Skip to Content

Addo: Park Experiences

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:14 am

Rangers recently found the skeleton and tusks of an elephant bull and after a bit of investigation and checking with the elephant researchers, realised it was the remains of Gaatjies.

Gaatjies was the oldest elephant bull in the park (born 1954) and one of the biggest Addo tuskers. He was the most dominant bull in the Park for over 20 years and would therefore be the father of many of the younger elephants in the Park today.

We believe he died of natural causes (old age).

_________________
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region


Gaatjies, meaning small holes, was truly a magnificent bull elephant

These are pics I took of him 20 Sep 2009 at the intersection (No 3)
of Woodlands and the road going up to Carols Rest

If you look at the bottom of his right ear you can see small holes in his ear, hence his name

Image



Here you can see the enormity of him as he dwarfs the game drive vehicle

Image



Reaching for something to eat

Image
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:31 am

Thanks to Jungle Junkie and Lionspoon :thumbs_up:

I agree that was very close............. :big_eyes:

I was watching the gentleman sitting in the front left of the game drive vehicle, he was like a statue
He sat in that position motionless for some time long

Gaatjies was very big, he certainly would get my vote for one of the biggest Addo Bulls.
The introduced Kruger Bulls have bigger tusks, Addo Bulls do not have big tusks, but I feel that
he stood taller than them but in their defense they are younger than him
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:51 am

The Cycle of Life

It is always with sadness when one learns of death, no matter what the circumstances, in the case of Gaatjies, old age.

Then again on the flipside it is with great joy and happiness when one learns of birth and the beginnings of new life.

The Park is full of new life at the moment. I spent the day out there on Saturday and there is evidence of this new life all over the Park. At the waterholes one can see the weaver birds busy building nests, swallows and swifts, many of which have migrated all the way from Europe, collecting mud to build nests. The calling of the different cuckoo birds, guinea fowl have paired off and are no longer in big flocks. Some chicks have already fledged their nests and one can see their parents busy feeding them, all this coinciding with the abundance of food at the moment, evidence of this the insects on my flower pics. When I was standing at one of the lookout points I heard the buzzing of bees and looked up and there they were, a nucleus swarm of bees flying overhead with their new young queen off to go and start on her own.

Many of the animals have also given birth to young and these can often be seen with their mothers in close attendance and responding to any alarm call of their mothers.

Here are some pics of the "little ones"

In this pic the Zebra in the foreground with Red Hartebeest in the background

Image



In this pic is a young Steenbok. ( I could not get her mother into the same frame)

Image



In this pic taken at Hapoor Dam on the same day I took the pics of Gaatjies
a very small baby elephant seeks the protection of its mother.
Could this be one of Gaatjies' last offspring?

And so The Cycle of Life continues..................

Image
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:28 am

First Buffalo Sighting

I first want to go back in time to the late 1950's to give you some background to my First Buffalo Sighting.

My father was asked to go and have a look at damage that had been done by the Addo Buffalo to the farmers crops, their fencing and cattle drinking troughs in an area known as Buffelskuil, (Afrikaans) the meaning of this in English is buffalo hiding place. This area now no longer belongs to farmers but forms part of Addo Park known as the Nyati Section. Nyati is the local name for Buffalo.

I went with my father that day and I remember seeing the damage that had been done by the buffalo and listening intently to his conversations with the farmers about the dangers of these buffalos. The buffalo used to leave the safety of the park at night and go and raid the farmers crops to return to the park in the morning. Needless to mention this caused conflict between man and buffalo and there were casualties.

When the Armstrong fence was built it was designed to contain elephants, not buffalo, the buffalo were able to crawl underneath this fence and the outer perimeter boundary fence of the park was not able to contain the buffalo so the buffalo could move in and out of the park at will.

There used to be an antelope camp around the area where Domkrag Dam is situated today in which the antelope were kept. One could drive into this camp and view the animals. There was a road leading from the main camp to the antelope camp but once you reached this camp one would have to open the gate to enter this camp.

