ask and you will recieve
2nd morning drive : This morning my wife chose to rest and not to come with us, partly because of the difficult drive of the previous morning and partly because of the emotions of the afternoon. I am sorry for her, but this drive turned out to be a very good one. The sky had cleared after the night’s rain and there were still some puddles on the roads. We saw many leopard tortoises drinking, so happy to get some water.
Once in the main section, we had to make a decision : right or left ? we decided for left and it was a good choice. 5 minutes later we came across some lions !
We did not see them for long but we definitely had a big cat sighting in Addo.
Then we headed for a lookout to have some coffee and admire the view. On the way we spotted a lone buffalo bull, the 4th of the big five. We knew there was no chance to see the leopard so our checklist was done. We were able to observe the bull during minutes but every time I tried to take a picture he lowered his head in the thickets
Once on the lookout we could see our lodge in the distance, in the middle of the great Eastern Cape nature.
On our way back we saw some secretary birds veeeery far, even with binoculars, so no photo but a first time for us. I have to say that it is our ranger that spotted the birds while driving! (talk about “eagle eye”)
Then we found a meerkat !!! It was so good to see again this cute fellow. He stayed still for a short while then quickly disappeared in the bushes.
Driving back to the Lodge we found the same group of bat eared foxes we saw on the first evening, just at the same place. With the light of day we could better appreciate the beautiful colors of their fur. We also found several yellow mongooses. It was quite a nice sight, especially when we found two of them that were hunting in the grass. I am sorry not to have photos of all these small wonders, but as you may have realized now, we only had “point and shoot” cameras and the quality is not great, to say the least.
3rd afternoon drive : Around teatime the elephants came back to “our” waterhole and then left for a hilly terrain not far from the lodge. Of course this place was our first destination for the afternoon drive! There we found the same herd that we saw the day before and the close encounter turned into a VERY close encounter at one time.
We had stopped the vehicle and were observing a mother and her baby on the right side of the road, maybe ten meters away from us. Then the mother saw an especially yummy tree on the left side of the road just behind us. She slowly crossed and walked along the car to get to her goal, followed by her baby. At one time she was so close that my wife could have touched her without stretching her arm!
My SO was quite uneasy with this and our ranger had to tell her to stay still (meaning my wife). Once the mother had gone a bit farer, we moved the car to a “safer” distance of the herd. Our ranger had told us that he would not come too close of the animals but that it was ok if they came close to us once we were stopped because it would mean that they felt fine with us.
Personally I felt quite the same. I know the elephants can become very dangerous but at that particular moment they were very peaceful and I could really feel their peace of mind.
After this emotional apex, the herd performed its vanishing trick again and we left.
On our way to the hilltop we saw a herd of Elands and were able to observe them for a while. We already had brief sightings the day before but they were very shy animals. This time, maybe because they were a bigger group, they did not fly away at once.
After a sundowner on the hilltop
we drove back to the lodge at night, slowly searching for some extra sighting (caracal, aardvark, …) but to no avail. We ”only” saw duickers and hares.
3rd morning drive : our last drive happened mostly in the Intsomi reserve, definitely not an SANParks territory so I cannot say much, except that we saw white rhinos (hi brothers), nyalas, gnus, bonteboks and many others including elands
and that we had coffee with 3 beautiful giraffes
6 hours later we were in PLZ, boarding our plane to JNB. On the next morning we landed in GVA, experiencing a mighty jetlag, even if there is no time difference between South Africa and Switzerland…