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Touched by the Wilderness - A 5 day tour - CS05

Touched by the Wilderness - A 5 day tour - CS05

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $1561
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 5 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: South Africa South Africa
Parks visited: Addo Elephant
Activity level: Easy - Game drives, bush dinners
Safari type:
  • Big five
Port Elizabeth to Dune forest, hike in sand dunes, sleep in cabins in the forest with braai (barbecue). Walk in forest and depart for big game area. Diner and overnight in chalets. Early game drive and breakfast before heading to coastal wilderness, evening braai (barbecue). Hike, pack up and head for northern wilderness. Check in and braai on fire. Sleep in chalet. Hike, breakfast and start on rugged 4x4 route through mountains into the Karoo, return to Port Elizabeth.
Day 1, Night 1 Port Elizabeth to Addo Elephant National Park Woody Cape section Pick up at place of residence in Port Elizabeth at 08h00 and depart for the Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park on the northern shores of Algoa Bay. Traveling east out of Port Elizabeth and the last vestiges of City life for the next few days, we travel for just over an hour before turning off the main road and onto the gravel. After a short distance, we arrive at the Reserve reception where we check in. We continue to the overnight log cabins in the forest to unpack and settle in before heading out for the nearby dune fields, some of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Leaving our vehicle at the entrance to the footpath while packing our camera’s and some water, we head out on foot through the dense dune forests before breaking out into the open at the top of the dune fields with the expanse of Algoa Bay and the Indian ocean before us. On a good day one can see the low profile of Bird Island and its Lighthouse, some 8 km’s off shore. Bird Island is home to the largest gannetry (breeding colony of Gannets {Cape Gannets in this case}) anywhere in the world. We descend the dunes to the high water mark but soon return into the dunes, sifting through the prolific shell middens for the remains of the ancient people that once flourished here. These dunes were once home to the seasonally migrating, early Khoikhoi people. Here evidence of their ancient life style lie spread out across these remote dunes in the form of shell middens where hundreds of thousands of empty sea shells were discarded once the valuable meat was extracted. Further evidence in the form of bones of the animals they hunted and pot shards they left behind bear testimony to their use of this remote and spiritual place. Returning to the tour vehicle we make our way to the overnight accommodation deep within the tall canopy forest. Here we make preparations for the evening meal and a peaceful, first nights rest under the thick canopy of natural hardwoods that grow in these coastal forests. Day 2, Night 2 Woody Cape section to Addo Elephant National Park main camp Early wake up for a refreshing cup of coffee and/or tea with a rusk, (a traditional oven dried bread roll) we head out for a short walk into the forest. Here, we move quietly listening to the many bird calls and hoping to spot the brilliant flash of red and green of a Knysna Turaco or a shy Narina Trogon. We keep an eye out for some of the smaller animals found here such as the Bushbuck and diminutive Blue Duiker learning to recognise many of the signs left by the animals and birds in these deep forests. We return to camp for breakfast before we pack up and depart for the main section of the Addo Elephant National Park. On arrival at the main camp, we check in to our accommodation, settle in and unpack before having a delicious light lunch at the Park’s restaurant. After freshening up we meet back at the tour vehicle for a guided game viewing experience in the Big 5 section of this amazingly diverse National Park with over 700 free roaming African Elephants amongst the many species of Antelope, Zebra, and Warthog amongst many others and a wide variety of colourful birds, reptiles and interesting insects. We discuss the unique vegetation, the sub-tropical thicket, as we search for the many creatures, most of whom are quite comfortable in our presence, seeming to enjoy our company as much as we do theirs. As evening approaches we return to the camp after some exhilarating game viewing, here we spend time freshening up, later to meet in the restaurant for a delicious evening meal before returning to our comfortable accommodation for a well-deserved rest, falling asleep with the sounds of the African night and if you’re lucky, the roar of a Lion or the eerie call of the Hyena turning your dreams into reality. Day 3, Night 3 Addo Elephant National Park to Wilderness Camp We wake early for coffee and tea before boarding the tour vehicle for a short morning game drive before breakfast. Returning to main camp we take breakfast at the restaurant, pack up and check out and head for our next destination, a private wilderness hideaway in the nearby mountains. On arrival, we stop to check in before continuing for a short distance, where, on reaching the end of the track we unpack our luggage and equipment and with the help of some of the camp staff we set out for a short walk on the path along the river bank as it makes its way through thick riverine vegetation. The walk is a few hundred metres and ensures that the tranquillity of this wilderness camp is left undisturbed by the sounds of the