MyPE was recently part of a group of lucky bloggers and publishers (list here) to experience the four beautiful parks that make up the South African National Parks’ (SANParks) Frontier Region.
Our first activity on the first day was a guided horse trail in the Zuurberg with 2008 Umzi Wethu graduate, Melikhaya. Now my experience with horses has been confined to watching the apprentice Longhair ride for years and rushing her to hospital whenever she fell off – not quite the qualification one is looking for when going on a horse trail I am sure. Anyway, Melikhaya was excellent and re-assuring as we plodded along on our nearly two hour trail – even getting close to a herd of Red Hartebees who must have struggled to recognise these strange new animals in their midst.
Naturally my mount decided to have a bit of a service delivery protest and no amount of begging, pleading, cajoling, rib tickling and the like could tempt Benwa to proceed. Melikhaya and I swapped mounts and I could hear poor old Nikita saying; “Why me to get the fatty?” With 300 metres to go down and up a hill I decided to give Nikita a rest and walked the game mare home.
We had lunch in the main park. The restaurant is being renovated in anticipation of being turned into a Cattle Baron.
I was most impressed at the number of foreign visitors literally swarming all over the park and even more so at the fact that, whilst sitting in reception, I must have heard at least 20 people being turned away as they physically enquired about accommodation for the night. Out of all four of the parks we visited, Addo was the most busy – made me feel quite proud to see such a busy game reserve 72km from Port Elizabeth.
Highlights of our stay included the sighting of an elephant taking a last drink at the waterhole as the sun went down, a braai amongst like minded ‘nerds’ enjoying the absolute peace and silence far from the madding crowd, the sounds of lions and hyenas throughout the night and the biggest bonus of all was spotting a pack of the elusive Hyena taking an early morning drink at the waterhole.
The tented rest camp consists of 5 raised tents each of which occupies a maximum of 2 persons in 2 single beds. The tents are pretty well stocked with a braai, kettle for fire use, bedding, utensil box, table and 2 chairs.
Ablutions, wash up facilities, a gas fridge and gas hob are all communal – not too much of a problem when there are a maximum of 10 people in the facility, though.
The tented camp has winding walkways and each tent is very private and sandwiched between high spekboom hedges. A game viewing area over a waterhole on the western side of the camp provides some spectacular viewing – make sure that you get up just before the sun rises as the light for taking photographs at the waterhole is superb.
You need to take your own wood, meat and liquids and a torch. You may not take yourself on a night drive, though.
At the time we stayed at the Spekboom Tented Rest Camp the overnight fee was R670.00 per tent.
- Great fun – Tents very clean and comfortable. Showers etc clean. Perfectly situated in the park. Re cooking facilities at tented camp, there should be some instructions on the gas burners as we weren’t even sure if they were working let alone how to use? Fridge wasn’t on day we arrived but did work next day. – Joan Manton, England
- Tents – This was one of the best times my wife and I had. Good time to make your relationship better. I have already told about ten people of this fantastic time we had. – Adolf De Necker, South Africa
Click here to see more reviews of the Spekboom Tented Rest Camp.
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