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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 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:30 am

Breeding herd of Elephants rushing to waterhole

I was at Domkrag Dam when I saw some Elephants up towards Zuurkop. I noticed that these elephants were not just moving along feeding but were making their way down to come and have a drink. I then drove to the point where I anticipated that they were going to cross the road and waited for them. As they came closer they started to move faster and faster in their haste to get to the waterhole at intersection 5. Now the question was had I parked in the right spot. Well that was soon to be answered when the breeding herd passed right in front of me and to my delight there was this small baby ellie with them. I was able to watch them cross the road as they sped past and then I moved so I could see them arrive at the waterhole and have a drink where I stayed till they moved off again.

Here are a few of the pics.

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:41 am

Addo Elephant Crossing Road with Indian Ocean in the Background

I spent the day at Addo on Sat 26 Feb 2011 and what a beautiful day it was.

Ever since the fence was lowered in August 2010 between the Main Camp and the Southern Section and the elephants allowed to cross into the Southern Section have I been waiting for this moment that I can capture a breeding herd of elephants with the sand dunes in the background that stretch from the mouth of the Sundays River ending at Woody Cape in Algoa Bay.

My first memories of the Park and its elephants go back to more than fifty years ago when I was a little boy and went with my parents to the Park and the elephants were enclosed in the Armstrong fenced enclosure. Over the years since then I have had many visits to the Park and I would never have believed anybody way back then if they told me that I would one day see elephants walking along with the Indian Ocean and the sand dunes as a back drop. What a moment.........

I would like to thank SANParks and all that were involved in this vision and all the hard work that has gone into the Addo Park. The Greater Addo Park with all its biodiversity, and all that is planned for it truly has the potential of becoming one of the greatest parks in the world.

May somebody one day capture the elephants walking on the beach with a whale as the background playing in the sea. Do not let your imagination limit you.

Here is the pic I took and a short video of the elephants crossing the road. May this be symbolic of the many roads that have to by crossed by us humans before it will be possible for the elephants and all the other wildlife to cross over into the section of the Park that borders the sea.

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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RonnieL
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:34 pm

I would like to thank all those that have visited this thread and a special thanks to LS, Katja and DD for leaving your comments, much appreciated. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Jungle Junkie wrote: How did you work out where to stop, was there a "track to that point of the road

Yes JJ you are correct. One must always stop a little way away from their track making sure that you do not block their way and in that way you often find that the ellies will come right past your car for a great sighting.

PJL wrote:Fabulous sighting Ronnie - and I've been loving reading your posts about Addo :clap: :clap:

Last time I was there the fence was still up between the main area and the southern section... now that it's down, does the game seem harder to find or more spread out?

Welcome PJL.
The game sighting in the new Southern Section have been great. There are a lot of open spaces where one can see the game a long way off or if you are lucky they could be close to the road. Big herds of buffalo, red hartebeest, eland, zebra and ostrich can be seen daily. and then there are always the ever present black-back jackals, warthogs and kudu. I have also seen lion, steenbok, bushbuck and duiker.
I saw my first bush pig in the park on Saturday. It was a huge boar (male) that ran across the road in front of my car about a kilometer in from the Southern Entry gate (Matyholweni Entrance ) , sorry no pics, it all happened too fast. This is a rear sighting as bush pigs are nocturnal animals
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:46 am

Lions at Hapoor Dam

When I was at the Park on Saturday I found these three young adult Lions at Hapoor Dam.
They were very close to the parking area but as usual at lion sightings there were a number of vehicles there and I was lucky to get a good viewing spot.

Here you can see the Lions with Hapoor Dam in the background

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The Lions looking skywards when a light fixed winged aircraft passed overhead

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The Lions showing more interest in a warthog that wanted to come for a drink at the waterhole
but scampered off when it saw that there were lions at the waterhole and wisely decided to come back at a later stage.

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A short slideshow of the Lions at the waterhole

Last edited by RonnieL on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:13 am

Caracal Sighting.

I have had a few sighting of Caracal (Lynx) in Addo though very brief or at long distances.

The closest sighting was of this one, late one afternoon on my way out of the Park. I was driving along slowly between Spekboom Hide and Marion Baree waterhole when suddenly I noticed some movement in my rearview mirror and stopped. It was a Caracal crossing the road behind me

I took this pic of it in my rearview mirror. Sorry pic not good but I just took it to have as evidence of my sighting not knowing how long the Caracal will be in sight. There had also been a light drizzle just enough to dirty my rearview mirrors with the dust that had collected earlier. I have now learnt to keep my rearview mirrors clean at all times.

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This next pic I took of it I just pointed the camera in its direction behind me and waited for the auto focus beep and then snapped not knowing what was onscreen as I could not see the viewing screen. I had a look and saw that I had a better pic of it and at this stage I reversed my car and watched the large male caracal walk down a service road.

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Here is a pic of the caracal walking down the service road

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:49 pm

Leopard Tortoise Having a Drink

It was a hot day when I was in the Park on Thursday and at midday there was a shower of rain that soon passed.
It was after this shower that I came across these Leopard Tortoises that were having a drink of water from the water that had collected on the tarred road.

This tortoise was drinking right on the edge of the road as the water was running off the road

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This tortoise was drinking from the small pools that had collected on the tarred road.

