Government schools in South Africa began their school year on Wednesday 9 January but as our two grandchildren are at private schools they had an extra week before needing to return. At very short notice I managed to get a camp site in Addo Elephant Park for two nights which we later extended to three.
After years of visiting parks we tend to take certain things for granted so having the kids with us and seeing the creatures through their eyes gives us a fresh appreciation for the wild. They also have keen eyes and their spotting skills amaze us. They also each had the use of a camera and so most of the photographs featured here are credited to them.
We left Jubilee Farm at 5:30 am on Wednesday, stopped at Jeffrey’s Bay for breakfast and arrived at Addo at midday. After a basic set up of the caravan we got straight back into the Everest and set off on a game drive. It was not too hot as there was a breeze blowing.
We returned to Addo Rest Camp and finished setting up and then enjoyed a lovely braai.
On Thursday we were up early and ready for a long day in the park. We had an idea where we might find lions so planned a trip to see them and then to leave the park via the Colchester Gate and have breakfast at the coffee shop near the petrol station.
After a while of seeing very little, Shannon yelled – Grandpa – do a U-turn now – Elephants are coming through the bush and will probably cross the road behind us.
To just do a U-turn is not that easy so Grandpa started to reverse and then the ellies suddenly appeared and did not cross over behind him. Shan yelled – Go foward – Go forward they’re coming after us! Grandpa remained perfectly still. And the ellies simply brushed past the car! Shan’s window was open and she could have touched the giant but instead she slip over to me in a state of angst! We all giggled nervously as the herd lumbered by.
Shan soon calmed down and was ready to order breakfast just a few minutes later!
Our return journey was somewhat quieter. We enjoyed watching ellies at the waterhole but they did not swim as we have seen many times in the past.
We stopped for a break at Jack’s picnic site and then made our way home enjoying all the other little things on the way.
On our third day we were lucky enough to see lions again.
We also had an awesome time watching elephants at Haphoor Waterhole
All too soon it was time to return to Pletteberg Bay. We arrived back on the Saturday afternoon and spent the night with the family. The next day we took Shan to George and then continued to Great Brak where we spent the night with our family at Rondomooi!
We have now been back in Struisbaai for just over a week. What an awesome holiday we had!