Lodging at Avoca River Cabins
Avoca means “the meeting of the waters”. Located on The Sunday’s River in the Sunday’s River Valley, Avoca is only about 15 kilometers from Addo. This place is divine. A working farm with lush grounds, citrus trees and rows of rose bushes, we were happy to spend two days here.
Rating our Chalet, Gymnogene, on a 1-6 scale:
It was clean enough, but even better, the cleaning lady did our dishes on the day we spent at Addo. After a grueling 10-hour safari in the wild bush of Africa :), that was a very pleasant surprise.
General Accommodations: 4.5
We loved this place, but it needs a little work. The shower door opened wide enough for me to shimmy through. The shower head (if you can call it that) leaves a lot to be desired. And the water spray was really more of a misting than a shower. There was a hint of musty odor, likely due to being so close to the water. There was a kitchen with an electric (portable) burner. The bed was fabulous, which makes up for some of the other quirks. It was one of the most comfy beds we’ve slept in while in SA. Add to it, the room was spacious with an L-shaped sofa that eased any tendency toward couch potato-ness.
General Environment: 6
The deck overlooked the Sunday’s River. We watched two marvelous sunsets while listening to the chorus of waterbirds, frogs and crickets. Lush vegetation and canvas-worthy powder puff clouds garnished Cerulean blue skies. And all of this for only about $55.00 US/night.
Addo National Park
Amazing place, Addo. Located on the Eastern Cape and part of the Sunday’s River Valley, Addo is South Africa’s third largest park with Kruger being the first. Just to give you an idea of the size of Kruger: We spent 12 days in Kruger, driving (slowly) 8 to 12 hours per day, and still didn’t see the northern portion. We drove all of Addo in one 10-hour day.
Addo, a nature reserve, became a site of elephant conservation in 1931 when there were less than a dozen elephants left in the area. There are now over 450 thanks to the efforts of many concerned folks.
Addo claims to have the Big 7 – Elephants, Buffalo, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Whales and Sharks. Plans are underway for the coastal portion of Addo to become a marine reserve in order to protect the nearby islands that are home to the second largest population of breeding African penguins.
We were blown away by the diversity of plant life and wildlife at Addo. I saw my first Eland, which I didn’t expect given how we’ve heard they are on the verge of extinction.
But the elephants stole the show! Looking at the pic below, you can see five of the eight elephants that eventually surrounded our car. We sat (engine off) for about 45 minutes watching them while they were eating, resting and watching us. And the BABY. Precious.
We stopped at a picnic area for lunch, and this lil guy was showing off his acrobatic skills leaping from branch to branch, crashing and burning then picking himself back up. He approached me several times eyeing up my food. I backed off and he kept coming. Without a megabyte of fear, he jumped on our car looking for ways inside.
Red Hartebeest – and yet another new species for us to experience!
Bushbuck running from Jackal
Warthogs, Zebras and Buffalo – oh my!
The Blue Crane: Did you know?
I was surprised to read the Blue Crane is endangered. The Blue Crane is South Africa’s national bird and is near endemic to SA. They’re found across the country, with the highest density being in the Karoo. Because they have a blind spot in their vision, they tend to collide with power lines and since they have very long, dangly legs, they get entangled in the wires. But their biggest threat is habitat loss.
What an stunning place – Addo National Park.
What an amazing journey.
Life is good.
Today’s post is dedicated to my wonderful parents who would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on this day. Love.
Elephants love reunions. They recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy. There’s bellowing and trumpeting, ear flapping and rubbing. Trunks entwine.
~ Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Small as an Elephant
Elephants have the largest brains of any mammal on the face of the Earth. They are creative, altruistic and kind.
Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.
We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence. But the way we treat them puts on display the very worst of human behavior.
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Check out the other South Africa posts below:
South Africa Post #1: Our first Kruger National Park Safari
South Africa Post #2: Babysitting a Banded Mongoose Pup in Marloth Park
South Africa Post #3: When Zebras Visit
South Africa Post #4: Daily Living in Marloth Park, South Africa
South Africa Post #5: Kruger Restcamps: Skukuza, Satara and Olifants
South Africa Post #6: Kruger Safari: Full Moon over Letaba
South Africa Post #7: Kruger Safari: Treasure Hunting in Tamboti and Lower Sabie
South Africa Post #8: There’s a Mongoose in my Ear!
South Africa Post #9: Peering through God’s Window at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #10: The Dam Boat Tour at Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Post #11: Rare Sexual Encounters of South Africa
South Africa Post #12: To the Wildlife of Marloth Park
South Africa Post #13: Nelspruit to Cape Town
South Africa Post #14: Moved to Tears on Freedom Day
South Africa Post #15: Penguins in South Africa?
South Africa Post #16: The Southernmost Tip of Africa
South Africa Post #17: Birds of Eden at Plettenberg Bay
South Africa Post #18: Dear South Africa: I love you, but…
This is South Africa Post #19: Elephants at Addo National Park
South Africa Post #20: The Garden Route: Nature’s Valley and Wilderness
South Africa Post #21: Endangered Bontebok
South Africa Post #22: Top Five Cape Town Experiences
South Africa Post #23: Chasing Rainbows in South Africa
South Africa Post #24: Vegan Wanderlust in South Africa
South Africa Post #25: Ubuntu