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 2
 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:05 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
I'm so excited that I thought i'd start my trip report now!

Today I officially booked my Addo trip (thanks as always to lovely Annamarie at Canal Walk). I also bought my travel supplies (basically just rusks...you don't need anything else when camping).

I've only been to Addo once last year and I wasn't there for more than 2 hours. Grrr.... I was with a friend who wanted to be at the PE beach instead (I don't undestand that). Anyway, it was a rushed trip, very rainy, no visibility, and... NO elephants. We also broke her car on a muddy hill. Try driving home from Addo to Cape Town in a broken car that can't go faster than 50km/h....

I wanted to go back eventually and spend some time there properly. Being a postgraduate student, I have all the time in the world, I just needed money. Anyone who met me in KTP last year knows how much I loved my beautiful new Mini, but when you're starving, even your pets start to look tasty... and the Mini was sold last week. Traded for a 2004 Honda Jazz and a whole lot of money to spend driving it places- yay!

So this will be a nice way for my new car to learn how I do things and what it can expect to be put through in the future. Poor thing has no idea... It won't be so pretty when i'm done with it...

Leaving late Saturday night to get to Addo for gates open on Sunday. I'm booked for Sunday night to Wednesday night. Hoping to get on a night drive or two.

Any recommendations for what else I should do while i'm there?

I can't wait! Counting the hours now...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 9:16 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Thanks everyone!

I'll check up on the trip reports.

CC- I have a HONDA now. Which means i'm a Honda driver. I no longer have the will or ability to drive fast. I even dyed my hair the day I got the car- boring hair for a boring car :) Seriously in love with the fantastic Honda, but my days of driving fast are over...

Dreamer- Yep, went from Cape Town to KTP in November, then on to Joburg for Christmas at my orphange, then back to CT in Feb (I have to do a master's degree at UCT in my spare time). So now i'm in CT, but I commute to Joburg a lot. I just (barely) sold a brand new 2008 Mini with 60,000kms on it :redface: SO yeah, I do like to travel... a lot....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:34 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Thank you everyone! This is why I love this forum so much- you're all awesome. I love my Honda too. Our trip to the WCNP yesterday was a good test for it. It's not the off-roader the Mini was, so i'll have to be little careful, but I think it'll be great in Addo.

I'm packing my stuff into the car now- yay!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:19 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
I'm home! Got back late last night. My trip was really, really cool. I'm going to start working on my trip report today and should have the first installment up by tonight...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:31 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
I'm currently at school and supposed to be preparing for class, so obviously i'm writing up my trip report, because it's more fun than reading 100 pages about symbolic capital and the rhetoric of metonomy.

So here's Day 1. I'll post the accompanying pictures when i'm home this evening. Day 1 is written quite abruptly and blurry, but that's because I was having a miserable day...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:33 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 1: Sunday May 3, 2008

Gosh, the N2 is awful. I left my home in Cape Town at 8pm on Saturday night. I’ve only ‘done the garden route’ once before and that was also as a means to get to Addo, and not to ‘do the garden route’. When you’re tired and road-ragey, hundreds of kilometers of roadworks and little towns with little speed limits are impossible to bear. I know it’s a beautiful drive, but it was dark and all I could see were speed limit signs. I’m a distance driver, but I couldn’t take this one. I gave up and slept for two hours by the side of the road (I have no idea where).

I arrived at the Colchester Gate at 6am, to find the gate opens at 7. Welcomed warmly and told to proceed to the Main Camp where I could check in properly. I had never seen the Colchester section before and it was incredible! But more on that later…

No sooner had I entered the main game area, that I came across a giant herd of Buffalo up on a hill. In the valley, a giant herd of elephant. Things were off to a great start, but tired, I wanted to get to my tent.

Image

At the Main Camp, I’m told I probably can’t check in until 12, because the camp is full. But I try my luck and manage to nab a spot just as its previous occupants leave. Wow, the tent sites are small! But I’m only a small person with a small tent and a small car, so a small site does nicely. I had read about the ground before I left, but didn’t expect it to be quite so hard…

So my tent is up and I try to get some sleep. By 11am, I’m too excited and want to get into the park. So off I go into the game area, desperately hoping my tent will still be there upon my return, given that I’ve only managed to anchor it with one peg.

