Addo - First Elephant

Day 6 – PE to Addo Elephant National Park – 14 September

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As I’m sure you’re all sick of pictures of the sea and beaches by now, we’ve decided to head inland for a couple of days to Addo Elephant National Park and bore you with pictures of animals instead! Breakfast at Beachwalk B&B was very good and very well prepared and it is a good overnight option. We left a very windy PE about 10am and after a quick pit stop for meat and beer, made a quick detour to see the Nelson Mandela bay Stadium, and got back on the road. The trip was very uneventful and not in the slightest scenic and we were quite glad when we got to Addo around noon. We checked in and did the paperwork but could only get access to our chalet at 2pm, so decided to go for a quick game drive. We soon spotted a warthog with two babies, a tortoise crossing the road (the first of many it turned out!), and a couple of elephants.

The weather was nice and hot and it is very relaxing driving around the park, slowly, while looking for animals, with no other purpose than seeing what is on offer. In some areas the vegetation is really thick and you’d be hard pressed to spot anything unless it jumped out at you, while other areas are nice and open and you can see for long distances. I managed to spot a warthog chasing a cheeky jackal around, which was probably my highlight of the day! We also saw a secretary bird in the middle of trying to attack something in a bush, but we moved on after it was still bumbling about unsuccessfully after 5 minutes.

We picked up our key from reception and were unpacked by around 3pm. The chalet was quite high up with great views of some open veld in front of us – that I spent hours looking at trying to find animals over the next couple of days! We headed out a bit later for another drive but our earlier session was more successful, and we returned to camp knackered and ready for a cold beer. We made good use of the braai facilities and sat around the fire with a beer until our food was done, which was lovely!
The chalet is pretty well equipped and has most of the things you need for cooking, though you also have the option of eating at the Cattle Baron, which is the local camp restaurant. We ended up in a disabled chalet, and everything was great, with the only problem being that the only mirror in the chalet was at wheelchair height over the bath. Surely disabled people travel with able bodied people who need mirrors as well?

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