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 Post subject: Michele Nel in Addo : Feb 2007
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:44 am 
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Sorry everybody, but I did not find that meerkat when I was in Addo last November so I am going back to find it. I have English visitors arriving on the 5th Feb so I guess I'll take them to Addo and Tsitsikamma where they can help me find the meerkat. Okay my husband didn't really fall for this excuse.........he just knows that I am off at the drop of a hat :lol: :lol: :lol:
My plan of action is to take my laptop and every evening we will work on our reprt. This time the report will be through the eyes of my visitors. I promise to tell the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth..........I am sure the comments will all be good ones
...............must go find that yellow ribbon !!!!! :dance:


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Before I start this report I think I should explain who all went along .Yours truly…who has to disappear off to a park at the drop of a hat …and the Geordie Trio namely Janet and Jacqueline ( sisters and my cousins once removed or second cousins…I am not quite sure) and Rob ( married to Janet) . Lucky man…..or poor man…on holiday with 3 women !
The purpose of this visit to Addo was to show the Geordie Trio more of South Africa . This was their second visit to Cape Town and on their previous visit we had done most of Cape Town and surrounds. I thought a round trip through the Karoo to Addo and back to Cape Town via the Garden Route would give them a bigger picture of South Africa.

Monday 12th Feb 2006
We left Cape Town at 11h00 and stopped in Barriedale for lunch. Well, my visitors were gobsmacked with the scenery……wait till we got to Addo……I had so much in store for them. Anyway we continued our journey to our overnight stop just outside Oudtshoorn. This overnight stop was my treat and they had no idea where we were going. We enjoyed a three course dinner which was served to us in our marvelous safari tents. This wonderful evening really set the scene for Addo.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:12 pm 
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Tuesday 13th Feb 2006.
We woke up to birds chirping and a glimpse of sable ,springbuck and impala drinking at the waterhole. After a scrumptious breakfast and being entertained by the tame zebra, Quagga, we continued with our journey. If you would like to know more about this great stopover just send me a pm.
Once again my visitors were gobsmacked to say the least. The area around Steyterville was unbelievable. We saw so much game it was like driving through a gamepark. We saw a huge herd of springbok. I have only seen the likes of that in the Kgalagadi. Troops and troops of vervet monkeys abounded and we also saw a huge flock of cranes. We also had a good sighting of a steenbok. The highlight for my visitors was a huge tortoise in the road. I stopped on the side of the road and seeing that he didn’t go charging off we decided to get out and take a closer look. Well you would think he was somebody’s pet….he thoroughly enjoyed having his back rubbed and his head scratched. I made sure he was well away from the road and we continued with our journey.
We arrived in Addo at about 13h30 and of course the excitement was mounting. We had seen so much along the side of the road imagine what we are going to see in the park ! Of course my visitors had heard so much about my visit to Addo in November ……
( I would like to add some video clips to this report but still having no luck....is there anybody out there that can help me :redface: )


Last edited by Caracal on Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:37 pm 
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The plan was to check in quickly , offload and go on a quick drive in the park. Checking in took a while but when done we piled into the kombi and as we drove passed the Nyati waterhole in camp I caught a glimpse of a ellie. So I stopped and we jumped out and went down to the waterhole. Now everybody was truly gobsmacked. He was a beaut…..we went rushing down to the underground hide and then we really had a magnificent view of him. Awesome !

