This day entailed only a quick trip of a couple of hundred kilometres to our next destination. Antelope Park is a private game park with a lot of its energy and time dedicated to the rehabilitation of lions and their reintroduction into the wild. The park had lodges, chalets, a camping area right on the river, a restaurant and bar, a coffee shop (good, though cold, pancakes but lousy coffee) and loads of touristy activities. Importantly a pillowcase full of washing could be had for $6 - a bargain by any standards and snapped up. The hot showers were only lukewarm after a truckload of backpackers had been through so bit of a disappointment there! But lukewarm is marginally better than cold and clean feels really good.
We opted to do a "Night Encounter" game drive as most national parks do not allow driving after dark. Unfortunately it was cancelled, the reason given as 'we fed the lions yesterday so you won't see any'. But we went for an elephant ride- a half hour of very wide straddling across a very broad, bony back of very broad and perilously high creature. Russ learned not to walk in front of an elephant breathing out - it's a somewhat damp experience…
Most of the group also decided to have a braai - an African BBQ - for dinner in the lodge restaurant with drinks on the terrace overlooking the river beforehand. Very civilised. With two days here, we could unwind a bit and it's always good to have a day when you don't have to pack up the tent and all your gear early in the morning. And while we are well and truly in the tropics - at 17 deg S - we are at high altitude, about 1200 metres, so the nights are freezing. Our last night there was the coldest so far with our thermometer reading 2 deg C when we emerged from the tent in the morning.