The Sundays River Valley and Addo is synonymous with the Addo Elephant National Park and have never really been a holiday destination unless you went to visit the Addo Park. But this has all changed. The Addo area is about so much more than just elephants these days. It has actually developed into a holiday destination all on its own. Addo and its elephants are still the big attraction, but the area around the park has also turned into an adventure and activity mecca. Zip lining, ferry cruises, sand boarding, quad biking, horse riding and more. One of the more, and one that should be on your to do list, is Crisscross Adventures' Addo River Safari. Some time ago, and I'm sorry but I uploaded the photos and never did the post, I got to join a number of journalists on a media trip with Chris Pickles and his team down the Sundays River.
We got picked up from our guesthouse and transferred to the starting point where we got giver the obligatory safety briefing. Life jackets got dished out to those who didn't feel that comfortable on the water and we were paired up for our journey down the Sundays. My paddling partner was worried about not having paddled before, but Chris reassured us all that paddling experience wasn't a prerequisite to go on the trip. Turned out her was right, obviously, as stretches of flat calm pools were narrower channels with faster flowing water. Never did we see water even hinting at a thought of turning white so this really is for everybody. Our three hour gentle paddle down the Sundays River was one of beautiful scenery, sightings of birds, flowers, plants and even a water monitor dashing off into the reeds at our approach.
Two thirds along the way we stopped for refreshments and a walk up to a lookout spot over the surrounding valley with the river below while Chris showed us a couple of plants and told us some of the area's history. From here we were back in the water for the last stretch down the river to the pickup point.
The river safari really is for anybody who enjoys the outdoors and is keen to do something new. The canoes are like flight deck ships and won't capsize. The only difference though is that these canoes are easier to control and handle than a ship loaded with war planes. Other than being splashed by you and your partner's paddles, you won't get wet, but the canoes do have water tight container for you to put your camera in if you want to take one. Photo opportunities there are lots. Just a pity I was to slow to get my camera out for the water monitor.