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 Post subject: Caracal-Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo-September 2008
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:00 pm 
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First of all I think you all have Annalie to thank for this trip report !!!!
See here
So no more promises..no more delays...herewith my trip report.
:D
Myself , Joyce and Debbie ( my English visitors ) arrived in Addo on the 17 Sept. We saw a creature with a very long nose, a creature with a funny horn sticking out of the top of his snout and a very scary looking creature that had a long thin tongue flicking in and out of his mouth. I was so scared of these creatures that I was unable to take photos of them. My fingers were also so cold that I was unable to make notes. But we had a wonderful time and left again on the 20th.
I hope you enjoyed my trip report.............. :D :D :D :thumbs_up:

I will do my November trip report tomorrow evening...I won't promise though..because that gets me into trouble !!!!!!! :twisted:

:whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Right, let me start at the beginning.
For real this time !!!!! :lol:
Joyce and her daughter, Debbie decided pretty much on the spur of the moment to come out to visit us in South Africa. Some of you might remember Joyce (my late Mom’s cousin ) from the The Story of the Kalahari Girls. When I asked her if she would like to go to Addo again she very enthusiastically agreed. :clap: Debbie had never been to South Africa before and she was also very keen to visit Addo .
It didn’t take me long to get the trip booked (it never does ! :lol: )
Wilderness National Park 16 Sept
Addo 17- 19 September
Wilderness 20 Sept.

16 September

We planned a leisurely drive to Wilderness…many smoke breaks and shopping sprees were the order of the day. It had been really miserable weather in Cape Town and I was hoping to drive out of it ….but no such luck. :twisted: We arrived in Wilderness with a bit of time to relax and enjoy our surroundings before we went off to George to visit the family. The check in process was very quick, friendly and efficient :clap: and after watching the busy Cape Weavers building their nests in the trees just outside the reception we headed off to our family chalet. What an awesome chalet :lol: …equipped with TV (not that it ever got switched on)stove, microwave, 2 bathrooms…and a balcony with a view of note ! We were very happy travelers indeed. I spent my high school years in George and whenever I am in Wilderness I have to go off for a walk and reminisce. I left my camera’s behind…it was pretty awful weather. :twisted: I got back rather windswept but refreshed. Every time I go to Wilderness I vow that on the next trip I will spend more time in the camp because it really is a birder’s paradise. But it never seems to happen. :roll: It also irritates me when I realize that I spent so many weekends during my high school years along this river and never noticed the birds! Not sure where my head was in those days !!!!
I tried to get a few photos when I got back but the weather was miserable and the light was terrible. It even rained at one stage.

Image The view from our chalet

Image A forked tailed drongo huddled up against the cold !

We spent a pleasant evening in George visiting the family. It poured with rain on the way back (George’s weather has not changed much :shock: ) but driving back into camp my headlights picked up a small antelope. :clap: I am not 100% sure what it was but I would place my bet on a grysbok. It was rather chilly and after sorting out a few hot water bottles we all hit the sack.
My thoughts that night…so far so good. Again I was doing what I love doing…..gallivanting to the Parks armed with my cameras. :dance: Joyce and Debbie were having a wonderful time :D …even though the South African sunshine that they had been looking forward to had not yet materialised :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Thank you everybody ......in all fairness I did not get notification that this thread had been updated. So I was blissfully unaware that you are all waiting for more ...I suppose that goes down as an excuse in Dreamer's book :roll:

But anyway..here is a little bit more for you !

17 September

We left Wilderness as planned at 9h00 in the morning. We had spent a pleasant hour or so on the balcony with our morning coffee but it wasn’t too hard to leave though because the weather was miserable. :cry: I was hoping yet again that I would drive out of this miserable weather. Our plan was to stop for lunch at the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary and to stock up with groceries at the Pick ‘n Pay in Plettenberg Bay. Collecting a speeding fine going into Plett was not part of my plan but I did it anyway :naughty: …who in their right minds trap on a downhill :evil: :twisted: The weather cleared up after all and apart from major roadworks that cost us an awful amount of time we had a pleasant journey. At last I reached the turn off to Addo. I took the turn off that takes one through Motherwell…never again will I take that route. :evil: Yes, I know you advised me not to go that way, Warthogb….. but I didn’t listen did I now? :doh: I will in future. It really is a bad road…potholes deluxe and as for all the sheep and goats on the road. :roll: :roll: :roll:
There was such a long queue at reception that it took us a fair amount of time to check in. By the time we had unpacked and settled into our chalet there was not much time to go out on a drive. The wind was howling and sitting out on the balcony was rather unpleasant so we moved the table inside and proceeded to have sundowners inside instead!!! :thumbs_up:
Debbie cooked up a storm for supper…delicious chicken and veg !! Thanks Deb..always happy when I do not have to do the cooking ! :D
After supper I bundled everybody into the car and we went down to the waterhole.
The wind had dropped somewhat but strangely enough we were the only people at the waterhole. All was quiet …not a bird, not a jackal..nothing! :cry: Just as I was thinking it was time to call it a night I saw some movement in the bushes. :whistle: A quick look through the binos confirmed my suspicions…oh yes two rhino moving towards the waterhole. :dance:
Joyce was so excited…she had not seen rhino on our last visit to Addo. They did not stay there for long though….they seemed restless and did not venture to the waterhole to drink at all. :hmz: I scanned the bushes but I could see nothing else. I couldn’t help but think that there was something out there that was upsetting the rhino. The rhino left like ghosts in the night.

We made our way back to the chalet . I had been a bit disappointed that we had not had time to go out on a drive when we arrived but this sighting at the waterhole made up for it. :clap: It was time to call it a night. I was busy making up my sleeper couch for the night when I heard it…the awesome guttural roar of a lion. :shock: I spun around to look at Joyce who was already in bed and we both said “ lion “. :dance: Of course I flew outside with the spotlight but I could see absolutely nothing. I went back inside to ask Debbie who was in the bath if she had heard the lion. She had not and was very disappointed. :cry: We then sat on the balcony for a while but we did not hear the lion again. We eventually gave up and went inside. My turn in the bath…and yes Murphy’s law…I heard the lion again. I yelled to Debbie to go out and look for him with the spotlight but I think she was a bit nervous to do so. :D
All was quiet….I had one last look outside and finally decided it was time to go to bed.
We settled down, switched off the lights and I suddenly became aware of how tired I was .
Sleep should come quickly…but…no…..it was not to be. :big_eyes:
We heard the unmistakable laugh of a hyena. It was really close. I am sure that if I could have seen Joyce and Debbie’s eyes they would have been like saucers. :shock: The next minute we heard screaming jackals followed by the roar of a lion. :dance: Yet again I flew out of bed armed with the spotlight …but I could not see the culprits. But one thing was for sure they were very close by! Eventually I gave up and went back inside……there was one hang of a party going on out there…and we had not been invited. :evil: This laughing, screaming and roaring went on for ages….I presumed they were all arguing over a kill. I guessed this is why the rhino were not too eager to show themselves at the waterhole…they could probably sense that the lions were close by.
In all my visits to Addo I had never heard the lions roaring in the camp……what an evening it had been !!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:43 pm 
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18 September

For once I managed to get up without too much effort . The reason …I was cold !!! :twisted: The temperature had plummeted somewhere in the early hours of the morning! :shock:
Unfortunately we had to move accommodation that day so we had to pack up everything before we could go on our drive.
At last we drove through the gates . Debbie was really excited….at last she was on “Safari in Africa. ‘ First up was …a warthog!!!! There are hordes of ‘piggies’ in the park but this was Debbie’s first ever sighting of a warthog. So we duly stopped to take their photos.

