Steve – 02.03.2017

Amazing day in the Addo park with guide Carmen

— original message —

review on Tripadvisor, 02.03.2017

“The highlight of our first trip to South Africa. Thank you Carmen”

Before I forget – Carmen recommends you bring a battery pack to charge your phone/camera. A full day of photo taking will take a toll on the batteries.

Angelika worked with us to arrange prepayment by credit card for our tour to Addo Park. We were picked up by Carmen at our hotel at 7:30 and then we drove around the block to pick up another couple. They paid by cash so either way of payment is an option. We then drove to Addo park. Remember to bring your passport as it may need to be shown on entry. The number and other info is needed so Carmen can get the entry permit at the park entrance.

I can’t tell you how impressed we were with Carmen as our guide. 

We saw elephants (about 10 feet away from the van), wart hogs even closer – close enough to the buffalos to have them in the same photo, lots of birds, monkeys and the Lions – 4 of them on a cool Sunday after a rainy night. Ostriches, Zebras and Kudus. Literally within a couple hours of arriving we had seen all of these (except the 2 male lions) so close to the van, I wondered how it would get better.

After driving to multiple areas checking watering holes which yielded a couple of jackals, we stopped at a picnic area for coffee/tea and a bathroom break. Some more touring and then we stopped for lunch at Cattle Baron which is a restaurant within the park. Lunch was included in the tour cost. It was surprisingly good. A short stop at the gift shop attached and we were back in the van.

I know how the animals feel after lunch – full tummy, being driven around nearly put me to sleep. Then as we were moving closer to the front again, We saw a herd of buffalo and then Carmen took a right and said she had heard there was a male lion in the area earlier in the day. To our surprise he was still there, recovering from a filling meal of something – we couldn’t see the carcass. Then a second lion came out of the brush. He was not as sleepy and I took most of my photos from behind closed windows. We were so close.

We had a great experience. Before leaving Seattle, my Wife asked if we would see anything other than elephants. We sure did. Carmen was very informative, personable and all in all a terrific guide. Alan needs to realize what he has with her as an employee.

Alan Tours offers more than Addo Park and I would recommend them if you are in the area for any tour.

This is not a staged park visit – the animals are all wild and not fed. The male lions did have GPS trackers but that seemed to be the only human intervention. A true highlight of our first trip to South Africa.