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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
ELEPHANT CROSSING INTO MATYHOLWENI

The Addo Park has been increasing in size for a number of years now.
and this expansion has extended the park in a southerly direction.
A lot of work was done in the construction of roads, the laying of water and
the construction of waterholes. The area also had to be ring fenced with a
game proof fence and game relocated.

There is a minor public road, known locally as the Addo Heights Road,
that separated the existing park with the new southern section and the
public road boundary fence was going to be removed to join these two
sections into one.

It has always been my wish to see and witness the crossing of this road by
elephants as they enter into this new section

It was with great delight that I learnt from our local news paper "The Herald"
that the fence was being lowered, you can read the article
"Giant step forward as Addo elephants’ territory doubles" HERE

So it was the Sunday morning of the 18 Aug 2010 that I travelled out to
Addo with great expectations but I also knew that luck would have to be
on my side.

Here are the pictures that I took that morning and I am very happy to
share them and that special moment with you. Enjoy the moment.



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More to come ....................

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


Last edited by RonnieL on Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Oh, just imagening this grande moment sent shivers down my spine and made my hair stand on end with excitement. What a wonderful moment it must have been for you to experience it yourself for real. :mrgreen:

Great photos again! :thumbs_up: Addo ellies are just so beautiful!

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
Image


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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:29 pm 
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Once the elephant had crossed the road he went straight to the prickly pear
and started eating this very spiny cactus plant

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There is more to come...........

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
Here is a video of the elephant crossing the Addo Heights Road from
the Main Camp into the Matyholweni area after the fence was removed.




After crossing the road the elephant headed straight for the prickly pear
and started eating the spiny cactus


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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:52 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
Flowers and Insects

With the resent rains that has fallen the park is full of flowers
and there are many insects actively busy on the flowers and
I find it most interesting watching them even though these
little critters are often overlooked with more focus on the larger
animals

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:11 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
Flowers

I spent the day in the park over the weekend.
Many of the flowers have come to the end of their season but there are
new ones coming into bloom now

The Spekboom are starting to bloom now and soon we will see
large splashes of color over the park from these very small flowers.
The spekboom grows in an abundance in the park and is loved by the
elephants and many of the animals forming large parts of their diet

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This is the flower of the prickly pear and soon there will be fruit and these will be eaten
by both animal and bird. It has a very nice fleshy fruit with a large number of small pips
in it so if you do eat some be warned to do so conservatively.

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This is the flower of the plumbago and can be found in the park. It is also planted in gardens and parks
A few years ago when I was walking in London (N6) I saw in a front garden a lovely trimmed hedge
of plumbago in blue and white variety. When I stood there to admire the hedge I felt proud to be
South African but then a bit of homesickness when my thoughts turned to Addo

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This is the mother-in-law's tongue loved by the elephants. Variations of this plant
can be found planted all over in gardens and pots, indoors and out

Image

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:14 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Quote:
Rangers recently found the skeleton and tusks of an elephant bull and after a bit of investigation and checking with the elephant researchers, realised it was the remains of Gaatjies.

Gaatjies was the oldest elephant bull in the park (born 1954) and one of the biggest Addo tuskers. He was the most dominant bull in the Park for over 20 years and would therefore be the father of many of the younger elephants in the Park today.

We believe he died of natural causes (old age).

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Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region


Gaatjies, meaning small holes, was truly a magnificent bull elephant

These are pics I took of him 20 Sep 2009 at the intersection (No 3)
of Woodlands and the road going up to Carols Rest

If you look at the bottom of his right ear you can see small holes in his ear, hence his name

Image



Here you can see the enormity of him as he dwarfs the game drive vehicle

Image



Reaching for something to eat

Image

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:58 am 
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Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
Again fabulous Ronnie :dance: :dance:

WOW, so close to the Elephant - cannot do that in Kruger :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:13 pm 
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I would have been scared like hell, if it had been me in that jeep! :shock:
Even with Addo ellies...

Thanks for sharing your pics from the deceased Gaatjies with us.
Obviously a real legend...

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:31 am 
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Thanks to Jungle Junkie and Lionspoon :thumbs_up:

I agree that was very close............. :big_eyes:

I was watching the gentleman sitting in the front left of the game drive vehicle, he was like a statue
He sat in that position motionless for some time long

Gaatjies was very big, he certainly would get my vote for one of the biggest Addo Bulls.
The introduced Kruger Bulls have bigger tusks, Addo Bulls do not have big tusks, but I feel that
he stood taller than them but in their defense they are younger than him

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:42 am 
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Location: Planning to be in kruger again.........
great pic ronnie and nice thread.
He mocks that game drive car :D

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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:01 pm 
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Location: East London, South Africa
RonnieL, Amazing photos and story of when Addo was a mere elephant camp. Thanks for the interesting posts. Please keep it up - We need to get "Amazing Addo" out there so more people can come and see out Eastern Cape gem. My SO and I will be there 3 days from 13 March and then another 2 days 23/24 March 2011. Can hardly wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:37 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
Thanks to all you guys :thumbs_up:

Delene I wish you a safe journey through our Eastern Cape from EL to PE
and a very pleasant stay at Addo. I do realize that it is still some time before you
come to Addo but time flies................................................fast

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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 Post subject: Re: Addo Park Experiences
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:51 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth RSA
The Cycle of Life

It is always with sadness when one learns of death, no matter what the circumstances, in the case of Gaatjies, old age.

Then again on the flipside it is with great joy and happiness when one learns of birth and the beginnings of new life.

The Park is full of new life at the moment. I spent the day out there on Saturday and there is evidence of this new life all over the Park. At the waterholes one can see the weaver birds busy building nests, swallows and swifts, many of which have migrated all the way from Europe, collecting mud to build nests. The calling of the different cuckoo birds, guinea fowl have paired off and are no longer in big flocks. Some chicks have already fledged their nests and one can see their parents busy feeding them, all this coinciding with the abundance of food at the moment, evidence of this the insects on my flower pics. When I was standing at one of the lookout points I heard the buzzing of bees and looked up and there they were, a nucleus swarm of bees flying overhead with their new young queen off to go and start on her own.

Many of the animals have also given birth to young and these can often be seen with their mothers in close attendance and responding to any alarm call of their mothers.

Here are some pics of the "little ones"

In this pic the Zebra in the foreground with Red Hartebeest in the background

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In this pic is a young Steenbok. ( I could not get her mother into the same frame)

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In this pic taken at Hapoor Dam on the same day I took the pics of Gaatjies
a very small baby elephant seeks the protection of its mother.
Could this be one of Gaatjies' last offspring?

And so The Cycle of Life continues..................

Image

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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