Saturday 27 September Knysna to Port Elizabeth

This morning we bid farewell to Knysna and head towards Port Elizabeth. The weather is once again cool, overcast and threatening to rain.
We drove through Plettenberg Bay, which is an affluent beachside area. The South African school leavers come here to celebrate the end of school. We stopped at a lookout to take some photos and then we passed the Plettenberg Bay Lagoon and the Keurbooms River.
We were then taken to our Freedom of Choice activities and as we drove into the car park, we saw two little baboons chasing each other and a Blue Crane, which is the national emblem of South Africa. We were also interested to see a telecom tower that was disguised as a tree and we were told that this is what all telecom towers look like all over South Africa – much nicer than our ugly towers at home.
We chose the Birds of Eden Sanctuary with its unique three-hectare netted dome, which is the world’s second largest and spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. Birds of Eden was developed to provide a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds. Currently, over 3,500 birds, comprising of over 200 African and imported species, live at the sanctuary, where they are protected against being hunted, exploited, abused, neglected and improper care. At the sanctuary, they can be as natural as possible and are not caged and fly and nest they please.
The sanctuary has its own mysterious ruin, which incorporates a walk-behind waterfall – unfortunately by the time we got to this section it was raining so our photo taking was limited.
Despite the inclement weather, we thoroughly enjoyed walking through this natural environment and seeing many different species of colourful birds as well as the Blue Duiker, a miniature antelope that is usually found in the forests. We were surprised at the number of imported species that we saw, including the Macaws and an Australian Galah.
As we made our way to our lunch stop, we passed over 3 bridges that spanned deep gorges: Bobbejaan Bridge, Groot Bridge and BlouKrans Bridge where they do bungee jumping.
We stopped at the Storms River Bridge and had lunch at the Mugg and Bean before heading off to Port Elizabeth. We drove on a good highway, through some lovely forest areas and also saw a rather large wind farm. We arrived at Port Elizabeth at 4.00pm and the intermittent showers changed to fine weather again.
Port Elizabeth, or The Bay, is one of the largest cities in South Africa and is situated in the Eastern Cape Province on Algoa Bay. Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers and now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, which has a population of over 1.3 million. The tennis great, Roger Federer’s Mum was born here and Roger Federer has a Tennis Academy here too.
We stayed in the Boardwalk Hotel and Spa, with its Victorian architecture, and set against the beautiful blue of the Indian Ocean, which we can see from our room.
We settled into our beautiful room and then headed down to the Kipling’s Brasserie for an exquisite dinner in lovely surroundings with a man playing the piano and singing in the background. We returned to our room and caught up with our blog and posted photos to the gallery.
Tomorrow, we are flying from Port Elizabeth to Durban and then driving up to the Thanda Private Game Reserve, where we will be staying for two nights and we will NOT have internet coverage and only a limited access to electric power.


One Response to “Saturday 27 September Knysna to Port Elizabeth”

  1. Liana says:

    Lovely pics!

    Would have been nice if all the telecom towers were disguised as trees… Sadly that’s not true! Love the beautiful bird photo’s! Enjoy! xx

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