http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2eqc1vb

Unfortunately he did not hang around for very long so off we went to our chalets which were right next to the fence. What should be waiting for us but another elephant! Well he took one look at us and promptly gave us a good view of his rear end and ambled off over the hill. By now………my shares were very high. My visitors just thought I was the greatest…apparently I knew just how to organize things!!!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:02 pm 
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After I quick unpack we went into the park. After all , that is all I had speaking about….wait until we get to Addo! There are tons of kudu, warthog , red hartebeest and elephants. The waterholes abound with animals! This is what I had been spurting forth with for the last couple of days. My plan was to just do a quick drive around from Domkrag Dam to Gwarrie Dam and Rooidam.We saw nothing and I mean nothing at Domkrag Dam ……well nevermind onto the other two dams ……. It was a stinking hot day so there should be plenty of elephants at the waterholes. En route we saw some zebra and we manage a photo or two.
Image
(photo taken by the Geordie Musketeer)
Then we eventually saw some warthogs and their babies. They were very sweet but did not give us the time of day.to take photos. But where were the kudu ? Nothing. We got to Gwarrie Dam and we saw nothing. We then went onto Rooidam and saw nothing. By now this very clever “tour guide’ that organizes everything so well had completely lost her sense of humour. Strangely enough my visitors had not. They were still very much in awe. While we were sitting at the dam I suddenly realized that the dams were very empty….Rooidam had practically dried up. The penny dropped……….the elephants had moved to where there was more water. Slightly appeased I informed my visitors of this and that I was sure that we would find elephants at Hapoor the following morning. We headed back to camp and saw neither sight nor sound of anything but a warthog.. It soon became a joke amongst us that “ there are no points for spotting piggies”
After supper I very casually informed everybody that it was time to walk down to the waterhole to see what we could see. This time I decided that I was not going to tell everybody what I had seen in the past at the waterhole. That way I would not have egg on my face……….there had already been enough egg on my face during the day. What I was hoping to find was a rhino. When I was in Addo in November I had seen the rhino twice at the waterhole. Both times at 9h45. Anyway I dragged my weary visitors down to the waterhole and we just sat very quietly for a few minutes and sure enough what should pop out from behind the bush but a rhino. Well it was awesome. We had such a good view of him. He stood right in the light of the spotlight….I was just thinking that this time I had got it right when all of a sudden another rhino put in an appearance. This one seemed to be quite a bit smaller than the other one. While we were working out whether this was a male and female or whether it was a mother and baby another rhino put in an appearance. We were now sitting at the waterhole watching 3 rhino. :lol: It totally made up for the fact that we had not seen kudu or elephant in the park that day. Strangely enough the rhino appeared at 9h45 again. Rob, the only musketeer amongst us, was in awe. He had never expected to see rhino at all nevermind three of them.. The rhino then disappeared into the bushes and we disappeared to our chalets. While I was trying to fall asleep (yet again) I wondered what was going through my visitors’ minds. Was it the magnificent scenery we had driven through, or stroking the tortoise on the side of the road, or the really close up view of the elephant from the underground hide, or watching the rhino under the starlit African skies. They certainly had experienced at lot of South Africa in one day. I must have eventually fallen asleep marveling yet again at the wonderful country that we stay in……


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:36 pm 
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14th February 2007
We awoke to very overcast weather and drizzly rain . Armed with tea, rusks and plenty of spare batteries ,cf cards and video tapes we set off on our morning drive. I had decided that I was not coming back to camp until I had found a suitable sighting of elephants for my visitors. After all this was Addo Elephant Park !Everybody was bright eyed and bushy tailed but oh my goodness ….only piggies were to be seen. We made our way to Hapoor and as we approached I saw a couple of cars parked there. There was a group of ten elephants just leaving the waterhole . I continued past the parked cars and turned right into the loop. Here we had a good view of the elephants walking alongside the road for quite a while. There was a rather tiny baby which was quite special to watch.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=42i3uc3

We also enjoyed watching an ellie have a dusting session

http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=35ipz0i

After a while they crossed the road in front of us which caused the Geordie Trio to have a few heart palpitations


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:14 pm 
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When we could no longer see them we moved onto Spekboom. Even though it was raining slightly we still decided to get out and have coffee in Spekboom hide. We were enjoying the antics of the warthogs and babies when a buffalo put in an appearance. Well this put a huge smile on Geordie Musketeer’s face. :D
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=404w211
Shortly after this we had this really strange sighting. Maybe somebody could identify these creatures for me. :lol:
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=42vj11w
We then decided to pack up and leave because I didn’t think we were going to have anymore sightings with these creatures at the waterhole. All of a sudden I saw these creatures move to their vehicle very quickly and one jumped in the bakkie and start the engine. Well it was rather funny …it was a family of elephants approaching in the opposite direction. The elephants were more interested in drinking water so the workers relaxed a bit and continued to work. One worker kept an eye on the elephants. The elepants had a quick drink and then left but just before they left the area two young elephants turned around a did a mock charge. ….as if to say “ We are the boss, and don’t forget that “
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2ly0bk4


