Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Thanks to the excellent report by @@Panthera Pardus we planned our road trip based around some of South Africa's lesser known parks. We had included Mountain Zebra NP but a delayed flight, an unexpected night in Amsterdam and then having three quarters of our luggage lost, some of it being sent to Hong Kong :wacko: we had to adjust things and stay in Johannesburg longer than we intended. To catch up on our schedule we decided to stay 4 nights in Addo Elephant Park instead of 3. MZNP was cancelled but we have already booked to go there next February as it looked to be in a beautiful area.

 

We booked everything ourselves once again and chose mainly SanParks accommodation as we had been so impressed with Kruger NP and Kgalagadi TP last year. They did not dissapoint. De Hoop is run by Cape Nature and was not up to the quality of Sanparks in our opinion. However we are very glad we visited as the sand dunes and the sea are spectacular there. At Franschook we stayed in a beautiful cottage on a working vineyard. The wine was excellent :mellow:

 

We drove 6632 km in a hired Bushlore Toyota Hilux with double fuel tanks. It was a fantastic journey. I will start at Addo Elephant Park.

 

As @@Panthera Pardus explained the elephants in Addo were almost wiped out with only 11 remaining in 1931. The great success of the park is that not only are there hundreds of elephants now but that they are totally relaxed around vehicles. You park up and can sit with them for hours watching play, social behaviour and listen to rumblings and trumpeting between mothers and their babies. They also come really close to the parked vehicles, so close you could reach out and touch them. If you love elephants, as we do, Addo Elephant Park is the place to go. We stayed in Matyholweni camp in one of the two person chalets. Its beautiful there and very peaceful.

 

post-17162-0-17227400-1429703122_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you can imagine we took a lot of elephant photographs. After 4 or 5 hours you get to know individuals and see how the little ones learn by play and how much care the adults give them. Very special animals.post-17162-0-37709200-1429703541_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-62681800-1429703597_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-66927900-1429703620_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-96555200-1429703640_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-26651200-1429703672_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-69681800-1429703700_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-66489600-1429703872_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-87672400-1429703949_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-96426700-1429703977_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexander33

Thanks for a report on some of South Africa's lesser known parks. Addo, Mountain Zebra and Kwandwe are among those on my radar, and I've thought about a visit to them around this time of year (a little later than your visit), so I'm looking very much forward to this. I know you must have been disappointed by the flight snafu and the havoc it caused to your schedule. I'm glad you've already booked Mountain Zebra for next year, as I hear good things about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@penolva

 

That's too bad about the delays leading to canceling your visit to Mountain Zebra NP. I have never been, though it has been on my list for awhile. It's so out of the way...

 

I am curious about your subpar experience at DeHoop. I have been there twice, and the last time actually really enjoyed Cape Nature's hospitality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@Safaridude there has been a big fire near the restaurant area and nothing done to clear the site. Looks very unsightly. We thought the directional signs to the dunes , game drive etc were minimal and poor. They charged us ZAR 10 for a basic map!!! The cottage was lovely but overpriced. Charging for firewood. It was the most expensive accommodation of the trip but the one we felt most lacking in customer satisfaction. Pen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@penolva

Hi , I just got to your report and already fascinated with your perfect elie pics. Some of which I've never seen in the wild.

Though I am NOT a self driver, I do admire those that are. I am just not comfortable coming from the states and driving the country, though I imagine it is quite a rush to do your own thingI I do rely on guides; but have been fortunate so far with them.

 

Perhaps in a few years :blink:

 

However, looking forward to continuing the journey with you. I have not seen enough of SA personally, so the ins and outs the hidden spots are always a plus to me...just in case I get a wild hair and lease a car!

 

That would indeed be a report. Police probably.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Shame about the flight, but obviously you still had a great time. Beautiful ele photos! Well, I hope De Hoop will tidy up a bit, have a booking there next year. Looking forward to more! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@graceland I don't drive myself so its all down to my better half! I am great at navigation. We received nothing but friendliness and help from those we met on the journey.

 

@@michael-ibk De Hoop is lovely and there are lots of bontebok around. I am sure you will have a great time there. :) Pen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@michael-ibk @@penolva

 

When I went the second time to DeHoop, Cape Nature had just taken over. We ate at the restaurant there and had nothing but fabulous meals and incredible service (they were all over in helping us fix our flat tire). As for pricing, it may be much more expensive than SanParks, but as a foreign visitor, it is still incredibly cheap.

 

But I am jumping the gun here… I must wait for Penolva's report first. :)

Edited by Safaridude
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It rained heavily in the night but we still set out at 6.30 am. On a small loop near the camp we saw our first caracal in the wild. It was hunting and caught a mouse. We were thrilled. We explored more of the park and discovered that when it rains tortoise and dung beetles come out, we had to be so careful as we drove along. Back at camp we had monkeys steal a mango from the kitchen and when I sat outside with a glass of orange juice one came down to the table and started to drink from the glass. They were very bold.post-17162-0-33645300-1429794427_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-29416100-1429794533_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-57173200-1429794566_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-61243900-1429794606_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-81280500-1429794644_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-98854200-1429794681_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next stop Storms River on the garden route. Last pics of the scenery at Addo and a couple more elephants and other animals.

post-17162-0-12538800-1429795006_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-77576500-1429795022_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-96159100-1429795044_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-73005600-1429795105_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-20346400-1429795127_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-41705400-1429795146_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@michael-ibk @@penolva

 

When I went the second time to DeHoop, Cape Nature had just taken over. We ate at the restaurant there and had nothing but fabulous meals and incredible service (they were all over in helping us fix our flat tire). As for pricing, it may be much more expensive than SanParks, but as a foreign visitor, it is still incredibly cheap.

 

But I am jumping the gun here… I must wait for Penolva's report first. :)

I agree the exchange rate makes South Africa very inexpensive to visit and there is a fabulous choice in the supermarkets if you are self catering, as we do. I recommend Woolworths for quality and choice. More on De Hoop after Storms River. Pen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Caracal! Wow, great sighting, and Addo really does look like a beautiful place.

 

Though I loved your photobook I´m really glad you decided to do a TR on this one - ultimately I always enjoy the reports the most.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caracal! Wow, great sighting, and Addo really does look like a beautiful place.

 

Though I loved your photobook I´m really glad you decided to do a TR on this one - ultimately I always enjoy the reports the most.

Well I am working on the book but thought I would do this TR as I went along this time. Thanks for the kind comments. Pen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucky you with the caracal, jealous....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexander33

Caracal! And a good, clear sighting of one as well, with a kill no less. Lucky you -- congratulations. Still waiting on my first.

Edited by Alexander33
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too; great Caracal. I actually saw one on my first safari but no one told me what it was (guide)..so when I went back looking at pics, I discovered I took a pic. I guess I thought it was something special!

 

I also love the long view down the road. Very inviting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next stop Storms River camp run by Sanparks. Its not a 'real' safari destination but we liked the idea of being able to stay right beside the Indian Ocean. During the winter months its a prime place to view whales that migrate along the coast to give birth and raise their young. A trip we have planned for August/September 2016.

 

I thought the bungalow might be of some interest so have posted some photographs of it. Its the 'honeymoon' bungalow :rolleyes: and the only one that has ocean views from every room. Very well equipped. No other accommodation in front, just the ocean and rocks.

 

We left Addo and drove towards Port Elizabeth. A completly different experience with huge shopping malls, lots of traffic and the ocean ahead. We travelled on the N2 which is the most boring road we have been on in South Africa so far. The ocean scenery made up for it.

 

The weather was sunny and very windy so Storms River lived up to its name. Unfortunatly the motor boat trips up the river mouth were cancelled while we were there, canoe's are not our thing and the swing bridge was being repaired (we knew this). Its a beautiful place and we enjoyed a lovely walk through the forest to the ocean and sitting on the balcony of our bungalow. We fell asleep to the sound of the surf pounding just below our bedroom.

 

post-17162-0-55823200-1429885339_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-22315200-1429885377_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-91270200-1429885395_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-57188100-1429885484_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-68164600-1429885531_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-37987700-1429885667_thumb.jpgpost-17162-0-88233800-1429885696_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-37985600-1429885622_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-97587900-1429885641_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-85687800-1429886081_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We drove along the coast towards Cape Town, very busy again and lots of modern buildings and malls. We passed Bontebok NP and then took the turn towards De Hoop Nature Reserve. Ahead we could see huge white sand dunes and the sea. As we approached the main reception area there were bontebok grazing and later we saw eland and, i think, one mountain zebra. The cottage we rented was very comfortable. As I mentioned there were very few signs around, no booklets with information, maps etc. One of the staff showed us the way by guiding us to the turn off on his quad bike. We drove to Koppie Allen and the scenery was very beautiful on the way. Sand dunes, fynbos and animals. We walked down the boardwalk to the sea. In the season you can walk and camp along the 'Whale trail' as the whales come really close to the land here. That would be a great trip. Some photographs of the walk, animals and the cottage. @@Safaridude it is really lovely, I just think first impressions let it down a bit. Pen

post-17162-0-06042900-1430057893_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-41063100-1430057924_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-09082700-1430057949_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-10908200-1430057986_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-79089700-1430058027_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-98760400-1430058072_thumb.jpg

post-17162-0-88941800-1430058099_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Wow, De Hoop looks fantastic! Beautiful place!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you @@michael-ibk. Bit concerned that this might not be of much interest on here as, so far, this trip is not the true safari of the type that is reported on this forum. However it changes a lot once we get to the Kgalagadi TP and Mokala NP. I just thought it might be nice to show the different places we visited on the way as well as the wild ones. Pen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

I wouldn´t worry, @@penolva . Personally, I love to see the places less covered coming up on reports, and I´m sure many other members feel the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@@penolva

I agree with @@michael-ibk on this.

DeHoop does look beautiful -- and as it is a place we are thinking of visiting we are very interested in this part of your report!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you @@michael-ibk. Bit concerned that this might not be of much interest on here as, so far, this trip is not the true safari of the type that is reported on this forum. However it changes a lot once we get to the Kgalagadi TP and Mokala NP. I just thought it might be nice to show the different places we visited on the way as well as the wild ones. Pen

Oh @@penolva I get so much pleasure seeing places I may not know of in Africa and get so many ideas of where I may want to go..so please continue. Many of us here are so enjoying your adventure..

and I found your you tube vids..awesome!

 

Continue on :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy