And so continues our journey....Day Three:
Day three had arrived, we managed to get up and out of bed by 7:30am, the goal to depart by 9am. Job well done in that we were on the road by 8:30!
It was now time to wish Tsitsikamma a farewell. After a lengthy drive we arrived in P.E, the proverbial friendly city of South Africa to do some last minute shopping for Addo, with the car now loaded up with Braai meat, cold drinks, chips and fire lighters we were on our way! After a short yet boring drive we knew we were fast approaching our much anticipated destination, the Addo South Gate. After receiving our map and permit we were in the park. After a literal stones throw knew we were in for a great time as we watched a bushbuck gracefully jump its way across the road just meters in front of the car, a mom and baby hartebeest graze on a nearby hill, and a few warthog digging for roots. Just a quick question I am dying to ask, what part of the 40km/h speed limit do some drivers not understand?
Anyway, we were now a few hundred meters through the gate, watching one of the above mentioned “people” speed off when our second official sighting occurred. A leopard….. ah before you all get excited and jealous it was only a leopard tortoise followed by a Guinea Fowl!
For me this was amazing but five hours later we had realized there wasn’t a shortage of these cute creatures within the park. There were hundreds of them! Just over one of the many hills en route to the Rest Camp we came across a solitary elephant. He was pretty big and literally two meters off the road!!
Now excited and revering to go, aim being to unpack and get back on the road we made our way to the rest camp…(this done well within the speed limit I might add!!) It wasn’t long before we came across another Hartebeest, Kudu and more Warthogs.
After about an hour in the park we came across Spekboom Hide, for me this was truly amazing and almost Jurassic Park like with the electric fence keeping the wild out…or in depending on what your view of wild animals are?! We were lucky enough to see more elephants and a resident Spotted Thick Knee sitting on its nest. a lizard seen in the hide
After a few minutes and plenty photos it was time to carry on the journey to Rest Camp but not before doing the Mpunzi Loop. We had turned left and within a split second were forced to stop…reason?! A herd of elephants on the road, yes some with babies! It was simply amazing to be so close to these breathtaking giants! I mean we had the pleasure of being up close with them at the place not to be mentioned on day one but now seeing them in the wild almost made them seem bigger, more powerful?!!
After getting our breath back we continued but not long before stopping at Hapoor Dam to view my newly developed favourite animals splashing and playing in the mud!! After twenty more minutes of watching dumbo and his brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles playing we headed on our way again, this time towards Rooidam were we came across fornicating tortoises!
We finally reached The Rest Camp, handed in our green disk and headed to reception to get our keys for our house for the next three days. Once checked in we headed to our Safari Tent, unpacked the car, booked a night drive for the next night (some might say our eagerness is a downfall?) and checked out the shop we headed out on an afternoon drive.
“Mr Gateman” checked our pass, handed us a new red token and watched us head on our way, destination…Carols Rest! I think he could see our excitement?!! First spotting was a Kudu, we were slowly starting to realize there was by no means a shortage of these guys either?! Next up was a Jackal, this guy from a distance though!! Thumbs up to Baby Nel for the spotting him, it shows eating your carrots pays off kids!! It wasn’t long before we came across a grazing Eland.
Luckily enough we managed to snap a pic before he disappeared into the bush.
As we were approaching Carols Rest, in the base of one of the valleys next to a huge thorn bushes we came across a Hoopoe and a Fork Tailed Drongo who were being kept busy by a couple of Vervet Monkeys, “blou balle” (blue balls) very eye catching I must admit! After a few quick snaps it was time to get to Carols Rest.
Once there we were blessed enough to see Elephants, Warthogs, Crows, Ibis, Hartebeest and a tortoise.
By the time we had finished watching all the action it was fast approaching 18:30 and the thought of being locked outside with hungry lions and spiders soon made up our minds to head back to camp. This we successfully managed to do and with a half hour to spare! Once in and home it was time to shower and get the braai (barbeque for the foreigners) ready for dinner. My fire, I must admit was a slight disaster as it took a half box of fire lighters to get the wood burning. I think in order to save my reputation I am going to tell you all that the wood was wet…After dinner, which turned out to be pretty decent, it was up to the waterhole to have a quick look before returning to our Safari Tent to sleep. Unfortunately the waterhole was quiet and the only sighting was the deadly scary bird of prey…the infamous Egyptian Goose!!! Baby Nel did utilize a spot light and saw a couple of Spring Hares. At around 22:30 it was time for bed but not before doing a thorough spider check!!!