• Overview
  • Trip Outline
  • Trip Includes
  • Trip Excludes

Mokala National Park & Marrick Safari

12 to 15 July 2022

Mokala National Park is situated approximately 80km southwest of Kimberley, and west of the N12 freeway to Cape Town. Nestled in the hills, Mokala’s landscape boasts a variety of koppieveld (hills) and large open plains.

The isolated dolerite hills give the place a calming feeling of seclusion. A big surprise awaits 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.

Mokala is the Setswana name for the Camel Thorn tree. These trees occur in dry woodland and sandy areas and are one of the major tree species of the desert regions of Southern Africa. Habitat in the Park comprises Kalahari Thornveld Savanna with Nama Karoo elements. Mokala provides superb scenery and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets

As a newly proclaimed park, Mokala offers an exciting opportunity for birders to explore. The park is located in the transition zone between Kalahari and Karoo biomes and is host to a varied spectrum of birds.

Birding Attractions

Large raptors include Tawny, Martial, Black-chested Snake and Fish Eagle while Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks are abundant.  Lanner Falcon, Shikra, Gabar Goshawk, Greater Kestrel and Pygmy Falcon are among the smaller raptors to be seen.

Dry Western area specials include Pririt Batis, Kalahari and Karoo Scrub-Robin, Rufous-eared Warbler, Fairy Flycatcher, Cape Penduline Tit and Short-toed Rock-Thrush. Orange River Francolin is also regularly encountered.

The park is a paradise for LBJ enthusiasts, and besides the specials mentioned above, one is also likely to see a further five lark species, namely Rufous-naped, Eastern Clapper, Fawn-coloured, Spike-heeled and Red-capped. African and Buffy Pipits are also common.

Game Viewing

Game viewing  is excellent. The park has viable populations of  Black and White Rhinoceros, Buffalo, Tsessebe, Sable and Roan Antelope, Mountain Reedbuck, Giraffe, Gemsbok, Eland, Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Blue and Black Wildebeest, Kudu, Ostrich, Steenbok, Duiker and Springbok.

Our next stopover, for two nights, is Marrick Safari, situated about 12km from Kimberley on the Douglas road. This 3000-ha game farm sustains a variety of ecosystems including savanna thornveld, rocky hillscapes, thicker thorny bushveld and an ephemeral wetland area.

 

Marrick Safari

Marrick Safari is situated about 12km from Kimberley on the Douglas road. This 3000-ha game farm sustains a variety of ecosystems including savanna thornveld, rocky hillscapes, thicker thorny bushveld and an ephemeral wetland area.

The undoubted highlight of a visit to Marrick is the guided night drive, which affords one the opportunity of encountering rarely seen and elusive nocturnal animals like Aardvark, Aardwolf, Smith’s Red Rock Rabbit, Black-footed Cat, African Wild Cat, Hedgehog, Porcupine and Striped Polecat. The prospects of encountering owls, nightjars and coursers are also good. Guides are very knowledgeable and informative.

We will be doing two-night drives to maximise our prospects of seeing as many of the “nocturnal specials’ as possible.

During the day we may be fortunate to observe the Karoo Rock Sengi, a newly described species of Elephant Shrew

We will also be visiting Kamfers Dam, well known for thousands of Lesser Flamingos and other water birds. A trip to the Big Hole in Kimberley should produce Bradfield’s Swift.

This 4-day tour leaves from Johannesburg. We travel in an air-conditioned VW Caravelle, 4-wheel drive Microbus.  

Itineraries

Day 1

Date : July 12, 2022

Johannesburg to Mokala

Depart from Johannesburg bright and early.
Travel via Parys, Bothaville and Kimberley to Mokala National Park.
Afternoon birding and overnight at Lilydale Lodge.

Day 2

Date : July 13, 2022

Mokala-Marrick Safari

Morning spent game viewing and birding in Mokals National Park.
Depart early afternoon for Marrick Safari near Kimberley.
Night drive in open safari vehicle.
Overnight at Marrick Safari.

Day 3

Date : July 14, 2022

Marrick-Mokala-Marrick

Early morning birding in Marrick.
After breakfast head for Mokala for day of birding and game viewing.
Return to Marrick in the late afternoon.
Night drive in open safari vehicle.
Overnight at Marrick Safari.

Day 4

Date : July 15, 2022

Marrick-Johannesburg

Early morning birding and game viewing.
Head for Kimberley after brunch.
Visit the Big Hole and Kamfers Dam before setting sail for home.

Includes

Transport, all meals, accommodation, guiding, conservation fees and two night drives in Marrick Safari.

 

Excludes

Gratuities, alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature.