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 Post subject: Tsitsikamma and Addo Trip : Dec 2006
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:22 am 
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Finally the time has arrived to pack my bag for tomorrow's trip to Tsitsikamma and Addo. We will be leaving Cape Town at 5h30 tomorrow morning with a kombi load of Plettenberg Bay Revellers. Those of you who have or had Matriculants will know all about the Plett Rave. We will be dropping them off in Plett and after a quick shopping spree to pick up the neccessary supplies we will continue to Tsitsikamma. Then on to Addo for 4 nights and back to Tsitsikamma for 2 nights. I have my yellow ribbon packed as well as all the :cam: equipment. My first trip report...let's hope that I have something exciting to report on.
By the way I am one of a group of 4 women ( we call ourselves the Kalahari Girls ) that have been to KTP twice and Addo once. We had some hair raising times.....would anybody like to read a trip report on our adventures :?: :?:

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 Post subject: Tsitsikamma and Addo Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:59 pm 
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Back in Cape town and our trip has come and gone :( . Now for the report...
Friday 24th Nov

We hit the road at 05h08....22 mins ahead of schedule. Cannot say who was more excited....the Plett Revellers or the Addo Angels :angel:
We arrived in Plett at 12h00 (horrendous road works),dropped off the Plett Revellers and after picking up the necessary supplies at P 'n P and bottle store we hit the road at 13h30 for Tsitsikamma.
We arrived at Tsitsikamma at 14h30 to find a bushbuck and vervet monkeys waiting for us at our forest hut - of course by the time we had unpacked our cameras they had all left never to be seen again. After tying our yellow ribbon to our car we wandered down to the restaurant and beach where we were treated to an awesome sighting of either a humpback whale or a killer whale.
Too far away to photograph but we had a excellent view through the binoculars.
On our way back the heavens opened but I did manage to get a glimpse of a Knysna loerie....my first !! :D
It continued to pour with rain but that didn't dampen our spirits...out came the cards and after me losing game after game we called it a night.
But in the middle of the night we discovered that the hut had sprung a leak when Charleen woke up with a wet face :x ....a bit of rearranging of the beds solved the problem. We had a good laugh about this though because when we were on a previous trip to Kgaglagadi ( more about this a later stage) the aircon broke down in the middle of the night and leaked all over Charleen as well. Being the insomniac that I am I thought this would be a good opportunity to have a re match at cards but Charleen looked at me as if I had crawled out of a bush backwards and promptly turned around and went straight back to sleep. So I was left with my thoughts and the night sounds, neither of which were unpleasant, to while away the hrs until it was time to get up. :roll:

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Tsitsikamma and Addo Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:12 pm 
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Sat 25th November 2006

The Addo Angels :angel: wasted no time in packing up and hitting the road for Addo. It was still overcast and rainy but the sky was rather interesting so we quickly took a few photos.

Image

WE arrived at Addo at 12h00 and spent a hr or so in the new underground hide. I really like that new hide except that we did not have much luck in spotting anything. After unpacking we went out into the park. Although it was still overcast and drizzly we saw many animals.
We spent quite a while watching 34 elephants at Domkrag . We also noticed that a elephant carcass that we saw in May 2006 was still there. There was a newer carcass next to it and this one had jackals feeding off it.
On the way to Carol's Rest we noticed a baby black backed jackal curled up in a little ball. It looked very forlorn all by itself. A passerby told us that they had seen three babies there the previous day. They presumed that the other two had been taken by something. We didn't hold out much hope that this little one would survive either.

Image

WE went back to camp and spent an enjoyable evening on our safari tent balconey, relishing the thought that we had 4 nights of this . I was trying very hard to find a rhino but to no avail. There were many kudu around but no rhino.

I am now off to Vic Falls for 3 days so the rest of this report will be submitted in a few days

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Tsitsikamma and Addo Trip Report
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:58 am 
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michele nel wrote:
we wandered down to the restaurant and beach where we were treated to an awesome sighting of either a humpback whale or a killer whale.


Humpbacks are large black whales with a small humped dorsal fin.
Killer whales are smaller with a large dorsal fin, and white patches.

I have only seen the rare killer whales once, of the coast of Betty's Bay.

Hope that helps with ID.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:03 am 
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Ok now I am alomost 100% sure that it was a killer whale...definitely saw black and white ....no doubt about that. Just got back from Vic Falls trip and will be continueing with report soon. Didn't use the tripod in Addo because the sunsets were disappointing because it was mostly overcast but I did use it at Tsitsikamma. Those pics you will have to wait a while for !!!

