Stofdam bird hide is an unusual overnight option in Mokala National Park. Once the day’s visitors leave, it is converted into a rustic sleepover spot. Story by Magriet Kruger, pictures by Bridgena and Johan Barnard
Perched on stilts, Stofdam bird hide overlooks a large waterhole in the heart of Mokala National Park. It’s a pleasant spot to sit in the heat of the day and watch the wildlife comings and goings. Now you can also book into the hide for the night and experience Stofdam after dark.
There are four bunks fitted with mattresses that flip down from the walls. Around the back there is a small boma with braai area and picnic table. It’s nothing fancy, but it offers you the thrill of spending the night close to nature.
“It’s a great option for adventurous sorts,” says park manager Deon Joubert. “When I stayed over, we sat and watched waterbuck and jackal. Best of all is the deep quiet – you’re far away from the rest camp and other visitors.”
Overnight guests have to take their own bedding, towels, cooking equipment and utensils – essentially everything you would take on a camping trip. A stay at the hide can be booked for one night only so that birders wanting to use it aren’t inconvenienced. Check-in is one hour before gates close and the key has to be returned to reception when gates open the next morning.
In keeping with its dusty name, Stofdam has experienced water shortages in the past, but the park has sunk two boreholes and solar pumps to keep the dam topped up. The hide is ideally positioned for good sightings of the birds and animals drawn to the water.
Book directly with the park on +27 (0)53 204 0158.