Today, our goal was to head through the Main Camp at Addo to another park of the Park, called the Woody Cape, for a nice hike through the coastal section of the park. We took off around 9 in the morning and felt confident in our journey. The sun was out again and it was clearing up from the rain of yesterday.

As we traveled these past days, a news bulletin came out that a young American female tourist was killed by a lion in Johannesburg. She was 22. Many friends and family were worried. But we were not hurt. Thankfully.

As we drive, we spotted many zebra, wart hog, colorful birds and kudu. What we weren’t expecting was to encounter an elephant…right BEHIND OUR CAR.

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We had stopped to watch a family of elephant somberly eating the bushes, when out strolled this magnificent, stumning, HUGE animal. I was in awe.

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Perhaps it was a but dangerous to stay put and let him walk around us, but I could not resist! I begged Chad to stay put. This guy kept his eyes focused right on us as he walked around the back of the car, and then down the road!

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The exhilaration on seeing him in this way speeds up my heart rate even now, while writing this some nine hours later!
We drive down the road, as it was where we were heading, and he just kept walking the same way. There was no way we would pass him, even though he did speed up.

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He seemed to be looking for a way into the bush. He was beautiful and graceful. When you look into the eyes of these wild creatures, you feel peace. Eventually, he found the route he wanted to take, and off he went. We drove on, past zebra, hartebeest, ans kudu warming in the sun after the  rains.

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It was at the end of the main camp that we discovered that our drive to the hike would be another hour, just to get there, and it was about one in the afternoon. We would not have time to drive to Woody Camp and endure in the long hike. Instead, we decided to head to the Zuurberg Mountain Inn, where we knew some trails were. An hour later, we left our car and decided to hike the three hou, Doringnek Loop Trail at Zuurberg.

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The trail went through a section of Addo Park that was sage to hike. We went down a large mountain into the valley, where a river was flowing.

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It looked as though a dirt bike race had just gone through here, as we saw signs of a race and dirt bike tires. The trial was filled with spiderwebs and we crossed the creek many times. We were so thankful to be walking in the woods, however, and it felt great to be moving. We had admittedly needed this!!

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Towards the end of the hike, we walked up, up, up! It was incredible!!!! We just imagined riding a horse or being a gazelle through this steep part…as it would have been nice to experience a break! We had, however, cut our time close, as the gates to Addo Main Camp closed at six, and we had to be on our way by five p.m.

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We started hiking at 2 on the dot. And we finished sharply at 5:00. We had hiked fast and hard, and really only stopped once, for a group photo.

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We highly recommended this hike as a way to truly get into the mountains of Addo and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. However, we feel we are in decent shape and definitely needed the  entire three hours for this hike, so plan accordingly! What breathtaking views and fun we had.

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{There are no roaming wild animals besides the hartebeest, kudu, and small animals on this hike, as it is in a different section from the Main Camp at Addo.}

 

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