I head straight for Hapoor. Lots of Kudu. Lots of Warthogs. Has anyone else noticed how happy the warthogs here look? Happy warthogs.
By Kadouw lookout, I see some more elephants. Two males, and they’re not happy like the warthogs were. One is chasing the other quickly and it makes me nervous. The chaser is clearly in musth. They follow me for about a kilometre up the road, running 100 meters behind my car. This is where I learn that I’m quite scared of elephants. I add elephants to the list of animals I’m scared of, which includes such things as ostriches and zebra. People always tell me i'm brave... come on, i'm scared of zebras.

Image

I had come here to test my new car, and it was holding out nicely. It’s not the off-roader my Mini was, but it can handle Addo. I even take it down the one-way Gorah Pan road, which claimed the life of a friend’s car a year ago.

Not a hugely eventful afternoon. I’m tired and fuzzy. I decide to walk the PPC trail at the Main Camp. Obviously, I’m on the lookout for reptiles of any description, and I’m not disappointed. I see a sweet little gecko, a neat lizard and some kind of grass lizard. I’m not great at lizard identification and my giant reptile field guide is not helping. I’ll be posting photos of my three lizards and someone smarter than me can help me out on this one.

Image

Image

The trail is nice, but ambiguous. I’m not sure whether you’re meant to stay on the boardwalks or go off on the obvious dirt trails. The direction arrows are most contradictory. This is how I end up terribly lost, walking along the game fence. In all, the trail is great. The HR’s have done a good job, making it accessible and informative. My advice: stay on the boardwalk…

Back at my tent in the early evening, I’m really regretting bringing only rusks and cereal with me. The Camp’s shop is well stocked, but nothing interests me. I want pizza. I end up buying a pack of nachos and taking them to the waterhole, where I crunch loudly and watch geckos in the Spekboom.

Tonight I’m tired and emotional. I usually love travelling alone, but now I’m lonely and close to tears because of it. The park is full of happy warthogs. The camp is full of happy people. I’m not one of them. I’m in bed by 6. Still regretting the cereal thing…


Last edited by annapangolin on Fri May 08, 2009 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 3:48 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 2: AM Drive

So we pick up the next morning, after nearly 12 hours of beautiful SLEEP- yay! The gate opens at 6:30, so of course I’m there in the dark at 6:20 in my PJ’s, with a KTP souvenir mug full of Corn Flakes.

I love being the first one in the gates in the morning. And today I’ve got it right. Yesterday I had forgotten my Jurassic Park soundtrack. I cannot game drive without listening to Jurassic Park. Since my new car doesn’t have an iPod connection, I made a CD (I haven’t held a CD in my hands since 2005) of special game drive songs especially for Addo.

The gates open and I head down the Domkrag Loop. Just as I come over the first hill I gasp. ‘No way, those are NOT lions’, I say out loud to the imaginary people in my car I’ve invented to keep me company. The sun isn’t up yet and it’s so dark I only see their giveaway tails. Moments later I’m among them. A male and a female. Can someone who knows their Addo lions identify them for me with my grainy photos? I had to edit the photos on my computer to add more light, as the photos were all taken in very dark darkness.

Jurassic Park always works. I’ve been watching them cross the road back and forth, chasing each other for a few minutes when they finally seem to notice I’m there. I’m still alone at this point. My camera takes bad photos in the dark, but amazingly clear videos, so I’m filming the male when he starts to come straight towards me. In a panic, my window goes up and I breathe a sigh of relief, still filming. It’s then my video goes all Blair Witch and starts bouncing around on the ceiling and the dashboard of my car. ‘There’s a lion in my car!’, I can be heard panicking on the video. While she wasn’t technically IN my car, while I’d been watching to male, the female had come around to the other side of my car and found the open passenger window I hadn’t thought to close. Her giant head was on my windowsill. These lions were way too curious (imports from Nossob perhaps?). I learned that Honda windows DO NOT roll up fast enough. I learned a lesson, and now have a brand new ‘scariest lion experience’ to replace my last one.

Image

Image

Another car pulled up and the lions crossed the road again and slumped down on the bank. My heart was pounding as I drove away. I’m shaking just writing this!

