We flew from Jo’Burg to Port Elizabeth (PE as it’s known) via Mango airlines. A low cost in-country airline that was fine for bags (one checked free) but no free food or drink. We survived, as it was an hour flight!
Then we picked up the rental car and headed out of town on well-marked, good roads and highways, to Colchester about 30 minutes along the coast. This is a small town on a river and is right next to the south gate of Addo Park. This is a newer gate and the area is quieter than the main town of Addo which is good as apparently there have been attacks on the road into the northern gate of Addo as it goes through an industrial/township area.
We stayed at a nice B&B and had a 2 bedroom little house. Fun set up and all our needs met. The owners were very nice and booked our tour into Addo for us with a guide who grew up in the house next door to them (so knows the area well).
Our tour guide and her husband picked us up in the morning and we were thrilled to be the only people on the little bus. We spent the day with them in Addo and Janie was amazing at finding animals and telling us all kinds of facts about each of them and history of the park etc. Her husband also knew a lot about the plants and birds so it was nice to have all this expertise along. At lunchtime we reached the main gate area and while we wandered around the exhibits and gift shop, they set up a delicious BBQ (braa) and cooked up lamb chops, chicken kabobs, and local sausage. They set a fancy table and provided wine and beer plus an amazing desert of malva and custard (a South African pudding).
I haven’t tried this recipe but looks good and similar to what we ate. Also some other good ones on this site:
So I skipped over the animals we say and focused on the food. Tells where my heart lies! But the animals were amazing. We saw a monkey first just a few feet into the park and went on to see loads of elephants, zebra, various kinds of antelope, buffalo, warthogs, ostriches, dung beetles, termites, vultures, lion, tortoises, and a little ferrety thing (Janie wasn’t with us to see itJ There were probably more but it was so impressive and fun I’m forgetting. To see these animals in the wild and just doing their own thing naturally was so much more rewarding than in a zoo or nature park. Janie interpreted lots of their behaviors for us and it was then fun to try and spot those later on in the next groups.
Sundays River and Sand Dunes
The next day we did the Sundays River ferry cruised with the B&B owner’s husband. He has a great boat that cruises along the river to the estuary and then stops so you can scramble around the huge sand dunes. Max, Charlotte, and I managed to climb our way up these and the views at the top were amazing. The sand was so soft it was difficult to get up but very easy to get down!
Nice little town. Not a lot to do other than the boat and Addo plus one pub restaurant. But it was fun and relaxing.