28 December 2006: Addo (Main Camp)
We had a pleasant drive from MZNP to Addo, with a stop at Cradock Spar to stock up on fresh food. We lunched at wonderful farmstall near "Daggaboer Hoek" and bought loads of fresh pineapple juice. I can't go to the Eastern Cape without purchasing pineapple products!
When we arrived at Addo, it was packed full of people. It was practically impossible to park in the shop/restaurant/reception area. It was good to see so many people visiting the park, but we were quite relieved when we moved to Mathyolweni for our third and fourth nights. Much more peaceful.
Still, our cottage in the main camp had lovely view over the hillside, and we could sit on the stoep and watch ellies trouping down to drink. The safari tents definitely looked like the best place to stay though - right near the waterhole.
On our evening drive we saw red hartebees, kudu, zebra, buffalo and warthog families.
Of course we also saw elephants. It was CB's first sighting of ellies and he loved the babies. But he preferred the kudu. Kids!
I was amazed by how relaxed the Addo elephants were. Kruger elephants can be quite scary at times, but the Addo elephants are gentle giants. (Although needless to say we still treated them very respectfully!)
That night, lion came close to the camp. They were roaring so loudly that they sounded almost too close!
One of our neighbours shone a spotlight, and we watched them walking near to the fence.
Unfortunately SO and I could not enjoy the night sounds because CB woke up screaming. He had bad earache. We administered paracetamol and eventually got him back to sleep after an hour. I nearly phoned the camp manager at one point, as I thought we'd have to take him to a hospital in PE, but fortunately that wasn't necessary. The next day SO and I were exhausted and shattered, but CB was absolutely fine again. Kids!
On a more serious note, I was impressed with the Addo emergency list that was stuck on the wall near the stove. It had contact numbers for doctors, hospitals, fire stations, police and other emergency services, and it was comforting to know that we could have phoned for help had we needed it.