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:25 am 
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killer whales surface to breathe and then submerge again, like dolphins, and do not usually 'skim' the surface. The dorsal fin is large and pliable. Does that help more Michele?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:41 am 
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Thanks Bush Baptist. This whale came up and rolled a bit and then disappeared. Then popped up again quite a distance away and repeated this pattern for a long while. The ranger that I spoke to at Tsitsikamma asked me whether it was moving rapidly.... which it was. He actually suggested that it may be a killer whale...so maybe it was !!!!

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:29 pm 
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I am back on track and the report continues....

Sunday 26th Nov

We were up bright and early( well one of the Addo Angels was bright....the other one of us needs a kick start in the morning) and first out the gate. Our plan of action was to drive straight to Carol's Rest as there had been lots of lion activity along that rd. We were absolutely amazed at all the animals we saw. There were zebra, kudu, hartebees, and warthog everywhere. Incidently this is the closest I have been to the zebra in Addo.

Image



We tried not to waste too much time taking photos of all these animals....after all we were looking for the lions. Well we got all the way to Carol's Rest without finding the lions.....but along the way we saw 3 baby jackals. We presumed that these were the three that we had been told about . We were pleased because we reckoned that the baby jackal that we had seen the day before had met up with it's siblings. All three were feasting on a huge bone.

Image

There was not much happening at Carol's rest so after we had our coffee we moved onto Hapoor. Along the way there were many animals especially warthog that were just begging us to take their photos.

IMG]http://i12.tinypic.com/2i7pufo.jpg[/IMG]

There were a couple of ellies at Hapoor so we spent a fair amount of time there taking photos of them.

Image

While we were engrossed in this a rather friendly bloke came along and told us about a lion that he had seen just past the Spekboom hide. When he realised that we were going to investigate straight away he offered to lead us there. What a pleasure !!!! The lion wasn't too far away from the side of the rd but he was more interested in sleeping than posing for the camera. We did get a few shots when he lifted his head though.

Image

After a while we decided to head back to camp. It was very hot... 38 degrees. Every single waterhole on the way back had ellies bathing and cavorting which afforded us much amusement.

Image

When we got back to camp we cooked up a smashing brunch and planned our afternoon drive. We planned on going back to the lion but needless to say he was no longer there. We drove up and down but to no avail. We then drove along the southern access rd because I had never been along there before. There had also been a rhino sighting along there and I was desperate to find this rhino. Well we spotted buffalo and kudu but no Rhino. We headed back to camp because we had booked a night drive.
The night drive was awesome...saw many animals including scrubhares and springhares. Our guide was extremely informative as well humorous. The highlight of our night drive was seeing 3 adult spotted hyena and 2 juveniles at Rooidam. They played around the truck for quite a while. I do not have any photos from the nightdrive because I take neither my camera nor my videocamera with me. I find all the flashes of cameras going off extremely irritating.

Even though the guide told us that there are only 14 rhino in the park and are extremely difficult to spot I lay in bed thinking that tomorrow I would find that Rhino. Another wonderful day in Africa had come to an end

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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:11 pm 
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Monday 27th November.

Before I go any further I must comment on how much we were enjoying the safari tents. The view is awesome and they are very spacious......the chairs on the balconey are a tad uncomfortable but I had been warned to take canvas camp chairs . I forgot !!! The kitchens are well equipped and the Addo Angels had great fun playing cards while we cooked ( and I lost every single night). We decided against braaiing because every time we try to braai the heavens open.

Anyway my first thought when I woke up was that we had already spent 2 nights in Addo and we only had 2 left. Oh goodness..........where is that elusive rhino.

Once again we were out of the gates first. I must admit that Charleen needs to take credit for that...........I just don't do mornings very well !!!!

