A bush ‘braai’ in the Mokala National Park
Do you love a good barbecue? Then how about experiencing one in the heart of the South African bush?
The #TrekSouthAfrica team – who has been travelling around South Africa for the past seven months, visiting its top natural and tourist attractions – got to do just that in the Mokala National Park, situated in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province.
Rudolph de Girardier, #TrekSouthAfrica’s lead photographer, narrates the experience in words and imagery.
The #TrekSouthAfrica team, together with six local guests, were driven out into the wild in the late afternoon by the park’s section ranger, Koketsu.
As Koketsu took a detour, on the way to a game viewing hide we would later rejoice in, around great food, we were able to admire the presence of many wild animals roaming in the Lowveld of Mokala National Park.
First, we spotted a Red hartebeest, one of South Africa’s fastest antelope, walking peacefully through the dry grass.
A Red hartebeest in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
As we kept driving on a long and straight road, a harem of zebra ran past our vehicle.
A harem of zebra in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
That same road drew us closer and closer to a herd of African buffalo. Nearly 100 buffalo heads lifted as we drove towards them. An awe-inspiring experience, staring at an extremely large herd of one of South Africa’s most dangerous species.
Panoramic views of a herd of buffalo in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
Our keen eyes and minds were more than satisfied with this sequence of amazing sightings, and yet one more enchanting surprise awaited us, as we ended our leisure game drive to the bush braai: three rhinos were posing for us as we drove back towards the hide.
An extremely rare sighting in Mokala National Park. One that requires special attention: this fascinating animal is critically endangered, and calls for protection.
Rhino in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
Thrilled by and aware of the natural world and wildlife surrounding us on this special evening, we arrived at the bush braai to see its flames already burning into the warm evening’s air.
Preparing for the bush braai in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
A grandiose welcome, full of taste and artistic touches.
A few lanterns made sure that there was enough light to enjoy the festivities in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
Our guests soon relaxed around the fire, cracked, with equal candour, beers and jokes, to the rhythm of the setting sun and vanishing dusk.
Sitting around the campfire in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
As the night fell, the friendly cooks, who came to join us on that evening, prepared our food to perfection, with talent and love.
The chefs preparing our delicious meal in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
We were served plenty of smiles and a grandiose buffet, cooked from the fire, fresh products farmed locally.
All smiles as we dig into the buffet during our braai in the Mokala National Park. Image by Rudolph De Girardier.
We ate, laughed and even danced under the stars of Mokala National Park.
The night whispered secrets through the chatter of insects, night birds and baboons while we grew closer to each other, as companions.
An evening we came back from, that night, with smiles, and the conviction of having lived a meaningful evening, immersed in the wild.
If you decide to travel to this majestic place yourself, you should consider renting a vehicle to get you there and back again. The better option to taking your own vehicle might be car hire, especially if you want to park your car the dirt roads and mileage it would gather over the course of the trip.