Image

We moved on to Domkrag Dam …I rather like this viewpoint where one can get out and admire the view but I was quite shocked to see that there were no animals at the dam. The surrounding veld was drier than I had ever seen it before. One normally sees zebra or red hartebeest or at least a few warthog but nothing. There were a couple of Egyptian Geese swimming in the dam.

Image Debbie scouring the veld for signs of life.
Image You must know there is not much to see when I start taking photos of Cape Sparrows and

Image Cape Weavers. :roll:

The wind was howling…and it was one of those freezing cold winds that go right through you ! We did not last long outside. We moved off in the direction of Hapoor. Here I was hoping we would have some elephant action. En route we drove past Gwarrie Dam and Rooidam. Gwarrie Dam had a healthy amount of water in it but Rooidam was bone dry. :shock: It was hard to imagine that there had ever been any water at Rooidam. Apart from seeing a few kudu and warthogs it was a rather quiet drive to Hapoor. There were couple of cars at Hapoor but no elephants. :twisted: Apparently we had just missed a rather large herd. :roll: There was plenty of other life at Hapoor though :D …..red hartebeest , kudu in the distance and a quite a lot of egrets and ibises. I noticed a group of ibises and egrets that seemed very interested in something ….and I almost fell out of my Jeep when I noticed what they were interested in. :shock:
(Now Dreamer if you are reading my report this is where you must close your eyes and jump to the next paragraph)

This is what the birds were so fascinated in…

Image yes a rock/water monitor !!!
Not a very good photograph but it will give you the general idea. The monitor strutted towards us… with such attitude. It was very difficult to get photos so I grabbed the video camera. He actually got so close to the car that I had to give the video camera to Debbie because I could no longer see him. Debbie had a very quick crash course on using a video camera. Well done Debs !

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=5n7 ... 0ACw%3D%3D

He then moved past the front of my car and I managed to get a bit more of him on camera .

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=5n7 ... EPZQ%3D%3D

What an awesome sighting this was !!! :D
Debbie's eyes were out on stalks....I can just remember her muttering something about .."prehistoric monster" :shock:
Before long I happened to look out of the back window and oh yes the elephants were on their way to waterhole. :dance: Big ones, medium ones and small ones. They were moving at quite a rapid rate with ears flapping and trunks swishing from side to side. They were obviously very excited about getting to the waterhole. As they approached Debbie was getting a bit nervous…but I reassured her that all’s they were interested in was the waterhole and as long as we did not block their path to the waterhole all would be fine. One did look like it was going to bash into my Jeep but he made a quick detour at the last minute.

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=HnF ... DrnA%3D%3D

We spent a long while watching the antics of the ellies. More arrived from the opposite direction. I really enjoy watching how the separate groups of ellies greet each other.

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=YH7 ... EVcA%3D%3D

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Eventually we had to leave though….tummies were grumbling. We decided to go back the way we had come ..past Rooidam and Gwarrie Dam. No sooner had we got to the top of the rise when Joyce noticed the ( close your eyes Dreamer) rock monitor again.
He was ambling along the side of the road. This I time I managed to get a photo or two.

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=5n7 ... zcQA%3D%3D

Image

Image

Image

By the way I am not actually sure which monitor this is..both are found in Addo. I tend to think it was a rock monitor though.
The rest of the drive was quite uneventful…kudu, warthogs, hartebeest and tortoises. I have noticed this tortoise with a damaged shell a few times now. He always seems to be on the same corner.

Image

When I told my SO this he grumbled something about that I am obviously visiting the park too often if I am recognising the tortoises . :roll: :roll: :roll: I just laughed !!! :D :D

When we got back to camp we had to check into our next lot of accommodation….Joyce and Debbie in a rondawel and myself in a safari tent.
The rondawels have an awesome view of the waterhole but in inclement weather they are very cramped. It was very windy, and a cold wind at that, so it was very unpleasant sitting outside. The inside of the rondawel is pretty small…no room to move the table inside. So we decided that lunch at the restaurant was a much better idea. :clap: It seemed like everybody in camp had the same idea….the restaurant was packed but the food was good and the service surprisingly quick. :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:28 pm 
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p@m wrote:
Great stuff. Caracal -- love your video's :clap: :clap:

(what does dreamer have against monitors ?)


