One of the really disappointing aspects of this visit to Addo was the few sightings from the deck of our Safari Tent. During previous visits we even saw hyena and plenty of kudu, elephants, etc. This year we had one really exciting sighting from the deck, but more about that later. (Moose watch this space!) The hide was also not very productive, but then we are dealing with wild animals that do as they please. Nevertheless, day two started with two hares at the fence in front of our tent.
We were on the tar road down to Spekboom, when my daughter shouted: "Stop! Lion!" She saw a lion no more than 3 - 5 meters from the road. I stoped, reversed, went forward again and that went on for 20 minutes, but we could not for our lives found the lion again. At the end we stopped next to the road for our morning coffee and rusks, but no lion to be found! The Addo bush can sometimes be incredibly thick. What a disappointment!
The disappointment was relieved by reaching our second goal at Hapoor dam: meerkatte
(suricate)! The whole family, babies and all, played in the field south of the dam where the Mpunzi loop starts. They were a bit far from the road for photo's, but we could watch them with binoculars for quite some time. I have often read of the Hapoor-clan on the forum and at last we found them on our third visit. This was really exciting. Day 2 was a success as well.
Meanwhile at Hapoor Dam the one group of elephants was leaving as the next group arrived. This obviously caused traffic jams.
One can really watch the elephants endlessly and always see some new behavior. This guy obviously had an itching foot and he scratched it for some time against this tree stump.
While watching the elephants drinking we heard an elephant trumpeting like mad and saw this small (young) ellie came charging down the length of the parking area at Hapoor. He was trumpeting, his ears were flapping and he was defiantly very traumatised. I was so stunned that I forgot to grab my camera. The next moment the young ellie spotted, what must be, his mother drinking water and he charged between the cars toward this group drinking water. The group came around him, comforted him and soon he came to rest. The behavior of this group of elephants toward this young elephant was very special to watch. This was an extraordinary sighting that can never be described in words. We could really feel the trauma this young ellie was experiencing when he realized that he lost his mother.
At lunch time there was a thunder storm with some rain that made us retire to the tent for an hour or so. As a rule we try to spend every available moment in the game area. I can never understand why people must take an afternoon nap when they can rather drive around. I know the light is bad for photo's, but there is still so much to enjoy and experience.
On our way to Carol's Rest we saw this rather wet ostrich and a tortoise looking for water to drink from a puddle on the tar road.
Carol's Rest rewarded us with our second disappointing lion sighting of the day. I could
see the lioness (through the binoculars) walking almost against the fence above the open field. It started to rain again and too soon she disappeared from sight. We waited for her to reappear, but to no avail. It was getting late and we decided to make our way to Rooidam in search of the hyenas.
No hyenas, but we came across a jackal between Rooidam and Gwarrie. The jackal was soon joined by a second jackal and then a third one. We followed them to where they started to dig frantically next to a bush right next to the tar road. What followed was certainly one of our most outstanding sightings. They have uncovered the nest of flying-ants in the soft ground after the rain. As the flying-ants start to fly around the jackals, the jackals start to catch them. Two more jackals joined in and we had this amazing sighting of jackals digging the one moment and jumping in the air to catch a flying-ant the next moment. This went on for almost half an hour.
In this photo that was taken by my daughter you can see a flying-ant above the back of the jackal.
The one jackal was also on the receiving end at a stage, because there were wounds on his front leg. I am not too sure as to the enemies of jackals. Hyenas maybe?
This sighting brought the end to our second amazing day in Addo.
The Creator is bigger than His creation!
My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300