Another great experience your Nelson Mandela Bay Pass entitles you to is a game drive and lunch at Kuzuko Lodge near Colchester. It’s actually a private section of the Addo Elephant National Park and is well worth the long, pothole filled drive out there.
We moved ourselves to Sunday’s River to cut out about an hour off the trip there but it still took us over 2 hours to get to the “Place of Glory”. I was worried that our car would be in it’s glory by the time we got there. Fortunately we had booked for an 11am game drive and, while this isn’t the most active time for the animals, I couldn’t imagine trying to get there earlier (have you tried leaving the house early with kids!?) or later so that we’d have to drive back in the dark.
The Kuzuko Lodge property spans over 40 000 acres and it would take an entire day from 6am to 6pm to complete a game drive where you would get to see all the animals. Early morning game drives are best, especially if you want to see lions who tend to walk the boundaries and mark their territory before they hide themselves away and keep cool.
This is the new home of Sylvester the lion who became a notorious escape artist in South Africa over the last few months. We were the first South African’s to visit his boma since the move and we had the delightful surprise of finding the resident lionesses, Anya and Angelica hanging around next to his enclosure. The game rangers were surprised at how quickly the lionesses bonded with them but it is a very positive sign. Once Sylvester has settled in properly, he will be released into a larger area where he can socialize and get to know his fellow cats.
We would’ve happily spent hours next to his boma but the kids were getting hungry and our guide, Luke, wanted to show us the buffalo section of the park so that we could meet a buffalo who was raised by a cow. After he was removed from the farm, he actually escaped and they caught him on the road heading back to the farm where he was raised.
By the sounds of things, the electric fence around the farm doesn’t do much to deter animals from escaping. Apparently they start screaming before they reach the fence because they know it’s going to hurt but they run straight through it anyway. Warthogs are particularly destructive around fences and love chewing through and digging under fences, causing thousands of Rands worth of damage.
We really enjoyed our first proper game drive as a family and, even though we didn’t get to see the Big 5, we learned a lot and look forward to more fantastic experiences on our family, road trip around South Africa.