Kimberley does not only cater for the history lovers but also takes care of wildlife enthusiasts. Just 80 kilometres south-west of the city is the tranquil Mokala National Park. Made up of the Savanna Biome and Nama-Karoo Biome, the national park is home to wildlife species such as Buffalo, Black and White Rhino and Tsessebe. Mokala is a great place to get out of the city and experience the African wilderness.
Going on a guided sunset drive is a chance to see the landscape soften as the sun sets. It’s also your best chance to see owls, genets and hares, as well as black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox or African wild cat. You may even spot the elusive nocturnal aardvark or aardwolf. (I’ve only seen an aardvark once and it was on a sunset drive at Mokala a few years back.) Our guide Henry van Wyk also helped to unravel the differences between Mokala’s various thorn trees – camel thorn, umbrella thorn, black thorn and more.
Tip: The vehicle will have a spotlight so take your camera and long lens along for the ride.
Mokala’s interpretation centre. Posters and displays tell of the geological and climate background of the area and depict the lives of the Khoi, San, Griqua and Tswana in the old days. Learn how the arrival of trekboers, farmers and missionaries as well as the discovery of diamonds changed things and led to conflicts like the Griqua wars and the Anglo Boer War. Two well constructed dioramas give insight into the life of some of Mokala’s creatures, such as warthog, springbok, steenbok, aardvark and porcupine.
Tip: The interpretation centre is air-conditioned so it’s a great place to visit in the heat of the day.