Addo or Aquila?

Feb 25th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48

Yes Tiger woods was at Eagles Crag Shamwari when he proposed..

I was busy with something else and saw this

DID YOU KNOW | The original Addo Park has subsequently been expanded to include the Woody Cape Nature Reserve that extends from the Sundays River mouth (with the entrance to the park called, "Colchester South Gate Gate") towards Alexandria and a marine reserve, which includes St. Croix Island and Bird Island which is an important breeding habitat for gannets and penguins, not to mention a large variety of other marine life.

This forms part of the plan to expand the 1,480 km2 Addo National Elephant Park into a 3,600 km2 Greater Addo Elephant National Park. The expansion has meant that not only does the park contain five of South Africa's seven major vegetation zones (biomes) but also that it is probably the only park in the world to house the so-called "Big 7" (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whale and great white shark) in their natural habitat.

Not sure why it is regarded as a small park if my maths works it is 925 square miles and will expand to 2,250 square miles.
coline is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Coline - I'll try one more time to ask you two questions that I asked you above regarding information you provided-
"There are a variety of private game reserves all around Addo that have the big 5".
Without having segregated enclosures?

"Shamwari adjacent has been voted Africa's leading safari for the past 11 consecutive years."
Interesting. Voted by whom?


regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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hi melissa,

well, I can't help you with aquilla, but i can with Addo and Shamwari, and with an third place you might like to add to your list, Schotia.

we actually found Schotia through Selwyn, and were so glad that we did. it is the oldest of the eastern cape safari reserves, and it isn't vey big, but it packs a lot in -we saw rhino, giraffe [loads of them] all the antelope you could an to see inclduing a new-born springbok, and loads more. and elephants of course. we were on the overnight package, which gives you a game drive in the afternoon, supper in the boma, the night in a "cottage" without electricty [magic], an early-morning game-drive, breakfast, and then another short one on the way back to the reception area. it is right round the corner from Addo, and our package included the morning there, but we weren't bowled over, partly because we'd jsut seen so much at schotia. I couldn't find any prices for SChotia, so I can't tell you how it compares with Aquila for cost, and you'll have to ask Selwyn how the experience compares too.

as for Shamwari, it is absolutely the other end of the spectrum. can you have too much luxury? possibly! we went there because our TA spotted the deal they were doing of 2 ngihts at Shamwari giving you 3 free nights at the Radisson in Cape Town - otherwise I don't think we would have. as for game, we were disappointed with the lions and other cats, but the elephants were fantastic. and the area is VAST.

OTOH, we didn't go to Kruger or Namibia, so I can't compare with them. but you have 11 nights, which is about what we had. we did the following:

4 nights cape town.
2 nights grootbos [on south coast past hermanus]
3 nights plettenberg bay
1 night schotia
2 nights shamwari

we then flew from Port Elizabeth to jo'burg, when we flew home, thus cutting out the return drive to cape town. no reason why you shouldn't do the same to connnect with your capetown flight.
annhig is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
Hi Tom

1 I am not sure I understand the question.

The lions are in large reserves and hunt to survive but there are fences around the reserves.

2 The World Travel Awards

The World Travel Awards, hailed as the "travel industry's equivalent to the Oscars" by the Wall Street Journal, are described as "the most comprehensive and the most prestigious awards program in the global travel industry" by numerous media reports.

"The survey is truly global in scale, independent and accountable," said Cooke.

Thousands of travel agents and industry members from around the globe vote for winners of the World Travel Awards, which was launched in 1993 to celebrate excellence in the World’s travel and tourism industry.

South Africa's Shamwari Game Reserve is in the spotlight again following this year's World Travel Awards, held in the Turks and Caicos Islands earlier this month, after it was chosen as the World's Leading Safari & Game Reserve.

In addition, the first World Travel Green Awards were also held in the Caribbean, with Shamwari being voted as the World's Leading Conservation Company for 2008.

coline is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Thanks coline, it is difficult sometimes to communicate questions on these forums.

1. "There are a variety of private game reserves all around Addo that have the big 5".
I was trying to ask if all of the big 5 are in the SAME reserve. Or if one reserve has lions. And another has leopards. Another rhinos. Another buffalo. Another elephants. So when we look at them all we have the big 5. Are these the type of reserves you are referring to around Addo?

