South Africa Honeymoon: Cape Town to Addo
We got back from Namibia, which turned out to be more amazing than we had hoped somehow. We can not wait to go back, actually, to drive to the Skeleton Coast and possibly into Botswana, but that is another day.
We landed in Cape Town and wandered right on over to the rental car agency, and after a small amount of confusion about how many credit cards we needed (apparently they require two separate cards) we plopped down a huge deposit and were sitting in our super fine G37x Sedan, which is a heck of a motor-carriage. Unlike our bare-bones car in Namibia, this car had it all and more, including a quick get-up-and-go which I was not hesitant in using to zip to our hotel, which was in Camps Bay. The sunset here was amazing, and our hotel was situated at the bottom of Table Mountain.
We went into Camps Bay to get some food, which I forgot what we got, maybe Thai food, but I do remember it was good. We did some people watching, walked along the beach, mostly enjoyed our time there, then headed back to our hotel. It may be a shock to some of you, but I played with the dog that occupies the hotel, he was big and loved running. We got to watch the sunset from the pool area of our hotel, then headed to bed.
We woke up the next morning and got started, not super early, but early enough, or so we though. We intended to drive along Table Mountain onto Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, then directly to Knysna; naturally that plan had kinks as we stopped quite a bit along the way for reasons such as traffic, and baboons standing in the road, there were signs all over the country saying do not feed the baboons, so it was nice to actually see them.
After a time at Cape of Good Hope, where everyone was vying for time alone with the sign, and a fair amount of walking around, we were on our way, zipping along the Garden Route to Knysna. The rest of the drive was good and scenic, but nothing exciting. We did stop to get food, where I ordered a chicken burger that came slathered, SLATHERED in mayo, which I had to get a non mayo version of.
We arrived at our hotel in Knysna a little later than we expected, went to the wrong guest house, then knocked on the door even though it was open, pretty successful day. The guesthouse was awesome, and the proprietors were great. The breakfast the next morning was wonderful. We hopped back in the car and headed out to Port Elizabeth and Addo.
The drive this day was nice, more flat, and quick. Driving in South Africa is wonderful, just wonderful. The freeways are mostly 1 lane each way, and when you come up on someone driving slower than you, they pull over and let you pass, no problems, it was amazing, SIMPLY AMAZING. I loved driving in South Africa.
We arrived at Addo, the wrong entrance of course, which worked in our favor. The main entrances are at the top and bottom of the park, I wanted to drive around and come in from the west side because why not, it was on the map after all. The guard let us pass through, as long as we drove directly to the other side and out, so we could pay our fee and enter again. We went past a campground and about 9 or 15 million elephants. That is a rough estimate. Elephants everywhere, bathing, walking around, probably talking to one another, who knows. Then we saw some zebra and warthogs on the way out.
When we finally left we drove a few miles to the proper entrance, paid our entrance fee, then started our self driving tour. Were we started was fairly open fields that had gemsbok and zebras as well as other random animals, no elephants, no lion, no rhino, which we were not really expecting. We drove into more wooded areas, though, and that is where we found more elephant. Such great animals.
After more driving, we had to start our exit as we had a time limit, we had to get out by 6pm. We started our way, only to run across a rhino. It was stunning, just being beautiful and doing what rhino do, having its horn, eating grass, walking around.
We spent about 20 minutes with the rhino, and went right, which was a huge loop to the exit, probably a mistake, given that we had spent a decent amount of time when we were running pretty close to our limit. Turning right, we drove about a mile only to find sable, which are the largest deer and water buffalo, which was great. The water buffalo was hiding, so we slowed only for him to charge right out of the bushes at the car, prompting us to zip away.
We drove a bit further on the tight path, only to come upon what looked like a small deer, but itswalk was not that of a deer, we got closer, it kept strolling - lion, it was a lion! She was walking right in the middle of the path, blocking our way really well, so we just drove slowly behind the lion for about 10 minutes, clearly missing our exit time of 6, but we figured a lion in the way was a good reason to be late.
Finally the road widened and we were able to skirt around her, and on to the exit. There were zebras on the way out, so we photoed them, got to the gate about 6:20 at which point the guard told us we were not that late, and let us out. What a day!
We had a twenty minute ride to our guest house in Port Elizabeth, a quick check-in, made some spaghetti we got from the store, and went to sleep, exhausted, but ready to head back towards Cape Town, which will be the next post.