Before heading to Addo, we booked two drives: one for sunrise, and another for just after sunset. Our sunrise drive went well, and we saw loads of elephants, herds of buffalo, and several lions, along with two cubs. When we showed up for the night drive however, we were practically warned off by the driver. He had just taken another group around for a sun-downer drive, and had only seen two kudu. Plus, it was looking like it might rain. And if it rained enough, we’d have to turn around. We discussed it, and in the end decided to go out—if nothing else, it would be nice to be out in the bush in the dark.
In the end, the drive was unbelievable. The rain settled over us, but never enough to send us back to camp. And perhaps out of enjoying the rain, the animals came out too. We saw black backed jackals, trotting through the scrub landscape. We saw several spotted hyenas, including two young cubs that gave in to their curiosity and prowled around our vehicle. We saw a porcupine, its massive coat of quills shimmying as it scurried to get out of the spotlights glare. And we even came across a herd of elephants, staying out long after their bedtime; they passed by close enough that we could practically touch their bristly skin.