Thanks p@m :D
Dreamer is very very scared of monitors :shock: :shock: and I do want to put her off reading my report :D :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:07 pm 
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annalie wrote:
Caracal wrote:
Dreamer is very very scared of monitors :shock: :shock: and I do want to put her off reading my report :D :wink:


Shame on you Caracal :lol: :wink:

Thank you for yet another lovely instalment ... from piggies to prehistoric animals :dance: Seems like Addo was smiling down on you :hmz:


Ooops sorry...I meant to say I do not want to put her off.......I left a not out !!!!

Sorry Dreamer !!!!
Pleasure Annalie :thumbs_up: ..you see I am being true to my word....I am completing my trip report !
:D


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:21 pm 
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and just a little more to end off the weekend...

18 September ( cont)

By the time we had finished lunch we did not really have time to go out for a drive as we had arranged to meet WarthogB and his SO, Gaël. Joyce needed to have some dressings on her legs changed and Gaël had very kindly offered to do this for me. Thank you so much Gaël ..you are an absolute star !!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

After the dressings were done we sat on the balcony chatting. It was a bit cramped with 5 of us but the wind had dropped and it was rather pleasant. Just as it got dark one of us noticed movement at the waterhole (sorry I cannot remember who it was) What we first thought was warthog ended being the rhino and it’s baby. :dance: They walked up to edge of the waterhole and mom rhino started drinking. The reflection of the rhino in water was really beautiful. Gaël was quite adamant that I should take a photo. I did have my camera with me but I explained to her that I would need my tripod to take a decent photo. My tripod was in the car and I reckoned that the rhino would have moved on by the time I had got the tripod. Gaël suggested that I should use WarthogB’s head as a tripod. :shock: I didn’t think that would work too well :) (my canon 40D with the canon 70-200mm lens is not the lighest of equipment !!!) but I did try to use his shoulder. But I could just see that all the photos were out of focus. :evil: WarthogB eventually decided to go and fetch my tripod for me and the rhino kindly waited for him to get back before they started moving away. I did mange to get some shots in though :clap: …but I must admit I have plenty to learn when it comes to floodlight waterhole photography !!!! :hmz:

Image This is the best I could manage..cropped and photoshopped :roll: :roll:

Soon the wind came up and it started to get unpleasant again. It was time to call it a night. After having a quick sandwich for supper I made my way down to my safari tent.
The plan was to get up early the next morning and be at the gate as it opened. As I explained to Joyce and Debbie… early risers catch the predators !!!
It was pretty chilly by the time I got down to my safari tent….so I made use of the extra blankets of the other bed…the joys of having the tent to oneself !!! :dance:
I lay in bed listening to the jackals screaming but there was no sound from either the lions or the hyenas. :cry: I did hear a strange noise at about 2h30 in the morning so out I was with the spotlight….just ellies munching and crunching the trees outside my tent. It was far too cold to stand out there watching them so I went back to bed. Yet again I heard strange noises but I put my head under the pillow to try and get back to sleep…it was tooo cold out there so I forced myself not to be so inquisitive. I needed to sleep ….I needed to be up early the next morning !


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:12 pm 
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19 September

Oh my goodness me did it take me a while to get up!!! :roll: I was frozen solid. :shock: It took me a while to realize that I was actually in Addo…I thought I was in the South Pole it was so flippen cold ! :evil: But get up I did..I had to...we were off on a predator hunt. :dance:
Joyce and Debbie were ready and waiting for me….Joyce had already being keeping an eye on the waterhole .

Well we were pretty much first out of the gate :clap: but I am going to cut a very long story short….I went via Domkrag Dam to Hapoor..nothing !!
Except a for a Kudu.

