A visit to the Addo National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is an incredible experience, not just because it’s a park that offers the Big 7 (elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, lion, great white shark and the southern right whale).
On the occasion when this picture was taken, we were visiting the park, staying at Gorah Elephant Camp, one of the luxury camps found within the park, and were on an afternoon safari. We came across these lions a few hundred meters from the camp. They were on their way to the camp to overnight with two other lionesses and the big dominant male, which was on the periphery. The young male shown here was reaching an age at which he would be kicked out of the pride fairly soon and was probably savouring the last few weeks or months with his family.
During the evening we enjoyed dinner and then were escorted to our tented rooms for the night by our ranger. We heard the pride of lions all night, grunting and roaring, clearly letting the rest of the animal kingdom know where they were and who was “King of the Addo”. Early the next morning, we found the pride again on our safari; they were very relaxed and did not seem very interested in moving on. Lions do sleep about 20 hours of the day away, so it was no surprise.
Visiting the Addo National Park is a must for any visitor venturing up or down the Garden Route of South Africa, as it offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a safari before or after the scenic drive along our southeastern coastline. Various accommodations, from budget to luxury, can be found around the Addo National Park, as well as in Port Elizabeth, as the park is only about 80 kilometres from the “Friendly City”, as it is locally known.