I'm back from Mokala and I just thought I share my trip report with you.
We left for Mokala at 5:00 on the 28th March, it was a long drive there because of all the stops and starts along the road cause of the roadworks. It took us seven and a half hours to get there.
We almost missed the turning to Mokala because we didn't see the sign and then I pointed it out to my dad. Then from there it was another 21km to the gate.
When we got to the gate we found that we had to press a button that went through to reception, to tell them that we were staying there for 3 nights. Then they let us in.
The first animal that we saw when we got in was 2 big male Eland.
We sat and watched them for a bit and then we carried on to the Lodge.
When we got there we checked in and they gave us a glass of juice and gave us a map and showed us where the best routes to go were. We wanted to first check out our room first before we went on a drive.
We were a bit worried about the room and what it was going to look like because we were expecting something like the tin places that Vaalbos had. But amazingly enough they were nice thatched places.
The ones that we were staying in (Gemsbok 12 & 13) were a bit old because in my parents one the lock was falling off the door, the varnish was coming off and the paint on the ceiling in the bathroom was peeling. My chalet was a little bit better.
We couldn't get the luxury chalets because they were taken so we had to take the next best which was the semi luxury chalets.
So anyway, we put our luggage down and then we went for a drive in the reserve. We saw all the animals they have there in one day and we saw some on the night drive we went on.
My list is:
Black - backed Jackal
Small - spotted Genet
Smith's Red Rock Rabbit
When it came to dinner that was a total disaster because our waiter (named Pieter) that served us was always drunk and we had to repeat what we wanted about three times to him and he still didn't get it right
. We had to wait so long for our food aswell. Which was getting a little bit much
When we finally got our food it actually was very nice compared to other food we've had in SANPark's.
We always saw our waiter go behind the bar and have a drink all the time
It was getting a little bit worrying.
The same thing happened with breakfast the next morning, our waiter came in late and didn't serve us, so we were just sitting there with the menu's not knowing whether to call somebody or what to do.
Finally we called somebody and then our waiter came running to our table and kept on apologising to us saying that he thought we had already eaten. By this time we were fuming
and demanded that we get our food straight away.
I just ordered a simple breakfast with cereal, yoghurt and toast and he couldn't even get that right. I think he was hard of hearing or something. When my breakfast finally came he brought me a bowl of Cornflakes and All Bran, we told him I just wanted the All Bran and not the Cornflakes as well. That he couldn't understand.
My mom also just ordered something simple, it was an omlette and he had to come back to the table about four times to ask what she wanted before he got it right. The same happened to my dad.
By the time we had finished breakfast it was 8:30 and breakfast actually started at 6:00. That's how long it took us to get our breakfast.
But anyway, after breakfast we went on a drive to try and forget about our disastrous experience.
It was very hot there, the temperature went up to about 40 degrees the one day. It was to hot to drive around after 12:00 so we came back to the lodge and had a nice sleep. Then we went out again at about 15:00.
Dinner was much better the next night because there was a different person serving us. When we ordered our food we got it straight away. That was very nice.
We told our waitress about Pieter and that he was always drunk and going around the corner to the bar to have a drink. She told us that he has been given a lot of warnings but he still doesn't seem to listen.
We booked to go on the night drive the next night and when we got to the truck our guide was very nice, she started by explaining to us about how Mokala came to be. She said that it used to be a hunting lodge called Wintershoek Safaris and that they sold it to SANParks.
We asked her why some of the animals are so scared of cars and that they run away as soon as they see a car, and she said they were the animals left there from the hunting lodge days.
While we were driving around we saw a very unusual sighting, we saw a whole lot of Black - backed Jackal feeding on a Mountain Reedbuck carcass that had just been killed. It was still fresh and its eyes were still glowing. We sat and watched them for quite a while eating the carcass. We asked our guide what could have happened to it and she said it might have been a snake that bit it.
Then we decided to leave and look for other things and we came back two hours later and they had polished off the carcass, there was absolutely nothing left.
We saw quite a few birds and animals on the night drive. They are:
Pale - chanting Goshawk
Spotted Thick - knee
Bronze - winged Courser
Our guide told us an interesting story about the Burchell's Zebra. She said that they are trying to bring the quagga back, and she showed us that the zebra didn't have many stripes on their backs.
She said the more they breed the less stripes the foals have and that they'd soon be all white with only a few stripes.
The other birds we saw were:
Short - toed Rock Thrush
Red - headed Finch
Lesser Striped Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Swallow - tailed Bee - eater
White - browed Sparrow Weaver
Yellow - eyed Canary
Anteating Chat etc
As we were driving around our guide pointed out all the dead trees and she told us that when it was a hunters lodge they killed some of the trees chemically with poison to make it easier to see the animals so that they could shoot them. We didn't like the idea of that when she told us.
Our guide told us that the day we were leaving there is actually going to be a game capture and they are going to capture a whole lot of buffalo to go on auction.
Unfortunately we couldn't stay for that because we had to get home because it was a long way to go.
The night drive finished at 22:00 and then we went to bed.
The next morning we got up, had breakfast and then went out for a drive. We found the vegetation very different to that of the Kruger. There were also quite alot of hills and mountainous areas.
We stayed there for three nights but I think two nights would have been plenty because we saw all the animals in one day.
As we were leaving on the 31st March these huge game capture trucks were coming in the gate. There were about three big trucks. We had to let them go before we could go.
Then finally we were on our way.
We found Mokala very different but it was nice to try somewhere different for a change and not always the same place, Kruger.
I'm glad we went there, even with our disastrous experience with the waiter.
I've got some nice pics
of the place to put on the forum. Will load them up tomorrow.