National Parks road trip

Graaff-Reneit

It had been a while since Kim and I had been on a trip that didn’t involve family visits. We love our family, but we also love exploring and road tripping, so after the stress of renovating our place, we went for a 9-day road trip.

Coastal part

We chose to do the longest leg of our trip on the first day when we drove from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay. Our trip couldn’t have started better as we were upgraded from the cheapest hotel room to a massive apartment with a beautiful view of the Plettenberg lagoon.

Next, we went up to the Storms River Mouth Restcamp in the Tsitsikamma part of the Garden Route National Park. There, we just relaxed; we braaied every day and did a few hikes and walk, as well as Africa’s oldest canopy tour.

From Storms River, we drove to Port Elizabeth and the nearby Addo Elephant National Park. The first day in the park was quite disappointing, as we literally only saw one elephant and just some buck. We started joking that day that there was a reason it wasn’t called Addo Elephants Park (plural). The next few days, however, the sightings got a lot more exciting. I had never seen a jackal before and we spotted them on three occasions. Unfortunately, they always show up at dusk or dawn and my camera and lens weren’t able to handle the lack of light well. We also encountered two brown hyneas very briefly and unexpectedly.

Karoo part

After Addo, we went to Graaff-Reinet and the nearby Camdeboo National Park. We stayed on a farm in the middle of nowhere (nowhere now has a name: Karoo). We were lucky to be there during the night of the blood moon. Even though my pics of that event weren’t great; I still got some nice nighttime shots. The outstretched wilderness of the Karoo was definitely the most relaxing part of our trip. We just took the time to read, walk around and enjoy each other’s company.

We ended our road trip in Matjiesfontein at the Lord Milner hotel. En route there, we drove past the Karoo National Park, and since our Wildcards give us free access, we also spent an hour in there. That added up to our fourth national park in those nine days, and the fifth of that month since we visited Kruger National Park earlier in July.

South Africa truly has so much beauty to offer.