Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Bushbuddies Ellies & Otters - Addo & Stormsrivermouth Mar 11
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:44 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
This is the tale of two weary city-dwellers from Gauteng. They had been working hard for a long time, and needed to get a break from it all. "Where to go?" they wondered. "Bush" came the first thought. You see - our two city-dwellers were great friends of the bush. They had such great love for the bush, that they were even known as the Bushbuddies by some.

"But," the one bushbuddy thought "the bush can sometimes get a bit tiresome for two city-dwellers. Getting up early, driving far distances - one doesn't allways get all the physical rest one needs." "So let's go to the beach" the other bushbuddy replied. They liked the beach too, but they LOVED the bush. They were missing the bush...

Then they got a brilliant idea - "Let's do a bush and beach holiday!" So off they went to their laptop in search of accomodation - SANParks.org had it all. Soon the holiday was booked:

Fly down to PE 18/3/2011, Sleep in Addo 18/3/2011 untill 23/3/2011 and in Stormsrivermouth from 24/3/2011 to 27/3/2011. (Sleeping over at family in J-Bay on 23/3/2011 - one should do one's family duties...)

And that, my dear friends, is how the story of Ellies and Otters begin - a story of a lovely holiday filled with adventure and rest, excitement and relaxation - all set in the lovely SANParks - Addo and Stormsriver Mouth.

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:14 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
We flew down to PE on the Friday morning - the 18th of March. And got the best 4x4 one can get - a rental car! In our case - this was a Hyundai Atos. We did not have a lot of space for the luggage, but otherwise - no problems!

PE was quite overcast, but no rain. After buying food for our 5 nights in Addo we headed up towards the main gate close to Addo camp. On the way - we met "the rain". "The rain" is being expressed in inverted comma's because this is the rain that apparently got Addo in the news that evening. The area around Addo was soaking WET! Certain areas on the citrus farms in the area were actually flooded. :shock: We decided it had to have been raining for some time...

We entered the gate - no problem. But between the gate and the camp is a little "dip". This "dip" had a small river flowing through it now - which was never there before. Would the Atos 4x4 master this little river? Luckily a REAL 4x4 arrived just behind us - and we decided to let it go first and see how deep this river really was... And the real 4x4 went through without any problem! And off we went - and on towards our holiday. Leaving the rest of the world behind the little river.

After chatting to some of the staff - we heard that it had not, in fact, been raining for many days - but only since that morning 3am! Later I heard it had rained in excess of 130mm in that one day! Addo was WET, WET, WET!

The wetness did not get our spirits down. We headed out for an afternoon drive.

It did, unfortunatly, seem that the wetness did have an effect on the animal behaviour in Addo. Those that know Addo would understand if I say that you must know how bad it is when you start getting excited about seeing a kudu!

Image

There were some that were happy about the rain. The birds got a goot helping of some flying termites that came out.

Image

This Three-banded Plover (Driebandstrandkiewiet) also came out to enjoy the wetness - but only gave me a bum-shot!

Image

These guys also seemed to enjoy the wetness - probably helped to rehydrate some of the older dryer heaps...

Image

This piggy also came out to give us a good show of his teeth (pretty big if you ask me...)

Image

After an afternoon filled with wetness all around, but dryness in terms of sightings - we went back to our Forrest Hut only to find that making dinner would be a challenge...

Image

And sitting down to eat it might also not be too pleasant...

Image

...so we decided to try out Addo's restaurant. After a lovely meal - we went back for a lovely, peaceful night's rest in the heart of the bush. And just before nodding off - thanking God for the lovely rains refreshing the bush, but also asking Him if it would be okay if it stopped a bit for our trip... :pray:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:23 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
The next morning we got up early to try and reach the gate at gate opening time. Looking out the window - it was still raining... :( Luckily it had calmed down a bit - and was more of a drizzle now. There was hope!

We headed down via Rooidam toward Hapoordam. Our first sighting - another Kudu bull with magnificent horns - covered in MUD! This guy also seemed to have a tumour or something on his right jaw...

Image

Next up was this guy - looking quite under the weather...

Image

The road down to Rooidam was quite uneventful. But a little distance down on the dirt road towards Hapoordam - we spotted them - our first Ellies! :dance:

We got up to just behind them and waited patiently for them to move on. All they gave us - were bumshots!

Image

Eventually I could get one close up:

Image

Next up was another commoner in Addo - a Black Backed Jackal.

Image

Further on we had some other piggies - trying to show that they can also become "tuskers". (Maybe I should post this guy on Aat's thread - and see what he thinks :twisted: )

Image

We also saw some more muddy horns...

Image

We were amazed at the amount of birds in Addo - not raptors, but lots of other small birds. We added quite a few ticks to our list (as relativlely new birders). The Sombre Greenbul (Gewone Willie) often entertained us with it's beautiful song:

Image

And then there was also the famous Greater Double-Collared Sunbird (Groot-Rooibandsuikerbekkie) of Addo: (Difficult to take a picture in the sharp overcast lighting)

Image

This small guy - still has us wondering about his identity - ? Neddicky (Neddikkie)

Image

Image

Another commonly spotted bird in Addo - the Southern Boubou (Suidelike Waterfiskaal):

Image

The last two spots before returning for breakfast - was this old tortoise enjoying his brekfast...

Image

...and this BBJ doing his last rounds for the morning:

Image

We decided to head home and make ourselves a hearty breakfast in the pan. And after being "greased-up" with eggs, sausages, mushrooms and toast - it was off to dreamland and a well deserved afternoon nap.

zzzZZZZZ

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:19 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
After our afternoon nap - the sky had cleared. Addo was going to show us it's sunny side after all! :dance: :dance: :dance:

For our afternoon drive we decided to head out to Zuurkop first for a lookout over Addo and its surrounds. On our way - we met this Pied Crow (Witborskraai)- one of many in the park.

Image

After seeing Ellies for the first time this morning - we were quite excited when we also saw our first buffaloes in the park. Two bachelors or "dagga boys". The one was making his way down from the koppie...

Image

...while the other was grazing on top of the koppie - at the lookout point.

Image

Another lovely sighting once we reached the top - was this lovely butterfly enjoying the freshly washed plants.

Image

After enjoying the view, we decided to head on further towards Carols Rest. It soon became one of my favourite areas in the park. There is just ALWAYS something to see! Let me show you:

Lovely zebras with red hartebeest in background:

Image

A mother and child scene - red hartebeest:

Image

Some ostriches:

Image

And three more bird ticks for the day. First up - one of the Larks. We decided it looked like a ?Sabota Lark (And we are totally open for correction if we were wrong... :redface: )(Sabotalewerik)

Image

The next one we are very sure of. We didn't get the best picture - but could ID it quite nicely through binoc's. This was our first Denham's Bustard (Veldpou):

Image

And then the lovely Bokmakierie - one of the most beautiful and bright birds in Addo:

Image

Another guy we saw on our road today - was a local flightless dung beetle rolling his perfectly shaped ball of dung - is it not just such a wonderful little creature! (Although I'm glad I wasn't born in one of those balls... :wink: )

Image

We still had some time left before the gates closed - so we headed down to Rooidam - where we saw this lovely BBJ having a drink:

Image

And between Rooidam and Hapoordam - we saw this majestic elephant bull. He had quite nice teeth for an Addo bull, and we were wondering if he was maybe a Kruger import... :hmz:

Image

Image

That brought to an end our first full day in Addo. We were more than content with all of our sightings. There were large pools of water everywhere in the bush - and the waterholes were mostly deserted. But the sun had come out - it was time for our first braai in Addo... 8)

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:37 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
It was Sunday morning. On Saturday afternoon, the rain had cleared. We had seen some lovely animals in the park. But we still had one big wish... We really wanted to see the Addo Lions! Those of you who've read my TR's before will know that my SO is an absolute lion-fanatic. SO he REALLY wanted to see some lions...

We were in touch with RonnieL before going to the park (what a nice guy! :thumbs_up: ) - and did ask him where he has been spotting lions lately. He encouraged us to look in the Southern section of the park - where he had also had some other lovely sightings lately. So today - we decided on heading down South - all the way to Matyholweni, and back.

