Having been ‘pandemically confined’ for months and only recently being allowed to venture forth – almost inch by inch – or so it felt, it was a treat to spend a day in the Addo Elephant National Park. As soon as overnight accommodation was allowed, we opted to spend two nights at the Mountain Zebra National Park, near Cradock.

As you can see in the photograph below, the sky was heavily overcast when we arrived – that in itself has been a rare sight in our part of the Eastern Cape. Being the end of winter, the grass is dry and golden: look at the beautiful wide open expanse of the grassland with the mountain rising above it. Such space gives one the feeling of freedom!

Here is a closer look at the mountain, with an ostrich in the foreground.

The grassland in the valley seems to go on forever.

When you get close to the mountain, driving up to the plateau, you become entranced by the bulging rocks, loose boulders and the vegetation growing in between. The pale coloured trees are all Cussonia spp., known colloquially as Cabbage Trees.

Once on the plateau, you can almost see to the end of the earth – mountains and valleys that change with the light of the day. It is scenery that one can absorb in great gulps; difficult to take in all at once; the openness, the beauty, and all that space is ‘cleansing’ and healing. There is a feeling of freedom (one can forget about the pandemic there) and ‘wholesomeness’ that made me feel ‘normal’ for those few days.



  1. Lovely sharing in this sense of space and expansiveness through your writing and photographs. I sure the sense of freedom and healing you experienced while at the park will stand you in good stead going forward.


  2. I very much appreciated that fresh air, in contrast to most of what we have available to breathe here in California right now.

    I’m glad you at least had one day sun up to sundown to soak cup the freedom!


    • The smoke – never mind the fires – must be horrendous to contend with day after day. Here the air was so clean and fresh one could drink it in and see forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Splendid view. Lovely post. It must have been lovely to be out after being ‘locked in’ for long. I am yet to venture anywhere. Things are not yet back to normal here.


    • I wouldn’t say things are back to normal here either even though we moved to Alert Level 1 on Monday. My hope is that the general public will continue to be sensible: wearing masks, keeping a reasonable social distance and remembering to wash their hands regularly.


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