South Africa Table Mountain

Mokala National Park in South Africa,
where endangered African animals roam

Set amongst imposing hills and sprawling plains, Mokala National Park offers peace, seclusion and complete tranquility. The 20,000 hectare Park is the latest addition to the South Africa national parks collection of wildlife reserves and a must for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


Mokala is the Setswana name for the Camel thorn (Kameeldoring) tree, which is predominant throughout the park.

Proclaimed on 19 June 2007, Mokala replaces the de-proclaimed Vaalbos National Park which did not have much of a future left due to due to prospecting rights in the park and a successful land claim.

Mokala National Park is located approximately 80km (49 miles) south-southwest of Kimberley in the Northern Cape province, just west of the N12 freeway from Kimberly to Cape Town.

The closest airport is Kimberly International Airport, from which you can also obtain car rental services.

Find out more about about this new addition addition to the collection of South Africa national parks:




Camel Thorn tree - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Camel Thorn tree - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Piet Visser

The Park,...

The endangered Red Hartebeest antelope - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
The endangered Red Hartebeest antelope - Mokala Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © South African tourism

Mokala is known for its breeding projects of a variety of endangered antelope species such as Red Hartebeest, Sable Antelope, Black Wildebeest and Roan Antelope. It houses one of the largest breeding herds of Roan Antelope in South Africa. Other endangered animal species to be found in the park are Black and White Rhino.

Black Wildebeests locking horns - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Black Wildebeests locking horns - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Arno en Louise Meintjes

Relocating the animals from the original Vaalbos National Park to the new Mokala park has been a mammoth undertaking. A total of some 1200 animals had to be moved. This was not just case of pack up and go, but a complex and unique operation involving the relocation of a whole national park.

The rare Sable antelope - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
The rare Sable antelope - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Arno en Louise Meintjes

Currently the following species can be found in the park: Black Rhino, White Rhino, disease-free Buffalo, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Mountain Reedbuck, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Eland, Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Kudu, Ostrich, Steenbok, Duiker and Springbok.

Ant-eating Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Ant-eating Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora) - Mokala Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Johann du Preez

Mokala National Park is host to a varied spectrum of birds which is located in the transition zone between Kalahari and Karoo biomes. Birds that can be spotted are the Kalahari species, Black-chested Prinia and its Karoo equivalent Rufous-eared Warbler as well as Melodious Lark, to name but a few.

The rocky hillocks that characterise the park attract species such as Freckled Nightjar (vocal at night), Short-toed Rock Thrush and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting.

Brubru (Nilaus afer) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Brubru (Nilaus afer) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Johann du Preez

As with most rest camps and human dwellings, there are a number of birds making use of the artificial man-made habitat around the accommodation, such as Mousebirds, Martins, Robin-chats, Thrushes, Canaries and Flycatchers.

The checklist of birds that are likely to be found in Mokala Park, comprises a total of 132 species.

Sunset in Mokala Park - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Sunset in Park - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Arno Meintjes

Mokala National Park comprises Kalahari Thornveld, Savanna and Nama Karoo terrain interspersed with rocky outcrops, and with a wetland area that stretches for 18 kilometers. The Camel Thorn tree (Kameeldoring) occurs in dry woodland and arid, sandy areas and are one of the major tree species of the desert regions of Southern Africa.

This immensely important species has a great range over the Northern Cape and varies from a small, spiny shrub barely 2m high, to a tree up to 16m tall with a wide, spreading crown. The Camel Thorn is an incredible resource to both wildlife and humans who survive in often harsh conditions characteristic of this area.

Roadside tête-à-tête - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Roadside tête-à-tête - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Arno en Louise Meintjes

Mokala National Park is home to seven indigenous plant species namely:
  • Acacia erioloba - Acacia tortilis open Woodland

  • Acacia mellifera - Rhigozum obovatum open Shrubland

  • Acacia mellifera - Acacia tortilis open Woodland

  • Schmidtia pappophroides - Acacia erioloba sparse Woodland

  • Acacia mellifera - Acacia erioloba open to closed Woodland

  • Eragrostis lehmanniana - Schmidtia pappophroides open Grassland

  • Cynodon dactylon - Ziziphus mucronata open Woodland.
Landscape in the Mokala National Park - Endangered African animals
Landscape in the Mokala National Park - Endangered African animals
copyright © Yvonne Stokman

Mokala's landscape boasts a variety of “koppies” (hills) and large open plains, consisting of 19 611 hectares of Kalahari thornveld, savannah and Nama Karoo terrain interspersed with rocky outcrops, and with a wetland area that stretches for 18 kilometres.