A beautiful scene we saw as we were driving South was these 2 Ellies on top of a hill with ostriches in front of them. It was still misty - and light not perfect - so the picture is not brilliant - just to give you the idea...

Image

In the early morning hours we also got to spot this Spotted Thick-knee (Dikkop)

Image

And yet another Sombre Greenbul (Gewone Willie):

Image

The Southern part of the park is quite different to the Nortern parts. It had a lot of prickly pear plants - which the elephants LOVE! The bush is also very thick in many areas - making game-viewing a bit tougher. All in all I still enjoyed the South. The open areas had lots of game, more birdies and the plantlife in this area also quite beautiful.

Here is one of the first ellies we spotted in the South - wandering through the prickly pears:

Image

We took the Ngulube loop - where we spotted this area of erosion - the colours and textures made it look quite beautiful:

Image

Another two birdies - the female Southern Boubou (Suidelike Waterfiskaal):

Image

And the Red-backed Shrike (Rooiruglaksman):

Image

These two youngsters welcomed us to Matyholweni:

Image

At the gate we bought a cooldrink and then decided to head back - hopefully our lions would be found on the road back...

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:49 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
We headed back to Addo Main Camp, and first went around the Vukani Loop. Here there are parts of open plains where grazers congregate.

These Zebras posed for some nice pictures:

Image

Next up - we decided to do Harvey's loop. A few hundred metres in - we saw an old landy standing still. All the people in it were looking in one direction. We looked and looked, and saw... NOTHING. :slap: We almost decided to just drive on, but I decided to first just ask them - "Sorry, what are you guys seeing?"

"There are two lions deep in the grass. And every now and then they get up and you can see them". Never be too shy to ask people what they are looking at if you can't see it! Because the next thing we saw was:

Image

Okay, okay - I know it's not great. They were quite far, and we could hardly see their manes and tails - but now we could at least say that we DID see Addo lions! The other one also got up:

Image

They moved deeper into the bushes and disappeared out of sight. The South was a good idea...

On with the rest of Harvey's Loop - and close to the end of it - we reached a road block. And had to reverse for quite a distance - being "nudged" back by this guy:

Image

As I've already mentioned - there were lots of pools of water everywhere in the bush after the good rains - and a lot of the animals were enjoying this:

Image

Back in the North and quite close to camp - we saw more enjoyment of these pools. The two old bachelors we saw the previous day had moved down and were now plastering themselves with mud - real "dagga boys":

Image

Image

It had been a long morning - but a very rewarding one! Back at camp - we now moved into a chalet. The previous nights we spent in a Forrest Cabin, and the next three nights we would spend in a Chalet. Just as we went to go and get the keys - we met up with another yellow ribbon: RonneL! He shared some stories about Addo with us and told us how the open plains of grass around Carols Rest were wheatfields before (when he was young) - and the open plains of grass in the South - pineaplle plantations! How interesting... It was great meeting this Addo-fundi forumite! :thumbs_up:

There were some lovely birds welcoming us to the chalet - like this Cape White-eye (Kaapse Glasogie):

Image

After a short rest - we decided to go for just a short afternoon drive. I convinced SO to go back to one of my favourite areas - Carols Rest. Sightings during our drive included the Black-headed Heron (Swartkopreier):

Image

Some Eland:

Image

More (and cleaner!) Buffaloes:

Image

And the cute Yellow Mongoose:

Image

It had been a long day - and we had been ALL over Addo! We saw our lions, even though at a distance, we saw a buffalo-mudbath and elephant-showers. And to end off a perfect day - a braai and supper on the stoep with the man I love! :thumbs_up:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:45 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
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...

Image

So do some of the birds!

Image

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):

Image

And this African Hoopoe (Afrikaanse Hoephoep):

Image

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...

Image

At Carols Rest - in the distance - a Secretary Bird (Sekretarisvoel) - not the best picture though... :redface:

Image

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!

Image

Every now and then - she would stop, and check that the little one was still okay and keeping up

Image

The dried out umbilical cord was still attached to its belly:

Image

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):

Image

During our afternoon drive, we went by Hapoordam - where these little guys...

