After our long day out - all the way to the South and back - the previous day, we decided to take it a bit slower on the Monday.
Still, we had some lovely sightings. Like most mornings - we awoke to a misty Addo. The bush actually looks quite lovely dressed in her misty garments...
So do some of the birds!
We decided to drive along the Mbabala loop - as this was the only loop we had not yet driven in the North. As we reached the higher Zuurkop area, the mist became a blanket lying only in the valleys.
The loop did not deliver much - but did show us a few early morning birdies - like this Fork-tailed Drongo (Mikstertbyvanger):
And this African Hoopoe (Afrikaanse Hoephoep):
So after this quiet loop, I convinced the hubby once again to go and do my favourite loop - the Gorah loop with Carols Rest.
And once again, this loop did not disappoint! There was a huge herd of buffalo. I always find it so difficult to take a picture that can truly portrait the size of such a herd - this is what I got though...
At Carols Rest - in the distance - a Secretary Bird (Sekretarisvoel) - not the best picture though...
Then, just after Carols Rest - one of my favourite sightings of the trip. A really young little red hartebeest. After a red hartebeest baby is born, the mother hides it for the first days of its life, and goes to it only to feed it through the day. Once the young one is strong enough to keep up with the herd, she would fetch it - and bring it to join the herd. And this is what we witnessed. This mother red hartebeest was bringing her baby to the herd for its first introduction to them!
Every now and then - she would stop, and check that the little one was still okay and keeping up
The dried out umbilical cord was still attached to its belly:
What a cute sighting. We did not follow him all the way to the herd - but I do hope he/she got a warm welcome!
On our way back to camp we saw these guys - the only type of raptor we saw during our trip - the Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk (Bleeksingvalk):
During our afternoon drive, we went by Hapoordam - where these little guys...
...were pestering this Crowned Lapwing (Kroonkiewiet) - who put up quite a performance!
That evening, we decided to go on a guided night drive. The drive left at 20:00 and returned at 22:00. What a treat! Unfortunately I have no (decent) pictures of anything - but I'll just give you a short summary of the drive.
Our guide was CK - and I was really impressed with him - very professional and also entertaining - with a great sense of humour!
He had a very good knowledge of the bush, the animals and Addo. He told us that when they originally brought lions to Addo, they believed that Addo had the capacity to carry 21 lions - because of the abundance of kudu and warthog in the park. But as it turned out - the lions soon got a taste of buff meat and became hooked! Soon the buffalo population in Addo (which is a naturally disease-free/TB-free population) became smaller!
This was not the plan! Clearly the lions had not read what they were allowed to choose from on the menu!
So they decided to decrease the number of lion in the park - and now there are only 10 lions in the entire Addo! (And we quickly calculated that we had personally thus seen 20% of the Addo lion population). The extra lions (I can't remember the count - but they were not 21 yet) were then taken to the Karoo National Park.
On our drive we saw lots of duikers, BBJ's, kudu, eland, ostriches, buffaloes, springhare, scrubhare, and 2 porcupines! If you are ever in Addo - do consider going on one of these night drives - they are really special - and you get to see all the lovely night animals Addo has to offer!