I’ve celebrated six Christmasses since moving to South Africa, but only half of those I was actually in the country. Of those three, one was filled with wedding prep (we got married on the 28th of December). So we decided to stay in the country and travel around a bit.
We started our holiday by driving to Plettenberg Bay. En route, we stayed over in Botrivier. While we were there, we visited Arabella, a beautiful estated we had come several years before that.
We stayed in Plett for several days, two of which I was still working. The proximity to the ocean was great as it made for an instant summer feel. It added much to our feeling relaxed.
For our wedding anniversary, we went to Knysna. The two nights in between those two towns we stayed in Harkerville, close to the wolf sanctuary.
After that, we continued to the Eastern Cape which is not the Garden Route anymore.
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Oyster Bay, Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth and Addo Elephant Park
We booked our holiday quite late in the year, so we had to move around a bit to find available places. We decided to take a risk and stay in a place called Oyster Bay, about an hour drive from Jeffreys Bay.
After 30km on a not-so-nice dirt road, we finally got to the village and – enforced by the guesthouse pics not at all corresponding with the reality – decided on the spot we wanted a refund so we could leave. We were in Oyster Bay for less than half an hour.
The added stress of finding something last minute in Jeffreys Bay for the 29th of December was not great, but anything was better than staying for three nights in a bad accommodation in a village with nothing to do.
After several calls, we found a guesthouse in Jeffreys Bay, with a pool in the middle of the rooms. It was … interesting. For the other days, we couldn’t find accommodation so decided to continue to Port Elizabeth. We – admittedly quite unexpectedly – enjoyed our few days there, especially the walks on the promenade and the food we got at both Tilting Heads and De Kelder.
On January 1st, we continued to Addo Elephant National Park for the part I enjoyed the most; our camping. Don’t get me wrong, camping while you hear hyenas on the other side of the fence does come with some stress, but I do like the outdoors a lot. Firing up the braai every night is just part of summer.
In Addo, we did several game drives. Contrary to our previous Addo visit, this time we saw lions on two drives. That said, the sightings that still got me most excited were the jackals.
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Finally, we met with some friends in Wilderness, between George and Knysna. The Ebb and Flow SANParks campsite there has to be one of the nicest campsites I’ve ever seen; big spaces, grassy, easy access to the water. We liked it so much that we straight away booked another visit there.
Even though we ended with a day of rain, I thoroughly enjoyed the time camping.