If in fact the Addo reserves (one or many) do indeed have the big 5 within a single reserve, do they have fences separating, say, the lions and leopards. For example, I have two game reserves near me (within 100 miles) that both have the big 5, but the animals are separated and can not naturally interact.

2. "Shamwari adjacent has been voted Africa's leading safari for the past 11 consecutive years."
The World Travel Awards
Shamwari was named "leading" by WTA in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Interesting that when even limited to country awards, that for Botswana Kwando safari camps are never mentioned. Around here they would likely get the number one safari Africa destination vote, certainly for Botswana, from what I read.

Also perhaps interesting that the WTA says that Africa's Leading Travel Agency is - Club Travel, South Africa. Any one here worked with Club Travel?

Always interested in knowing more and understanding better what I think I know.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
Hi Tom

The animals are all free to roam and interact, but the various reserves are fenced off from each other.

There are 2 prides of lions in the main section of Addo.

I have been living here for 15 years and it is amazing to see huge areas being returned to nature.

Addo in that time has grown 15 times in size and all the game reserves with the exception of Shamwari and Schotia have been created.

coline is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 04:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378
Hi coline,

I've heard, too, that Addo has grown enormously. I'd like to ask, without the benefit of looking at a map--do Shamwari and/or Schotia share a boundary with Addo? If not, is it possible they might in the future, given Addo's growth?

I was just curious to hear if maybe these would connect someday the way the private reserves have connected with Kruger.

Tom--FWIW, I believe Addo has the Big 5, if that wasn't mentioned already.
Gritty is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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hi gritty

I'm not sure that Addo and Schotia share a boundary, but they are very close - a 30 minute drive max door to door [or gate to gate]. schotia offer a overnight there combined with teh following mornnig at addo , but we were rather disappointed with Addo after schotia and definitely didn't need to have gone there with Shamwari as well.

I'm not clear how addo has bee enlarged as they claim. to include whales as well, they would have to extend about 100 miles back to the coast - there's a considerable amount of land, most of which I assume is privately owned, in between. Perhaps we were unlucky but we saw very little of anything at Addo, let alone the big five.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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These days I do not read or contribute to Fodors all that much purely because of the new format of the page. In simple words I find it to be most unfriendly. Today I scanned the forum and found Melissa’s mail and just want to comment on much that has been said in this thread.

1. I suspect that Melissa wrote the original mail on this forum asking about Addo and Aquila before she (her travel companion) made contact with me

2. Canadian_Robin. I know it seems as if I suggested Addo and Aquila to Melissa however this is not the case. I would very rarely recommend Aquila to anyone as I believe it is equivalent to what I label a Noahs Ark gamefarm i.e 2 of a kind on the park.

3. My original and final suggestion to Melissa’s companion was that they do the Schotia day safari which comprises of a morning in Addo, an afternoon game drive at Schotia and an evening game drive at Schotia. The website opens with the words “it does not get better than this” and believe me it does not when you only have a day or maybe two for your safari. The Addo/Schotia safari is an all encompassing experience where l one sees so many animal which includes 4 of the Big 5 (no leopard). I am not a Big 5 fan and that is why this safari is such a wonderful one in my opinion as there are so many other species of animal that one sees. There are also some rarities to see for instance when last have you seen a spring hare or a hog deer? Once you hop into the Landy game viewing simply does not stop as one sees animals everywhere and at all times. Furthermore make no error Schotia is a HUGE area and that is why one needs two game drives to cover the farm. Another reason is that Schotia specialize in a “lion drive” (which is an awesome experience) and so as to protect most of their game they have the lions in a special, very large encampment with lots of specially located animals that they can hunt. In effect it is like doing a game drive on two farms when one does the Schotia full game drive.

