Although most safari lodges might be fully booked at this time of the year, there are several places whose doors are open for day visitors.
Day safaris provide game park visitors the luxury of a game drive without the financial commitment of an overnight stay. Locals and out-of-towners alike, can take advantage of the following selection of day safaris on offer in and around Nelson Mandela Bay:
- Pumba Private Game Reserve and Spa: An hour’s drive outside of Port Elizabeth, Pumba Game Reserve offers a 2.5-hour day safari package. At the end of your game drive, a traditional African boma lunch is served, and visitors are allowed to linger at their leisure. To book, contact Pumba Game Reserve at (041) 502-3050.
- Schotia and Addo: Combine a morning game drive at Addo with an afternoon and evening at Schotia Tooth and Claw safari. Watch large herds of elephant, buffalo and kudu roaming the plains on the Addo Elephant National Park, then enjoy a more intimate experience with a larger variety of species, including lion, rhino, hippopotamus and crocodile at Schotia Private Game Reserve. The 12-hour long safari includes free transfers to and from both reserves, two meals and two guided game drives. To make a reservation, contact Schotia Safaris on (042) 235-1436.
- Kwantu Private Game Reserve: Day visitors to the Kwantu Game Reserve can enjoy a half-day safari experience complete with a three to five course meal. From the comfort of a 4×4 vehicle, animal enthusiasts will get to spend two or three hours spotting the famed Big Five. Reservations may be made at (042) 203-1400.
- Hopewell Conservation Estate and Nooitgedacht Horse Safaris: A horse safari experience is on offer at Hopewell Conservation Estate on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Come in to close contact with a variety of game species while trotting along on horse- back. Contact Hopewell Conservation Estate, (041) 450-0381.
- Kragga Kamma Game Park: Choose between a self-drive or two-hour guided game drive at the Kragga Kamma Game Park. Day visitors can expect to see herds of African game including white rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, nyala, bontebok – and more. To make a reservation, contact Kragga Kamma Game Park at (041) 379-4195.
For a more extensive list of day safaris in this region, contact Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism at (041) 582-2575/3 or visit www.nmbt.co.za