Addo Afrique

Location: 72 kilometers from Nelson Mandela Bay.  Take N2 in direction of Grahamstown, proceed to N10 towards Craddock/Paterson, at the town of Paterson, turn left onto the R342 towards Addo, Addo Afrique will be visible on the left after 5km’s.

Date Visited: 25 – 27 May 2012 (Fall)

Accommodation: We stayed in a beautifully appointed 4-bedroom 5-star lodge with a kitchen,  lounge & four bathrooms.  The lodge is exquisitely furnished with magnificent art on the walls & every possible creature comfort catered for.  The main bathroom has a jacuzi-bath & outside shower.  The lodge also has an outside lapa & swimming pool. Eight adults are comfortably accommodated.

What we Drove: The Jeep Patriot from Maritime Motors

What we did: We lounged, talked, cooked together, went for a long walk, did a game drive, read, made the most of the jacuzi-bath & outside shower & savoured time in each others company.

Recommendation: Addo Afrique is exceptionally positioned as upmarket accommodation from which to explore the Addo Elephant National Park & surrounding areas.  It provides exceptional private, serviced & luxury accommodation for the traveler expecting a bit more.

Website: Addo Afrique

Tribe Special: Mention the ‘Traveling Tribe’ & claim 40% off on a mid-week stay and 30% off on a weekend stay, until the end of August 2012.


It is our most precious commodity.

It passes unnoticed as we work & struggle & strive.

A decade goes by without us realizing it is slipping away from us.

We assume we will grow old.

We assume our children will bury us.

We assume too much.

We should savour every moment.

We should embrace every opportunity.

To embrace & be embraced.

To be.


To talk.



As we travel, we create the opportunity to step out of the ordinary.

It was Africa Day, this Friday as we left Nelson Mandela Bay.

It was a particularly long week with a lot of work and business consuming my time and energy.

I neglected my family by spending twelve & fourteen hour days at the office.

I was hoping to catch up some.

Although we cannot catch up.

Time which has passed is gone, never to be had again.

We should keep this top of mind.

We should write it on our doorposts & our mirrors.

It should be our screensaver & gravatar image.

Lest we turn sixty or eighty, only to be overwhelmed by the bitter realization that we spent everything afforded us on something we do not value that much.

What do you value?

If it is relationship, then you should consider spending more of the time at your disposal on relationship.

Nobody who loves Jeep, goes out & spend their money on Ford.

Why would we who love our partner & children, our family, spend the bulk of our time on something other than them?

Africa Day.

We celebrated the day in-style with music & poems & dreams of hope from all over the continent.

It seemed fitting that we would spend this weekend at Addo Afrique.

At twelve I picked up the Jeep Patriot from Vaughan at Maritime Motors.

A beautiful vehicle.

A somewhat smaller engine than the Cherokee, but at 2.4 litres still powerful & an easy drive.

Zuko loves the comfortable heated seats which seem to be standard in every Jeep.

I love the smooth gearbox.  The easy handling.  The silent interior, allowing us to talk & laugh & discuss as if we’re in our lounge.

The load space was enough to fit the Tribe’s weekend luggage, including Maddi’s baby-stuff & our supplies.

We left Nelson Mandela Bay at just before five.

We arrived at Addo Afrique at just before six.

It was dusk.

The lodge’s butler had already lit a fire for us; just in-case we wanted to braai.

We unloaded & discovered that we’d forgotten our drinks.

Not a problem.

Moses quickly produced every drink our hearts desired.

He is from Zimbabwe.

He’s been in the hospitality industry for a long time.

He understands service.

And privacy.

As well as people.

The children explore every inch of the lodge, running to us at the fire, every now and then to report on something exquisite they’ve discovered.

Eventually they get comfortable on the leather couches with some TV.

Zuko and I talk.

Of Africa.

Of our dreams.

Our hope for this continent & this country.

We talk of finding a new way.