We decided to go straight to Rooidam in the hopes of seeing the spotted hyenas. We sat quietly watching when all of a sudden I noticed that the kudus were looking very alert.
Image
We guessed that something was about to happen and sure enough 2 spotted hyenas came running over the rise, crossed the rd and disappeared over the next little rise. They didn't even stop to give me a chance to take a decent photo.
Image
After that little bit of excitement we moved on to Carol's Rest...still looking out for the lions. Once again we saw the baby jackals and 3 ellies entertained us while we had coffee at
Carol's Rest. Stiill no lions
We then headed back to camp for a scrumptious breakfast. It took us a while to get back because once again there were animals everywhere.
After downloading photos we headed out to the park again.We decided to drive past Spekboom hide to the new gate that has just been opened. It was a very quiet but beautiful drive. Our lion that we saw in this vicinty yesterday was nowhere to be found.... as a matter of fact all we saw were 3 tick infested Kudu.
I also saw these droppings alonside the rd and I was not quite sure what they belonged to. I thought maybe a Zebra :?: :?:

Image
We drove all the way to the gate and then turned around..magnificent view from up there. On the way back we stopped at Spekboom hide and I was most amazed to discover that there was actually a waterhole there. :redface: Really....I had never quite made the connection......Hide normally means
waterhole !!!!! :doh:
There were a couple of ellies having fun there.
Image
We then went back to camp. After doing the usual...like cooking and losing at cards yet again :evil: we sat and had the usual drinky drops on the balconey.
All of a sudden we heard a kind of barking which I think came from the kudu.....we knew something was around. And then I spotted it ....in front of us was a rhino. He just ran past the safari tents and over the rise. We had a good look at him through the binoculars. I thought he was off to the floodlight waterhole but he ran straight over the rise. He was definitely on a mission. So I went to bed happy....at last I had seen a rhino in Addo. :dance:

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:29 pm 
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Tuesday 28th November

As we had planned the night before we headed straight for Spekboom hide. It actually took us a hour to get there because there were so many animals to stop and look at. Eventually a Kudu bull stood still long enough for me to take a photo of him
Image
We spent a few minutes at Hapoor watching the crowned plovers running around catching their breakfast.
Image
We then moved onto Spekboom with flasks of coffee, biscuits,plenty of cf cards and extra tapes for video cameras. Oh...and car charger for my camera and video camera in case they should go flat. WE were extremely well prepared....even had a toilet if we should need one............but there was one small problem.........no animals to be seen anywhere! We had coffee and then more coffee and then a trip to the toilet...still no animals. I was about to have more coffee when a warthog arrived..........good old piggies!!!! They never let you down. You can always find a piggy to photograph in Addo.

( I seem to be having a problem with uploading the photo of this obliging warthog so I will submit this bit now and continue later)

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:54 pm 
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Let's try again
Image
Not long after this warthog arrived more joined him and then all of a sudden there were ellies arriving from all different directions. There were big ellis and little ellies. There was plenty of slurping,mud slinging and elephant play.
Image
Well we spent 3 hrs watching these ellies. It was so awesome being so close to these ellies and not being restricted to ones vehicle.
A buffalo also put in an appearance but I think everybody was more interested in the antics of the young elephants than the buffalo.
Image
Sitting in this hide was an really awesome experience .It was getting rather hot after a while and seeing that these very well prepared Addo Angels had remembered all the camera equipment but had forgotten sun hats and sun lotion we thought we had better head back to camp.
Once again every waterhole on the way back had ellies splashing and cavorting in them.
After lunch we downloaded our photos and we were relaxing on the balconey when we heard this almighty groan and saw a huge bright flash. Believe you me....the electrified fencing is just that...electrified. A huge tortoise had crawled under the fence and shocked himself. He retreated and shocked himself again. He then continued with his afternoon stroll as if nothing had happened.Well.........I now have the utmost respect for electrified fencing.
In the afternoon we went out again...........this time to Carol's Rest. Once again lions had been spotted near Zuurkop and yes once again we had missed them!! We were rather happy to see 2 blue cranes at Carol's Rest though.
We then headed back to camp well satisfied that we had had great day's viewing.
Later on that evening after I had cooked up a storm for supper and had once again been thrashed in cards (beginning to lose my sense of humour over this card story) I sat on the balconey overlooking the bush. It was the best night ever. There were kudu and elephants dotted all over the place. There were also a herd of buffalo and two of them were having a wonderful time chasing each other. We kept seeing them disappearing out of the light and then darting back again. The noises that they were making were quite hysterical and we could also hear the horns being clashed together. I was just sitting there thinking that it really doesn't get any better in Africa when right in front of my eyes the rhino appeared. This time he walked right through the light created by the spotlights at the waterhole and we really had a good look at him. He then joined a group of Kudu, took one look at them and sauntered over the rise like he did the previous evening.
Well I sat there thinking it does get better in Africa.....it just keeps getting better and better. Incidently both our rhino sightings were at 21h45 .We eventually decided to call it a night and turned in.
At 00h35 we heard hyena laughing which sounded very close by........so of course I flew out of the tent to see what I could see and right there in front of me was...not a hyena but a huge ellie and a baby......they were literally standing next to the fence right in front of our tent. When my eyes got accustomed to dark I realised that there were many elephant around. You see, it does always get better in Africa

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Firstly thanks to everybody that have been reading my report and a big thank you for all the comments and compliments :D :D :D
Now on with the report....