I decided (quite wisely I think) not to get out of the car at Domkrag lookout. Further down the road I found a Burchell’s Zebra family. My lion experience had put zebras in perspective, and I even kept my windows down for the zebras. As the mother turns I get a shock. She’s got a foot-long gash on her leg, clearly the work of one of my lions. Closer inspection of the baby reveals it’s also covered in blood and cut badly. It was heartbreaking. I assumed the injury had just occurred that night and they weren’t going to be okay, despite the fact that both were still walking. It was really sad.

Image

Image

I decide to take the Zuurkop road. Lots of jakals around this morning. In a field near the Janwal Pan I spot the back of an elephant. I manoeuvre the car to get a better look, when I notice its horns. It’s a rhino! And not just a rhino- it’s my very first Black Rhino sighting. As soon as I realized what he was, he noticed me and bolted. I managed to get a photo of it running for the bushes. I was thrilled as I knew there were only a handful of them in Addo and I hadn’t expected to see one. It was such a treat, even if it only lasted a moment.

Image

It gets better. There were two Buffalo around the corner and a few elephant down the road. Wow. It had been a completely awesome morning. 4 of the Big 5 in the space of an hour, I’ve never been to Kruger, so I’ve never experienced that before. By 8am, I’m exhausted and head back for camp, feeling a little less lonely. Addo is an incredible place…

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:33 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Thanks guys :)

I'm seriously fine if I never see a lion again.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:44 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 2: Afternoon Drive

My ‘afternoon drive’ started at 10am. I was far too antsy and excited to sit around my campsite, when there was so much out there to see.

This time, I decided to head for Hapoor. Only a few kms into the park, I found some meercats! They are without a doubt, my favourite small animal. I could watch them for hours and hours. These ones were particularly entertaining. I stayed with them; watching them dig, chase each other, stand guard. There were several yellow mongooses around, and the meercats didn’t mind. But then a biggish grey mongoose appeared from behind a bush and suddenly there were meercats coming from everywhere. It was amazing watching the ground come alive with dozens of tiny meercats, all running for the same mongoose, tails in the air. I think the mongoose got the message. When a safari truck pulled up, the meercats retreated over hill. Meercats are perfect. I’m glad my car windows are very tinted. I had the biggest, goofiest smile on my face for the rest of the afternoon.

Image

At Rooidam, I watched something swimming in the far corner of the dam. Without binoculars, I had only my camera’s zoom lens to help me. Its shapes and movement were odd and weren’t giving it away. Having lived in Scotland for several years, I whole heartedly believe in the Loch Ness Monster. I imagined this was some kind of miniature Rooidam Monster. In reality, I’m thinking Marsh Terrapin….

Image

The reptiles kept coming after that. Just outside Spekboom hide, I met the first Leopard Tortoise of the trip. He seemed in a hurry, so I left him. Inside Spekboom hide, I searched high and low for an hour or so, looking for any reptile, but no luck.

Image

Had a quick visit to the picnic spot in the botanical reserve. It was so beautiful and quiet. I liked that you have to drive across an electrical fence thing to get in. I don’t think the Dung Beetles liked the electrical fence thing that much, and there were lots of dead ones next to it, which is sad considering how far the Park goes to protect their Dung Beetles.

On my way back to camp, it happens- my first snake! It’s a lovely bright yellow Puffy. It wasn’t hanging around, so I didn’t have much of a chance to photograph it. Like I do with snakes on the road, I waited and babysat it while it crossed the road safely.

Image

At camp I went to the game drives office and booked a night drive. Because night drives are a hefty R210, I decided I’d only do one on this trip. However, when I went to pay, I was told that my magical Wild Card meant the drive would only cost R150. Sweet! I guess I’ll be doing two night drives then…


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:45 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 2: Night Drive

I love night drives. I think they’re always the highlight of any visit to any national park. I’ve said this before, but it’s the only chance to see all the special animals that only come out at night, and it can never be missed. (Oh gosh, if I get this SANParks internship I’ve applied for, I have a whole year of night drives waiting for me!!!)

