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JJust south of Kimberley lies the delightful Mokala National Park, dotted with beautiful African Camel thorn trees. Its open Kalahari plains offer easy sightings of rare animals like tsessebe and roan antelope. It is especially rich in raptors – you’ll easily see the pale chanting goshawk and a few others.
The tsessebe, say the experts, is the speediest antelope in the Mokala National Park. Actually, it would outrun almost any wild ungulate anywhere in Africa – not that you would have guessed just by looking at it. This racehorse equivalent has high shoulders, a low-slung rump and a somewhat bemused appearance.
It is also on the Red Data list of threatened animals. But at Mokala National Park, just outside Kimberley, the tsessebe is doing rather well. In fact, this new park is home to a thriving host of Red Data species.
Take a drive along Matopi Loop and you stand a better chance of seeing black rhino, white rhino and those irresistible pixie-eared roan antelope. Mokala was declared a national park in 2007, after another national park near Kimberley, Vaalbos, was undeclared after a successful land claim. The park is named Mokala after the Setswana name for the signature tree of this area, the camel thorn, or Acacia erioloba. The older trees tower above in a characteristic umbrella shape, but you'll notice a few look as though thatchers have been at them.