It was early in the 1960's on one of our family visits to the park that I had opened this gate, as a kid it was always my job to open gates. my father had driven the car through and I had closed the gate and got back into the passenger seat behind my father that I looked out of the window on my side door straight into the gaze of a buffalo standing with only its head protruding from the bush just other side of the fence only about 10 meters away. As soon as I had made eye contact with it it disappeared into the bush. I am sure that this buffalo was there all the time and was watching me as I was opening and closing the gate and as they are herd animals there must have been more around.

My heart started racing when my thoughts went back a few years remembering what I had seen of the destruction caused by the buffalo to the farmers fencing and realized that if that buffalo wanted to charge that the fence would not have stopped him or worse still that I could have been attacked while I was out of the car opening and closing the gate.

Over the years the the park expanded and the elephant enclosure enlarged and the fence was then constructed so that the buffalo could no longer leave the park and then electrified before the predators introduced containing all the animals safely within its boundaries.

That encounter of that first buffalo sighting is still clearly itched in my memory as if it happened yesterday............
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:37 am

Buffalo Sighting Dec 2010

I spent the day in the park (19 Dec 2010) and on my way out of the park I decided to go on the Ngulube Loop, one of the new loops in the Matyholweni section, I had seen buffalo here before and hoping to see them again. I was not disappointed.

As I was driving down the valley and at the end of it found this big heard (100 plus) of buffalo emerging from out of the bush and coming out to graze on the very green grass. I drove along very slowly and stopped my car. The buffs were a little curious of me at first but soon settled down and continued grazing. I was the only car there and I could sit and watch and the buffs came closer and closer grazing all round my car. Close enough so that I could here the squeaking of the grass as they wrapped their tongues around the tall grass tugging off huge clumps and briefly chewing on it before swallowing it.

After a while the buffs had had their fill and lay down and started to chew on their cud. So there it was just me with all these buffalo around me. What a magical moment and I am so pleased that I could spend this time with the buffs and my thoughts went back to the many years earlier when I saw the destruction and heard of the dislike spoken towards the buffs.

The buffs were safe now and many generations later showed no aggression toward me. They were in very good condition and I saw some signs that there will be some new additions as the next generation arrive.

It was with mixed emotions when I started my car to leave. Happiness that I could spend this time with the buffs and at the progress made at conserving these animals and sadness that I had to leave to be in time at the exit gate before closing.

Here are some pics I took of the buffs and I hope that you can just feel a fraction of the excitement that I felt while spending time with them

The Buffs looking at me cautiously when I arrived

Image


The Buffs settled down to graze

Image


Big bull came alongside to graze

Image

Two big buff bulls

Image


Buffs lying down to chew their cud

Image


Video showing Buff Bulls grazing alongside my vehicle

Last edited by RonnieL on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:38 pm

Jungle Junkie wrote:Hi Ronnie - Your Buffalo encounters are so interesting to read and your passion for Addo is wonderful (They should give you a medal :wink: )

I remember as a little girl when we drove on holiday to my friend's farm the main road had gates along it and I had to jump out and open in turn with my friend - Lovely memories :clap: :clap:


Hi JJ, :D
I do not know if you are referring to the R342 road as the main road. I also had to open gates on this road. This was long before it was tarred and it was just a narrow dirt road and it was not fenced and that was the reason that there were gates on the road because as you crossed from one farm to the next there would be a gate in the boundary fence. I remember going home at night after spending the day in the park and coming across some domestic cattle in the road but from a distance one could only see the reflection of their eyes in the headlights of the car so my dad drove very slowly to make sure that it was domestic cattle
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:07 am

Buffalo in Wayne's Valley

Here are some pics of the buffs I saw on the 16Dec 2010 in the area known as Wayne's Valley

Image


Image


Image
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:35 am

PRWIN wrote:Hi RonnieL,Thanks for your pics on the buffalo at Wayne's Valley. :dance: We did not get so close to the buffalo but found them in the bush behind the valley on 18 Dec.

Thanks PRWIN for your pics :thumbs_up:
There is a bit of luck involved in game viewing, :)
One has to be at the right place at the right time. I am sure that the buffs that I saw had just moved onto the grass to graze and if I was a few minutes earlier I would have missed them......
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:30 am

My First Black Rhino Sighting.

