The Baviaansriver Conservancy is two and a half hours North of Port Elizabeth. The following are all options for day trips while hunting out of the Baviaansriver Camp in the Eastern Cape.
Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo National park is the fastest growing national park in South Africa and is home to the “big 7”, the Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhino, Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale. Addo is a little over an hour from camp and is a great place to view and photograph some of Africa’s big game animals at close quarters. Sightings of Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo are almost guaranteed while some of the other critters may be a little more elusive in the thick bush. While hunting the Eastern Cape a day visiting and photographing the wildlife at Addo is very enjoyable.
Crusader Safaris has a 5-bedroom beach house on the Mpekweni river, beautiful unspoilt beaches, 5 miles of river, great fishing, 5-star restaurant and a health spa all within walking distance. This beautiful unspoilt piece of African coastline is a great place to spend a few days fishing, hunting the coastal forests or as a base for sightseeing in the area. Very good river fishing on light tackle or blue water fishing is available out of Mpekweni. Mpekweni is 40 minutes from the commercial airport in East London and 1 hour 30 minutes from Port Alfred. The beach house is 2 hours and 30 minutes from the Baviaansriver area.
The Eastern Cape is rich in history; our early ancestors are of British descent and arrived in the area in 1820. Many difficulties faced these early settlers, from drought to hostile tribesman, battles were fought with cattle and land the prize, these battle sites are now significant historical sites. A day spent learning the history of the area is very interesting. A good idea is to combine these historical trips with a look at some of the old original homesteads that were built in the early 1800”s and inhabited by the original British settlers. Some of these houses are close on 200 years old, with beautiful old gardens and a rich history.
African Schools & Culture
The Baviaansriver hunting conservancy is a very large area that is pretty remote and far from cities and civilization. The local schools in the conservancy are very rustic by American standards and the school kids appreciate visits from the hunters. Many of our clients have in the past developed a personal relationship with some of the little schools often bringing with them small gifts for the kids on return trips. On visits to these schools, the children will be sure to entertain you with some traditional African singing and dancing. In exchange for these shows of singing and dancing, we drop off small gifts like pens and paper that most western schools take for granted but that are often in short supply in these remote areas.
Spending a day shopping for African art and artifacts that will be a reminder of your trip can easily be arranged. Paintings, wood carvings and other curios can be bought from the locals. Small markets can be found on the side of roads where these curios can be picked up at very reasonable prices. A little further away in Port Elizabeth, there are some bigger shopping malls and jewelry stores, South Africa is a world famous producer of diamonds. Port Elizabeth is a very easy 2-hour drive from camp and a day shopping is something always enjoyed by the ladies.
The Garden Route
The scenic route along the Indian Ocean from our Baviaansriver camp to Cape Town is known as the garden route. This 8 hour drive through holiday and fishing villages on the edge of the sea is breathtakingly beautiful. The garden route is home to some of the worlds best golf courses, courses designed by both Garry Player and ‘the big easy’, Ernie Els. Taking a slow drive through the garden route with an overnight stay half way would be a good way to experience the sites of the Garden route on route to Cape Town.
The Kei river conservancy is the gateway to the Transkei, the historical land of the Xhosa people. A rich colourful history and culture. A visit to the villages of Caba and Gwili Gwili to experience the unique Xhosa culture, have a beer and share stories of mutual interest can be a life changing experience.The simplicity of life in the Transkei, the traditional dancers and modest way of life is a great reminder for all of us to slow down and look around.