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Scenery From Africa: South African Hidden Gems - Sundays River
Scenery from South Africa - Hidden Gems: The Sundays River Mouth.
Everyone has a hidden place that they love to go to in this beautiful country. Some have more than one such place one and in this article I will share one of mine with you. But don't tell anyone else because then it will no longer qualify as a 'hidden' place.
About 36 km from Port Elizabeth (300km from East London) is the Sunday's River Mouth. On the bank of the river is the Pearson Park Camp Ground. Consisting of numerous camp sites, some with electricity points and others without. There are also a limited number of cabins available. The area has large shady trees and also a grassy area further down the river towards the ocean. The ablution blocks are well maintained and kept clean by the organized staff.
Two swimming pools provide a place to relax, one for overnight visitors and one for day visitors. A launching place for boats and a couple of jetty's are popular with the boating fraternity who mainly come to fish the very productive waters. Spotted Grunter and Cob are two of the species that are often caught here. Bait can be purchased at the nearby Spar or at the general dealer in the nearby Colchester Settlement. Many pump their own prawns or cast a throw net for mullet to use as live bait.
Some boaters also ski on the river in the area designated for this purpose. But many visitors just come to fish from the bank or simply sit outside their tents and enjoy being out with a fire cooking their preferred food.
Ten minutes away, across the N6 highway, is the Southern Gate of the Addo Elephant Park and a further 38km is the main camp in the park. A visit to the Addo National Park is certain to provide an abundance of game and bird viewing. In a two hour visit one can usually see large herds of Elephant, and a good assortment of animal and bird life as the photos with this article will prove.
The vegetation in the park consists of five of the seven biomes that can be found in South Africa. These are Nama-Karoo, Fynbos (Cape heather), grassland, forest, and subtropical thicket, that covers most of the park. More than 40 vegetation units with their own unique mix of species have been identified by botanists. The Woody Cape southern part of the Park, bordering of the Sundays River, has a dune field that is the most extensive of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Here one can follow the 7km Woody Cape Tree Dassie Trail, or the two day 32km Alexandria Hiking Trail.
The information and education centre at the main camp in Addo has an excellent display of the history, both natural and human, of the area. An under - ground hide in the camp provides photographers with a close up view of animals and birds that come to drink at the nearby water hole. It is interesting to note that Dung-beetles have right of way in the park and it is fascinating to stop and see these beetles pushing their balls of dung along the road if you are lucky enough to come across one. Again an excellent swimming pool beckons to cool down visitors on a warm day.
Back at Sundays River, an hour of evening fishing from one of the jetty's is a great way to complete the day's activities. A walk along the beach and across the sand dunes towards the Woody Cape section of Addo is strongly recommended. Drive to the parking area at the mouth of the river and then walk across the sand dunes and up the coast. As the sun sets on another perfect day the river is glowing as the sun sets in the West. A family of five are either fishing or playing in the shallow water of the river. The children are excited because they have caught a small crab. The resident Sea Gulls flying past reminding one that there are many really wonderful places in this beautiful country where one can relax and enjoy a few days.