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Landing in Port Elizabeth + Adventures in Addo, Eastern Cape South Africa

Updated On 3rd January, 2020

South Africa absolutely took my breath away last month when I got to explore the Eastern Cape with South Africa Tourism. The incredible diversity that I witnessed during my week, in just a small section of the country, got me instantly itching to go back and uncover more.
I know SA was on my bucket list for YEARS, but I honestly pushed it aside as a luxury, out-of-my-budget destination. But this trip was an opportunity for myself to be proven wrong. One of the many reasons I love my job so much.
Through SA Tourism taking me on a press trip I, 1. Got to experience a dream trip + 2. Researched the means for you guys to do exactly the same.
Myth BUSTED – South Africa is NOT solely a luxury destination.
I’m going to split my SA adventures into a few posts starting with Port Elizabeth and Addo, two towns south of Durban. I will then share the rest of my adventures before sharing posts filled with tips, tricks and help planning your trip!
Stay tuned for those posts!
{fun fact: the photo i took above is gorgeous right? he is actually mid poop}
From the UK we flew from London Heathrow with South African Airways and connected onto Durban for 1 night before a short internal flight down to Port Elizabeth. From Port Elizabeth we had a tour guide (through Mozaic Tourism).
{South African Airways offers flights to the largest route network within Southern Africa with double-daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg and easy onward connections (16 daily flights from Johannesburg to Durban, six daily flights from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth) Book now on}
After hopping on an 80 minute internal flight from Johannesburg King Shaka airport through to Port Elizabeth we had a whistle stop tour of Port E led by our guide for the week Craig (Owner of Mosaic Tourism – which you should totally check out for tours/packages in SA!).
We really were limited for time in Port E (standard procedure on a press trip when the tourist board would like to expose you to as much as physically possible during your time on their land), and so we only had time to enjoy a guided walk of, a section of, Route 67.
Route 67 was created to celebrate the 67 years of Nelson Mandela’s political life in the public service through a visual collection of works produced by talented, local artists.

The part we explored was in central Port E, at the Donkin reserve where usually you would find the largest South African flag in the world rippling in the breeze.

It was a shame to skim the offering of Port Elizabeth but here are a few things we were told about that i’d love to explore next time round (and think you should definitely research):
– The 3 islands just off the shore of Port. E: St. Croy, Bird Island (home to 270,000 ganets), Stag Island (home to 8-9,000 cape fur seals)
– Exploring St.Croy Island with Raggy Charters (Number 1 bay in the world for dolphin watching, it is also home to seals and the largest african Penguin breeding colony!)
– Jeffries Bay (of of the top 12 surfing spots in the world)
– The Citrus farming industry
After our brief but beautiful visit in Port.E we drove an hour to Addo where our adventures were taken up a notch on the adrenalin scale.
If you are anything like me and love to stay active when you are travelling and get a kick out of a good adrenalin rush then these activites will be perfect recommendations for you…
– Africas Longest Double Zip Line and Giant Swing
Harness up and take the short inclined hike up to this platform (see photo below) before you launch off and down the 500m long and 60m high zip line. You can’t physically attach to another person but you can opt to glide over the gorgeous landscapes beside them as there are two lines running parallel!
Zip Line Price: 300R per person
There is also a 18m free fall swing on site which you can enjoy for an additional rush…
Zip Line Price: 150R per person
– Criss Cross Quad Bike Safari
No license needed, just a willingness to learn and a sense of adventure. Fly through a variety of landscapes and uncover the gorgeous Sunday river, dunes and citrus fields that Addo has to offer.
Price: 450R
(16+ only)

For those that like it a little more calm and collected, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of the adventure, for I have some recommendation for you:
– Criss Cross Canoe Safari
This was definitely one of my SA highlights.
The incredible guides will take you individually or as a group down the Sundays River, pointing out and explaining all the different types of wildlife lurking and flying around you. With Owls, birds of prey, lizards, water birds, 7 species of Kingfisher and the chance of sighting the Fish Eagle, this tour offers some of the best bird watching in the Eastern Cape.
 Top that off with a current that allows you to pretty much float downstream (i.e. no high level of fitness required), a cooler filled with cold AND alcoholic beverages, PLUS talented guides that can bird call the most gorgeous of species towards you and, i mean, WHAT A DAY.
Duration: 2.5 -3 hours
Price: 500R (Inc: return transfers in Addo, drinks, snacks + entrance fees),
OR 400R no pick up
– Sundowner safari game drive at Addo Elephant National Park
Head out in a group jeep for a 2 hour exploration of the National Park where you will all, along with your guide, seek and spot the wildlife inhabiting the park. The animals all live freely in the wild here, which is amazing to witness but bear in mind that it also means you are never guaranteed as to what you will see on your drive. On our sunset drive we saw an abundance of antelope, pigs and got to pitch up next to the most stunning two lions as they woke from their nap, cleaned themselves and lay hazily on the terrain.
After an hour and a half of searching your driver will pull up and you all disembark from the jeep. A pre-chosen beverage of your choice will be ready and waiting in the cool box alongside a selection of nibbles to feast on as you watch the sun disappear beneath the horizon.
Another of my SA highlights and what dreams really are made of.
Price: 440R (That’s £21!!!!! Do you see what I mean…SO CHEAP! I paid £70 for a tour in Vietnam!)
(P.s. There is also a restaurant in Addo National park, in which the food is SO GOOD and so reasonably priced. See below… Beetroot, shallots, avocado + squash salad- £6. You can also do self driven safaris here at Addo national park and there is also the option to stay overnight in their accommodation. See more on their websitefull blog post coming soon.)
I cannot speak from personal experience of any other activity on offer in Addo but should you be in the area you should definitely consider:
– Sandboarding in Sundays River Valley
– Addo National Park safaris and overnight accom
– Daniell Cheetah Breeding Farm
– Rhino Tours
– Sand Sledding
+ stay tuned for the next SA post!
Have you guys been to SA before?
Where would you recommend?!
Happy adventuring 🙂
Mollie xxxx

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