As I am standing on the veranda of our chalet looking towards the lit waterhole on the boundary fence with Addo Main camp, I realise one thing (two actually)
First off all weather frontal systems do not read reservation confirmation letters and secondly that animals do not read weather prediction maps
Being a Krugerite from age 3 months it was a leap of faith making the decision to exchange the well known and loved roads and places of Kruger for a first time visit to Addo Elephant National Park.
After some research on the SANParks website a booking was made for the period 21-25 May 2007. Now as with any new destination one tends to be a little nervous at what might lay ahead but also exited at the thought of something new. As the booking was made in January a 4 month count down started to our “mid year” break.
And so departure day arrived amidst one of the first real bad cold front systems moving across the whole of South Africa! Rain, rain, rain, cold, cold and more cold travelled with us from Gordon’s Bay to our overnight stop in Knysna. The morning of 21 May broke with more rain and reports of even lower temperatures and snow on the mountains.
It is in these overcast, rainy and cold conditions that we arrived at the Matyholweni gate at Colchester. After a quick gate check-in we proceeded to make our way through this yet animal un-inhabited section of Addo. Travelling along a very good gravel road we arrived at the gate to the game area after about 16km.
After travelling 1km we saw our first game, Warthogs. The first of many more and a fascinating site and very exited first sighting for Dominique our 7 month old baby girl. Looking at the warthogs closely a new saying came to my mind which goes along the following lines: “It is so cold even the warthogs have goose bumps!”
We made our way past places we have never seen before with names like Marion Baree waterhole, Spekboom hide, Lendlovu Pan and Woodlands eventually finding ourselves at Addo Main Camp at 12:00. Still raining at times, cold outside, being told we can only enter our accommodation at 13:00 and being very tired the three of us took a nap in the car.