Addo To Karoo is a 5 day series written by Lize-Mari Arthur as she explores our South African National Parks from Nelson Mandela Bay through to Beaufort Wes.
Our adventure starts on horseback…
5 Strangers met up early last week Monday morning to take off on a week-long adventure together to learn more about our South African National Parks throughout the Eastern Cape and surrounds. We were ready with our bags packed full of insect repellent and sunscreen.
3 Riders kicking off their adventure on horseback.
First stop was at the Addo Elephant National Park’s Zuurburg Trails, where 3 of us went on a horse ride trail and the other two went hiking through the fynbos. I ended up on a beautiful stallion called Flap. He was the most docile creature ever, obediently following the horse in front, never trying to pass him, never giving any problems. Perfect for a beginner rider.
Beautiful and gentle Flap
As we were riding along, our guide told us about the nature around us. What the different plants are called and what makes them special to that specific environment. If you’re lucky, you’ll also bump into some wild animals like red hartebeest and because you are on horseback you can get quite close without them running away.
Heading through to the main camp…
From there we headed to the main camp at Addo for lunch at the restaurant, where they are busy renovating and soon we’ll be dining at a Cattle Baron in that space. I quickly popped into the tourist shop to see what they’ve got on offer and I was quite surprised at the range of goods that they’ve got. Everything from food to clothing and proudly South African gear as well as any overnight essentials that you might need.
Before heading out on our scheduled game drive, we needed to kill some time and took a walk to the Hide. This is an enclosure that’s situated next to one of the waterholes in the park, which allows you to freely observe any animals that make their way to this precious recourse. This is the perfect spot to get some beautiful photo’s of the animals in the park, the only rule of the Hide is that you have to be quiet.
Elephant cooling off at the waterhole by the Hide.
After this we went on our much-anticipated game drive with Jonathan as our guide. He pointing out all the different animals to us and shared as much info as he could about each of them. Any questions from our side was quickly answered with a smile and the trip was a fun as well as insightful one. On route we also came across some lion prints in the sand and got quite excited because they were fresh, but unfortunately that was the closest we came to the lions at Addo.
Elephant bull next to the road as we enjoy our game drive.
Addo Elephant National park got its name for a reason, so we came across quite a couple of elephants throughout the drive, as well as zebra’s, warthogs and red hartebeest.
Elephants enjoying an afternoon at the watering hole.
That night we stayed at the Spekboom Tented Camps, which is a small enclosed camping site in the middle of the national park. The camp has 5 tented sites which are all very private from each other and are equipped with two single beds in each tent as well as camping chairs and a utility box with all you’ll need for the stay. There are well taken care of communal bathrooms as well as a small kitchen with a fridge to make use of if you need to.
The camp site also has it’s own Hide, which means only those that stay there have access to this particular spot to watch the animals.
Spekboom Tented Camps
Keep following the series and see what happened on Day 2…
Lize-Mari Arthur is the Lifestyle Presenter at Kingfisher FM and is a lover of food, good books and healthy wholesome entertainment. She enjoys new experiences in life and going on adventures. You can find her on her blog where she does weekly updates on some of the content on her show.