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A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

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PJL
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A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:56 am

"What?" I hear you say... "How can a day trip possibly be a travel tale?"... :? :hmz:

It's a fair question! As many of you know I try to keep this thread updated with some of the highlights from our many visits to Addo. But once in a while a day comes along where the quality, variety and rarity of the sightings combine to make it really special, so I've decided to make it into a mini travel tale. I hope you'll enjoy the ride and the sightings :thumbs_up:

So let's jump straight in... we normally enter the park at Matyholweni gate in the south as it's closest to us, but this day we decided to venture north to the main gate. There had been talk of lion around the Domkrag area, but by the time we arrived there was no sign of them. :doh: I was a bit disappointed because my parents (who live overseas) were with us and they haven't had much luck recently on lion sightings when they've been here. Not to worry... there was a full day ahead and surely plenty of other things to see. 8)

Our first interesting sighting of the day was a duiker. We don't see them too often in Addo, and when they are seen they often bolt away very quickly. However we caught this one in the middle of its 'business' and managed to get a very quick pic before it darted away :clap: :clap:

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Further round Nzipondo Loop (that's the proper name for the loop around Domkrag) we found a rather scruffy looking jackal. The jackals in Addo do suffer from mange, but I think this one was just a bit old more than anything else :lol:

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A short while later a juvenile jackal buzzard decided to fly into a bush right next to our car :shock: :dance:

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It had been a decent start to the day despite the lack of cats. We knew from friends staying in the park that the previous day there had been a lion kill right next to the dirt road to Hapoor so we figured that would be a good place to try next. As we approached Rooidam we were treated to a stunning view of a malachite sunbird :mrgreen: :dance: :dance: :dance:

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TBC

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lion queen
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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by lion queen » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:04 am

Love your updates on the Addo topic so can only love a mini TR!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Good that the Duiker finished its business and gave you an opportunity to take a photo!!!

Shame poor Jackal, but it does look rather long in the tooth.

Love your Sunbird photos!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Can't wait to see what the rest of the day held in store! :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

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salamanda
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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by salamanda » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:12 am

Wonderful pics PLJ. That Malachite Sunbird is beautiful as is the juv Jackal Buzzard. But poor Jackal, really does look ancient and decrepit, hope it is enjoying a peaceful old age in the sun. Thanks for sharing this day trip, am looking forward to the next installment.

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:16 am

This certainly is a welcome little break. Your birds are really lovely. I specially love the Malechite. 8)

:popcorn:
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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:06 pm

Can't wait to hear about your day trip to my new favourite place!
We also saw a couple of jackals that did not look good at all. Can nothing be done about the mange?

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:46 pm

lion queen wrote:Love your updates on the Addo topic so can only love a mini TR!! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Good that the Duiker finished its business and gave you an opportunity to take a photo!!!

Shame poor Jackal, but it does look rather long in the tooth.

Love your Sunbird photos!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Can't wait to see what the rest of the day held in store! :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Thanks LQ... there's a lot of excitement in store :wink:

salamanda wrote:Wonderful pics PLJ. That Malachite Sunbird is beautiful as is the juv Jackal Buzzard. But poor Jackal, really does look ancient and decrepit, hope it is enjoying a peaceful old age in the sun. Thanks for sharing this day trip, am looking forward to the next installment.

Hey salamanda, thanks for the comments and nice to have you on board :thumbs_up:

Meandering Mouse wrote:This certainly is a welcome little break. Your birds are really lovely. I specially love the Malechite. 8)

:popcorn:

I hope you enjoy this mini-break MM :gflower:

Karin Mitton wrote:Can't wait to hear about your day trip to my new favourite place!
We also saw a couple of jackals that did not look good at all. Can nothing be done about the mange?

I'm also excited to hear about your time in the park... you haven't started the TT for that part yet right?
Not much can be done about mange unfortunately. It tends to affect some jackal but not others... I guess it's just part of keeping the numbers in check :thumbs_up:

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:50 pm

As we neared the site of the buffalo kill from the previous day, there was suddenly a roadblock of cars ahead... there were elephants all around in the bushes and one particular big boy was blocking the road :whistle:

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There's only one elephant in Addo with tusks like this chap and that is Valli Moosa :clap: :clap:
He was one of the bull elephants relocated from Kruger a number of years back to help with the genetic diversity of the elephants within Addo. After a bit of standing around he turned to give us a nice view of those massive tusks 8)

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A couple of youngsters went wandering up to him which gave some perspective on his size :big_eyes:

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Despite being in musth, he appeared quite calm with the youngsters, however that is no guarantee of how he might react to vehicles :twisted:

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After a while he got the herd moving :dance:

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And the sight of the oncoming elephants must have been daunting for people travelling from the other direction :lol:

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Fairly soon Valli had a few cars reversing and turning around to get out his way :mrgreen:

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Once the herd had finally moved off the road a bit we were able to dare to drive past the big man

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Little did we know at the time, but this was going to be the first of a number of encounters with this magnificent elephant on this particular day :whistle:

Now then... where was that buffalo kill and were the lion still around? :hmz:

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by salamanda » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:08 pm

What a beautiful chap. I haven't been to Addo for years and had never heard of him. Do you know how he got that name? Love your photos.

