Friday, June 09, 2006


In the morning after the vomiting I felt empty but mostly OK. We decided not to stay in Port Elizabeth, the capital of the Eastern Cape. We had originally planned a night there, but decided just to motor on toward Add0 Elephant Park. We were glad we did driving through the town, as it looks like a bit of an industrial, built up place. When we got there, the cheaper accomodation was all gone so we had to book into a cottage for a couple of nights. Lovely accomodation, and all in, including park fees was R1400 so not too bad. We had lunch in the restaurant, which was a little disturbing, given that we were sat directly under a giant elephant head. Had our first drive in the game area that afternoon. Took 2 hours to do a couple of circular routes. We didn't see any of the Big 5, but we did see many antelopes of various types (Springbok, Red Hartebeest), Ostriches, loads of birds, Monkeys and Warthogs. The view from the veranda of our cottage that evening across the veld as the sun went down was lovely.

During the night we were amazed by the different animal noises that we could here coming from all directions. We were up and in the game area by 7am sharp the next day. We saw more Antelope and Zebra straight away and felt very lucky when an Elephant we had seen at a distance appeared in the rear view mirror and then slowly walked past the car. We stayed driving round the game area for 4 hours, by which point I was getting quite tired and having trouble focusing on watching for animals. After lunch we piled straight back into the game area feeling refreshed again. We were congratulating ourselves at our close encounter watching distant elephants from a lookout. A short while later we drove straight into the midst of a family group of 12 elephants of various ages and genders. Again, the whole family walked right around the car, at one point I'm sure I caught the eye of the matriarch of the group. The babies were very cute, but we were very aware of their mothers so sat still in the car until the group had past. After 3.5 hours I felt like my eyes might bleed, so we left for the day.

The whole experience at Addo was brilliant, the highlight being the elephants. We also saw some Aardwolf and lots of antelope species. We came across a dead elephant by one of the waterholes with a big chunk missing from it's side too. All very very good. We didn't see any of the top predators, which was a shame, and missed the Rhino completely, but that couldn't spoil it at all. I'm glad we came at this time of year, as I imagine during the summer it would be bumper to bumper in the game area and there would be no chance of getting accomodation.

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