So at 6, it’s already dark and ten of us are loaded into the truck. I like to sit at the front near the driver. The drive started late as we had to return to the office because the driver didn’t have the right key to the gate. Slightly disappointed that they only use one spotlight in Addo, which is controlled by the ranger. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it though. But I do like operating spotlights…

We started off along the main fence, the spotlight bouncing off the impenetrable Spekboom. The bush is so dense I wonder what we can possibly be looking for out here. ‘It’s dead out here’, remarks the driver after twenty cold minutes.

I’m reminding myself why I love night drives so much. It’s not only the animals, it’s the chance to be out in the park in the dark and experience the atmosphere and the drama. Still awesome without animals. We carry along for nearly 45 minutes and the bush hasn’t turned up the slightest scrub hare. But it’s cold tonight, and I admit to myself that I’m a little bored. But then we turn onto the main road and the bush opens up. Before long we have our first sighting! Two ostriches. As the engine is killed, I sigh to myself. I’m so tired at this point, that I’m thinking up sarcastic, catty ways to write it up on my trip report. ‘Does that count as one sighting or two?’. However, the guide is excellent and decorates the ostriches with all kinds of cool facts, which make them into quite the exciting little sighting.

It’s after the ostriches, that the Kudus come pouring in. Hundreds and hundreds of them. The guide explains he’ll only stop at a Kudu once. However a ten year old girl on the truck starts screaming every time she catches sight of one. ‘Stop! Stop! You have to STOP NOW!’. After the tenth Kudu stop, the guide patiently explains that there are 2000 Kudu in the Park and we’re all guaranteed to see them up close tomorrow. She fell asleep after that. It’s too bad she did…

Because now we’re seeing Jackals. I love Jackals. The excitement builds when we hear them crying in the distance, in the direction of Domkrag. Have you all heard Jackals cry? The sound completely pierces you. It’s awesome. But they’re not alone. I’ve only heard hyenas on TV before this. So when we turn and head towards the commotion, I’m really, really excited. Unfortunately, this morning’s zebra family is on my mind. I have a terrible feeling that we’re hearing a zebra buffet feeding frenzy…

On the way to the hyenas, we see a big rain spider on the road and stop. The tourists go wild. I get the impression I’m the only person here who’s lived in South Africa, because I frequently find significantly bigger spiders in my bedroom.

When we reach the Domkrag Loop, the howling has stopped, and we’re left trying to find hyenas in the dark. Then we see them… the zebra family. They are still very much walking around, no predators in sight. This is where I learn from the ranger that the lion attack had been more than a week ago, despite looking so fresh. It’s a huge relief. Maybe the zebras will be okay after all.

We find jackals, but no hyenas. I’m now getting very cold and very tired, but I’m warmed and wakened by an Eland sighting. They’re far away (aren’t they always?) but the spotlight picks them up nicely. Eland are truly impressive. They’re HUGE. They can jump two meters high a standing position.

For me, the night drive is all about the Springhare. The Springhare is my night drive benchmark. I must see a Springhare for a night drive to be 100% fulfilling. Tonight it’s not until we turn back for camp that we see one. I’m thrilled! The Springhare is my favourite nocturnal animal. Hop, hop, hop, hop… The rest of the truck are unimpressed, but this is where my goofy smile returns and stays, and once again, I’m thankful no one can see me in the dark. I can sleep happy tonight.

As we near the gate the light picks up a scrub hare. A quick scan of the nearby ground reveals it’s being stalked. At first I think it’s a Jackal crouching low in the grass, then the guide announces, ‘Caracal!’. I nearly faint. Do you realize that in the past few months since I’ve learned that the WCNP has a lot of caracal, I go there about twice a week in the late afternoon hoping to see one? I went on night drives in the Karoo, desperate to spot a caracal. I’ve been completely fascinated with caracal this last year. I had hoped, but never expected I’d see my first caracal in Addo. I can feel myself getting all teary as we watch the caracal in front of us. I now have about five minutes of blurry, black video, but I know that somewhere in the darkness is my first caracal and nothing else matters.

Back at the main camp, we’re told the lions are at the waterhole. I head over there, but honestly, I’m not too interested. I’m guessing it’s this morning’s lions and I’m still mad at them and unwilling to give them my time. They’ve apparently walked behind a bush, but I’m excited and don’t want to sit and wait. Caracal, caracal, CARACAL!

