Return to SA Birding Main Site
Mokala National Park, situated approximately 60 km south of Kimberley off the N12, was proclaimed in July 2007 to replace the deproclaimed Vaalbos National Park. This 25 000 ha+ national park consists mainly of thornveld savanna and dolerite outcrops (koppies) and supports a good diversity of associated bird species. The tourist road network consists mainly of two loop routes, namely the Matopi route in the west, and the Doornlaagte route in the north of the park. The park also includes a section of the Riet River at Lilydale. Due to the park being only recently proclaimed, the bird list is still incomplete, with many more species, especially seasonal nomads, are still to be recorded. This summary therefore provides a very basic overview of the park’s birds.

Edit

Specials

Species that are characteristic of the arid savannas and that can be seen throughout the park include Chestnut-vented Titbabbler, Yellow Canary, Ashy Tit, Brubru, Black-chested Prinia, Desert Cisticola, Red-crested Korhaan, Kalahari Scrub-robin, Pied Barbet, Scaly-feathered Finch, Common Scimitarbill, Fawn-coloured Lark and Sociable Weaver.

Edit

Habitats

Thornveld savanna, dolerite outcrops, riverine vegetation.

Edit

Facilities

A network of roads, two lodges, self-catering units and camping.

Edit

Birding

The Matopi route passes through typical open Acacia thornveld savanna. Species of interest include Pygmy Falcon, Northern Black Korhaan, Eastern Clapper Lark, Fawn-coloured Lark, Marico Flycatcher, and Chat Flycatcher.

On the way to the Doornlaagte route, one passes through valleys nestled between an extensive series of rocky outcrops which support an array of species characteristic of this habitat, particularly Sabota Lark, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Cape Bunting, Short-toed Rock-thrush, Long-billed Pipit, Mountain Wheatear and Grey-backed Cisticola. Other species that can be found include Pririt Batis, Long-billed Crombec, Fairy Flycatcher, Plain-backed Pipit, Neddicky and Rufous-eared Warbler. Listen for African Rock Pipit which has been heard calling in this area. Beyond the outcrops the Doornlaagte route passes through more characteristic thornveld savanna, which supports Kori Bustard, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Scaly-feathered Finch, Black-faced Waxbill, Violet-eared Waxbill, Common Scimitarbill, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Sociable Weaver, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Ashy Tit, Kalahari Scrub-robin, Golden-breasted Bunting, Neddicky, Namaqua Dove, and Swallow-tailed Bee-eater. In summer Black Cuckoo, Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike can be seen. Raptors that have been seen in this area include Martial Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, White-backed, Lappet-faced and Cape Vulture.

The Lilydale section of the park is currently not accessible from the park's main camp, but from the N12 take the turn off opposite the R705 that goes to Jacobsdal. Species that can be seen along the river include White-fronted Bee-eater, Goliath Heron, Orange River White-eye, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Lesser Swamp-warbler and other wetland common species.

Edit

General

Current facilities at the park include two lodges, a restaurant, a camping area about 10 km from the main lodge, and 12 self-catering units overlooking the Riet Riverin the Lilydale section. The park has an excellent road network.

The park can be contacted at +27 53 2040 158/164/168 and by fax at +27 53 2040 176. E-mail .

Mokala Website

Directions
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. 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 (see map).

GPS Coordinates
Main gate: S 29 12.775 E 24 19.579
Office: S 29 10.334 E 24 21.001

Eric Herrman 2007



Copyright © 2008 SA Birding cc