Image

...were pestering this Crowned Lapwing (Kroonkiewiet) - who put up quite a performance!

Image

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! :clap: 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! :shock: This was not the plan! Clearly the lions had not read what they were allowed to choose from on the menu! :rtm: 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! :thumbs_up:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:45 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
It was Tuesday - our last full day in the park. After all our lovely sightings the previous day, and the late night drive - we decided to sleep in a bit and just relax. 8)

After waking up and having some rusks for breakfast, we were off again and started this morning with the Gorah Loop to Carols Rest.

We were spoiled again with birdlife - and our day started with another beautiful Bokmakierie:

Image

The buffaloes were still hanging out in the Carols Rest area

Image

Some more lovely birds - this commoner - a Helmeted Guineafowl (Gewone Tarentaal). I thought it made for quite a colourful picture: :cam:

Image

And another first for us - the Red-capped Lark (Rooikoplewerik):

Image

Back at camp we quickly checked in at the local Red Bishop bird hide at main camp. And there we found..... well, uh...a Southern Red Bishop! (Suidelike Rooivink):

Image

For our afternoon drive we headed down to Hapoordam - and our sightings started again with some lovely birdies. Now I'm pretty sure this is a female widowbird - but which one - I'm not sure. :hmz: Maybe one of the experts can help me...?

Image

And finally a good shot of another one of the commoner birds in Addo - the Fiscal Shrike:

Image

Finally, at Hapoordam, we had a sighting that is pure Addo - a big herd of elephants - I counted in the region of 50 elephants in the one herd!

Image

Now if you see such a herd in Addo, you switch off the engin of your car, sit back and enjoy the privelage of seeing this social animal in its natural habitat! It is fascinating to see how they eat, how the little ones play, how they move around. The social interaction is also very entertaining. These two young bulls were playing a bit and comparing their strength:

Image

Just before we decided to leave the scene (it was becomming time to head back to camp), these critters came running along! In our trip to KTP last year we failed to see any of them - and now we finally got to meet them here in Addo - Meerkats!

Image

We headed back to camp but just as we got to the main road (intersection 11) we saw a big old Addo traffic jam. It was close to gate closing time, but we decided to go and see what could possibly be causing such a traffic jam... :whistle:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:31 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
About that traffic jam...

Time was running out - we had about 15 minutes to get to the gate. But you could possibly make it there in 5. "Let's first go check out what the traffic jam is about..." - we both agreed!

Many cars, and also the SANParks game viewing truck obscured the view. We asked someone passing from the other side what they had been seeing. LIONS!!!

We moved the car a little back and a little more - and finally got a position where you could spot them inbetween the bushes:

Image

...and next to these two, two more:

Image

4 Lions - lying relatively close to the road at sunset! There was a good chance they'd get up... But then there might be a good chance that we might get late for the gate! :| I'm sure you guys know the feeling... Some of the other cars started leaving.

The next moment one of the main females (collared - but I think all the females in Addo are), and started moving South.

Image

The rest of them followed suit - but unfortunately they were walking away from us. This young male turned to look back for a second, and I was just in time to get a shot :cam:

Image

There were 2 females and two younger males. They were all walking South and we tried to keep up with them - inbetween all the traffic and the bushes... :roll:

Image

These two stopped for a moment to first show each other a bit of affection - one of my favourite things about cats!

Image

A sneak shot of the other female yawning:

Image

And the other male - by now the light was becomming quite bad...

Image

Finally - we got a good sighting of the lions of Addo! Yes - nobody can tell me that these weren't lions! :P And with the two we saw in the South - this brought our lion-tally to 6! We had seen 60% of Addo's lions - we felt blessed indeed!