Wednesday 29th November

My first thought on being woken up was why do holidays have to come to an end. Well they do and there is not much we can do about that so I may as well get up and get on with it.
Our plan was to go on our last game drive and then move on to Tsitsikamma. We decided to just do a quick round of the the waterholes. We headed straight for Carol's Rest and after hum-ing and ha-ing we drove past the Zuurkop turn off and took the next turn off to Carol's Rest. About 1km down the rd I saw a hyena running towards us. We patted ourselves on the back because we reckoned we had made the right decision to take the second turn off.... it was only when we got back to camp and checked the sightings board did we see that if we had taken the other turn off we would have seen the lions :cry: Okay so........ some you win and some you lose !!!
Once again the hyena was on a mission and was not going to stop to pose for the camera
Image
There were many animals waiting for us at Carol's Rest......eland, buffalo, kudu, 3 elephant, zebra, warthog and jackals.... it was truly an amazing sight. Of course the eland were quite far away and as soon as we arrived they stepped into the bushes. We had our morning coffee at Carol's Rest and we really enjoyed watching all the animals. It was very peaceful and tranquil. I remember thinking that when I get stressed back in CT all's I will have to do is to imagine this scene and relax!
We then headed off for Hapoor and saw quite a few tortoises on the way.We also caught a quick glimpse of the Easter Bunny
Image

Once again there were ellies at Hapoor so out came the cameras.
Image
After that we thought we had better leave. Tsisikamma was waiting for us.

We had an uneventful trip there and we were soon unpacked and ready and waiting for the bushbuck to show itself...but it never did. Once again I saw a knysna loerie and a chorister robin.The robin was yet another tick to add to my list so that put a smile on my face :lol:
We then packed up the tripods and cameras and headed for the beach to catch the sunset. We soon realised that if you want attract attention to yourself just set up a tripod. Quite a few people came up to chat to us and one even asked if I "take photos for money". It was a bit misty out at sea and a bit chilly but we clicked away.
Image
Image

Watching the sun go down was a perfect way to end our day and yet again I realised that we live in a magnificent country.

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:18 pm 
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Thanks all for your wonderful comments ...........now to finish report.

Thursday 30th November

My first thought on waking was why do holidays have to end especially those in South African National Parks.... we had one day left and we had to make the most of it. We decided that we were going to go on the river cruise. The weather was rather overcast but we set off anyway.....
Horrors of horrors nobody had told us about the walk there...almost 2 kms of steps (there and back) . But it was awesome. Thank goodness that it was overcast otherwise it would have been rather hot. The boat tour up the river was spectacular but the sea was very choppy so we didn't go out to the point. Bangbroek here sighed a sigh of relief because I didn't really fancy going out to sea in that little boat.After the boat ride we walked across the bridge but I found that a bit unsteady for my liking. We took a leisurely walk back down to the restaurant.We saw many birds and I was also amazed at all the flowers that were growing in the most obscure places. After stumbling a few times I decided that I should pay more attention to the pathway than to the flowers.
Eventually two thirsty Addo Angels arrived back at the restaurant. Our plan was to buy a spin or two and go back to our forest cabin to get our birdlists up to date.......but there was no spin or anything similar so an emergency drive into Storms River Village was called for.
On the way back we decided to go and watch the bungee jumpers at Bloukrans. I watched a chap jump (through my bins ) and I almost had a heart attack. Sorry , I see no valid reason why anybody would want to jump off a bridge..........after watching the 3rd chap jump we headed back to camp( before I really did have a heart attack).
By now it was raining and I did not hold out much hope for a good sunset. We spent the afternoon downloading photos, checking birdlists and of course I was beaten in cards yet again.The clouds did clear a bit so we did go down to take some photos but it was not that spectacular.

Friday 1st Dec

Now the holiday was really over..........in less than a hr we would be in Plett picking up the rowdy Plett Revellers and then on to Cape Town.
Aw geeee ! I did have one thought on my way back and that was that I never did find a meerkat in Addo.........so I think that is a good enough reason to go back again. And to all those forumites that have read this report and enjoyed it......what are you waiting for !!!!!!

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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