Thanks to volunteer Monica a.k.a. Moo (and her car, lunches and ice-cream), 4 kids from Judah Square (Omega, Manuel, Benji and Naphitite) got to enjoy the Open Day at Knysna Elephant Park (KEP). I got to tag along:)
Normally R250 per adult and R110 per child, free entrance had over 2300 people, mostly locals, greeting the elephants and enjoying the stalls and restaurants – it was a huge success i’m hoping KEP will consider hosting annually.
We started off by drinking coffee whilst the kids explored the play area. After watching the do’s and don’ts video, our guide, Geoffrey, joked with us that it was his first day on the job (he’s actually been there 18 years!).
Then it was feeding time as the elephants lined up, eager for their share of the more than 300 ice-cream buckets of fruit and vegetables (apples, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoe etc.) that were bought by visitors on the day. What a delight for the kids to touch an elephant and feed them! It’s certainly an odd yet thrilling feeling when a wet trunk snakes a snack from your hand. Benjy, the youngest, got over his fears and found himself fascinatingly stroking the leg of one of the elephants.
Up at the stalls, we tried yummy Italian food and i tasted local Packwood Wine for the first time – well deserving of the awards they’ve won. Their champagne was especially excellent!
Thanks, AGAIN, to Nixs from Cakes by Nix for painting the kids faces! We seem to catch her wherever we go:)
With good timing, we were ready to leave as the wind began to strengthen on the hill we were on… except… the car battery was dead. With amazing skill and a big smile, Petrus, one of the managers, fetched a large bakkie and, without hesitation, reversed backwards between us and another vehicle with only an inch to spare – helluva driver! Jumper cables later, we were on our way.
We dropped the kids off, their friends excited to see their painted faces and hear their stories. I showed some of the photos to the adults before Monica took me for a surprise burger and a beer at Oldes Pub & Grill – now that’s a volunteer! Ha ha.