Image

Image he seemed to be losing his fur in patches..and he had quite a few ticks. Shame :cry:

From Hapoor all the way to the southern exit and back again…nothing! I mean nothing..not a piggy ..not an elephant. :evil: Just at the turn off to Kadouw lookout we came across some ellies playing in the road. At one stage they were getting a bit close to my car :shock: so I had to reverse…..but eventually they moved off and we could continue with our fruitless search for the predators. :roll:

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=YH7 ... c1jw%3D%3D

We stopped at Zuurkop for coffee…but it was freezing. :big_eyes:

Image does Debs look cold or what ????

Image Lions ..what lions? If Debs and Joyce had not heard them roaring back at camp I think they would have been doubting their existence by now !
I scoured the area with the binos. I eventually saw a herd of buffalo in the distance. It was the only buffalo that we saw on that trip. :shock: Eventually the cold wind forced us back into the car. I made my way to Carol’s Rest…something had to be there. Well there was…these two tattered and windswept ostriches !!!

Image. The white bits and pieces that you can see behind the ostriches are the remains of a elephant carcass...apparently there was a fight between two bull elephants..one lost :(
And another ostrich just around the corner…

Image He had a bright red beak and bright red legs....obviously on the look out for a girlfriend! :wink:

I then opted to take the Gorah Loop ..I added a 4 x 4 trail to Debbie and Joyce’s list of experiences in SA….the road was full of potholes and ruts. It made for some interesting driving :shock: …but animal viewing was nil. :evil:

Just after completing the Gorah Loop I turned right to get onto the road that comes back down from Carol’s Rest. It was along this road that I saw a red hartebeest….lying down fairly close to the road. Strangely enough it did not get up and run like they normally do so I stopped and reversed…at least this would be a good photographic opportunity… :dance: probably the first one of the day.

Instead it turned out to be my most embarrassing moment ever in the park………..
:redface: :redface: :redface:

to be continued .... :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:09 pm 
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Thank you very much Emily86, Dotty, p@m, annalie, Munchkin and Lp..for your lovely comments and compliments :D

@ WarthogB...yes of course you are waiting....if it wasn't for you I would skip the following bit :whistle: but I just know you would have a field day !!!!! :evil:

and without much ado herewith...

:redface: My Most Embarrassing Moment in a Park :redface:

drum roll !!!

As I said ...this was going to be a really good photographic opportunity. I reversed and positioned myself right opposite the hartebeest. I asked Joyce just to lean back a little so that I could photograph the hartebeest through the window when I suddenly saw the hartebeest’s abdomen area contracting.” Oh my goodness ..it is giving birth,” I yelled. No wonder it didn’t get up and run away…it couldn’t it was in labour. The hartebeest had a few contractions and then stopped for about a 10 min period...and then more contractions. And so it went on....
I was excited about this...it made up for the really quiet drive that we had experienced that morning. :clap: We had the best view ever of this hartebeest and I was not moving for love or money. A car approached us from the opposite direction and pulled up alongside me. “A hartebeest giving birth, “said I smugly. :dance: He pulled in behind me. Joyce and Debbie had the binos and I grabbed my video camera. I reckoned that this was going to take a little while so I decided to phone Warthogb and tell him. They were in camp so it would not take them too long to get there…hurry was my earnest appeal. This was going to be one awesome sighting. Now you must all remember that I have watched a springbok and a blue wildebeest give birth in the KTP. I have also watched a bontebok give birth at our holiday house. I reckoned that we had at least an hour before this hartebeest gave birth. Debbie and Joyce both assured me that they were well fed and well watered and were quite happy to sit there for the next hour or so.

It was while I was filming the hartebeest that I suddenly noticed that something was protruding from somewhere where it should not have been protruding if it was giving birth :shock: …..and then it moved one of it’s hind legs…..oh horrors :big_eyes: …I suddenly realized that I was not watching a female give birth but a male :doh: ... that was seriously constipated……. :redface: :redface: :redface:

Now before you all laugh your heads off…just watch the video carefully and tell me what you would have thought in that situation…bearing in mind that both male and female hartebeest have horns.

