James Bainbridge
United Kingdom UK
Mar 31, 2014 March 31, 2014

James is a travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guides, including senior author of the guide to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Category: Best Kept Safari Secrets

Mokala National Park is the newest of South Africa’s six arid parks, which are spread across Namakwa, the Kalahari and the Karoo. Located on the fringes of the latter two regions, off the N12 freeway south of Kimberley, Mokala is well worth seeking out.

The animals roaming the open sandy plains, overlooked by lonely dolerite koppies, include black and white rhinos, buffalos and antelopes such as roan, tsessebe and black wildebeest.

On a morning visit from Kimberley, I encountered a buffalo dozing on a shady patch of gravel road, and reversed quietly to avoid a rude awakening. Taking its name from the Setswana for the camel thorn acacia trees found here, Mokala has some great accommodation and was gloriously quiet when I visited.