A way in which our time-spend will reflect what we truly value.

This weekend a good start.

It isn’t filled to the brim with activities.

It has space for us just to be.

When we get up on Saturday morning, our butler had cleaned everything & tidied the lodge to perfection.

We make breakfast together.

Without a rush.

Then we take a walk.

The children often running out in front, hoping to spot the giraffe first.

We don’t see them on our walk.

We see Njala & bushbuck, as well as a very tame Ostrich.

Late that afternoon, as we took the Jeep Patriot on a game drive, we did spot the Giraffe & some Gemsbuck.

The walk is enjoyable.

We laugh.

Theunsie plays comedian.

Pippa explorer & Sophia tour-guide.

It is almost twelve as we return to our lodging.

Moses had made the rooms.

He’d sorted the breakfast dishes & made sure there is enough ice in the fridge.

The kids brave the swimingpool despite winter’s chill cooling the water.

Then we start working on lunch.

Cooking together is something we enjoy as a family.

It is as if our thoughts & joy is unleashed with knives slicing & food roasting.

We enjoy lunch outside.

Moses appears from nowhere, assuring us that we shouldn’t bother with taking the dishes inside.

‘You’re here to relax.  I’m here to help you.  I do this, because I enjoy it.  Go rest or read.’

And we do exactly that.

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I finish my book about ‘contentment’ not agreeing with the author that contentment is always such a virtue.

We should be discontent if we spend the majority of our time on stuff we do not value most.

And this discontent should motivate us to find a new way.

We should be discontent with injustice.

With mediocre education & failing healthcare.

With millions of children living in poverty & hundreds of thousands of adults satisfied with receiving hand-outs & perpetuating the cycle of contentment.

Zuko remind me that not everyone share my thoughts & heart.

I graciously accept her reminder, but forge ahead with dreams of hope.

For our dreams determine our future.

And if we do not dream of a tomorrow in which we spend our time on relationships, tomorrow will turn into yesterday & we’ll still be working 14 hour days & be absent fathers & incompetent partners.


My thoughts, Zuko, I know.

Late afternoon, as we return from our game drive, the fire is burning warmly with drinks chilled & a table beautifully laid for supper.

Everything is clean & tidy.

We cook our meal on the open fire.

We express gratitude before we eat.

To each other.

To the Creator whose grace is a good kind of grace to be at.

As we eat, we speak.

Of responsibility which comes with blessing.

Of the opportunity to be different in a world which desperately desires to force everyone into its mold.

Pippin serves desert.

Theunsie serves coffee.

A perfect day ends with a perfect meal.

Sunday morning isn’t as slow as we had hoped.

We looked forward to tasting Addo Afrique till late afternoon.

On Friday, just before we left Nelson Mandela Bay, we received an invitation to attend a function in Kirkwood.

The MEC of Human Settlements invited us to be part of the launch of a Youth Build-project.

We couldn’t resist.

Moses helps us to get all our stuff together & load the Jeep Patriot.

We make our way to Kirkwood, which is an easy 40 kilometer drive from Addo Afrique.

The lodge is really perfectly positioned for anyone who would like to explore the area from a comfortable base.

We meet MEC Helen Sauls-August.

She speaks passionately about a country in which people take responsibility.

A country in which parents raise children who will be eager to build.

We meet some young volunteers.

In ‘Youth Build 2012’, 120 unemployed volunteers build 100 homes for families who live in shacks.

Along the way they’re taught skills.

It is a joint venture between government & the private sector.

As we wait for the official program to start, I talk to Mark from Makhana Bricks.  They donated the bricks for the first home to be built.  The children play on the grass.  The dignitaries explore the site where most of the work will be done.

The atmosphere is excited.

There is a feeling of hope in the air.

Perhaps, just perhaps, something wonderful is yet to come.

As lunch approaches, we start our journey home.

An easy drive.

A good weekend.

