After a fun evening yesterday, for today a trip to the Addo Elephant National Park just outside of Port Elizabeth. My roommate suggested to go there when I arrived, so for today it searching for animals in the park. When arriving at Addo we needed to get tickets and they note down your registration plate. After getting the tickets and providing all the information we could go to the check point, at the check point you need to open your trunk to show that you don’t take anything illegal into the park. After the checkpoint the trip starts! When you drove into the park it’s a beautiful sight. You can’t compare it with the landscape in The Netherlands.

During your trip you need to stay in your vehicle at all times. This is for your safety, but also animals can get scared when you step out of the car. If you stay in your car they can’t see your face and determine if your a threat or not. So they don’t care.

There are some view points in the park were you can get out or the car and enjoy the nice overview of the park. For lunch we drove to one of the picknick places. We brought some food with us and it was amazing to picknick in the park.

The next couple of hours we drove through the park, the speed limit is 40 mph but we drove most of the times around 20 mph looking out for animals. Because of the warmth a lot of animals hide between the bushes.

We went to one of the hideouts. Here you need to get out of your car and walk to a fenced environment that has a sort of wooden wall with some viewing holes. Behind that wall there is a pool of water, so animals come there to get something to drink and you can observe them quietly.

My roommate has visited the park before and she already knew a lot of animals. She was quite good at recognising animals and she knew all the interesting places to find in the park. I saw some wild elephants, zebra’s, ‘pumba’s’ and a lot of others animals. After we drove on all the available routes we left the park and checked out the birds hideout. It was nice to see, but at the moment we arrived not that many birds were ‘home’.

On our way back we rode via another road and we came through some small towns. It still amazes me how people live here, there standard of living is really different then the one we have in The Netherlands. You see people walking next to the road because they don’t have a car. Also a lot of garbage is just being thrown on the street. Because the wind blows the garbage all over the place you see a lot of for example plastic in the landscape.

The day ended with playing a couple of games of Rummikub, I got better during the games but still lost 5-0.

>> Next entry: Day 5: visiting a church

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