modern world. Arriving at this secret camp, hardly visible under the canopy of gnarled riverine trees on the banks of the little river we unpack our luggage in comfortable tents set on raised wooden platforms above the rocky riverbed. Once settled we unpack the picnic basket for a light lunch. After lunch we head out on the trail along the river, slowly making our way through the deep canopy of river trees, stopping frequently to take in the many sights and sounds of the smaller creatures and myriad of birds that call this remote wilderness their home. Returning to camp in time to make the evening fire, Alan Tours will start preparations for the evening meal while you relax and listen to the sounds of the local troop of Baboons as they compete for the best sleeping space on the cliffs or nearby trees. The looming cliff face is home to hundreds of Rock Hyrax or Dassies as they are locally known. One might be lucky to see them scurrying across the rocks and hear their chattering like alarm calls as they warn each other of impending danger in the form of a pair of magnificent Black Eagles or even a shy Leopard. We take our simple traditional braai (South African barbecue) prepared on the coals of the wood fire on the wide deck listening to the sounds of the Africa as the night envelops the camp site. Soon after, we turn to our secure tents where we have a restful night’s sleep under warm duvets on comfortable beds in this lovely retreat. Day 4, Night 4 Wilderness Camp to Addo Elephant National Park 4 x 4 section We wake early to a steaming cup of coffee and tea and a rusk before putting on your walking shoes. We pack a bottle of water, a camera and binoculars as we head into the mountains. If the weather is warm, bring a swimming costume and enjoy a swim in one of the lovely pools to be found in the river. Returning to our tented camp we prepare our breakfast before loading up the vehicle and heading out to our next destination. We make our way north through expansive game and Angora goat (which produces the finest quality mohair) farms set in the sub-tropical thickets, as we head towards the foot of the Zuurberg fold mountains and the northern most section of the Addo Elephant National Park. On arrival at the Park, we check in before making our way into this wilderness area, keeping a keen eye open for some of the wildlife in the area before reaching our overnight accommodation deep in the folds of the Zuurberg Mountains. Here we unpack as Alan Tours prepares the fire over which we cook our evening meal. We are surrounded by the wildlife of the area. Baboons on the nearby cliff faces might be heard sounding the alarm or simply chatting amongst themselves, We could catch a glimpse of an elegant Kudu as she moves silently through the under growth or watch the many species of birds that surround the camp as we go about preparing for the night. Here, there is an old reservoir, fed by the clear waters of a mountain stream in which one can cool off, or simply sit quietly watching as the creatures that live here every day, go about their business. Frogs may sit on the edge of the pool, a Monitor Lizard is known to make this lazy place its home. Sit quietly and you will see amazing things come to life slowly as they become habituated to your presence. We enjoy a scrumptious, traditionally cooked meal over the coals of the wood fire. Enjoy a cold beer or glass of South African wine before turning into bed and a peaceful night’s rest in this remote wilderness area. Day 5 Addo Elephant National Park 4 x 4 section to Port Elizabeth We wake to the sounds of the bush, the morning chorus of birds, the far off bark of the Baboon or the swishing of the wind as it wraps itself around the cliffs and kranses of these remote mountains. These are the sounds of the African bush and nowhere will we hear the sounds of mankind except ourselves as we have this wilderness all to ourselves. After a refreshing cup of coffee we head out to slowly climb up the nearby hills where we enjoy the breathtaking views of the little valley, spotting game and bird life as we go. Here we learn some of the signs of the bush and identify plants and some of their uses as well as reading tracks and other signs that might tell us a story of what happened during the night. Returning to camp, we prepare and have our breakfast before heading out over the stunning 4 x 4 route as we climb up steep accents and down through deep valleys, over rough, rugged terrain before summiting the top of the Zuurberg Mountains with magnificent views towards the far off Indian Ocean to the south and the endless plains of the Little Karoo to the north. Finally, we descend onto the plains of the Little Karoo. Throughout the entire journey we keep our eyes searching for antelope and other wildlife that call these rugged slopes their home as well as the prolific bird life, insect and reptiles that live here and, of course, the stunning vegetation that has evolved on these, often exposed mountain sides and deep valleys providing much needed food and shelter to the more mobile inhabitants that occupy this wilderness area. After descending the mountain range, we make our way to the large body of water on the plains of the Park. Here we stretch our legs before continuing on our final leg travelling through Karoo farms dotted with characterful labourer's cottages before connecting with the main road on our way back to Port Elizabeth and the end of the tour. Minimum 2 persons Single Travelers welcome. Single supplement applies. Rates valid until October

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