Travel Journal

Addo Elephant Park

(Tuesday 5 May 2009) by Dopps Family
Addo (April 25-29)
Once again we found ourselves at another guest house where we were the only guests. However, this time at Good Hope B&B the hosts were also vacant and somewhere on holiday. I didn’t matter though since their staff, Connie and on the last day Beauty, pretty much run the household and catered to our needs warmly and sincerely. Typically the guests don’t have absolute access to the kitchen, laundry and other facilities (unless it is self-catering, not a B&B) but since our hosts were away it was not a problem so our B&B doubled as a self-catering option for lunch and dinner. In the spirit of sharing and hospitality we shared our dinner with Connie and Beauty. The first two nights with Connie, but she did not sit with us and on our last night they both joined us at the table and we started with grace spoken in their native tongue; Xhosa. We had great conversation. Both Connie and Beauty live in PE (Port Elizabeth) and are cousins. They both however have sorrowful stories of losing a child, Connie’s 25 year old son who was shot to death some time ago and Beauty’s 25 year old daughter who died suddenly after a 1 week long headache. The life expectancy for Black South Africans is only in the mid forties, which is very low considering how westernized this country is.
The guest house we stayed in is situated on a working farm that is run as a coop. There are lemon and orange trees all around – which made for some nice Gin & Tonics with fresh lemon squeezed in. On our second day the weather looked promising for a good day of game viewing at Addo Elephant National Park so we left as early as possible with 2 small children and went off to Addo to see the wildlife. The Addo Park has lots of bush and is dry and prickly making it difficult to spot the animals. We first saw warthog and we were all excited, similar to when we saw all the ostriches, which we saw plenty of. The warthog is common to spot in Addo as well as kudo and impala. We further saw beautiful birds, dung beetles, turtles and eventually a small family of elephants after a long search. We enjoyed the animals, but it is nothing in comparison to our visit to Tanzania 10 years ago. Perhaps Kruger will surprise us. We will go on a private game drive tomorrow.


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