Thank you for the interesting news, Megan!
Kooning raised some interesting questions too. If I remember correctly, many years ago one hardly ever saw any grazers in the old, smaller park, except tortoises!
As more of this "man-made' open grassland was added to the park, the hartebeest, and latter addition? of zebra became more visible between Woodlands and Carol's Rest area.
Today this open area is prime for seeing big herds of elephant "skoffling" the short grass or purple vygies up with their feet, as well as zebras, hartebeest, kudus, eland, warthog and buffalo...
I know I very seldom bother to travel the Rooidam/Hapoor loop because you see so few animals in the thick bush; same for the main road between Woodlands and Hapoor. My favourite route is via Carol's Rest, over Zuurkop (more open territory), and then on to Hapoor. Special sightings always in the open around Wayne's valley and the open patches in Matyholweni. The last straight section of pristine indigenous vegetation down to Colchester is mostly a waste of time for game viewing except the odd bushbuck/kudu or verdwaalde elephant/lion one could possibly encounter...
Even the main drive outside the park from Paterson to Addo park is excellent for viewing of zebra, eland, elephant, hartebeest on your right hand side (Inyati section?). Once you reach the thick spekbos, all you see is trees.
I remember the serious recent drought when the buffalo at Hapoor looked like walking skeletons, and hundreds of warthog had to be culled because there was not enough food for the animals. It was rather ironical that a few meters south of the old southern gate, on those open man-made hills and valleys, there was plenty of lush grassland that could have been excellent grazing for these grazers but for the fence that separated them... and something tells me so many animals have ventured south because of abundant grazing and food, it seems as if even the lions spend most of their time in this area!
How would the envisioned longterm "reforestation" of these areas affect the grazers and game viewing? I hope the answer is more taking down of fences so that serious game viewing is not restricted only to the thick bushy main viewing area, but so that grassland can also be part of this experience.
Always good to hear about new developments in Addo!
Friedrich von Hörsten