How privileged were we?

We were kindly taken to Addo as day visitors by our family during our recent visit to South Africa. The last time we went, some 15 years ago, we saw very little and so this time we went expecting nothing and saw everything except a rhino.

We were privileged and humbled to be in the presence of many elephants, warthogs (a much maligned creature), kudu, bison, various other ruminants, a mongoose and many, many birds. And just as we were heading home we came across a lioness (pregnant according to our vet cousin) which walked alongside the road beside us for a while.

The rest area has an excellent restaurant, a great place for lunch.

A couple of things to be aware of: unlike in the past the Park is plagued by luxury coaches which insist on keeping their engines running when they stop, a real irritant when you are sitting there watching the wildlife in the peace and quiet of the huge park.

You can’t get out of the car, except in certain park, and it’s a big place with long, gas guzzling roads and a 40 km speed limit. Along with the long drive to get there in the first place, it means a pretty sore butt by the end of the day.

And be aware of your fuel gauge. Although the park closes at 6.00 pm the park petrol station closed at 16.15 which for us meant a slightly tense diversion into Addo itself, running on vapour.

Apart from that, a wonderful day for us, well exceeding our expectations.