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 Post subject: PJL - Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth
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:yaya: Introductions

Hello and welcome to our Addo trip report! We'll be visiting the park from Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November... if you're going to be in the park during that time, send me a PM and we'll look out for you! :thumbs_up:

So how about some introductions? Joining me on this weekend adventure will be my wife S, our two kids H (2 years old) and D (9 months old), as well as Granny and Grandpa who are visiting from the UK. Granny, Grandpa, S and I have been to Addo quite a few times before, but this will be the first time for the kids... and we're hoping that they enjoy the place as much as we do!

One of the plans for the weekend is to try out a live section of this trip report. With 2 small kids along for the ride, who both enjoy trying to press laptop buttons when they shouldn't, I've ruled out the idea of attempting to do a live trip report for the whole weekend. But if all goes to plan, Saturday morning's report will be coming live from our car as we explore Addo :dance:

Apart from the Saturday morning's game viewing, I'll post news and photos from our other drives when we're back at the main camp.

I suppose the whole concept of a live report (and posting news at the main camp) depends a bit on the GPRS signal within the park. From what we've been able to find out so far, there should be reception throughout the park. However, if nothing appears on this thread from us over the weekend then we're struggling to hold a data signal... the concept didn't work :doh: ... and I'll write up a full report when we're back home!

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:55 am 
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Some Technical Info :shock:

I know for most of you this is probably a bit boring and irrelevant, but for others hoping to try live reports in the future or who have a great interest in technology, here's a bit more info on how the live section of the trip is going to work... assuming of course that the data signal in the park works ok.

I'll be taking photos with a Canon EOS 40D, directly attached to my laptop - the images get stored automatically onto the flash drive in the camera and also to my laptop hard drive. To save time, I'll be taking the images in JPEG format rather than RAW, and running batch conversions on them using Adobe Photoshop CS2. The conversions do some resizing and copyright stamping on the images, and will also remove the exif tags in order to keep their size to a minimum.

When the photos are ready, I'll connect to the internet using my phone via bluetooth. I've created a utility that uploads the photos directly to my server in the US... then all I have to do is hop on to the sanparks forum (images disabled in the browser) and link to them on this thread.

Once I'm back home after the trip, I'll replace the images with higher resolution versions complete with exif tags - I use this information in the photo feed on my website.

At a guess, I'd say that with a good data signal the photos in the live section of the TR will be posted within about 10mins of being taken... I don't think you can get much more live than that :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:37 pm 
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Bookings Confirmed

Granny and Grandpa arrived safely from the UK yesterday. Little D was fascinated to see them - he was only 10 weeks old when he last saw them. H thoroughly enjoyed playing with them again, and can't wait to 'go see buck!' tomorrow! :dance:

Granny has booked an afternoon horse ride for Saturday, and we've also booked for three of us to go on a guided night drive tomorrow (Fri) night. Apparently it will set off at 7:30pm so it'll be getting quite dark by then :D I can't wait to see what we find!... one thought in the back of my mind is that if we find any lion it might give us a good pointer for where to look again on Saturday morning...

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:36 am 
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Well it's a lovely morning for a trip to Addo... sunny and warm :D

All packed up now and about to set off. Going to head to the south entrance then drive through the park to our accommodation at the main camp. I'll be checking on the GPRS signal as we drive through, and will hopefully let you all know what it's like later today.

Watch this space.... :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Sitting on the deck

Well here we are. Sitting on the deck outside our chalet watching a big herd of kudu browsing through the bushes in front of us. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly we got to the south entrance, and whilst there wasn't much game in the south section of the park (we only saw a heron, some dung beetles and some red hartebeest), it made for a relaxing drive.

No sooner had we got into the main section of the park than we saw 3 male buffalo. Great start!! :D

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Other than the obligatory kudu and tortoise, the park seemed very quiet.

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After checking in at the main reception and settling ourselves in, we (well some of the brave amongst us) went for a swim. :big_eyes: The water was fresh, and I suppose about the same temp as it'll be tonight on the night drive :D

We managed to squeeze a small drive in this afternoon but again didn't see very much. The big herds of elephant seem to have disappeared for the day, so all we really saw was the kudu, tortoise and fortunately a lone elephant.

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Lets hope for some more activity on the night drive tonight!! :mrgreen:
Oh and yes, the GPRS signal seems to be working quite well... better go braai now.

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Night Drive

Night drives are always fun, even if it's a bit chilly! Saw plenty of kudu again, scrub hare, spring hare, BBJ, ostrich, elephant, duiker, eland and a fleeting view of a caracal :dance:

Night photography is also a fun challenge... the caracal disappeared so quickly I hadn't even reached to turn my camera on! But here are a couple of other shots...

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Our sightings list so far is looking something like this:

Red Hartebeest, Warthog, BBJ, Ostrich, Elephant, Buffalo, Caracal, Spring Hare, Scrub Hare, Kudu, Tortoise, Duiker, Eland, Grey Mongoose, and of course the Flightless Dung Beetle!

Tomorrow morning we'll be grabbing plenty of :lotsocoffee: and heading out early for the live report. Who's going to join us?

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:03 am 
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LIVE!!

Arriving at the main entrance... quite light already but let's hope we see some of the more nocturnal animals

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:20 am 
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LIVE

Heading up to Carols Rest. Kudu, scrub hare, ostrich and eland so far...

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:56 am 
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LIVE

Carols Rest was flooded with kudu, but they've dispersed into the bushes quite a bit. Round the corner there were some buffalo nice and close

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When we came back to the waterhole there were some Red Hartebeest close to the road and some zebra came down to drink

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Nice to see the zebra so close... normally they're quite shy here

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:13 am 
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Poor little D has been moaning all morning... little guy is teething and wants to sleep more. Hopefully he'll fall asleep soon rather than scaring all the animals away :lol:

Little H is proving to be very good at spotting ostrich. She's just seen another one!

Saw some eles in the bush but too far away to photograph. Heading in the general direction of Harpoor now... watch this space :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:29 am 
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Little D is sleeping :D

Also got our first closer view of elephant

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Went up over Zuurkop to see if we could see the lion that were there yesterday. Apparently about 3pm Aardlam and her cubs turned up and sat next to the sign saying 'beware of lion' :lol: :lol:

No sign of them today though... this certainly isn't a lion...

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:37 am 
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Finally seen some warthog! I think they must have been culled recently or the lion have been busy! It used to be kudu and warthog round every corner, whereas now I'd say tortoise have taken the warthog's spot

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:00 am 
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Not much happening at Harpoor. A few warthog, some ducks and terrapin around the water. Plus a yellow mongoose digging around

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:02 am 
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Just a terrapin at Spekboom, then a few eles in the distance as we went past Harpoor again. The park seems strangely quiet. Heading back to camp now for some more coffee and toast :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Live From Addo
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:16 am 
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On the road from Harpoor we just came across an elephant mother with her calf... lovely close encounter :dance: :dance:

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