Caracal! Caracal! Back by my tent, my eyes have been so accustomed to spotting Kudu in the dark, that near the bathrooms I mistake a man in shorts for a Kudu and get quite the fright. Caracal!

I can’t sleep because I keep looking at the one clear caracal photo my camera managed to take. (Caracal!) As I finally drift off, my elderly caravanning neighbours next door start playing loud pan pipe music which I soon recognize as the hits of Abba. Caracal! I fall asleep an hour later singing, ‘caracal, caracal, caracal, caracal….’, (in my head) to the tune of Mamma Mia. Try it; it’s really hard…

CARACAL! CARACAL!

Image

Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 2:22 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 4:37 pm
Posts: 362
Location: Valley of cheese and wine
Well Done Moose.

Just caught up with your report. Loveley lion sighting of the brother and sister, Roy and Megan. And then my big challenge in a bit more than 2 weeks, to see a caracal. Hope I am as lucky as you were.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:25 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 3 AM

Caracal! I’m at the gate at 6:20. First as always. I’m crunching my cereal and waiting for the man to walk up the road and open the gate. I swear they must walk slower when they can see eager cars waiting at the gate. At 6:31 his flashlight is still bobbing up the road in my rearview mirror. I don’t know why, but I’m very eager today. As always, the guard takes my permit and inspects it. I can’t understand why it takes a good two minutes intensely scrutinizing a tiny scrap of paper that has only a licence plate number and two dates written on it. His flashlight shines on the paper, then on my face, then scans the rest of my car, then back to the paper, back to my face… it goes on.

Anyway, at 6:37 I’m in and faced with a choice. Drive to where we heard hyenas on the night drive, or go towards where they’ve been seen every morning (Rooidam). I make my choice and head for Rooidam. Sightings of scrub hare confirm that the nocturnal set is still up and about. I get to Rooidam and watch some Egyptian Geese and give up on the hyena. Still thankful I took the gamble, but eager to move on. Then a minute after I turn back, I turn a corner and see something sauntering across the road in the distance. It’s big, bushy and grey in the early morning light. Hyena! I’m not quick enough with the camera, so I wait for ten minutes hoping for another glimpse, but the bush is just too thick. It doesn’t matter- my morning is made 

I drive the Domkrag loop and then decide to go exploring some new roads. Off to the Mbabala loop. It’s clear that elephants had come through here recently. Bits of tree and bush are all over the road and impssible not to drive over. I see two buffalos by the road, but no sight of the destructive herd of elephants.

I loved the Mbabala loop. The roads seemed so wild.. I kept thinking it was the sort of place I’d be most likely to see the leopard I’m never going to see. I kept stopping and turning off the car to soak up the place. It was like the Africa I’d seen in the movies. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be here. This has always been my dream, and I’m here. WOW.

I come across a leg in the road. It’s been severed, but apart from that it’s totally intact. I wonder why this leg didn’t taste as good as the thing it was attached to…

Hapoor is completely quiet when I get there, and at 8:30 I’m ready to head back to camp for some pre-lunch tent time. It’s been a sweet drive with a brief hyena spotting, glorious sunrise and a random leg.

Image


Last edited by annapangolin on Mon May 25, 2009 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 5:34 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 3 Lunch: The Cheese Pieburger

Back at camp, something beautiful happens. In search of a sandwich, I head for the shop. Since I arrived, there’d been sandwiches and things in the fridge, but today there was something familiar and wonderful. The fridge is a sea of yellow and blue: the cheese pieburger has arrived. I feel a swelling inside that is on par with last night’s caracal sighting.

I associate cheese pieburgers with SANParks. My first was at Mata Mata, when I was desperate to eat anything other than a rusk. I had never eaten any type of savoury ‘pie’ before. Now I’m sure these things exist outside of national parks, but I’ve never looked for one there. I see them as a NP tradition and will never eat one in the real world. I’ve eaten cheese pieburgers all over KTP, at Karoo NP and now at Addo.

If you don’t know what a cheese pieburger is, it’s a cheese burger, wrapped in puff pastry. It’s incredible. I can handle my junk food very well. I’ll easily eat a dozen doughnuts in a sitting, and once tried eating three meals a day at McDonalds for three weeks. I only stopped because it was getting expensive. I could have continued for months. But the cheese pieburger is the only food I’ve ever eaten where I can feel it clogging all of my veins and arteries. You can feel the grease bubbling under your skin when you eat one and you feel 13 pounds heavier when you’re done.

