Left J-Bay around 9:30am and then tried to kill some time getting to Addo. We drove through Uitenhag, a very industrial town near Port Elizabeth that's home to a VW plant. There were sprawling townships that were quite depressing... although there were townships in every single city and town we passed through, even the smallest ones.
The village of Addo is very small - just a few shops and houses - and is obviously built around the Addo Elephant National Park (www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/), which is home to over 450 elephants.
The drive to Camp Figtree (www.campfigtree.com) was intense and kind of worrisome. It's all narrow, bumpy dirt roads on the way there, but the Camp itself is spectacular.
Camp Figtree is on a ridge overlooking a densely forested valley and the views are just unreal. The entire place is amazing... colonial-style cabins with a main lodge where breakfast and dinner are served... incredible luxury.
We had a very light lunch after our arrival and then were able to make the afternoon game drive. Leon took us and two couples through Addo Elephant Park in an open Land Rover-type truck. We saw lots of elephants... some very close up. At one point we went through a group of young males and there were elephants almost touching the vehicle on both sides. It was mind-blowing!
We also came across an elephant in must (which is basically heat) uprooting a bush to eat it. The elephant's name was Paul and it took him mere moments to pull up a root ball that would have taken four men all day to get out of the ground. He had an astonishing amount of power, but at the same time was very gentle and delicate. Paul shook excess dirt from the roots before crunching them - apparently the dirt is bad for their teeth.
We also saw lots of warthogs (apparently the lions eat them as snacks!), vervet monkeys, zebra, ostriches, buffalo, antelope-type animals (hartbeast, wildebeast, kudu, etc.), and the highlight for our guide, Leon, was seeing a corricle. The corricle was small lynx-type cat that we almost missed. Apparently seeing cats of any variety is a rarity, so we were pretty lucky.
We returned to the Camp around 6:30pm... just in time for dinner. Dinner was a filet of beef with a bottle of pinotage and was delicious.
The moon was almost full and the sky was clear, so John stayed up taking pictures on the porch.