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Where best to photograph animals in Addo

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
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gslabbert5119
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Where best to photograph animals in Addo

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:31 pm

I am coming over from the USA and will be spending a couple of days at Addo. We will be staying in the Domkrag Guest house. I would like to do some photography, so I am looking for recommendations of which game tours to do and with whom.
I would like to photography the big 5 as well as Hippo, bushpig, male Kudu and some jackals. forgot to mention I would really like to photograph some owl ad maybe a Caracal.

Also what can I see from the accommodation, should I stay vigilant and pretty much stay up all night as we will only get the one night in the guest house (2 days).

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Last edited by gslabbert5119 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CuriousCanadian
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby CuriousCanadian » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:36 pm

Welcome to another North Americaner!!! :D While I can't personally answer your questions..I'm sure that someone here can & will! :dance:
In the meantime...look here for some stories about Addo!!!
Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.

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gslabbert5119
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:03 pm

Thanks for the welcome, actually I am an ex PAT from PE and never went to Addo while I lived there. Actually I grew up in PE but left in 1972 after I finished High School, and at that time Addo was not very well thought of and from what I recall had very few visitors.

From what I have read, SANS has done a great job of rehabilitating the park, and I feel that having lived there I really do need to go, plus I am adverse to viewing wild animals in cages, they were not meant to be in them.

I am still looking forward to replies with what Game drives to do and how to best use the short time that I am going to be there.

TIA

Gavin
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DuQues
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi and welcome Gavin! :yaya:

The game drives all have the luck of the draw, it's always Be @ the right place @ the right time.
However you may want to keep an eye on this topic and read through some of the other travel tales in that section?
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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HoepHoep
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby HoepHoep » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:35 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Lets play the percentage game:
Your are likely to see
Lion: 10-30%
Elephant: 98%
Buffalo: 80%
Rhino: 10%
Leopard: 1%
Hippo: 25% (greater Addo)
Jackal: 75%
Bushpig: 5%
Kudu: 98%
Most of these sightings will be at very close range.
I would love to hear other forumites opinium on my % guesses.
It also depends on how long you stay. In 4 days we saw lion(3), elephant, buffalo (numerous), rhino (1) Jackal (numerous), kudu (numerous) as well as caracal and bat eared fox.
Best way to see them: self drive, but an evening or late afternoon drive will obviously allow you to see more night animals. Drives are done by the Parks Board staff. Book on arrival opposite reception.
You can spend some time in the evening at the floodlit waterhole at the main camp, as the rhino frequently come down there between 20:00 and 22:00.
Use your short time to be in the game area from gate opening to gate closure. Even the middle of the day can be most rewarding with elephant swimming, etc. Do your siesta back home and make the most of your time in the park!
The Creator is bigger than His creation!

My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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gslabbert5119
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:38 pm

Question, while I am in Addo National Park for a night, am I allowed to drive around the game reserve after dark, or am I confined to the Guest house that I have rented?

TIA
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Let your hopes and spirits soar high and free and far.
Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby HoepHoep » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:07 am

Hi Gavin

No, you won't be allowed in the game area after dark on your own driving around. You can however go on a guided game drive that will allow you to see the night animals. You can also spend some time at the floodlid waterhole in the camp where you may see the rhino come to drink, or a jackal, porcupine, kudu, elephants, wharthog, etc.
On arrival you must check the gate opening and closing times. It varies between seasons.

Johan
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My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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gslabbert5119
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:16 pm

Thanks for the information, I assumed that there are too many irresponsible people to allow anyone in the park after dark.

I have booked an evening and a morning game drive.

BTW: Do the game drives go to parts of the Game Reserve where personal vehicles are not allowed ?

Thanks again for the help guys, it is much appreciated.

Gavin
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Let your hopes and spirits soar high and free and far.
Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

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gslabbert5119
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:52 pm

All bookings have been confirmed, I ended up getting the Hapoor Guest house instead of Domkrag, but am told that there is no difference. Also have a night and a morning game drive scheduled.

I will write a trip report and post some photos when I return to the USA in February.

Hopefully I have something to write about.
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Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:56 pm

gslabbert5119, I am sure you will have loads to write about!

I have just returned from 3 days at Addo, and it was wonderful (as always). The animal sightings were great. No lion or hippo (there are no hippo in the main game area), but wonderful 'smaller' things.

Head for Hapoor water hole later on in the morning for good ellie photos - the light is right then, and if it is hot weather, which Feb will be, I am sure you will find many elephant there.
Sawubona
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PJL
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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby PJL » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:30 pm

HoepHoep wrote:I would love to hear other forumites opinium on my % guesses.


Here are my estimated percentages of sightings over your two days :D
Lion: 30% - if they are seen by someone, the word spreads fast!
Elephant: 100%
Buffalo: 60%
Rhino: 10%
Leopard: 0.00001%
Jackal: 90%
Kudu: 100%
Warthog: 100%
Caracal: 10%
Bat-eared fox: 5%

As DuQues said, it's a case of being at the right place at the right time to see some of these things. It's also worth browsing through the forums to see things like the history of the lion in addo to get a better understanding of where they might be seen.

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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby HoepHoep » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:19 am

@ PJL
We seem to be in agreement.
I once met a guy at Addo that have spend an entire day in the game area without seeing a single elephant!

During our last visit we had in the first morning two (different) lion sightings in the road before we had an elephant sighting. Maybe animals don't understand probabality and percentages :D .

We have always been extremely lucky with the buffaloes, both lone bulls and the large herds.

It seems as if the jackal population have increased lately. On our first visit we saw 1 in four days and during our last visit various sightings per day.

Totally agree with DuQues, but I have seen people driving at such a speed that they must miss many sightings. I have also heard of people that spend the major part of their day sleeping and then only do an early and late drive. They will miss all the ellie-play-in-the-mud-fun at midday!

I once met a couple at the Addo waterhole. It was their tenth day in Addo, and they have not left the camp! They have spend their days sitting at the waterhole and waiting for the next thirsty animal.
The Creator is bigger than His creation!

My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby PJL » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:26 am

HoepHoep wrote:Totally agree with DuQues, but I have seen people driving at such a speed that they must miss many sightings.

I agree - some people must miss a lot. But I also think that there's an optimum speed for game spotting in Addo... drive too slow and your eyes focus on the bushes next to the road. Drive a bit faster (maybe 30-35kph) and you find you can 'see' more into the bushes as the closer ones blur due to the speed. :D

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Re: Visiting Addo February

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:08 pm

After calling from the USA on no less than 5 different occasions (and given the run around by the SANS Park staff in PE :tongue: ) I finally managed to reach SANSPark head office and a really nice person was happy to accept my reservation payment telephonically, (is there such a word :hmz:) however they said nothing about paying for my game Drives and I neglected to ask, :redface:

My question after that long winded explanation is, do I have to call back, or should I wait until I arrive at Addo and pay for the game drive at the park.
I do do not want to travel from the USA and then find that I cannot get onto the game drive, or get the highly recommended guide name Riaan, (BTW is Riaan and Ryan the same person ?)

Anyway I hope that it is a :thumbs_up: from here on out, and may all have a GREAT festive season.

Merry Christmas
Gavin
Choose a wish, find a dream, pick a wishing star:
Let your hopes and spirits soar high and free and far.
Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

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