We stop at Zuko’s parents as we drive into Nelson Mandela Bay.

Her father admires the Jeep Patriot.

Her Mom magically makes lunch appear.

We spend time with them.

For they too are precious to us.

Then we make our way home.

To unload our weekend stuff.

To look back on time spent together.

To dream of hope.

For Africa.

And South Africa.

For our little bit of world.

And our family.

Categories: Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

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49 thoughts on “Addo Afrique

  1. Cheryl Reynolds

    Would love to create memories at this incredible venue…

  2. This sounds like a family breakaway or it could be great for our quarterly breakaway group of friends , all ladies who love nature and reconnecting with good friends. Taking the time to reflect with awesome people is very important , but to do it in an awesome place like this … well that would just be the icing on the top.

  3. This seems to be the exact place one need to relax and become aware of the greatness of nature and SILENCE. This venue serves its name, I believe – from the blog. Would be lovely to enjoy this!

  4. New ideas to explore pioneering above our hilltops of glorious landscape, the great source of magic in the air secretly scuffs to and fro, in the breeze, its easy to see the soul of mankind in the mist creating time to reflect with friends and family of having arrived at Addo Afrique,this impact can last, if not ever after, for a very long while…………………….. its diffidently the future………….

  5. ingrid greeff

    Sounds like the ideal place to make precious memories as a family and to hold those memories in your heart whilst experiencing good family time in good ol south african fashion and flare

  6. Ideal location to “detox” mind, body and soul. My family can really do with such a weekend break away! Such lovely places close to home and we are so privileged; yet not appreciate.

  7. So glad there are places like this in the world

  8. Africa at its best … fires roaring, animals lurking, serenity and nature surrounding you – yes please 🙂

  9. Danie Lategan

    WOW!!!! Looks good!!

  10. Jane Steyn

    Wow! This sounds amazing…. An right on our doorstep- bonus!!!! Definitely on my bucket list!

  11. Denrich Evans

    To spend time like this with our close friends would be awsome but to have my children experience this would be amazing for my husband and I to witness. So far animal planet and and a couple hours game park drive has been the closest they have come to a true African experience. Our country is beautiful and we need to experience all it has to offer.

  12. I LOVE africa…….. Reading this makes me feel so proud and grateful to be homegrown!!!..

  13. Okay… I want to win this! Am I the only one bold enough to say it? It sounds and looks truly magical and would be the perfect get away to spoil some friends and family with. Please? Pretty please?

  14. Gerhard Janse van Rensburg

    Hoe mooi klink dit nie en nogals op Port Elizabeth se voorstoep. Ek is ‘n kontrak werker en is tans in Suid-Sudan. Ek het Port Elizabeth en Suid-Afrika verlaat op 26 Januarie 2012. Die tyd weg van die huis is nie maklik vir my geliefde vrou en kindertjies nie. Sandra vertolk die rol van ma en pa in my afwesigheid. Net om so tydjie te kan nuttig saam met my gesin as kwaliteit tyd, want ons het nie kwantiteit tyd nie, sal vir ons hele gesin hemel op aarde wees. Net om vir n klein tydjie weer as n gesin te funksioneer om “gesins dinge” te doen, wat andere as van selfsprekend aanvaar.

  15. I’ve always loved the Addo region!!! Boasting with the Big 7, it is definitely a place everyone in South Africa should visit at least once. More importantly everyone in the Eastern Cape should tell their friends & family visiting about how amazing the Eastern Cape is!!! The other parks in South Africa are seemingly more well-known & hence attracting loads of visitors. I believe we all in the Eastern Cape need to realising how fortunate we are to live in the most amazing part of South Africa (once we appreciate our own area, we’ll bubble over from excite & entice more people to visit.)

    Spread the word; tell the world, how amazing the Addo region is! Better yet – load up the family & show them the sights – we all need to appreciate the treasures we have in the Eastern Cape!!!