We even made it to the gate in time to take one last shot - our last sunset in Addo for this visit:

Image

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:05 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
Micetta: :thumbs_up: Finally we agree... :lol:

Melph68: I actually do know - but did not get the answer in Addo, but in KNP! They do some studies in KNP on the lions - especially in regard to how TB is affecting them. They collar the lions in order to monitor their movement, territories and to locate them if needed for tests. Females always remain with one pride. To monitor the size, health, comings and goings of a pride - you need to monitor the females. Males come and go into and out of prides. They don't always stay with the pride at all times, and can be replaced by stronger males. Interesting, hey! :wink:

Kamadejo: 60% will get you to pass... :wink: And will get a huge smile on your face! :D

Pumbaa: I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one this happens to! :doh: And it always brings up a bit of conflict in our car... SO wants to go - "the gates are going to close..." :rtm: , and I just want to wait a little longer for that "perfect shot"... :cam:

Crested Barbet: What a lovely gift from Addo for our last day there! :thumbs_up:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:23 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
Wednesday - it was time to leave Addo. We would be sleeping over at my cousin and her family in Jeffrey's Bay that evening, and then moving on to Stormsriver Mouth on Thursday.

We decided to make our way down through the park, and exit at the Southern/Matyholweni gate.

Our day started with this BBJ lying in the grass, enjoying something to eat:

Image

We tried to figure out what exactly he was eating - but it's still a guess! :huh: Maybe you guys have some thoughts on what this is... :hmz:

Image

(For the South African folk out there - my husband was scared that it had gotten hold of Riaan Cruywagen... :lol: )

As we arrived in the Southern section of the park - it appeared that it was BBJ-day! This guy was lying next to the road - greeting us to the Southern section:

Image

The rest of the road was relatively quiet - but did deliver a few new ticks on the birdlist! :thumbs_up: (Unfortunately the light was not great, and the birdies were small and far off (cropped++) - so not great pictures... :doh: )

The Fan-tailed Widowbird (Kortstertflap):

Image

Female African Stonechat (Gewone Bontrokkie):

Image

And we looked through our birdbook a few times - I really think this can only be a Pin-tailed Whydah (Koningrooibekkie) - without his pin-tail???

Image

It was time for us to say goodbye to Addo. We had a fabulous time and saw beautiful ellies, numerous new little birds, and 60% of the lion population! But we'll have to come back again for the rhino's... We really had a special time here - and I can really recommend this park to anyone! :thumbs_up:

Next up: Stormsriver Mouth

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:01 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
After a lovley visit to my cousin and her family in J-Bay, we were off to SRM. I have never been to SRM itself before, but I do know the Knysna forrests well - and have always loved it! So my heart was beating a little bit faster as the Tsitsikama forrest starting surrounding us on both sides of the road! :D

Before checking in - we first had to stop at Big Tree - a famous, you guessed it - big tree - in the Tsitsikama forrest (situated within a part of the national park). It is amazing to see such an old and beautiful tree.

Image

A picture can not do this tree justice. Just look at this - some numbers about this tree:

Image

And then we were off to check in at SRM. This sign welcomed us:

Image

Now for the rest of this TR - I'm not going to give you a day-to-day account, but rather show you all the things we saw and enjoyed in this lovely park. Firstly I will show you some of the pictures I took of the scenery. SRM is situated along the Garden Route around the Southern edge of South Africa. It has beautiful coastal scenery, as well as the Tsitsikama forrest - filled with huge old
Yellowwood trees (to mention only one of the many trees). I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

A view of where the Stormsriver mouths into the ocean (between the two hills):
Image

Another view from the other side of the camp (In the area where the Otter trail starts):
Image

A little stream inside the camp - beautiful scenes are just found everywhere in this camp!
Image

Large mushrooms shot up after drizzly weather. They look like real fairytale mushrooms...
Image

The beautiful coastal scenery:
Image

And magnificent waves! The seawaters can get extremely rough in these areas... :big_eyes:
Image

Next installment - animal life in SRM...

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:01 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
The Animals of Storms River Mouth - there are apparently quite a few - including cats such as caracal and leopard :shock: ! They also have bushpigs. I think, however you will be EXTREMELY lucky if you do see any of these animals. This is not really a park with big-time game. I think the few animals that do live here are mostly shy and hidden in the thick forrest.

