Education and Entertainment aboard SAN Park Addo Elephant Game Drive

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Any trip to Nelson Mandela Bay is not complete without a visit to Addo Elephant Park. After the remake of #LionKing, I was more excited than ever to celebrate the wildlife of South Africa.

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A spacious game drive meant that we were protected from the scorching day while still capturing unique moments and learning more about the “Big 5.”

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Some fun facts about elephants include:
– Elephants only sleep 4 hours
– 10 litres of blood pump through each elephant ear every minute
– At top speed, elephants can run 3km faster than Usain bolt
– The heart of an elephant weights 26kg (and boy did they make my heart swell with pride!)

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Our guide, Ryan, was able to expertly insert educational facts and entertaining jokes about the animals we came across.

Warthog

Further informaion I learnt during my SAN Parks Addo Elephant adventure include the fact that the secretary bird, as a bird of prey, does not fly after prey (even though it can fly) but instead walks and stalks its prey and then beats the prey to death. On a more tame note, the zebras were out in full force and showed off their stripes, of which no two patterns are alike. Zebras are pregnant for 11 months and healthy zebras have a mane of hair that stands up. Due to the expert care of the Addo rangers, I am happy to report that all manes were healthily standing up!

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Our next spot was a buffalo, with the Addo elephant buffalo valued at R5 million each due to their lack of diseases. One buffalo drinks 45 litres of water a day and so paying for trips on the game-drive or entrance to Addo helps carry the cost of maintenance for these creatures.

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Growing up, I was always been taught to have thick skin, something elephants have succeed at, with the layer of skin on an elephant being 4cm thick.  They also have expert communication, another of life’s crucial skills, and they are able to communicate up to 15kms.

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“Pumba” with his tail happily and healthily up in the air came to say hello as well. Warthogs are easily spotted as their are over 1000 warthogs in the Addo Elephant National Park.

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Our final visitors included a few kudu, who incidentally, can jump up to 3 metres.

The highlight of the day was seeing 3 elephant calves suckling on their mothers as they enjoyed a mud bath at the local watering hole. I was also most impressed with the wide variety and affordable cost of many of the items in the gift shop, proving that Addo is for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.

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Book a game drive with South African National Parks today and enjoy Addo Elephant Park like never before.

bye for now

xx

All Smiles at Singa Lodge

Singa comes from the Sanskrit word siṃha (सिंह), which means “lion” and just like the lion is a symbol of Africa, so too is Singa Town Lodge renowned for its authentic African style.

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This is evident as you walk into the Afro-chic gates of Singa Lodge, conveniently located around the corner from the blue flag beaches of Port Elizabeth.9

The modern fusion of Eastern and African décor with rich hues and metallic finishes creates an experience like no other.

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The hospitality of the staff is a key feature, with a peronalised welcome letter with the guests names, as well as a gourmet cheese platter upon arrival.

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The journey to the room is enhanced with a short walk through the garden, with bursts of greenery and the melodic sounds of birds chirping, all simulating the sights and sounds of the “African jungle.”

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The spacious room was open plan with two extra large beds and a massive lounge area complete with the perfect luxury tub to take a well deserved bubble bath.

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Additional amenities on the grounds included a koi-pond and sports bar with the Rugby World Cup fueling national pride.

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Breakfast included an array of cheeses/fruits/cereals/juices with menu options for ordering a warm meal. The creamy scrambled eggs and crispy bacon on potato rosti was seasoned to perfection and the perfect meal to start the day.

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As it came time to check out, we could not help but spend a few moments taking in the gorgeous courtyard with conference venues conveniently located a stone’s throw from the rooms.

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For service with a smile and an authentic African experience, Singa Lodge is the town lodge of choice!

Photos: Chad Witbooi Photography

bye for now

xx

Dolphins Dazzle Aboard Raggy Charters Marine Eco Tour

Ask any young girl what her favourite animal is and she is sure to mention a dolphin at some point in the conversation. Known for their intellect and friendliness, dolphins have always fascinated me. The Raggy Charters Sea Cruise, the oldest marine eco-tour in Port Elizabeth, was the perfect vessel to see them up-close and immerse myself in the coastal beauty of Algoa Bay.

