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 Post subject: Trip Report. Weekend day trips to Addo 1 and 2 March 2008
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:36 pm
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Location: Luanda, Angola (ex-PE, RSA)
After the report that we got from Patto on a day visit to Addo, I thought its good fun to do this so here is my try a first “trip” report. This past weekend we visited the park on Saturday and again on Sunday. One thing that’s so true about going game viewing is that the best time is early morning. People sometimes say that Addo doesn’t have a lot of animals – not true – the thick bush only “pull” animals back from midday when it gets warmer.

Day one: Saturday 1 March 2008.
So, we (my two sons and I) were up early in PE on Saturday to make sure we were at the park when the gates open – I always enter from the south end of the park. It was overcast and we even got a few drops of rain. The park was fairly quite – we were told by the guard that the day before it was lions everywhere. We only got some fresh tracks south of Marion Barry. I took my first photos of this mother Francolin and chicks searching for food along the road.

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We travelled up the hill from Hapoor end and circled the Mbabala loop in the “old” opposite direction – best direction for morning photography as the sun is behind you. Only a few warthogs and then got the Vervet Monkeys in the trees.

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From Zuurkop we took the road leading in the direction of Carol’s Rest (my favourite water hole in the park). As we got to the open fields we got five Black Back Jackals lying in the road. They moved onto the open area and we watch them for a while. I always enjoy these naughty buggers. They were playing around with a piece of old skin and then moved into different directions.

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At Carols rest we watched the Zebras drinking water and got two Kudus running away from us.

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Going down the one-way section of the Ghorah loop we got some fresh lion tracks going up the hill (against the flow of traffic). We decided to do the loop again. On the grassland section we got this Blue Crane close to the road.

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There was also a Stanley Bastard. It was limping and it looked like it had lost the toes on the one leg. It was a bit at a distance so no close enough for a photo. We also got a caracal I the riverbed as you go up to Carol’s Rest, but only for a few seconds and then it went in behind a bush so unfortunately no photo. The Guinea Fowl was clearly not happy about its presence. The second trip did deliver the lions although we got the spot where they turned out of the road into the thick bush. We were then greeted by a big ellie coming up the road. The sides of the road was high and the road narrow so I decided to reverse about a 100 meter or so to give it a chance to find a route into the bush. It was a lovely photo opportunity as the ellie was a bit lower that the normal angle.

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We followed the route passed the Woodlands area to the Main Camp. Here we just got a big heard of buffalo leaving in the distance. We also note that Rhino were spotted at Spekboom during the morning – we didn’t stop there. From the Main Camp it was via Rooidam to Hapoor. At Hapoor there was plenty Elephant action as the day was getting quit warm. I didn’t count, but I’m sure there were more than 50 there. I took a few close-up shots of these youngsters playing and then went wide angle. I turned these into pano crop so please tell me what you think about it.

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It was getting real hot and limited action. Just before 14:00 we were back home and joined Mom for lunch.

Hope you enjoy. Report on Day two to follow.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:41 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks you all for the comments. I appreciate it.


peterbee wrote:
Great elephant pics. How many can you fit into that waterhole??? :P Like the wide angle also.
You are so lucky to have this all on your doorstep :mrgreen:,


Yes we are very lucky to have it on our doorstep and that's why I try to make the most of it. There are plenty of locals you forget about this privilege we have and never go to Addo -- good thing in some respects. :)

Peter the water hole is quite a big one and it's the main one in the park. I've counted more than 60 ellies there in the past.

And yes .. one can get carried away watching them and before you know it a lot of time has gone by.

I'll work on my report on the second day tonight. :)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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So Michelle ... get your popcorn for an early evening show. :lol:


Day two: Sunday 2 March 2008.

Before we went to bed last night I asked who is joining me and everyone decided that I’m going on my own. :o I got up, washed my face and got ready. First made coffee and packed some rusks and cold drinks. I stopped at the garage for the news paper – you can see where this is all leading to. :lol:

Got to the gate just before opening time so I had some coffee and rusks to kill the time. The clouds of the day before as disappeared and it was clear that it’s going to be a warm day. 8)

The sightings of the day started with a hare

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.. or two Image

It was a beautiful morning and love was in the air. :wink: I got this young kudu bull chatting up one of the maidens over the fence

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… and these love birds fluffing their feathers in the early morning sun.

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I drove up the tar road from Hapoor and came across an elephant cow and these two calves that were in a very playful mood. I just love watching then playing. :dance:

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They got so close that the zoom was not wide enough to get them in at some stage.

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A bit further on I got one of the oldest Elephant cows in the Park. Hettie is close to 60 and her age is getting to her. You can read more about my report on her here http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopi ... &start=585 .

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At the top of Zuurkop I got this lovely Hartebeest ram looking over the valley whilst it was soaking in the morning sun.

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I made my way to Carols Rest and saw some Vervet Monkeys grooming in the trees in the riverbed just before one start to drive up the hill to the waterhole. I sat here for a while and watched how the troop came one-by-one for their session. :lol: Not a car in sight and just the morning sounds. 8)

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The rest of my morning I spent at Carols Rest (about two hours), but the photos are getting too many for the post so I’ll split this part in two reports. :twisted: :twisted:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hope you enjoyed the coffee Michelle. Thanks Elsa for the comments. Which one of the panos do you like the most?

Here goes for part two.

Day two: Sunday 2 March 2008 (Part Two).

At Carol’s rest were two buffalo bulls chewing on their previous day’s meal.

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I sat there for a while and took a few photos. After a while I continued with the road towards the one-way section, but saw three Zebras coming for a drink. I decided to turn back and spend some time at the waterhole to see what comes out of the bush (maybe the lions are nice to me)

So the Zebras arrived ….

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… as well as a lot of warthogs. This lady arrived with piglets and finally some warthog photo opportunity. I got them with some nice reflection while drinking water.

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Then this Black Back Jackal arrived. It was not in a good condition at all – I wonder what is wrong with it? It drank some water and went back where it came from.

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A hartebeest came to quench its thirst and stood at the waterhole for a quite a long time --- just as relaxed as I was. While it scratched its back, I took the opportunity to have another cuppa and read a bit of the newspaper.

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An elephant made its way over the grass plain to the water. I took this photo to show the nice view of the activity with the woodlands valley in the distance.

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It then had a good drink whilst a busload of tourists arrived.

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The peace was disturbed so I made my way to the one-way section of the Ghorah loop and got a nice kudu bull next to the road – it was about 6 meters from me and I had the zoom pulled in completely. I got this photo just before the bus arrived and it walked off.

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It was getting very hot and the park got very quiet except for plenty elephant action at the waterholes. A ranger told me at Spekboom that there was a lion sighting close to the south gate, but when I got there they moved off to find some shade for the rest of the day. :cry:


Just before I went out through the south gate I got these butterflies on fresh elephant dung. The angle out of the pick-up was not the best (would have loved a lower angle) but it was worth taking a few shots.


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I was safely back home at around 13:00 to sit down with the family for lunch …. And then had a great Sunday afternoon nap. I hope to make another daytrip to Addo soon. Hope you enjoyed this little trip with me. It was nice to have you on tour.
:roll:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:09 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Luanda, Angola (ex-PE, RSA)
Thanks everyone for enjoying it with me.

Yes Katy it is a relaxed park and one don't have to deal with a lot of traffic jams like in some of our other parks.


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