matopi Picnic Area and the Kameeldoring Picnic area both offer great locations for day visitors and overnight visitors to enjoy a picnic and take in the beauty of their surroundings. Bird-watchers may also enjoy spending an hour or two at the Stofdam bird hide where Crimson-breasted Shrike and a variety of Kingfishers may be seen.
Overnight guests can choose from one of three lodges within the reserve each with a variety of different Mokala accommodation options. Mosu Lodge offers luxury safari bungalows while at Lilydale Rest Camp, guests can choose to stay in 1 of 12 rustic self-catering cottages. There are also camping facilities available.
A wild and truly African safari park with red earth, tall grasses and game animals around every twist and turn in the road, visitors to the national park will enjoy numerous up-close sightings of a number of game species including White and Black Rhino, Nyala, Giraffe and Bat-eared Fox. The park-run guided game drives are definitely worth booking, especially the sunset drive that takes visitors out at night where they will be able to have sightings of some of the nocturnal animals seldom seen on self-drives. A newly established reserve the self-catering cottages are well-maintained and fully equipped.
Rainfall occurs mostly in the summer months between December and February, usually in the form of thunderstorms. An average of 400mm of rain falls annually. Summer midday temperatures can be high, ranging from 33°C to 36°C (91°F to 96°F) and can exceed 40°C (104 °F)especially in the hottest month; January. Winter days are mild with temperatures averaging 22°C (71°F) however; night time can be freezing with temperatures frequently dropping below zero.
The high temperatures, especially in January can be uncomfortable to debilitating. Visitors travelling to the reserve during summer are advised to drink lots of water, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and stay out of the midday sun.
The wildlife reserve is home to a number of large, dangerous animals and visitors are advised to stay in their cars and never try to approach a wild animal. Rhinoceros and Buffalo in particular, can be exceptionally dangerous if surprised or made to feel threatened.
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