    I know what I’m doing this weekend – I’m off to explore Addo & its surrounds! Would love to explore Addo whilst staying at Addo Afrique! Hopefully they will pick me & my family & we’ll be fortunate enough to experience the 5 star luxury!

  16. Heidi

    The travelling tribe is a great idea in exposing us to fun holiday options! Addo Afrique sounds like an amazing place and a perfect get-away to recharge! Ad

  17. LindaRossouw

    Hey there, really enjoyed your thoughts on contentment… and discontent 🙂 Happy travelling!

  18. Helena Cullis

    @Theunis Pienaar your Travelling Tribe blog is AMAZING! Left me extremely inspired! Gonna go home early and spend TIME with my loved ones 🙂

  19. melanie schoeman

    My beautiful Africa, we spend too much time traveling to other continents and not appreciating and exploring the spectacular sites in our own back yard – sounds like a well needed breakaway for my family and myself – can see myself sitting with a cocktail, reading to a “only-in-south-africa” sunset 😉

  20. Gareth

    gotta love this place we live in … suffering in Africa !!! from your BEST FRIEND in the world 🙂

  21. To be a part of the cultural diversity of our beautiful country… AFRICA! What a privilege! Celebrate AFRICA!

  22. Nadia Nortje

    Klink heerlik, kan sien julle het dit baie geniet. En om in God se natuur te kan wees is die bonus! Ons volg jul Tribe se ekspidisies en leef ons saam met julle daarin! Geniet elke oomblik! Blessings! N

  23. marcelle sharp

    Hierdie is nie net ‘n wegbreek naweek nie, die ervaring wat julle gehad het is ‘n Goddelike ervaring! Hy het ons in Afrika geplaas met die doel om voluit te lewe en om skatte soos hierdie te ontdek. Uit julle ervaring en die weergee daarvan het ek ook besef dat julle soos die dissipels van ouds vissers van mense is. Ek kon sie liefde van julle as gesin ervaar, sowel as die liefde en waardering van dit wat God geskep het in Afrika. Ek en my gesin sal graag op jul voetspore wil volg deur hierdie ervaring by Villa Afrique te beleef soos deur julle aan ons bekend gestel!

  24. angeg

    What a great blog about what sounds like an exceptional place. As I read it I could feel the peace and quiet sweeping over me. Magical! To breath in Africa while surrounded by the love of family and friends is nothing short of perfection.

  25. Great blog Theunis! I really enjoyed the read. It made me feel the rustic authenticity of the roots of Africa.

    Jason Cooper

  26. Thank you Mr T for bringing the reality of the Eastern Cape home to us yet again. I sit here and realise that my boys have never been to Addo! We will have to rectify that! Thanks for spreading the love and the hope. I am so tired of people moaning about our land and feel so inspired when I read this blog.

  27. Sharon Boyd

    Oh how wonderful this could be for my family. Getting away from all the stresses that life gives. Its been 4 years since we last had a holiday let alone a weekend away. What an absolute treat this would be.

  28. Leanne

    Interesting to consider discontentment in a place that allows for a huge measure of contentment 🙂 Sounds like a great getaway… Time to breathe and reflect… Bliss!

  29. Kathleen Packer

    What beauty…what it must be like to breathe fresh air…..and to marvel and consider the Creator who created this…and to share an experience with our children that spans generations as memories are made and stories to tell are weaved and created….please help us do this for our children and bring a family closer in this age of such extreme busyness….you are a true example of such a family! Thank you…..Love Kathleen x

  30. Lesley Domingo

    Theunis and Fam, THANKS AGAIN for reminding us of the beauty right on our doorstep!! Addo Afrique sounds amazing and such quality time with the people close to us; we forget too often how important this time together is. For the winner, I hope you cherish your family and time enough to enjoy this destination, a piece of Africa.

