South Africa Day 9: Addo/Schotia safaris

6 Mar

One of the many elephants I saw at Addo.

If you click through to only one gallery on this blog, this is the one: Addo/Schotia safari pictures.

Addo Elephant National Park is located 45 minutes outside of Port Elizabeth (more about friendly Port Elizabeth later). It is a completely fenced-in park that is home to some 450 elephants, in addition to other fascinating creatures. The nearby Schotia Game Park is a private reserve that is much smaller, but loaded with elephants.

The day began with pickup by out guide for the day, Malcom, would drive us out to Addo, take us through it around midday when the elephants would be seeking out waterholes, and then guide is through Schotia in the afternoon and evening.In between the wildlife viewing, Schotia served us lunch and dinner. When I say us, I’m referring to myself and, three other Americans and four Germans who made up our group. I got dropped off back in P.E. a little after 9:30 p.m., so it was a full day!

As you can tell by the pictures, I had a blast. THIS is what people come to Africa for. Gazing across a valley to see firaffes towering above the bushes and knowing there’s a black-maned lion lurking 100 yards ahead of them … well, it doesn’t get much better than that. Oh and then there are the dozens of other species seen, ranging from hippos to flightless dung beetles.

To anyone contemplating a visit, I highly recommend you go on safari with Schotia. For about $200 a person(hundres less than what some of the high-brow reserves charge), you get an amazing day.

The sad thing to keep in mind is that virtually all of South Africa’s big game live in reserves and parks these days — otherwise they’d be shot.

Now back to Port Elizabeth … I’ll have time later to write a glowing review on Tripadvisor.com, but for now I just want to give a shoutout to Debbie at the Margate Place guesthouse. I had some logistics difficulties there and she came to the rescue in a big way. Margate’s a great place, so stop in and say hello to Debbie!

Port Elizabeth really did live up to its nickname as the friendly city, too. On my way out of town, the cabbie taking me to the bus station in predawn darkness went out of his way to make sure I had a safe place to wait for the next bus. Nice guy.

Next up: a visit with a friend and fellow Web geek in East London, South Africa.

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4 Responses to “South Africa Day 9: Addo/Schotia safaris”

  1. Laurie March 6, 2011 at 11:43 AM #

    Love the photos, especially the cubs and baby elephants. Today’s post answered one of my questions – whether you had crossed paths with any other Americans. I didn’t meet or even overhear any Americans during my visit to South Africa last month. Lots of Australians, Dutch, and Swedes, though.

  2. Maryke March 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM #

    great photos!! We met lots of Americans when we were there for the World Cup. When we were on safari in Addo, we met a guy who literally lived within a couple blocks of us. Small world!

  3. Paz March 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM #

    Beautiful, BP! Looks like a hoot.

  4. Daniel March 8, 2011 at 4:01 AM #

    Hi Bob. I live in Cape Town and stumbled upon your very interesting blog about your travels through South Africa. From the looks of it you are enjoying yourself so far. And thanks for the great stories about our country. Especially your views on Port Elizabeth. That is my home town and I grew up in that area. Look forward to following the rest of your trip. PS Your city of Seattle has always fascinated me. Hope to visit it one day.

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