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ADDO - DISASTER ON A VERY SHORT TRIP

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
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Birdie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Barkly East

ADDO - DISASTER ON A VERY SHORT TRIP

Unread post by Birdie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:35 am

When we packed up to leave a freezing Barkly there was little to indicate that disaster was looming. From the cold quiet of the mountains to the warmth and frenzy of the city was a shock to the system but at last business in PE was concluded and we went off to Addo. The peace and tranquility soothed all the stress away and everyone was happily snapping away at the majestic kudu, comical worthogs and idiotic ostriches which populated the first section of our drive. Driving in a national park is always a wonderful experience and one feels so privileged to get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the animals you see.
We had one unusual sighting. At a dam we saw a jackal approaching from a distince. It was walking with purpose like a bargain hunter homing in on a big sale – when it reached the edge of the water it jumped at the water and caught a dabchick. Strange that the bird did not swim off when the jackal approached. This must have happened before because the whole operation went off so smoothly! Evening approached quickly and it was soon getting dark so we headed back to our lovely cabins. A good night sleep and an early start in the dark gave no indication of what lay ahead. We set out with great anticipation of what we were going to see - but fate intervened about a halfhour after starting off. A nasty noise from the enjine of the Caravelle and we were firmly stuck . We had no emergency contact numbers so one of the party called reception and held on. It kept ringing and was somehow transferred to a very kind and helpful lady who instructed us to wait and not get out of the vehicle. Shortly afterwards she phone back to say she had found an honorary ranger who was going to help us. In the meantime we waited, and waited while it slowly started getting light. The sky was fairly cloudy and we were treated to a spectacular sunrise which we watched from beginning to end. That was the most photographed sunrise in history. Five cameras and five anxious and bored passengers make for an absolute orgy of clicking! No animals were visible until a kudu crossed over the road in front of us although it was still pretty dark. Eventually two kindly park rangers arrived and loaded the five of us up (some freezing on the back of the bakkie) to return to camp. (Sorry we missed the honorary rangers). Arrangements were made for a tow and a tasty breakfast in the restaurant helped warm up the cold group of forlorn visitors. The two teenagers went on a park game drive while the others sat in the garden in front of the waterhole. Little Cape Robins, Fiscal Flycatchers, a Boubou Shrike, Cape Weavers, and so on helped pass the time. Although the light was bad on account of a looming rain storm much bird photography was practised with varied results! We were all worried and anxious knowing we had to get back. The weekly newspaper needs to be got out so there was no way two-thirds of the typesetting and graphics staff and one third of the printing department could stay away. We left the precious vehicle in the competent (we hope) hands of a kindly garage owner and hired a car to squash into and get us home through very stormy and wet conditions.
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Whiskers and tusks on a favourite animal!
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Eyelashes to die for!
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A korhaan flirting with a spider nest
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Mom ellie and baby - a charming pair
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Jackal with its prey!

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Wonder what is going on in that tiny head
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The most photographed sunrise in the history of Addo!

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There seems to be something wrong with the Cape Robin’s feet. I saw it scavenging in the waste bin – unhealthy habits catching up with it, poor thing.
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A shy sunbird who did not want to show its face!

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Lovely aloe gardens!

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Birdie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Barkly East

Re: ADDO - DISASTER ON A VERY SHORT TRIP

Unread post by Birdie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:25 pm

Thanks all for the very kind words. Much appreciated. The vehicle belongs to my daughter and son-in-law and I trust it will shortly be back in working order. Still one short day in a park is still better than no time at all!
I must say the help we received from the Park staff was really outstanding and out thanks to them! :clap: Its good to know there are people who go out of their way to help.
I'm just sorry we missed the honorary rangers because I would have liked to thank them as well for being prepared to help. Would also have loved to meet them and have a chat!

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Birdie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Barkly East

Re: ADDO - DISASTER ON A VERY SHORT TRIP

Unread post by Birdie » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:55 pm

We certainly did enjoy the little trip we had and will never forget that sunrise - and we can still laugh about it all. :lol:
Planning another trip is not an option at the moment because getting away from the business (and the newspaper) is not easy. We are all going (in the Caravelle, we hope) to KTP for a wonderful week from 12 December) so there is something special to look forward to!
I think the saddest thing about our trip was that we did not see another yellow ribbon (and ours decided to unravel :roll: - an omen perhaps?)

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Birdie
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Barkly East

Re: ADDO - DISASTER ON A VERY SHORT TRIP

Unread post by Birdie » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:04 am

Thanks Jonty1. No more to come because that was all we had. I see we only just missed you as you arrived just after we left!
We usually go away only on our annual holiday and that is why I love the forums so ... I take a virtual trip just about every day by reading the TR's. I'm looking forward to yours!
One of the last things we saw were these reflections
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