September / October 2013
03.10.2013 - 03.10.2013 22 °C
We were able to sleep in today and got up around 7:30 am. It was a little cooler and cloudy, but we still had breakfast outside. Afterwards we packed up to drive to Addo Elephant Park. While we were sad to leave Knysna and Villa Afrikana, it was time to see some animals. On our way to Addo, we stopped off at Jeffrey's Bay, but before we got there we had our first Baboon sighting. The animal just ran out on the middle of a national highway.
At Jeffery's Bay we stopped off for lunch. The area is suppose to be one of the top 3 surfing areas in the world, however, we didn't see anyone surfing. Probably a little too cold as the temp was around 22 and breezy. On recommendation from Ross at Villa Africana we chose Kitchen Windows right on the beach. Charlotte had calamari making this about one-half dozen tries. This version was also very good. I had a small rock lobster, Troy had lamb and Randy had a huge seafood platter. Three of us also had a soup split 50/50 of cream of broccoli and butternut squash. Tasty indeed.
After lunch we drove to the lodge we are staying at which is in the park, but is private and not part of the public park. We traveled some rough roads to get here, but it is definitely worth it. On the drive in we saw many Zebra. We joked that we will be probably be tired of zebra after we leave. Shortly after arriving at Riverbend, we went for our first game drive. It is still the slow season and there is only one other group of four at the park so we have our own open air car and ranger. Our guide did confirm that they have so many zebra you could trip over them blindfolded. On the drive we saw more zebra, red hearte beasts, ostriches, an elephant, jackel, many warthogs and also two male lions. We drove up very close to the lions and got a great view of them. Lions don't move much so these boys were considered very active as they picked there heads up when we arrived and started yawning. Doesn't sound like much, but a lions yawn is intimidating that close in an open car. They also rolled on their back to stretch and one of them got up and walked to a different spot. Very impressive.
We then were off back to the lodge for dinner. Very good food. We had kudu and calamari appetizers, Troy and I had the Impala which was very tasty. Charlotte had the King klip and Randy had the risotto. At dessert out intent was to get each of the two appetizers, but Randy wanted his own which somehow confused everything and we ended up with 5 desserts. We have an early morning tomorrow so off to bed early.
02.10.2013 - 02.10.2013 23 °C
Today was an early morning. We got up at 5:20 am to go for an elephant ride. We wanted to make sure we left early enough to make our 6:30 am reservations. The Knysna Elephant park was easy to find and we made it there with plenty of time to spare. The elephant ride was very cool. Troy and I rode on Sally together. Sally was one of the first Elephants to arrive at the park in 1994. She is 25 years old and won't reach her full height until she is 35 years old. It was a very enjoyable experience. While on the ride they took several pictures and made a montage of us on Sally and with others from the group from several spots around the park.
After the ride we headed back to our place for breakfast which was served outside on the deck. After breakfast we headed out to tour The Heads, which is the entry point from the Indian Ocean into the estuary. We were moving around admiring the scenery when a lady told us there were whales in the opening of the estuary. Sure enough we turn around and you could see shadows of the whales just floating under the water.
More common and a bit more dense than humpbacks, the African Southern Right whales are quite large. We stood and watched them for a while and they started to become more active. We took several great pictures of the whales playing in ocean. We decided to retuem down the hillside from the scenic overview and head near the water to East Head Cafe that was recommended to us by our hostess at the B&B. We thought the whales had moved, but they didn't and we ended up eating at the nearest table to the water right where the whales were still floating around which made for quite a lunch time show. Pictures are taken from our table.
After a few hours touring Knysna we returned to Villa Afrikana and sat out by the pool until dinner. The service at Villa Afrikana is second to none and we enjoyed conversation with the owner Ross and took in the relaxing vibe. Later we went to JJ's and had a wide assortment of entree's (Kingclip, Crockodile and Gemsbok). Sad to leave Knusna and Villa Afrikama but our next adventure in Addo awaits.