Richards Bay to Port Elizabeth
29.05.2011 - 30.05.2011 20 °C
Rough sea again overnight with large swells and lots of movement on the ship - some creaking and groaning and not all from the metal and wood structures around us. We have sea day today then tomorrow we arrive in Port Elizabeth for the 2nd of our short safaris. Last night after a longer day’s activities than were planned we had a casual evening with a pizza from the onboard pizza restaurant and then we watched Night & Day outside on the 12th deck under the stars. We had started the day at 6pm expecting to go through South African immigration procedures but the boat on which the officials were supposed to board Sun Princess broke down and the Richards Bay pilot apparently forgot to come. We circled outside Richards Bay for over an hour and finally docked in this industrial Port alongside the coal and other mineral
deposits and the nearby aluminium smelter,
Finally clearing immigration we we lead off the ship to the waiting coaches - over 36 of them about 2 hours later than planned. The captain reassured us all 380 of those on our full day safari would have all activities promised and he would leave without us. We drove to the Hluwehluwe (Szhlooey Szhloohey) National park which was established in 1895 and is the 3rd largest park in SA. Along the way we saw pineapple plantations and Eucalypt plantations used for timber, cellulose, cardboard and tissue paper. This is the heart of Zulu land and everywhere there are small properties with round huts for the males, and their many wives live in lesser dwellings. After 90minutes we reached the park and were loaded onto safari vehicles which were open-sided but somewhat crowded. During a 2 hour game drive we saw many White Rhinos some with calves as this reserve is responsible for a breeding programme which has seen thousands of White (Weid) Rhinos sent to parks and Zoos all over South africa and the world and has seen this breed removed from the endangered list. We also saw Giraffe some of which were crossing the road in front of us and we saw large antelope such as the pretty Nyala and Zebra in the distance. We did not see Elephant or the larger cats this time. Eventually we returned to the park entrance where a late and somewhat cool lunch was waiting.
Then we travelled back to Sun Princess along a road which was blocked by SA version of a booze bus which apparently carries a mobile magistrates court in some situations.
A very satisfactory day despite the late departure of the ship and the continued heavy weather with swells. We will now miss the extra half day in Capetown because of the inclement weather and the Captain’s need to solw the vessel down.