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=YH7 ... SSyA%3D%3D.

Well we first had a giggle over this little mistaken identification..but then the seriousness of this situation hit me…..this poor hartebeest was in trouble…he was really really constipated. Judging by the size of his distended stomach…..he hadn’t been able to do what he needed to do for a very long time. The poor creature seemed to be in agony.

Image Note the distended stomach.
I then thought I had better phone Warthogb and warn him of the mistaken identity…well did he laugh. :twisted: The more I tried to explain to him that it was no laughing matter the more he laughed. :tongue: I suddenly realized that we had a forum meet that night…oh my goodness ..did WarthogB have a story to tell. He insisted on coming out to take a look though but the hartebees suddenly stood up and walked away before he got there.

Image
The following is a cropped version of the photo above ..for those that would like a closer look.
Image

By the time WarthogB had arrived the hartebeest had walked over the hill. I did not think the hartebeest seemed as stressed walking away as he had seemed lying down.....
Of course WarthogB had a wonderful time ragging me :sniper: According to him not only did I not know the difference between a male and female hartebeest I also had a vivid imagination because there was no hartebeest there to prove my story...

BUT now WarthogB...look at the video and you tell me what your first thought on that hartebeest would have been..... :tongue: :wink:
:evil: :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:43 pm 
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@ Dreamer...i am so pleased you have finally realised why i have to keep going off to the Parks....to keep you entertained :dance:
@ Annalie..you will definitely read the end of this trip report before I go to KTP...that is a PROMISE !!! :lol:
@ thanks for your comments and compliments MM and Spotted Cat... :D :D :D
@ Mashona.... :sniper: . Careful , my friend....you may end up in my swimming pool at the next meet...accidently on purpose !!!! :D

And a little bit more...oh this Silly Season really does interfere with report writing !!!! :twisted:

19 September ( cont)

After all this hartebeest excitement was over we headed back to camp. Some lunch was in order and Debbie needed a quick look around the shop. Later on in the afternoon we went out for a short drive. It was our last drive and it must go down as one of the quietest drives that I have ever been on in Addo. :evil: I did not even take one photograph. :twisted: :twisted: I must admit that I was feeling a bit cheated on the way back to camp…..we had not seen hyenas or lions. I think Debbie was also a bit disappointed that we had not see the lions….but I consoled her by saying that she will just have to come back to Addo again….it was as simple as that. :D
At least we had a meet to look forward to…that is always in a highlight in my book !!! :thumbs_up:
Warthogb had organised for us to braai in the lapa area…and yet again Gaël made the most scrumptious salads….thank you Gaël !!! A wonderful evening was had chatting to Dinkybird and Hawk, Lirritma and his son as well as Lucius Moolman. Before I knew it the evening came to an end. :cry: One or two pics that Lirritma took can be seen here
Thanks Lirritma :clap: ….but did you have catch me chewing the cud !!! :roll:
Thanks again WarthogB for organizing the meet…you do it so well !!!! :clap:

I helped Joyce and Debbie back to their rondawel and after packing up at the lapa I decided to go off to the waterhole. I was sitting there quietly comtemplating the lack of activity on the afternoon drive when all of a sudden I noticed that the rhino and her baby had put in an appearance. :D Well that cheered me up somewhat….. I spent about half an hour watching them and listening to the night sounds. A blacksmith plover was running to and fro and making a big noise…for which reason I have no idea ! I suddenly realised that the temperature had dropped and I was beginning to get really cold. :shock: It was time to call it a night so off I went to my safari tent. I realized it was way colder than the previous night so this time I piled all 4 blankets and 2 duvets on my bed…I was not taking any chances.
I ignored all the noises that I could hear outside….it was far too cold to investigate.
Before long I must have drifted off to sleep…but the excitement for the night was not yet over! I woke up with a start :shock: ..not really knowing what had woken me up…and then I heard a familiar sound again…lions roaring. :dance: Well I was outside again .. armed with the spotlight and wrapped up a blanket ( must have been a very funny sight indeed).
While standing on the balcony I heard the lions again. I then realized that the lions were quite far away so it was pointless standing on the balcony freezing so I went back to bed. The lions roared for a while longer but then the silence of the night returned.
Oh well...we had not seen the lions :roll: ….but at least we had heard them !!! :D

