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GATE ENTRANCE : TIMES AT ADDO WAY TOO LATE.

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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:32 am
Posts: 9
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Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:09 pm Unread post
I am trying to find out why Addo's gates open so much later for the public, than for instance, Kruger.
I am a photographer (amateur), who find it so frustrating that the gates only open at 7am, when the sun is already high, and the wonderful early morning light gone! Wonderful photo opportunities are lost due to the loss of early morning light.

Is it true that this is due to Workers' Union pressure, in the Eastern Cape? Surely that is impossible. This is THE MAJOR tourist attraction of this poor Province. Why can the gates not open at 6am, for the general public?. I know the inside gates open earlier for visitors staying the night, but it is really ridiculous that the main gates stay closed until 7am!

Is there ANY way that this can be negotiated?
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Re: GATE ENTRANCE : TIMES AT ADDO WAY TOO LATE.

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Somerset West
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Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:01 pm Unread post
Hi SAJVV

You are not the first person to complain about this!
Addo need to be congratulated on being: with it, cool, far sighted, ingenious, plus a few other adjectives. They have turned a zoo into a world class wildlife destination within a few years!
Think of the lovely new camps, fences coming down (at last) between Matyholweni and the old game section, Spekboom tented camp, and I am sure many more lovely spots that we mostly don't bother to visit in the outback sections of the park...

But somehow they forgot that more tourists love seeing predators walking instead of sleeping in the hot sun !

The excuses:
* It costs too much money to pay somebody to work an extra 2 hours per day...!
* Most tourists want to get back to the shop before it closes, so close the gates earlier...!
* Elephants tend to drink early in the day, and clear off into the bush before sunset...!

Why do photographers REALLY want to be out earlier in Addo?
* Obviously predators are more active in the cooler hours of the day!
* Obviously the light is soft and gentle around sunrise, and gets VERY harsh and ugly later in the day!
* It is VERY frustrating to sit and watch sleepy lions waking up, but 30 minutes BEFORE sunset the gates close, and you have to leave just before the action starts!
* Addo is quite big, and currently only 9 lions roam the park (rest have been removed, females are on contraceptives), so chances of finding them IN the road are rather remote once it gets hot!

Please ask this question a few more times! Maybe somebody will take notice.
I don't mind them limiting DAY VISITORS to slightly later entrance times (same happens in Kruger), but at least let the overnight visitors have the benefits of an early start, especially now that the lions seem to have gravitated down to Matyholweni, which is FAR from the main camp.

Thanks for asking,

God bless,
Friedrich von Hörsten

PS. Hope to be in Addo with a Hi-Ace full of school kids on a photography tour in April, so push them to change times before then!


Re: GATE ENTRANCE : TIMES AT ADDO WAY TOO LATE.

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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:06 am
Posts: 47
Location: Guildford - UK
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Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:19 am Unread post
Friedrich von Hörsten wrote
Hi-Ace full of school kids on a photography tour in April, so push them to change times before then!


A van full of kids before 7am - really?

On a more serious note I do agree that early is good when it comes to seeing wildlife and taking photos, although the last time we were in Addo I was not there close to gate opening times at any point!


Re: GATE ENTRANCE : TIMES AT ADDO WAY TOO LATE.

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
Posts: 474
Location: Somerset West
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Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:57 pm Unread post
Hi Soft Top

Yes, this is a photography tour, and they are always ready for early morning rides, otherwise they miss the bus! We did this in Kgalagadi 2 years ago, and they really don't mind! Otherwise, we do flowers or landscapes alternative years, so they can get up later for the flowers!

We hope to spend 3 nights in Addo this time, and will most likely head down to Matyholweni area at sunrise in the hope of finding the lions down there.... when it warms up, elephant viewing is better at Hapoor etc.

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
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