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We gathered bright and early at the Port Elizabeth Yatch Club, ready for our ocean safari, with the sleek Raggy Charters boat in view. The boat is made from high-dense foam which does not sink.

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The communication from the team was exceptionally professional, with updates on the expected conditions for the day of the trip out. Since a bit of rain was expected later that day, we made sure to layer up.

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All guests then gathered around as our instructor shared information about the coast and the work that Raggy Charters does. The money from these excursions goes towards the cost of the trip itself (we traveled a total of 50km), maintenance of the boat, as well as most importantly, funding the research activities.

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In order to offset their carbon footprint, Raggy Charters plants one tree for every trip it does. They also run an incentive scheme with the nearby fishing boats to not litter in the sea during their fishing season. All of this is done over and above the regular beach clean-ups they undertake in the Port Elizabeth area.

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Safety was a top priority with detailed safety briefs before boarding. As an avid snacker I was most pleased with the additional snacks provided to guests on board.

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We had barely left the harbour when we were spoiled with the site of dolphins dancing in the waves. The expert crew member knew just how to manoever the boat so that we were as close to the dolphins as possible without obstructing their journey. These dolphin sightings persisted throughout the trip and a flap of a fin became a familiar sight. Port Elizabeth has the highest concentration of bottle-nosed dolphins in the world with 28000 dolphins a year.

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The trip takes the guests out to St Croix island where the African Penguins can be seen cuddling in the cold. The photo above depicts the vast number of penguins that used to be on the island in the 1950’s with a substantial drop in the population due to pollution and over fishing.

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It was all smiles as we returned to base after 4 hours of education and entertainment from the Raggy Charters crew and the marine life that we got to witness. This marine eco tour remains a cut above the rest as guests are not only able to appreciate the beauty of nature, but know that through this trip, they are aiding efforts to preserve it.

Make your booking here.

bye for now

xx

 

Beach-side Bliss at On the Beach Guesthouse in Jeffrey’s Bay

The “On-the-Beach” description could not have been more accurate as this luxury guest house provides an unparalleled seaside experience.2

The attention to detail in the exceptional service offering provided by On the Beach Guesthouse is evident from the moment you walk through the door.

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It is clear that every stitched cushion, embroidered rug and etched antique was expertly curated for a unique luxury experience. Our family stayed in one of the larger rooms which had 2 separate rooms and bathrooms along with a spacious lounge/TV/kitchenette and dining table.

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I soon found my “happy place” soaking up the sun in the common relaxation room with 180 degree views of the beach front.

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Every effort was made to ensure our comfort with a crackling fireplace, a stocked bookcase of classic books and board-games available for use.

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A telescope was perfectly perched to ensure easy viewing of any dolphins frolicking in the waves ahead.

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With a spacious living space and friendly staff, we spent the evening playing games and listening to the crashing of the waves. Everything is so ideal that you won’t want to leave your room!

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The following morning was started on a high-note with a beach walk and eggs-benedict breakfast.

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The ideal choice for luxury by the sea.

bye for now

xx

Conquering the Dunes with Wacky Wipeouts JBay Sandboarding

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What a fantastic afternoon conquering the #JBay sand dunes with Wacky Wipeouts. Whether you are wanting to zap some energy out of the kids and get them to tire themselves out, or are wanting a fun date-day idea out in nature, Wacky Wipeouts is the go-to for fun in the sand and sun.

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The first step is to thoroughly wax your board with a generous amount of wax. The instructor was extremely helpful and explained why mixing a bit of sand along with the wax is important for the perfect slipper/stick combination.

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When balancing on the board, the trick is to put as much weight as possible on the back leg (as illustrated in the photo this would be my left leg). The front leg is then used for steering. After a while I had truly mastered the stand up position and went on to have many laughs gliding down the dunes sitting on my bum and lying on my stomach.

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Each person has their own board with an unlimited amount of turns down the dunes – however many you can squeeze into the two hour session. This proved to be more than enough time as the journey up the dune each time was quite a workout.

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An exciting way to get the heart-rate up and enjoy the beauty of the Jeffrey’s Bay coastline – I will be sure to return and hang-ten again soon!

Photo: Chad Witbooi 

bye for now

xx