Wednesday 2017/01/11

Umdloti – Addo Elephant Park


Today we start early again. At six o'clock the alarm rings, as we have to get to the airport in time to leave the car and drop our luggage. Our host is kindly preparing a breakfast package and we also get a capuccino before we leave.

In a small jet with only 18 passengers we're flying from King Shaka Airport (the airport of Durban, a 3.5 million city, the second largest city in South Africa) to Port Elizabeth. Compared to European airports this one is a rather small airport with only a few flights every day. We reach our destination after a 1:20 hour flight.

There we get a new rental car, which has only 5,600 kms on the clock. It has the direction indicator control on the other side as in the car we had before – we always turn on the windshield wiper. The (white skinned) employee at the counter speaks such an accent, that we hardly understand him and have to ask again and again. Strange!

We planed a supermarket shopping in Port Elizabeth as we will not have any catering in the Addo Elephant Park. There is a restaurant, where you can also get breakfast, but actually the accommodations are self-catering.

Unfortunately, we make the mistake not to search for a supermarket in the center. We think, there will be one on the way. In addition, we are selective and do not want to take the supermarket in the industrial area. So we have not found a supermarket until we nearby the Addo Elephant Park and for quite a while we're driving through settlements with very simple houses and cabins and quite a lot of rubbish. Spontaneously, we decide to stop at one of the local private supermarkets and check it's offerings . But it doesn't offer what we are looking for: muesli and so on. Half the cooling – which just did not work – is filled with 1.5 l bottles of cola. In addition, it is very dark. When checking out (we take one small bottle of water) we learn from the conversations of others customers that there is just a power failure.

Later in the camp there are also power fails in the afternoon. We are early and as long as we can not get our chalet, we have lunch at the restaurant.

In the shop we get everything we need for breakfast next morning. So it's not a problem we missed the supermarkets.

After we settled in our chalet, we immediately start to a first game drive through the Addo Elephant Park, which, according to its name, has numerous elephants.

On the game drive, however, we are feeling a bit like in a petting zoo, so many tourist cars are on the way and every few meters there is another animal. We are not used to so much action in game drives.

It is very hot and sultry. We take the time until the gates closing (at 6:30 pm) and then go for dinner into the restaurant. We have to be very patient until we get our dinner and just after the meals arrived at our table, a lady at the next table fell from her seat and is getting unconscious for a few moments because of the heat, the efforts and probably because of the alcohol and a lot of people including us care about her.