After our wonderful three days in Addo, we moved on to Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock in The Eastern Cape. En Route we stopped at a farm stall in the middle of nowhere just off the N10. I just love finding these hidden gems and Daggaboer Padstal was indeed unique. We were greeted at the door by our hostess who offered us a thimble of ginger beer or lemonade to taste. I had the ginger beer and The Earl the lemonade and both were delicious – homemade of course. Inside was a feast for the eyes and there were a variety of goodies from rusks to crafts for sale
Breakfast was a wholesome fried egg, bacon, boerewors and tomato served with roostekoek of course. The coffee would do any Boer (farmer) proud! It was percolated and had to be poured through a sieve. For my non-South African readers – roosterkoek is a ball of bread dough cooked on a grid over hot coals. It is often served with a braai/BBQ but is also often served in restaurants as an alternative toast.
Our three days at Mountain Zebra were lovely. This park was established in 1937 with the prime focus being to protect the endangered Mountain Zebras. Many of the other parks both Sanparks and private obtained their mountain zebras from this park. Mountain Zebra Park is also the most significant contributor of The Cheetah Metapopulation Project and many of their cheetahs have been relocated to other parks in the country.
We did not see any cats during our stay in the park but what we really enjoyed was the magnificent scenery in this mountainous reserve. The first day was hot but after that we enjoyed sunny but very cold days! Early mornings and nights were down to 5 degrees C!
On Thursday we drove the most hectic of the 4X4 trails. We only read the description later – “Umgeni is the most challenging of the 4X4 trails -It can either provide a lot of excitement or induce premature aging!” It did both for us! At one point The Earl had to get out of the car to remove a particularly large rock from the road! His choice was to risk being eaten by a predator or destroying his car! Luckily there wasn’t an animal in sight.
During our three day stay, we enjoyed seeing a variety of game and birds.
Our most exciting experience was spotting three rhinos while on a lonely drive and no other cars were there to share the sighting with us.
A little while later we were also the only car to see a fourth rhino on his own. When he caught sight of us he made a mock charge and then thought we weren’t worth the effort and ran off into the bush.