As we endeavour to spend more quality time as a family, we dared to spend the day at Addo Elephant National Park. While it took the customary hour to just get the twonager dressed and in the car, we were not anticipating a drama free day. The hour drive to the park was spent with verbal diarrhoea asking where the elephants and animals were.
Survival tip 1: Learn how to say, “In the bushes, keep looking” over and over again without going insane.
Once arriving at the park, we went to check in and have a bathroom break. Our twonager being potty trained needs frequent rest stops. The first thing he noticed is the vending machine and demanded “moneys”.
Survival tip 2: Pick your battles… so its 9am and he wants chips… so what it’s a weekend got to relax a little, it would be nice to avoid a tantrum so early on.
Finally, we are in the park and driving. The endless bushes lead to more questions about where the animals are.
Survival tip 3: Point out imaginary animals to keep the twonager entertained. It sparks creativity and keeps you amused at the same time haha.
The first animal we see is a warthog, the excitement is insane! He is shouting “Say cheese Warty, say cheese for mommy!” as I am trying to take photos of the warthog. Very cute! Then all of a sudden the tantrum starts “Me take picture, Ethan take picture!”.
Survival tip 4: Let the twonager take pictures. It will save a lot of pain in the end.
The wait in between the animals seems torturous! Luckily upon leaving the house, he had grabbed some toys and insisted on bringing them.
Survival tip 5: Have snacks and toys in the back so the twonager can be kept calm while you get some peace.
Despite all the talking, moaning and tantruming, we really had a good time. Seeing his face when he saw the animals and hearing the excitement in his voice was worth it! He made us laugh endlessly calling a warthog a “farty” because he cannot say W properly. We had an amazing siting of a secretary bird which he kept calling a “peacock”. He was asking “what’s that noise” over and over again, while the elephants were making rumbling sounds. His only disappointment was not seeing the lions and getting to try out his roar! Guess we will be going back again. At least we know how to survive the next trip. Hope the tips help you get out into the wild.