Addo Elephant Park
We are going to see all the elephants we can today! We woke up fairly early in order to make the 45 minute drive to Addo Elephant Park. Not having the money or the time to do a big game park like Kruger didn’t let us down too much. I had seen a few posts from other travelers about Addo and it was along our route so we decided to make a day of it. I am so glad we did! We had only planned to spend the morning to mid afternoon driving around the park, but once we arrived we realized just how large the park to not give it more time.
They give you a map of all the drives and on the back of the map is a game you can play to see who spots the most animals. Andrew spotted the first animal on our list! A dung beetle. They’re kind of creepy, but also funny looking. There was more than enough dung to go around!
We Want to See All the Animals
We continued our drive and playing our game. Warthogs were roaming everywhere. I love them! Not just because of the Lion King. They get on their front knees when they’re rooting around and just look so silly. They’ve got cool hair, and just look like they’d be down to share a beer, if they weren’t animals.
Every turn in the road brought with it new excitement that we might see an elephant. We were not disappointed! We soon realized that we could happily watch these creatures all day long with contentment, and that the time we planned in the park would not be enough to satiate us. I cannot believe we literally saw elephants on parade! They were walking in a line one after the other around watering holes and across the dirt roads.
Let’s Just Live Here
The people that we saw in the park seemed very respectful also. As a guest, I was never annoyed or ashamed of other guest’s behavior. Everyone seemed to adhere to the rules and just enjoy themselves in and among the large gentle giants.
We drove from spot to spot and each area had loads of elephants. The bush is thick, and you can see their paths and shortcuts they make. Zebra and other horned animals roamed about sharing their open spaces with one another.
The Big 5
Addo boasts being home to the Big 5 animals: Lions, Elephant, Leopards, Rhino, and Buffalo. We were on a hunt for the rhino and the leopard since we had seen the others. When we pulled in to the gates we asked the guard about the rhino. They don’t talk about the rhino. There are still such dangers to these animals from poachers that if you see a rhino you do not tell anyone where you saw it. We began to think it didn’t exist and the park just boasted having rhino to draw people there.
Sadly, we didn’t see any rhino or leopards. We figured we wouldn’t see the leopard since they are easily camouflaged in trees and tend to sleep during the day. We weren’t too let down by not seeing all 5 since there were still so many elephants and warthogs to enjoy! The watering holes were a fun place to watch them bathe and splash or spray water on each other.
The park was so large and there are many campgrounds and camping facilities available it would have been amazing to camp there for a few days and spend more time. But we were on a quest to get to Cape Town and experience all it had to offer! We left the park in the evening and headed to our guesthouse in Port Elizabeth.
On the way, we stopped off for dinner at a place on the waterfront. We arrived after dark at our hosts house, shown our room, met a few other guests, and went straight to bed. Our guest house was on a river front. It was cozy and full of warmth and art. The front of the house had vegetable and herb gardens and our host focused on becoming self-sustaining.
We woke up the next morning and decided to have a rest day. We weren’t sure if we were going to stay another night, but decided to extend our stay. Our host needed a plumber to help finish his irrigation project and Andrew was happy to help! We all shared a meal of stew and vegetable quiche and relaxed for the night. I took a little video of 28 Towpath if you’d like to watch it! We would make the long drive to Cape Town tomorrow, so we went to bed early.