  31. Caroline

    So passionate about family, life and values. Addo Afrique sounds like the ideal place to go to in order to relax, get away from the rat race and to reflect on life. Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with us Theuns and Family 🙂

  32. Looks really great! Such beautiful scenery we have around us in the Eastern Cape

  33. Elaine Kemp

    Really looks stunning and relaxing.

  34. We absolutely love Addo, and what a treat you all had to do it in style! We would love to experience the same. We go through to Addo at least 2 or 3 times a year, and would love to spend a weekend in absolute luxury! Awesomeness ALOUD!!!!!

  35. Sue Paterson

    Addo Afrique- amazing adventure holiday right on our doorstep. Just what my family and I need- a pamper session in our beautiful bushveld.

  36. Barbara Gouws 0845696794

    I was fortuanate enough to go to Addo Afrique ,however it was for work. When I got the call to go out there I took my son with me my work allowed that becuse I did the call in my own time. Being a single parent you take evey oppurtuinty to bring a smile to their faces.Alltough we couldnt expereince it but at least we got to see it we could at least look around and take a short drive on the premises and got to see some giraffes and bucks very close by.Addo Afrique is absolutely stunning breathtaking views from almost every room.The rooms itself are all luxurios it screams of relaxsation with the bath overlooking out to pictureque views beautifull and not to even mention the jacquzis.The braai area I must admit got my attention its an invitation of fun ,I could see myself and my son and some of our friends who mostly are also single moms sitting around a nice fire under a beautiful evening sky having a goog relaxing time as he would say.
    But then thats just a dream and I went there for work so we couldnt stay but at least I can say I saw it and I got to show it to my son altough he desperatly wanted to stay over,I just said maybe one my boy maybe one day……

  37. Lauren Currie

    sounds wonderful! such beautiful places in the Eastern Cape!!
    I’m inspired!

  38. Pamela Tite

    What a great experience – love getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life to truly enjoy God’s beauty and design!

  39. Pamela Tite

    What a great destination to get away from city life and into nature! The only place we truly marvel at God’s creation and design!

  40. Wow,dit lyk fantasties en so naby aan PE!!! Weet mens sal dadelik kan afskakel van elke dag se gebeure en net ontspan en elke natuurskoon en wonderwerk van bo ervaar!!!

  41. Jacques

    Dit klink baie leker,dit sal baie lekker wees om so iets as n gesin saam te doen. Die enigste woord om dit te beskryf is !!!WOW!!!
    Van Jaques…0842429072

  42. Riaan Bubb

    Lyk asemrowend. Net die regte plek om stil te raak in die natuur saam met vriende en familie.

  43. Sharmaine

    With friends from overseas coming to visit us later this year, Addo was already on our list of Eastern Cape “best places” to show off to them! But this blog has raised the bar and our friends will now receive the Travelling Tribe discounted Addo Afrique treatment – why not? We want everyone to know how lucky we are to live in the Eastern Cape!

  44. Penny Morris

    Wow what a beautiful place! Love the Addo region and didn’t realise that there was this gem there too! You keep me inspired to keep priorities in check! Family time is so precious!

  45. Robynne

    So so awesome. Would love to experience a bit of this piece of heaven on earth.

  46. Robynne

    So desperately in need of a break………it’s been about 12 years since I last had a holiday. Addo Afrique looks like the perfect paradise I need!

  47. Hats of to you and your family for doing such a brilliant job promoting eco-tourism in the Nelson Mandela Bay and surrounding area. What a thrill it would be to share a similar experience at Addo Afrique with my whole family. Can you imagine the luxuary of 4 bathrooms!

  48. From your experiences – a visit to Addo Afrique seems very special and quite unique.
    Revelling in luxury with the whole family would be such fun.
    Enjoying nature, art and culture under the African sun.

  49. Traveling there is really a great fun with friends and family, addo is really a very special place to traveler who want to spent some interesting time around there safari with elephant and other kind of elephant. I love addo lodge as there luxury lodge are great place to stay and enjoy a great safari.

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