• Sophie Smith

A Family Day Trip to Addo Elephant Park

We are all about being tourists in our own back yards. Although coming from Cape Town, the Eastern Cape can seem a little low key, it is full of absolute gems which we love exploring with our family. Last weekend we decided to brave taking both kids and doing a family outing to Addo Elephant Park, which is about 20 minutes from PE, and 45 minutes from our home.

You can enter Addo from the North or the South. The Northern entrance is the main gate with the curio shop and main office, but we are much closer to the South so we entered there and got so lucky with our sightings. We saw so many elephants, lion, jackal, kudu, bush buck, monkeys, warthog, zebras, red hartebeest, buffalo, guinea fowl, ox-peckers, a jackal buzzard and so many amazing birds.

There is also a lovely spot to get out of the car and stretch your legs, have a braai or a picnic and use the bathroom. The rest area is within a botanical reserve that has no big game so it's quite safe to get out, and for our children who were getting restless, it much needed. The picnic and braai sights are tucked discreetly into the bushes so that even on a busy day, you can't see anyone except the hopeful birds waiting for your crumbs. There is also a map with the recent animal sightings which we found really helpful.

A few tips for a game drive with kids:

- You can book a game drive with Addo, or pay to have a guide come with you in your vehicle.

- If you have a toddler, pack a small potty in case they need to wee when you are far away from a safe place to get out of the car.

- Pack some books or colouring, because there will be times where you drive for a while and don't see anything. Having said that, Lexi got so good at spotting animals, often before even we had seen them.

- Definitely pack snacks for the car and a picnic

You can find the fees, and all the other information on the SANParks website: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/tourism/tariffs.php

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© 2019 Sophie Smith