But there are 2 animals I can guarantee that you will see. Firstly bushbuck. There are currently 3 of them freely roaming around camp - very tame. This is a pic of one:

Image

Another guaranteed sighting is that of dassies or Rock Hyrax. They are found all along the shore and love playing around on the rocks. Here's a pic of a cute little one:

Image

This one looked down-right evil! :twisted:

Image

And this one was tanning stretched out on the warm black bench - at leisure! :lol:

Image

And unfortunately that is the sum total of animal species we saw. Oh yes - almost forgot - also saw a snake in the road as we were walking down to our chalet one evening after having dinner at the restaurant. Scary... :shock: I almost stepped on it in the dark!

Another feature of SRM is its numerous walks that one can take in the park. The most famous being:

Image

And just to let you know - this sign is the furthest I'll probably ever go to walking this tough trail! After walking to the lookout point (another small trail leaving from the restaurant) - I'm convinced that I shouldn't even attempt the Otter! Oh and another thing - this sign is also the closest I got to seeing an Otter... :doh:

Now - talking about that lookout point... The one day we decided to go and do this walk from the restaurant, across the two suspension bridges, and up the hill on the other side of the river mouth - right to the top where there is a lookout point. Do NOT underestimate this walk- it is a steep walk up - and I was huffing and puffing all the way to the top...(I'm a bit unfit you see :redface: ). But the view was lovely - and it's definitely worth the climb!

This is the view up the river while walking over the suspension bridge:

Image

About half-way up (yes this is only half-way! :shock: ) - the view of the two suspension bridges down below:

Image

And eventually - we reached the top - this is a picture of me standing at the lookout point. The arrow points to the restaurant where the trail starts...

Image

Another short trail we did was:

Image

A really lovely short trail in the forrest. We saw a few small birdies (but mostly heard them) and also enjoyed lovely scenery on the way.

Image

The last installment - to show a few birdies we saw - will have to wait 'till next week. We are off tomorrow for a long weekend in KNP! :dance: Staying in one of the concessions for 3 nights and then 1 night Lower Sabie. I'm so excited! :dance: :dance: :dance: Untill then - enjoy the wedding tomorrow and have a safe weekend! :thumbs_up:

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ellies and Otters - Addo and Stormsrivermouth
Unread postPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 4:39 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:22 pm
Posts: 956
Location: Centurion
The last episode for SRM - will just have to feature some birdies! I did not take too many - but I'll share the few I did get with you.

A commoner along our coast - and thus also in SRM: The Cape Gull (Grootswartrugmeeu):

Image

A very distant and cropped photo - of some more seabirds: Swift Terns (Geelbeksterretjies) and White-breasted Cormorants (Witborsduikers):

Image

An endangered species along our coast (although I read an article recently that said the population has actually increased a lot recently :D ) - the African Black Oystercatcher (Swarttobie):

Image

This guy we spotted just as we came back from doing the Loerie trail - not the sharpest pic - but still a Forest Canary (Gestreepte Kanarie):

Image

And then I saved the best for last... This was by far the cutest little bird. We saw these in Addo as well, but never got a nice picture. Then I spotted this guy sitting in the tar road at SRM. I first took a picture at a distance, then creaped closer to try a closer pic. A little bit closer, and a little more - and I got the perfect pic! But by now I was REALLY close to this fellow, and I wondered why he/she let me get so close. I tried to touch it - and it let me! :shock: I then picked it up - and SO took a nice pic of him and me together with the cellphone. I tried to put him back in the bush (didn't want him to be run over in the road :naughty: ) - but he clung to my finger! Eventually I got him into a tree. I went later that day - and he had luckily flown on by then! I really wondered what the cause was for his peculiar behaviour... :hmz: But I did like holding this tiny birdy - him not being scared at all - and rescuing him from becomming roadkill.

My favourite little Bar-throated Apalis (Bandkeel Kleinjantjie - is that not just the cutest name for a bird - kleinjantjie!):

Image

And that, my dear friends, is that - the story of the two city-dwellers that discovered the beauty and peace of two lovely parks in the Eastern Cape. They will definitely visit there again!

_________________
26-30 April - Golden Gate Highlands Mountain Retreat

20-22 June - Tamboti
23-25 June - Shimuwini
26-29 June - Shingwedzi


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 14 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by Stampajane at 07:13:32 Submitted by Stampajane at 19:37:35 Submitted by ShapeShifter at 12:01:14