This region is in fact the transition zone of the savanna and Nama-Karoo biomes, the former being flat and sandy and the latter characterized by rocky outcrops. Part of the appeal of this area as a conservation unit is the preservation of the interface of these two biomes.

Brown-veined Whites (Belenois aurota) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Brown-veined Whites (Belenois aurota) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Johann du Preez

From a scenery point of view it is quite a surprise when you pass through the hills and are confronted by the large open sandy plains towards the north and west of the Park. Drainage lines from the hills form little tributaries that run into the plains and drain into the Riet river.

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Maps,...

Mokala National Park is situated about 80 km south-west of Kimberley, capital of the North West Province. The interactive map below shows South Africa, with a marker indicating Mokala National Park. Zoom in to see a close up aerial view of the Park.



Tips for navigating the above map.

  • First of all press the refresh button of your browser if the map does not show up properly.


  • The three buttons at the right-hand top corner of the map allow you to view either the geographical map, the satellite picture or a combination of both.


  • The button cluster on the left will enable you to zoom in or out. On the map you can use the PLUS (+) key to Zoom In for more detail, or the MINUS (-) key to Zoom Out for a bigger picture of the region in relation to the rest of South Africa.


  • You will also be able to move the map left and right and up and down by clicking the left-hand mouse button and moving the cursor on the map.


  • The map will center itself every time you double-click on the marker on the map.


  • Click on the refresh button of your browser to return to the original map.
The following map may also come in handy.

view a map showing the Location of the Park in relation to the city of Kimberley and its surroundings.

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Accommodation,...

Mosu lodge panorama - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Mosu lodge panorama - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Yvonne Stokman

The Park features a wide range of accommodation for day and overnight visitors, currently consisting of three separate lodges and a camp site not far from the main lodge. Other facilities include a restaurant, conference facilities, self catering at one of the lodges, a swimming pool at the main lodge and a private landing strip. future developments include a day visitor's area and more rustic self-catering camps.

Mosu, Mofele and Lilydale lodges have superb facilities for conferences, weddings, team building events or workshops. Each conference room can seat 30 delegates in boardroom style or up to 40 to 120 delegates in theatre style. There are no breakaway rooms but both facilities have a big fireplace in each with air conditioning at Mosu Lodge and Mofele Lodge Conference Rooms.

Mosu Lodge,...

Overlooking a waterhole, which is intended to be a gathering place for animals and birds, Mosu Lodge comprises two air-conditioned executive suites and 13 two bed en-suite rooms with ceiling fans, all draped with suede curtains and bedspreads in sand color, crisp white linen and quality wooden furniture.

A cool sparkling blue swimming pool for the warmer months, restaurant with bar, lounge and entertainment area with built in fireplace, and a state of the art conference facility completes an unforgettable experience.

Black Wildebeest - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Black Wildebeest - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Arno en Louise Meintjes

The 2 luxury suites are self catering, with facilities including at braai area, two plate stove, microwave, fridge, utensils, cutlery and crockery. Each suite has one bedroom with double bed and electric blanket, a WC, shower, bath and hand basin, a cozy fireplace for those chilly evenings, and air-conditioning.

The 13 semi luxury rooms are not self catering. Each room consists of one bedroom with two single beds, a WC and shower, a hand basin, kettle, wall fitted heater and ceiling fan. One of the units is wheelchair friendly but only bookable on a request basis.

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Molefe Lodge,...

Set in the heart of the bushveld, Mofele is a more rustic and farm style lodge, with 9 en-suite rooms, sleeping 30 guests in total, all containing single beds, WC, shower, hand basin and ceiling fan. It has a restaurant (for groups and special arrangements), bar, lounge and entertainment area with build in fireplace for the cooler months. This lodge also has an excellent conference facility that can host up to 30 delegates.