4. Aquila is just one of the many other “close to Cape Town safari” camps that are trying to coin in on the safari scene that Cape Town has never offered in the past. In all fairness the Aquila safari is most probably the best safari to go on within a 150 km radius of Cape Town however that does not make the experience a good one. Aquila has great accommodation and do a lot for the local community (for which I tip my hat to them) however the amount of game one sees relative to places like Addo and Schotia is simply minimalistic. If one only has a two day stay in Cape Town and you want to see game then I would say, with great reluctance, as there is so much else to see in Cape Town, go to Aquila on safari. That is the only time I would even consider this recommendation. If one has more time , such as Melissa has, where one can incorporate a Garden Route journey down to Addo then there is no question in mind that the Addo/Schotia journey remains the best one to do. Furthermore with the Addo/Schotia journey being in a malaria free zone and costing R1200 per day person all inclusive (3 safaris, ranger, midday meal and dinner meal) it is my opinion that this just has to be the best value for money as far as a no frills safari is concerned in the whole of Southern Africa.

Hope the above clears up my thinking on the safari situation in the Western and Eastern Cape regions.

Now let me edit this post before Fodors gobbles it up in case I accidentally hit the submit key. (I REALLY DO NOT LIKE THIS NEW FORMAT!)

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 02:24 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 5,158
Thank you all for your responses! There is always so much to planning a trip, it can get daunting. Especially when you start veering in one direction, and then other options pop up.

Selwyn, I agree with you on the format. I am by no means low-tech, but the new forum definitely has too many "bells and whistles" to slog through. I find myself coming here less & less thanks to this new format.
MelissaHI is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 48
Schotia and parts of Shamwari share the Addo fence.

There is talk of a plan to take down the fences but I think it is economics the animals cost huge amounts of money.

I have been living in the area since 95 and have lost count of the number of times I have been to Addo and only once have I not see elephants.

The lions are difficult to spot but if you take a trip on the park Land Rover they will normally find them.
coline is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Coline, we DID see elephants at Addo- just a VERY long way away. we weren't in a park vehicle though, but in a van driven by the guide from SChotia.

I really didn't see the point of doing Addo and Schotia, but perhaps we'd been unusually lucky at Schotia.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:10 PM
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You were very unlucky at Addo we often have to move out of the way to let the elephants get past
coline is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:02 PM
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hi coline -

I guessed that there must be some reason why people go there!

our best elephant experience was at Shamwari - several large family groups with some tiny babies - some of which got uncomfortably close at times.
not that we really minded.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 17th, 2009, 03:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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As a local to the Addo area and owner of Hitgeheim Country Lodge and Eco Reserve It is my first time on the forum and I felt after reading it all that some true facts should be given. Aguilla is an option close to Cape Town but Inverdoorn will give you a better Safari experience.
None of the two come close to what a Safari experience is and the Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves and National Parks are of the best Africa can offer without the Malaria Risk, Visum problems,infrastructure and cost. And although some people ignore the Malaria risk, it is and will remain a risk and sometimes playing with your life.
Let us start with Addo Elephant Park. It is true that you can drive Addo Park by yourself on very good and well planed roads, mostly tarred. Addo is nothing spectacular like beautiful rivers, trees, mountains ext but one of the most interesting and successful conservation projects ever undertaking by South Africa. What Shamwari did as a privateer Addo did as South Africa National Parks. This you will only experience if you do Addo with a good guide. Unfortunately this is only available with the more reputable, lets say it more expensive lodges and country houses that can afford to pay the levies for this special concession. Out of experiences, this is by far a very unique, different way of experiencing the Gentle Giants of Addo and those who live with them. Driving through Addo can be a mark on your places visited but doing a proper guided Safari in Addo will bring you back. Being told and taught the smaller detail of the spiritual aura of these ancient herds of Elephants while being within the heard cannot be read from a pamphlet or experienced from a tented car.
We have places like Kwandwe, Shamwari, Ghora Elephant Camp that is just as good or better than any Wild life or Safari Park in Africa. Down the prise range, Amakhala, Lalibela, Pumba, Kariega to name a few are extremely good value for money comparing Tanzania, Kenia, Botswana and private lodge in and next to Kruger.
Schotia is the Gem if you have limited time and budget but want to see wildlife and lots of it. I do not think there is another place that can show you so much in an afternoon/evening as what you will see on the Tooth and Claw with Lions guaranteed. R600 Euro45 US60. The prise of a pizza and a pint in London. The combination off Addo with a private guide, Schotia in the Afternoon, the next day interacting and riding elephants, kiss and cuddle lion and cheetah in the afternoon does not get better. This all you can do driving along the Garden Route from Cape Town or flying in to Port Elizabeth.
archiehitge is offline  
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