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by lion queen » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:13 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Valli Moosa is one of the most beautiful elephants I've seen!!! Great sighting and wonderful photos of this king!!! Cant' wait to so more of him!!!

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:15 pm

salamanda wrote:What a beautiful chap. I haven't been to Addo for years and had never heard of him. Do you know how he got that name? Love your photos.

Thank you for the kind complement salamanda :thumbs_up:
I'm not 100% who chose the names, but the Kruger 'imports' were named after people/places mainly related to Kruger. I believe that Valli Moosa was Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism and it may well have been in recognition of that. :thumbs_up:

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:08 pm

Gorgeous photos. I yhink I saw Valli Moosa as well late ine afternoon.
I will start my TT when the MZNP one is complete. You can confirm for me then!

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:37 pm

Thank you salamanda, lion queen and Karin for your comments :thumbs_up:

We found the buffalo kill a bit further along, but apart from a few jackal in the bushes there wasn't any other sign of life around. There appeared to be plenty of meat available on the carcass, so we figured waiting around could be worthwhile... perhaps the lions were close and would get up to feed. :hmz:

We were all happily chatting in the car, and I had totally forgotten that Valli was walking our direction, so had a bit of a fright when a giant face appeared in my car mirrors :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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Our car occupants went from noisy to silent in a split second as he walked out from the bushes at the back of our car. I couldn't understand how he wasn't actually touching the car he was soooo close :shock:

There was nothing we could do but sit tight and enjoy the moment, as we were blocked in by a car parked right in front of us. Valli then came around the side of our vehicle and stopped right next to us - he seemed to be staring at us! It's rare to be so incredibly close to a giant like this, and I managed to take a few nervous photos of the details on his tusks :mrgreen:

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Fairly soon he was moving along the road again. We stayed at the carcass for quite a while but there was no sign of any lions :doh: We could drop past later in the day and see if that situation changed at all :D

Continuing along to Hapoor, Valli was still creating a road block but we managed to get past him at one point and get a nice view of him hurtling towards us :dance: :dance:

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At Hapoor we had just missed a buffalo herd drinking as they were departing in a train-like manner 8)

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I had a feeling we might be able to catch them by going round Mpunzi loop, and the idea paid off with the herd coming towards us :clap: :clap:

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Once the herd had moved off into the bushes some movement nearby caught my attention and it turned out to be meerkats :D :dance: :dance:

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There are 2 colonies that I know about in Addo - one of which has its home somewhere near Hapoor, but it's one of those animals that you can go for ages and not see in the park so it was brilliant to see so many of them 8)

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The sentry was taking its duty very seriously indeed.... an Addo treekat :D

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:14 pm

PJL wrote:
Our car occupants went from noisy to silent in a split second as he walked out from the bushes at the back of our car. I couldn't understand how he wasn't actually touching the car he was soooo close :shock:

There was nothing we could do but sit tight and enjoy the moment, as we were blocked in by a car parked right in front of us. Valli then came around the side of our vehicle and stopped right next to us - he seemed to be staring at us! It's rare to be so incredibly close to a giant like this, and I managed to take a few nervous photos of the details on his tusks :mrgreen:


I think Kaapsedraai was correct when he called them "gentle giants"- we had a close-up moment ourselves, and if it had been a Kruger ellies - very different story. Your heart is in your throat at the time, but when they move away, you are at a complete loss for words at the intensity and awesomeness of the experience.
I really love your close up photos of his tusks.

Great pics of the meerkats - we did not get to see them at all despite a couple of visits to the Hapoor area.

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by PJL » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:50 pm

That's right Karin, they are generally very placid at Addo so it does allow for some excellent close encounters. I think sometimes people get too accustomed to how easy-going they are... each sighting I try to ensure I'm reading all the signs in case of any trouble. :wink:

Karin Mitton wrote: and if it had been a Kruger ellies - very different story.

Valli is from Kruger, but thankfully he seems to have taken on the characteristics of the Addo locals :thumbs_up:

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Re: A Remarkable Addo Day Trip

Unread post by manicwalker » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:33 am

PJL,
I am somewhat late for this bus...
Thank you so much for sharing your Addo trip.. :k
Addo being my favourite Park.. :dance:
Love, Love Love the ellie photos... :clap: :dance: :thumbs_up:
Valli always seems a very patient and docile fellow..
I have "met" up with him a few times :)
BUT he is still a wild elephant and deserves our respect.... :|
Love your photos of the malachite sunbird...
I spent over an hour in the camp some years ago, trying to get just one decent photo :roll:
and I still dont have a good photo :wall:
Super photos of the meercats...
What a fantastic day you had :clap: :thumbs_up:


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