Sunday April 19, 2015 (Africa, South Africa)
We used the 18th as a bit of a travel day. We managed to get ourselves through Jeffreys Bay and all the way up to Addo! Not a whole lot to say, really, although it was a total highlight checking out Supertubes – the location of the ASP World Tour. We dipped our toes in the chilly waters and watches some novices try to battle the waves. They lost. For whatever reason, we didn’t really see a single experienced surfer out in the water. Too cold? Not enough swell? These seem like poor excuses to stop surfers from surfing, so I have no idea what was going on. Why is nobody out in the water at what is generally considered the best surf spot in the world?!
We spent the night in Addo at Aardvark Guesthouse. Yay for aardvarks! Guess who chose that one? Hint: me.
Dinner took place next door at Hazel’s Organic Restaurant. The meal itself was fantastic and reasonably priced. Dave and I both had the pork, which was perfectly cooked. All of the vegetables and other ingredients were grown in the garden outside of the restaurant. Eventually we got chatting with Randy, the owner, who gave us an extensive history of how the restaurant came to be and of the theory of “permaculture”: completely sustainable methods of agriculture and construction. He spoke at length about the techniques he employed with his comrades to build a self-sustaining farm from the ground up. Really interesting stuff!
This morning we were off to Addo Elephant National Park. It was just a short drive from our guesthouse. We managed to squeak into the 9am game drive after a bit of a rush to get ourselves through reception.
The game drive went very well! We managed to spot two of the “Big Five” on the drive itself. The Big Five, if I recall correctly, are: Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhinoceros. So we caught the buffalo (at a bit of a distance), but the elephants from up close close close! They were kind of all over the place, both as single males and in groups. One large male wandered across the road between our vehicle and the two following us. Wow!
In addition, we spotted warthogs (Pumba!), tons of kudu, red hartebeest, a raptor called a “pale chanting goshawk"… all in all quite a success as far as I was concerned!
No rhino spottings yet, but hopefully we manage that one before leaving South Africa. We’ll do our best!
We’d received recommendations about Mountain Zebra National Park from another couple staying at our guesthouse in Addo, so we headed north to Cradock instead of continuing our path northeastward to Kruger. We’re realizing trip time is running a bit short, so the driving times are likely to be increasing as the journey moves forward. We’ve got a very long way to go, and not a lot of time to do it!
Hopefully we spot some neat animules tomorrow. I’d love to see a rhino in the wild. Wait, did I just jinx it? Ugh.