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:05 pm 
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We then moved on to Carol’s Rest. This trip was uneventful until we drove down from Zuurkop Lookout to the open plains. There we saw many cranes( too far away to photograph ) as well as white storks. The white storks didn’t look very white at all…probably due to the rain.
Image
At Carol’s Rest we watched warthogs yet again. Then a buffalo arrived and chased the warthogs away.
Image
We also noticed an elephant carcass. Apparently this elephant had died due to wounds sustained in a fight.
On the way back to camp we eventually came across 3 kudu. They were still quite far away and did their usual stunt…..took one look at us and disappeared into the bush.
Image
We then came across a male and female ostrich. There were a few chicks that were intent on following their mommy. It was rather interesting to see how they clustered together in her shadow.
ImageImage
All in all I felt that we had a successful morning out....but I knew there was more to be seen....especially the elephants.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:31 pm 
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After a Geordie brunch of bacon, eggs and baked beans everybody disappeared for a little quiet time. After that Geordie Musketeer and myself went out for a quick drive . We weren’t out for long as we had a night drive booked for the evening. We saw many piggies and zebra with a foal. We spent a while watching a heron.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=30bzfkl
Not an overly exciting drive but we enjoyed it anyway.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Thanks everybody for comments :lol: . Now to continue....
After a quick bite to eat we got ready for our night drive. We were at the vehicle really early to make sure that we got a good seat….I had learnt from past experience! :evil: Firstly I have to mention that I do not take my cameras with me on a night drive so therefore I have no photos of the sightings. I had warned the Geordie Trio that we may not see much and our guide promptly gave them the same warning.
Off we went and the first thing we saw were kudu………….kudu everywhere. I could not believe it. I do not know where they had been hiding during the day. My visitors now believed me that there were hordes of Kudu in the park. Just before the turning right to Hapoor we came across eland. There were quite a few of them and very close to road. This was the first time that I had seen eland so close up. We continued and turned right to Gwarrie Dam. The next sighting was of a buffalo right next to the side of the road. By now the Geordie Trio were in their element (actually so was I…this was turning out to be my best night drive in Addo ). Not much to see at Gwarrie Dam so we continued to Rooidam and just before we got to Rooidam a spotted hyena ran acroos the road. We then saw 4 more. We were told that the alpha female was pregnant and should be having her pups soon. We watched the hyena for a while and then turned around to strart the trip back. As we were leaving the hyenas started whooping and yelling. It gave me goosebumps and the Geordie Angel that was sitting next to me almost fell off her seat. On the way back we saw many springhares , scrub hares and 2 bat- eared foxes. We could also tick of the common duiker, Cape grysbok and black backed jackal. We also had another sighting of a buffalo. Zebra and hartebeest were plentiful as well.
This night drive had been very productive and we spent quite a while sitting outside on the chalet’s balconey discussing all the ins and outs of our drive. The Geordie Trio were very impressed with our guide. They found both him and the driver very friendly and informative. They just found it strange that not many people tip the guides….well we did because we felt they deserved it. :clap:
As we were chatting away and of course having a Amarula Geordie Musketeer nudged me and asked what was walking through the grass. Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes…there was a small spotted genet. It was totally unaware of us and it spent a while investigating the grassy patch before it disappeared into the bushes. This was a first for me. :lol: I have only ever seen the tail end disappear into the bushes.
We retired for the night and my last thoughts were that we only have one more day left in which to find elephants cavorting in the water. We had not seen this yet and I was so desperate for my visitors to see the fun and games that elephants have at a waterhole.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Thanks again everybody for comments.

15th February 2007
We were up bright and early because we wanted to make the most of our last day. It was very misty and I then knew we were going to have a good day. When the mist lifted it would be really hot …when it is really hot the elephants flock to the waterholes to have some fun. :dance:
We took a fairly slow drive to Hapoor via Gwarrie Dam and Rooidam. We didn’t see much just one or two quick glimpses of kudu and of course there were many piggies around. When we got to Hapoor there were already some cars there watching some elephants. I saw more elephants arriving and not long after that another group arrived. It was very interesting to see how they all greeted each other when they arrived. As some families of elephants arrived others left. Suddenly elephants seemed to be arriving from all directions ….eventually I counted 100 elephants around Hapoor. There was lots of splashing, sploshing and squirting. Now I was happy ..this is what I wanted the Geordie Trio to experience
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=3yoddgz
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=43qly5j
We sat at Hapoor for quite a while but we then decided that we needed a toilet stop so we continued to Spekboom hide.
We were entertained by warthogs and babies. At one stage i think there must have been at least 5 families of piggies. Soon an elephant arrived on the scene and before we knew it there were about 40 elephants at the waterhole. This was turning into a grand day indeed.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=4dxkt8i
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=302b1v6
As you can see on the video clips there was a huge amount of activity at the waterhole. There was lots of trumpeting pushing and shoving. This was the Addo that I had wanted to show the Geordie Trio and they were absolutely dumbstruck.
We eventually left the hide and took a slow drive back to camp via Kadouw and Zuurkop lookouts.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:53 pm 
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I am glad that you are all enjoying tthe video clips.....it was worth the fight that I had with my computer to get them done.

Because we had so much fun during our morning drive we just went out for a quick drive to Carol's Rest in the afternoon. We saw all the usual...still no good sightings of kudu. There was one elephant at Carol's Rest ...just standing in the water...having a very lazy drink of water. On the way back we had fun watching a pale chanting goshawk.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2nm2nh3
We then had our last look at the zebra.
http://video.tinypic.com/player.php?v=2exaiyr
We then headed back to camp.
Unfortunately I had to get back to Cape Town so our 2 nights at Tsitsikamma were cancelled.
I don't think the Geordie Trio were too upset at having to go home early because they had thoroughly enjoyed their stay in Addo.
And me....well I did not find the meerkat....so I will have to go back again :wink: :wink: :wink:


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