Mokolo Dam – previously known as the Hans Strijdom Dam – is a rock-fill dam spanning over 800 hectares and is located along the Mokolo River near Lephalale. Originally established in 1980, the dam’s primary function is to supply the nearby town with water. Recently, the dam also serves for municipal and industrial purposes supplying the Grootgeluk Coal Mine, Matimba Power Stations, and Medupi Power Station. The 2,000-hectare Mokolo Dam Nature, located on the southern and eastern sides of the dam, has a wide range of habitats including bushveld, wetlands to cliffs. The majority of the area is covered by broad-leaved woodlands, but there are a number of small streams and two perennial rivers with wetland areas that attract Blue Crane, Secretarybird, Common Quail and a host of other grassland birds. The raptors are well represented with Lizard Buzzard, Little Sparrowhawk, Spotted Eagle Owl and Cape Vulture being seen here often.
There is a hide placed on one of the small dams that attract Black Crake, Yellow-billed Duck and Common Moorhen, but this property has been under-birded and many specials may be found in the vast tracts of wilderness.
Mokolo Dam Nature Reserve is located roughly 45km south of Lephalale. Traveling south from Lephalale, turn left after roughly 39km. The entrance to the Nature Reserve is roundly 5km further along this road just beyond Leopard Lodge.
Text prepared by:
Daniel Danckwerts (Rockjumper Birding Tours)