Gecko goes to Addo – Day 1

In spite of LockDown restrictions, Gecko 81 has managed to break away and do a bit of exploring this year. After our long Kruger trip, we really did try to stay home for a while. We had a few things that needed our attention in Struisbaai but once they were over we felt drawn to hitch up the caravan again. But first, we had to pop over to Cape Town so I could attend a College Old Girls’ gathering. We were there for four days, did some chores that needed doing, visited a few friends and relatives, and then came back to Struisbaai to fetch the caravan. Our daughters, Lisa and Laurie drove up too and then travelled with us to Plettenberg Bay where we stayed with our middle daughter for a few days. We celebrated her 50th birthday on the 16th. We had not planned to take any of the grandchildren to Addo with us but discovered that our youngest, Simon (almost 17) has completed his school year and was on holiday. His sister (almost 20) is studying and working so could not take time off much to her and our disappointment!

So after spending three nights in Plett with the family we set off to Addo this morning. It poured during the night and was raining still when we awoke. We worried that it would be raining in Addo too but by the time we left Plett at 8:30 it had stopped and we had no rain on the trip. We found out though, that it had also rained here the day before and this morning. Simon is sleeping in a tent so hopefully, the rain will hold off for the rest of the time that we are here.

It is not easy to get caravan sites in Addo Elephant Park at short notice and when I booked ten days ago there were very few sites available. We entered Colchester Gate at 1 pm and arrived at Addo Rest camp an hour later.

One of the first creatures to greet us – A Male Ostrich – He might be sitting on eggs?
Simon alerted us to this guy
A big hello from this buffalo herd

Although the Eastern Cape has had a terrible drought for the past few years, the park was lovely and green. Clearly, the recent rains have brought on new growth. Much more is still needed.

The campsite was pretty full but we managed to get a really nice, shady spot near the ablution block. Two staff members appeared and helped us set up. It really wasn’t necessary especially as we had Simon but it did speed the process up considerably.

A lovely corner site – more pics to follow tomorrow
After this morning’s rain, lots of dung beetles emerged from the bush and this one decided to visit our campsite.

After setting up, doing a bit of shopping and having a cup of coffee and a snack we set off for our afternoon drive.

A Cape Weaver in breeding plumage
Grey Heron on a nest
We saw quite a few suricates (meerkats) but they were far off and quick to scurry away
Lovely to see zebra
There were lots of babies too
An amusing tree of monkeys
Most of the elephants we saw were hiding in the bushes
And gave us a fright when they suddenly emerged
They really look magnificent against the skyline
These ant-eating chats were everywhere
Decorating the tops of bushes
We also saw one or two scrub hares
And of course warthogs – this baby was with his mom – more of these creatures to follow

We returned just after 6 pm and decided to go to The Cattle Baron for dinner. Skukuza has a Cattle Baron that does excellent Chateaubriand and we hoped Addo’s would be as good. And it was! It is served with a choice of chips, rice or baked potato plus spinach and butternut for the table. Simon had calamari and thoroughly enjoyed that too. It was a real treat to get such lovely food and excellent service.

Simon enjoyed his calamari
The Earl with Chateaubriand

17 thoughts on “Gecko goes to Addo – Day 1

  1. Anne

    You’re just down the road from me! Addo is a lovely place to unwind. We often go there for day visits but will be spending two days there after Christmas – something to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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