by Inge Triegaardt
Picture yourself on a crisp Saturday morning, blue skies above you, on the back of a Safari vehicle, driving through some export quality citrus orchards with some foreign languages filling the air.
That is exactly how we felt when we joined Crisscross Adventures in Addo for an amazing day filled with activities that makes you want more. First up was the river safari. I had a preconceived idea of what this might entail and with my very limited canoeing experience that I obtained as a kid, using some rented canoes on a Sunday morning outing in Wilderness, I was excited to see whether my picture was close to what they had to offer.
On the way to the drop-off point further up the Sundays river, the guide was sharing his knowledge of the working citrus farm and we made a quick stop at one of the oldest pack houses in the area. Excitement was starting to build as our group got to know each other a bit. Soon we found ourselves at the drop-off point. We all geared up with insect repellent and the necessary protection against the African sun before grabbing a nice ice cold bottle of water and jumped into the canoes. Some maneuvering here and there and we were on our way, all rowing happily down the river. The pace was soon slowed down as the adrenaline started to wear off and we found ourselves lazing around on the water, doing some bird watching. The bird life is incredible here next to the water with species such as the African Darter, Cormorant, King Fisher, Herons and Bishops. We occasionally saw a monkey or two jumping from tree to tree.
As we passed the high banks of the river rises above our heads to a good 3 meters above the water line (the Sunday’s River is the fastest flowing river in South Africa when it is in flood), it was time to make a well deserved pit stop. We all jumped out, took some refreshments and headed up the trail to learn more about the vegetation in the area. Our guide had so much knowledge and we were well looked after the whole day. Our River Safari had to come to an end and 2.5 hours later we found ourselves back in the Safari vehicle, canoes loaded and heading back to Crisscross Adventures HQ. A morning well spent and highly recommended for all ages, big and small, experienced or not.
Then came the time to get back onto solid ground and we soon found ourselves on the back of a steel steed. After fitting some safety gear (helmets and goggles provided), we had a run down on how to operate these machines. In no time we were off and ready to explore. In a single file down the public road, we made our way to a safe space where we could play on a course that was set out to enjoy at your own pace. The course is easy to navigate and does not have any real obstacles. It is suitable for beginners as well as children.
By now we all felt a bit braver and we were ready to head out to the more advanced trail along the river. This trail has a bit more challenges in some rocks, stumps and narrower pieces with slopes. It is here that we had great fun and spent a bit of time playing like children. Safety is always a priority and even though you do have some free reign to do as you wish as long as you stay on course, the guide is by your side and is keeping a watchful eye on you, knowing where is troops are all the time.
Our session soon came to an end and it was time to head back. Driving back to Crisscross Adventures HQ, the thought dawned on me that this truly is a hidden gem. The staff is very friendly, premises are extremely clean and gear is in good condition. The service you receive is of top quality and it makes your time just so much more pleasant. With it only being one hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, this is a welcoming addition to a day out in Addo Elephant National Park.
Criscross Adventures Tour options:
- Addo Elephant Park Tour
- Addo River Safari
- Addo ECO Quad Biking
- Addo Mountain Hike
- Addo Fishing Tours
- Sandboarding & Beach Safari
Several other packages are available.
* This article is based on the Addo Adventure Tour Package