The last stop on our roadtrip was Addo Elephant Park, just outside of Port Elizabeth. I’d been to Addo before, but only as a kid, and I was very excited to be there again. It was about an hour away from PE, the road wasn’t ideal and you do drive through some areas that look a bit less than ideal – don’t get discouraged, just follow the signs.
We drove into Addo very early in the morning, wanting to make the most of our 1 night there. We arrived at about 9am, and even then it was too hot to set up our tent. We decided to drive into the game park and spot some wildlife. The first hour we drove around the park we saw elephants, zebras, lots of warthogs, a tortoise, many different types of buck and some interesting birds. But no lions, and no buffalo. There are only a few lions in Addo, and because the park is quite large I know they are hard to spot but I was determined to see one (I’ve never seen a lion in the wild before, only in the zoo). On our first day in Addo; we drove around the park for about nine hours, in the airconditioned car. Partly because we were determined to spot the lions and partly because we desperately needed the aircon, it was so hot!
We finally gave up on the lions and headed back to the camp for a swim. The pool water was almost too warm, but it was nice. We set up our tent and got changed into some warmer clothes for our night safari drive – we had been warned that it would get quite a bit colder.
We started the night safari drive just before sunset, as we entered the game park everything felt different. Darkness was settling in, and some animals were making interesting sounds. After not seeing a buffalo all day; we saw one in the first five minutes of the night drive, and then another four or so during the drive.
We saw jakkals and hyenas, some right next to the jeep – hyenas look and act just like dogs, kinda cute in a creepy way. The whole park is different at night, we saw so many animals that we would never have seen during the day; spring hares, buffalos and many shining eyes hiding in the bushes. If you’re going to Addo I highly recommend that you book a night drive – the rangers are so experienced and you will definitely see animals that you won’t find yourself during the day.
Unfortunately we didn’t see any lions while we were in Addo, I was prett disappointed but now it just means that I’ll have to organise a trip to Kruger National Park at some point. I loved every second of being at Addo, and the camping facilities were great (and a lot cheaper than the other options). Don’t forget to factor in that you also have a pay a daily fee to enter the game park itself.