( to be continued)


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 Post subject: Re: Three Freezing Cold Days In Addo
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
@ Annalie
Quote:
Looking forward to the next episode of this trip report



At last Annalie ...the last and final episode!!!

@p@m...thanks :thumbs_up:


20th September
I woke up in quite a grumpy mood :evil: … some how or other the cold had seeped through all those blankets and duvets. :roll: Getting up, packing up and leaving the park was not high on my list of priorities but it was something that had to be done….unfortunately. :twisted: I was still miffed that the lions had made their presence heard but had not shown themselves. I thought a cup of tea would put me in a better mood…at least thaw me out somewhat. This is when I discovered that there was a heater in the tent..I just stood and gawped at it. I couldn’t believe that I had spent two nights freezing in that tent and there was a heater in it….quite hidden behind the fridge. It was pointless putting it on ..I had to get ready to leave. I sulked my way through my tea and soon I was up at the rondawel collecting Debbie and Joyce. Then back down to the caravan park to say good bye to WarthogB and Gaël….but WarthogB was meandering around somewhere so I told Gaël that I would go fill up and then come back to say good bye. I was anxious to hit the road. We were spending the night at Wilderness en route to Cape Town and I wanted to be there with a bit of time to enjoy the birds and maybe get a decent photo or two.
As I was filling up I received a phone call from Mashona in Cape Town telling me that Lirritma had found the lions :whistle: just before the southern gate and that I should get there quickly. I am about to leave the park I wailed :evil: …then Lirritma phoned me and then WarthogB phoned me….Oh my goodness I didn’t know what to do. :shock: I went back down to the caravan park to say my good byes and WarthogB said that they were going to see the lions …hopefully the lions would still be there. This was just too much for me to bear…so I looked and Joyce and Debbie and said that we could go to…. but it would mean exiting the park through the southern gate and taking a while longer to get to Wilderness….but their looks on their faces said it all :dance: ….what is a plan if it cannot be changed. Off we went... with WarthogB and Gaël following a few minutes later.
I did not stop for any other sightings…..we drove straight to the lions and it seems so did every other car in Addo. :shock: What a traffic jam. :big_eyes: There were two lionesses lying next to the side of the road….the rest had disappeared into the bushes. One by one the cars slowly drove past the lionesses. I drove slowly past and then decided to go past all the cars and turn around and drive past them again. This time I managed to get a spot to park. We managed to get one or two photos before they got up and moved.

Image Debbie's photo. I think these two lionesses were Gina and Kamqua.

Image Gina ??

Image Close up of Gina

Image Kamqua ??

One of the lionesses walked behind my car and we thought she was going into the bushes. But she changed her mind and walked right past Joyce’s wide open window. Well Joyce just grabbed my arm…her face was a picture. :D With that the lionesses moved off into the bushes. It seemed like they were looking for cubs…..eventually they walked up the hill and settled behind a bush.

View My Video
View My Video

If we had been 15 minutes later we would have missed them…..thank you Lirritma for letting us know about the lions. :dance: With that we bade WarthogB and Gaël yet another farewell… I was now happy to leave the park. We had seen the lions…again the trip had been saved at the very last minute. :dance:
We had an uneventful drive to Wilderness but true to form it was raining :cry: so once again I was not able to play with my camera and the birds. We spent a pleasant evening with the family in George telling them about our exciting stay in Addo.
The next morning found us on our way back to Cape Town with another successful and exciting trip to Addo to add to my memories.
:thumbs_up:


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