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Addo: Park Experiences

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
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RonnieL
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:39 pm

Addo on a Rainy Day.

During the month of Dec 2010 Addo had a few rainy days. I decided to go out to Addo on one of these rainy days to experience a day in the rain at Addo.
It had been raining most of the night and early in the morning I drove out to Addo and when I got to the Matyholweni Gate it was still raining softly.

I found this snail crossing the tarred road. (I wonder how long it took to cross the road?)

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I drove a short way into the Park and found these European Swallows sitting on the edge of the road

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This one had perched itself on a stone.

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This is the Lesser Striped Swallow

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Last edited by RonnieL on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:48 pm

Later the morning the rain stopped and the sun was shining for a short while when I came across this little pool of water next to the road on Harvey's Loop. I decided to stop and watch all the activity going on at this little pool.
There were these Pearlbreasted Swallows collecting mud to build their nests.

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If you look carefully you can see fresh Buffalo spoor in the mud

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Ronnie

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RonnieL
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:54 pm

This Cape Glossy Starling was collecting termites that were in abundance all over the road
It was coming and going, I am sure it had a nest of chicks close by that it was feeding

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It has a beak full of termites

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This Hoopoe was busy probing for insects with its long beak

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All of this was taking place within 10 meters of my vehicle
Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:59 pm

It rained softly most of the day and on my way out of the Park in the afternoon I found all these European Swallows on the Spekboom road

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I enjoyed my day in the rain in the Park.
It was a different experience and I will do it again.
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:20 am

Hi LS,
Red Hartebeest are animals which form herds of 10-30 animals or in some cases up to a few hundred. Old males are solitary or form small male herds. Other herds consist of females, and young with a male as leader.
Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:09 am

On my visit to Addo Park on a Rainy Day I also encountered this elephant male next to the road
You can clearly see how wet he is from the rain

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:11 am

It was on a hot summers day that I found this breeding herd of elephants rushing to the Marion Baree waterhole for a drink

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:56 pm

Hi LS,
Animals like elephant, buffalo,rhino and warthog that like to have mud baths take on the color of the soil of their last mud bath.
I took these pics last week when I was at Addo and here you can see this big male elephant is very light in color from his last bath but then changes to a reddish color as he sprays himself with reddish muddy water

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The young ones having fun in the mud

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by Micetta » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:47 pm

How strange and what a pity that I did not see your thread Ronnie, before going to Addo in Jan. (12th-14th).

I loved Addo and the elephants. Actually we were not supposed to visit Addo, but I could not leave South Africa without having seen elephants and we sure saw quite a lot....and buffalos too, hartebeests, zebras, tortoises, dung beetles and warthogs etc. :dance:

This is a pic from Harpoor, where we saw a herd of some 70 ellies and this fantastic bull
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And I just want to show you this big old fellow too
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:17 am

poklad wrote:Hi!

We will be in the Addo during one day at the beginning of April on 4x2 SUV. Can you recomend scenic route to see animals?

Yury

Hi Yury, :D
Welcome and I hope you have a great visit to Addo and I am sure that you will have fantastic sightings.
The roads in the Main Camp and Southern Section of Addo are very good and one can use the smallest sedan car with ease.
There is a daily sightings board at the entrance to the shop at the Main Gate that indicates where the animals can be seen. A sightings board is in the process of being put up at the Matyholweni Gate in the Southern Section. It is always a good idea to have a look at these boards to see where the animals are as they do move around in the Park.
The newly opened Southern Section has been giving good daily sightings of the following:-
Buffalo
Eland
Red Hartebeest
Kudu
Zebra
Ostrich
Lion have also been seen regularly
Any of the waterholes in Addo are always a good place to find the elephants on a hot day where you will be able to watch them at close quarters as they are drinking and cooling themselves off with mud baths.
I am sure your visit to Addo Park will be a memorable one and an experience of a lifetime :dance: :clap:
Last edited by RonnieL on Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:11 am

