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 Post subject: 2 nights in Addo May 2015 - some questions
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:11 pm
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Location: Maniago, Italy
Hello all!

I plan to spend a couple of nights in Addo National Park at the very end of May 2015. I have some questions:

1. I'm mostly interested in elephants, lions and land animals (more than birds). Is late May a good time to spot them?

2. I read on Lonely Planet guide that the park gets closed with heavy rain. This is OK (I might do other things in such unfortunate case), but if I have a booked accommodation at Addo Rest Camp will I still be able to get in and have a place where to sleep?

3. I see the gate closes at 18.30 or so, but it seems to be possible to checkin after with a booking. Since I land in Port Elizabeth at 17.30 I'll surely check somewhere around 19.30-20.00. Is this doable?

Thanks a lot of the advice.

Michele.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 nights in Addo May 2015 - some questions
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
Posts: 484
Location: Somerset West
Hi Michele,

You asked:
Quote:
1. I'm mostly interested in elephants, lions and land animals (more than birds). Is late May a good time to spot them?

2. I read on Lonely Planet guide that the park gets closed with heavy rain. This is OK (I might do other things in such unfortunate case), but if I have a booked accommodation at Addo Rest Camp will I still be able to get in and have a place where to sleep?

3. I see the gate closes at 18.30 or so, but it seems to be possible to checkin after with a booking. Since I land in Port Elizabeth at 17.30 I'll surely check somewhere around 19.30-20.00. Is this doable?


1. Lions are not easy to see -- there are less than a dozen in the park. Ask at reception and check the Sightings Board outside reception -- you can get an idea where they were last seen.
Elephants are EASY to see ANY time of the year... but NOT when it is raining, very windy or cold! If you are lucky enough to have a warm day, then you will easily see 200 elephants in a day, especially at waterholes like Hapoor. They start drinking from as early as 8:00 am. I always drive to the top of Zuurkop -- there is a viewpoint where you can get out and sit on a bench -- you overlook the area towards Carols Rest waterhole, and from the top you can easily see where the big herds of elephants are, especially if they are out in those big open fields. Just drive down and see in which direction they are moving!
2. The entrance to Main Camp is TAR, and unless there is a major flood (99.99% Unlikely!), you will have NO problems to get to bed! Even inside the park, there are enough TAR roads to keep you going if it rains. I doubt that you will see much rain in May!
3. Addo Rest camp is about 72 km from Port Elizabeth, and you still have to get out of town in rush hour traffic. There is a freeway called the N2 that is faster.
NB 1. -- If you go to the 2nd entrance gate at Colchester -- you will NOT be allowed to go through the camp after hours to get to your accommodation.
NB 2. The ONLY way you could get into camp would be via the entrance gate right by the Main camp, not far from Addo town. They have a security guard 24/7 and you can come and go as you like. I DO think you would do well to contact them in advance and let them know you will be late, so they can arrange for you to have the key for accommodation left at the gate???? have never tried that...
NB 3. There are 2 ways to get to this gate at Main Camp -- the SAFEST but LONGEST route would be to go along the N2 in and easterly direction till it splits about 50 km from PE, turn left (N10) towards Paterson for 22 km, turn left at Paterson town intersection (R342) towards Addo for 22 km -- I guess this will be about 100 km in total...
The shorter alternative is to turn off the N2 at Markman/Motherwell township onto the R335 about 20 km from PE, then just keep going STRAIGHT for 50 km till you pass throught Addo village and get to your gate. I would NOT advise anybody to travel this route at NIGHT, especially if you have never done it before... there is always the slight chance of a breakdown in an Unsafe area, or of getting lost and ending up in dangerous places. The road is narrow, very bumpy, but OK.
Hope you have a wonderful time at Addo!
God bless,
Friedrich von Hörsten, Somerset West.

_________________
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay


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 Post subject: Re: 2 nights in Addo May 2015 - some questions
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:35 pm
Posts: 3406
Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi Michele,

Friedrich has given some great pointers here. I agree it's worth getting in touch with the camp regarding your later arrival - the reception phone number is +27 (0) 42 233 8600. Personally I've not had any trouble using the direct route to Addo main entrance going past Motherwell and through Addo village. It's a bit bumpy in places but last time there weren't any potholes.

May is a good time of the year to visit the park from an animal perspective. The gate times allow you to enter when it is pretty much dark, so keep an eye out for nocturnal animals - particularly hyena around Domkrag and Gwarrie/Rooidam. The lion could be pretty much anywhere, but I tend to find that my better sightings are in the south of the park (there are 12 lion in the main game area now - 9 adults and 3 cubs). Hapoor would be a good place to spot elephant whilst the northern side of Harveys Loop can sometimes be good for buffalo bulls as well as occasional bushpig sightings. If you're staying at the main camp, don't forget to pop along to the floodlit waterhole for a while in the evenings. At first glance it can often appear to be quiet with no animals around, but with a bit of patience you might be rewarded with some special sightings :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: 2 nights in Addo May 2015 - some questions
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:11 pm
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Location: Maniago, Italy
Hello!

Thanks everybody for the very useful replies. I got confirmation from the Addo Rest Camp that I can arrive up to 22:00, so I got the necessary time by landing at 17:30. So I booked accommodation.

Friedrich: thanks for the road tips. I assume you suggest the route shown here:

https://goo.gl/maps/UoBS7

Right? (Google Maps sent me via Motherwell initially).

Thanks,
Michele.


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 Post subject: Re: 2 nights in Addo May 2015 - some questions
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
Posts: 484
Location: Somerset West
Hi Michele,

Yes, that is the safest route. Not that much further. I would do the other one during the day, but have second thoughts after dark.
Hope you have a wonderful time.
God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten

_________________
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay


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