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Here is a short slide-show of the tortoises drinking

Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:09 am

Warthog

Warthog were introduced into Addo Park in 1995/6. They can be found all over the Park now and very often along the road edges where one will find them feeding in their peculiar way of going down on their front knees, feeding on the green vegetation from the water runoff from the roads.

These are a few of my pics taken of warthog

I could not see what was disturbing this warthog male in the newly opened southern section

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Warthog having a drink at the Marion Baree waterhole

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Warthog at Hapoor Dam

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Warthog feeding next to the road

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A short slideshow of warthog

Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by PJL » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:06 am

RonnieL wrote:Caracal Sighting.

I have had a few sighting of Caracal (Lynx) in Addo though very brief or at long distances.

Hi Ronnie, just caught up on your thread... great that you've seen caracal a few times. We have also been fortunate enough to see them at Addo so thought I'd share the pics...

Near what used to be the south gate of the main game section
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On the Mpunzi loop near Harpoor
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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:26 am

Red Hartebeest Calf Drinking from its Mother

Soon after entering the Park, ten days ago, early when the gates opened at the Mathyholweni Entrance I came across a breeding herd of Red Hartebeest on the Vukani Loop that had a few calves with them and I was able to watch them drink from their mothers. The mothers only let them drink for a very short period at a time after which the herd then crossed the road to move on.

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:32 am

Kudu Female with Baby (calf)

I had this most amazing sight on Sunday afternoon in the Park. I was driving along very slowly on the top of Zuurkop very close to where the Zuurkop Lookout and Trig beacon is situated, this is the highest point in the Main Camp and Southern Section, when as I came around a slight bend in the road I came across this loan Kudu Female standing on the edge of the road. I immediately stopped because I could see from the way that she was standing and behaving that this was not an ordinary sighting. I noticed some movement on the opposite side of the road to where she was and then from behind a small bush next to the road this baby Kudu made its appearance and on very wobbly legs made its way across the road to join its mother. In my humble estimation I think this little baby was only a hour or two old and that the mother was moving her baby away from the site where she had given birth, to avoid detection from predators, to a new safer spot. Kudu females leave the herd when they give birth and will stay with their young for the first day after which she will hide her calf and then return to join the herd. She will visit her baby a few times a day to suckle it while she keeps it hidden for a month or two before it will also then join the herd and for this reason I feel that what I witnessed here is a very rear sighting.
I watched as the mother led her baby away down the hill and could not stop thinking what all lay ahead for this newborn as the vastness of the Addo thicket lay spread out below them. Here are a few pics that I took.

Female standing and looking back across to the opposite side of the road

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Baby with very wobbly legs crossing the road.

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Mother and baby reunite after baby crossed the road

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Mother leading her baby to a new safe spot with the vast Addo thicket below them. It is interesting to note here that she had turned both her large ears pointing back to pickup any sound from behind her while she was using her sight to look for any danger from the front and sides, and if you look at the tall grass you can see that she is walking into the light breeze that was blowing to pickup any sent of predators that could be up ahead of her.

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Here is a short video of the baby crossing the road on very wobbly legs

Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:22 am

Bat-Eared Fox at Hapoor Dam

The weather was perfect on Sunday morning when I was at Hapoor Dam. I arrived there early when all was still quite at the waterhole and there was this Bat-Eared Fox taking full advantage of the quietness and the lovely weather. Bat-Eared Foxes are nocturnal animals but can also be found out during the cooler parts of the day like the early mornings and late afternoons. I was able to watch it for a long period of time just lazing about next to the dam enjoying the sunshine. When a small herd of ellies arrived to drink the fox moved off.

Bat-Eared Fox at Hapoor Dam

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Bat-Eared Fox slideshow at Hapoor Dam




Bat-Eared Fox video at Hapoor Dam

Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Hapoor Dam as it was

I thought to post this here as we have had a lot of posts that have taken place at Hapoor Dam.

This is what Hapoor looked like before the existing waterhole was constructed. I took this photo in the late 1970's after guests were allowed into the elephant enclosure for the first time. This location is situated north of the present day Hapoor Dam and the fenced in reservoir can still be seen today from the car park amongst the vegetation that has since grown in the fenced in area. The windmill that was first used to supply the water has been removed as it was no longer used. Here one can see the great transformation that has taken place at one of the Parks favorite waterholes

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:50 am

Leopard Tortoise having a Swim

I found this Leopard Tortoise having a swim on a hot day in a small pool of water next to the road.
I was able to watch it for some time before it got out and continued on its way.

Image
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:21 pm

Red Hartebeest

I came across this Red Hartebeest male on the Mbabala Loop up on Zuurkop.

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It looks like he has an itchy ear

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Ronnie

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Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:24 am

Buffalo Crossing Road

I was fortunate to come upon this large herd of buffalo crossing the road ahead of me late one afternoon.

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From my vantage point I was able to count them as they were crossing the road. I counted 110
Here is a section of the herd that had crossed the road.

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I was able to follow close behind them for a short distance as they walked up the valley before they entered a service road

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As I was taking this photo a car was approaching from the front and by the time it reached me the last of the buffalo had disappeared down the service road out of sight. If only they had been two minutes earlier they would have met the buffalo head on and seen the buffalo as they walked down the service road but they did not even see one. How fortunate I was to witness this.

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Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


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