Addo Lions

I spent the day out at Addo yesterday and what a great day I had. I departed early from home and was the first in at the Matyholweni Gate at 7 am. when it opened. It was a cool day with a light drizzle in the morning.
While I was driving along slowly on the Mbotyl loop I stopped to take a closer look at something that I saw in the grass and could not make out what it was. As I stopped my car the male lion lifted his head. I am sure if I had not stopped he would not have lifted his head and I would not of seen him. I stayed there for some time watching him as he rolled from one side to the other and even lying on his back when it drizzled a bit harder for a short while. It seemed as if he enjoyed his early morning "shower" He eventually got up and moved off. What a great sighting and here are a few of the pics I took.

Not clear in my pics because of the weather conditions one can see the Indian Ocean in the distance and the beginning of the large sand dune formation starting at the Sundays River mouth. Is it not great that one can capture a photo of a lion where they once roamed freely and have now been successfully reintroduced with the Indian Ocean in the background. This gives me goosebumps. Congratulations to ALL involved.

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Last edited by RonnieL on Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:18 am

Elephants at Hapoor Dam

After having the good sightings of the Lion I made my way to Hapoor Dam.
On my arrival I found about 70 ellies at the dam. It was a cool day so there was only one ellie having a mud bath. Some were drinking while the majority were standing around. This was an ideal opportunity to observe their behavior and interaction with one another. There were some small huddles of female ellies protecting their young while the young males were "wrestling" with each other. There was also this young ellie that still had some Soccer World Cup 2010 fever left in him as he was running and kicking and flicking the dried ellie dung with his trunk. Here are some pics and I will be posting more.

Large herd of Ellies at Hapoor Dam

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Ellies at waterhole

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A group of females with young

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Two young ellie males

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by jenismithies » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:39 pm

As per the suggestion from Jungle Junkie (thank you very much!), I am re-posting this in the hope of a comment from someone in the know.

We were very shocked today in Matyholweni. We came across 5 silver backed jackals and realised very quickly that there was war! Three of them attacked the other pair and the female of this pair ran off some distance and then screamed continuously. The 3 literally slaughtered the other little male (he was very close to death when we left). One held him by the throat and the other two were ripping at his hind legs and shaking him constantly. Twice he managed to escape and twice they grabbed him again. We were shocked at how viciously they continued to attack him. Every time the poor female got closer, one of the three would rush off to chase her. I know it's nature, but it wasn't pleasant to watch. It must have taken at least twenty to twenty five minutes for him to lie still, JUST breathing and all of them were covered in blood. I would like to know if this was a territory thing, or is there some other reason why this would occur with jackals? Any ideas?

I do have video footage of it, but taken with a digital camera, so there are plenty of shakes in between. And no, I hadn't had too many amstels!
Born in Zambia, lived in the Kafue National Park and Luangwa Valley - reported my heart stolen by Africa at a young age.

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:14 am

Hi, Welcome and thanks for sharing you experience here.

The animals you are referring to here as "silver backed jackals" are also know as the Cape Fox (Vulpes chama).
The behavior you described here does appear to be some sort of "territory or dominance battle" but very rarely as vicious as you witnessed.
A book by Richard Estes called "The behavior guide to African Mammals" is a very good book and on page 390 he describes fighting. If you do not have access to the book you can Google cape fox behavior.
I hope that this will answer you questions. If there is anyone that would like to comment on this please do so.
Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:12 pm

Elephants at Hapoor Dam

Here are some more pics of the ellies at Hapoor Dam. There was this small group of ellies that were standing to one side in a very tight group protecting a very small baby ellie. I have circled the baby ellie to make it easier for identification. You will notice that all the ellies looking after and protecting this baby ellie are females. When this group decided to leave they headed straight in the direction where I was parked and passed right by me. How fortunate I was to take these pics and a very short video.

Here are the pics I took

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Here is the short video of the ellies passing by my car.

Ronnie

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