Lilydale Lodge,... Situated about 70 km away from the main section of Mokala, Lilydale lodge offers 12 comfortable self-catering units overlooking the Riet River. They have 2 to 5 beds each. The restaurant and main lodge are available for group bookings and conferences. Guests can request to have access to the restaurant. It all adds up to an unforgettable visit.

Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Photograph by Johann du Preez

Haak-en-Steek camp,...

Besides the lodges, visitors can also stay at the rustic “Haak en Steek” camping site, which is about 10 km away from the main lodge. It consists of one rustic cottage and 5 camping sites, with all the necessary amenities needed for comfortable camping.

The rustic cottage is self catering and includes a braai facility in the lapa, a gas stove and oven, a gas fridge / freezer, kitchen, utensils, cutlery and crockery. There are 2 sleeping areas divided by a wall with one double bed in an open plan kitchen area, and 2 single beds. Other amenities include a WC, shower and hand basin. Please note that this cottage does not have electricity.

The rustic camping sites have access to the braai (barbecue) facilities in the lapa. There is no electricity, gas geysers or kitchen and no cooking utensils. This is ideal for guests wanting to rough it in the bush, with none of the traditional modern conveniences.

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Activities,...

The Warthog, member of the pig family - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
The Warthog, member of the pig family - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © Yvonne Stokman

This is a brand new park with a lot of opportunities for outdoor adventure, offering activities number such as mountain biking, day walks, sunset and night drives and bush “braais” (barbecues) to name but a few.

The park also plans to take full advantage of perfect night skies and star-gazing as a night time activity will also be offered along with wildlife documentary DVD shows. Rock art painting and engraving excursions, and guided horse trails will also be introduced.

Other recreation facilities include a Snooker / Pool table, swimming pool, cable television in bars, a lounge and fire places, and high and low-rope structure and facilities.

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Climate,...

Small herd of Red Hartebeest antelope - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
Small herd of Red Hartebeest antelope - Mokala National Park in South Africa, endangered African animals
copyright © South African tourism

Mokala National Park in the Northern Cape province in South Africa, experiences rainy and warm summers and cold and frosty winters. The rainfall, mainly during summer, is erratic and can be as high as 700 mm per year (June to May), but also as low as 300 mm per year (June to May). The average annual rainfall for the park is just over 400 mm per annum.

The temperature is less erratic than the rainfall with cold winters (coldest months June - July) as low as -4 °C while the summer (warmest months December - January) is as high as 44 °C. Frost occurs, with the earliest date recorded being 27 April and the latest date 23 September, while its duration can be as long as 107 days.

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How to get there,...

By road From Kimberley

  • Take the N12 route to Cape Town from Kimberley.

  • 57km from Kimberley, on the Hayfield - Heuningneskloof Crossing, turn right on a gravel road.

  • Travel 21km until you get to the gate of Mokala National Park on your right hand side.

  • The main Administration and Reception Building is a further 7km inside the park.

  • Allow about 90 minutes’ drive from Kimberley to the main lodge.


Tips for navigating the maps above and below.

  • First of all press the refresh button of your browser if the map does not show up properly.


  • The three buttons at the right-hand top corner of the map allow you to view either the geographical map, the satellite picture or a combination of both.


  • The button cluster on the left will enable you to zoom in or out. On the map you can use the PLUS (+) key to Zoom In for more detail, or the MINUS (-) key to Zoom Out for a bigger picture of the region in relation to the rest of South Africa.


  • You will also be able to move the map left and right and up and down by clicking the left-hand mouse button and moving the cursor on the map.


  • The map will center itself every time you double-click on the marker on the map.


  • Click on the refresh button of your browser to return to the original map.
By road From Capetown

  • From Cape Town, follow the N12 north, pass Hopetown.
  • 65km north of Hopetown, turn left on the Hayfield / Heuningneskloof Crossing.
  • Travel 21km until you reach the gate of Mokala National Park.

By Air

The closest airport is Kimberly International, which can easily be reached with regular airlines from any of the other major airports in South Africa.

There is also a private landing strip in the park.

GPS Coordinates:

Main gate: S 29 12.775 - E 24 19.579.
Office: S 29 10.334 - E 24 21.001.






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