Cheese Pieburgers are truly beautiful. I can’t describe how good they taste when you’ve only eaten rusks and nachos for days. As I sat by the waterhole and devoured my pieburger I was swarmed by dozens and dozens of flies. They know quality when see it!

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 6:06 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:46 pm
Posts: 745
Day 3: Afternoon Drive

I’d seen a lot of rule-breaking in the park these last two days, but this drive sets a whole new (bad) standard. On this drive I headed further south to Marion Baree (sp?) waterhole, and was rewarded with a great elephant sighting! It’s a mummy and her tiny elephant. I love little elephants. In time I was joined by three other cars, before the fourth pulled up. A young, excited couple jumped out of their car with cameras, cooler and backpacks and ran (I mean ran fast) towards the two elephants, who were very, very close to the road. I was too far away to be heard, but another closer woman started yelling. She tried to tell the couple they weren’t allowed out of their car, but the couple just looked blank. The guy replied quite matter-of-factly that you’re allowed out at your own risk. The woman in the car insisted you’re not. The couple eventually went back to their car, but I got the impression that these two had been doing this all day at various sightings and just hadn’t been caught yet. Scary. The look on the guy’s face said he’d just do it again at the next sighting as well.

Image

On the way back to Hapoor, came across another family walking around in the road. The father was photographing dung beetles. I got a sneaky photo.

Then, as if the rules hadn’t been flouted enough in the last hour, at Hapoor someone had left orange peels all over the road. How stupid can people get? The warnings that tell you not to bring citrus fruits into the game area are unmissable. The orange peels were like a sick joke. Why do some people have no respect for the environment they’re in? It really makes me quite angry, given that Addo does a great job at advertising their rules- much better than other parks I’ve been to. There can be no excuses for breaking any rules in Addo- you DID see the signs. Grrrrr… *sigh* …rant over.

Image

At Hapoor, I get another highlight. More Meercats! And lots of yellow mongoose as well. I turn off the car engine and relax. I’ve said it before, but nothing (I mean NOTHING) beats watching meercats. After a few moments, I realize that one of them is playing with something. I see a flash of yellow, and my first thought is ‘Cape Cobra!’. But then I look closer. I pull out the reptile book I keep on my lap while I’m driving. Frantically I search and search. The colours are striking, so why can’t I find out what it is? I eventually decide it’s a slug-eater. The meercats play for a while, (my slug-eater is still squirming to get away, despite not appearing to have a head anymore), before abandoning the snake. Soon, a bird (help with ID?) comes along and picks it up.

Image

Image

(When I got home, I immediately asked about my ‘snake’ on the forum, and learned it to be a ‘Cape Legless Skink’. It’s right there in my book- page 234. I guess I hadn’t even thought to look at skinks, because the thing was so big…)

I decide to stay out in the park until closing time, so I slowly make my way back up to Rooidam. I mean slowly. I stayed below 20km/h and got to really experience Addo (and made several people behind me quite angry). Saw several people out of their cars again.

At Rooidam it begins to pour. I remember I’ve left my tent open. Oh well, no point in rushing back now. I sit at Rooidam for an hour and relax, so thankful to be where I am.

Image

Just before leaving I try the Domkrag loop. I get to see Eland closer than I’ve ever seen them before! Fantastic.

Image

Back at camp, I decide on an early night. First I check out the underground hide. I must say, I’m not hugely impressed. It really is ‘underground’. If something was at the waterhole, you wouldn’t see it, because all you can see is… underground. I suppose it’s great for insect watching, and I did see a couple of geckos in the hide.

I’m asleep by 7 (a real ‘party-animal’). No Abba panpipes tonight.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Addo Moose Park May 2009
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 3:18 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3848
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Very entertaining saga, Moose, and I also hope that you reported all the rulebreakers that you saw :roll: :sniper:

I think that your mystery birdie with the skink is a fiscal shrike.

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 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 steffi at 17:03:19 Submitted by mitzi 14 at 15:25:27 Submitted by mitzi 14 at 15:29:09 Submitted by steffi at 17:02:58