This was during the early 1960's when there was a rhino enclosure south of Hapoor dam that had the rhino in it. You were not allowed into the enclosure but could drive down the outside of one side of the camp. We never saw any rhino while driving but did see the rhino at the furthest point where you were allowed to get out your car. If one arrived there in the late afternoon one could be lucky and find the rhino there. The game ranger there would feed the rhino "norsdoring" through the fence. I remember the times when we arrived there and the rhino was not there that the game ranger would call out to the rhino " kom kom kom" and also beating on a bucket with a stick. The rhino would then normally come for his treat of norsdoring. It was my treat when the game ranger used to call me and allow me to feed the rhino keeping a very close watch that I did not put my hand through the fence but only the norsdoring. This is still one of my highlights of the Park.

Below is a pic that I took of a notice/information board at Jack's picnic site. I have also typed out the inscription on it so that you can read what's written on it.
My question is, Was it Jack the rhino that I fed and was the game ranger Karools Goliath?
My guess is that I will never know.

Image




JACK'S PICNIC SITE

This picnic site is named after Jack the Black Rhino who spent his last days here. he often could be seen sunning himself in the grassy clearing which now forms part of the picnic site. Jack was a black rhino of the East African subspecies Diceros bicornis michaeli and was one of the first rhino introduced to the Park in March 1961 when he was aged about 5 years.

In the early 1960's at a time when the black rhino was under threat of extinction in South Africa, black rhino from Kenya were reintroduced to the Park. By 1986, these east African rhino had multiplied to 17. In 1991, Park management decided to follow the ICUN's decision to stock only the subspecies of rhino indigenous to the particular area. Hence from 1991 - 2003, the michaeli rhino were translocated out of the Park and the correct subspecies, Diceros bicornis bicornis were reintroduced. 46 michaeli rhino were relocated from Addo.

Jack's name was originally JA - a reference to JA Hunter who was responsible for killing over 1,000 black rhino in Kenya. JA was renamed Jack by park ranger Karools Goliath (who achieved 34 years of service) as he did not like the original name. Jack could not be translocated out of the Park due to a heart condition which meant he would probably have died if exposed to the stress and tranquilisers used during translocation. On two occasions during a previous immobilization his heart actually stopped and he needed to be resuscitated.

He spent his last days in this botanical reserve. Jack was well over 30 years of age when he died and is one of a very few black rhino recorded to have reached this stately age in the wild.
Last edited by RonnieL on Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:39 am

My Best Rhino Sighting

I went to the park on xxxxx. It was late in the afternoon when I stopped on some high ground to have a look around that I noticed in the distance from where I had just come an animal that looked like a rhino walking along. It was when he turned side on that I was sure that it was a rhino. I drove back the few kilometers as fast as the speed limit allowed me to go and I was the first at the rhino that was then walking next to the road in the direction of the waterhole. I was then able to follow the rhino for the two kilometers to the waterhole and watch him have a drink. What a special moment this was and here are a few pics that I took

Removal of Rhino postings and photographs

I have made the decision to remove the photographs from my rhino postings in support of the Anti Rhino Poaching Campaign.
My reasoning for this decision is that I do not want the photos to be used by the poaches in the location of rhino.
Last edited by RonnieL on Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
Mama fariu
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:18 am

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by Mama fariu » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:08 am

When we lived in Port Elizabeth in the 80s an 90s we went to Addo nearly every weekend. First the elephants were in a small enclosure where they were fed oranges. Then they opened up the enclosure so that you could travel through it and the ele's had to get used to not having their daily rations of oranges. We loved Addo I have many old photographs of Addo and will post them for you all to see, I am busy scratching them out. I dont know if anyone knew pixie the black rhino, only had one ear I have a wonderful black and white picture of her. Does anyone know what happened to her. Also when we used to go we very seldom saw the buffalo, but I see now that they are not so spooks anymore. Addo really has changed so much I think its high time we went down to Addo maybe this year, but I believe the bookings to get in are quite something. Anyway please wait for the pictures and see what Addo looked like back then!!!!! :thumbs_up: Mama Fariu

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:28 am

Hi Mama Fariu,

WELCOME :D :clap:

I am looking forward to you posting your photos here, I am sure it will bring back great memories.
Sorry I can not help you with any info regarding pixie the rhino but judging from the dates that you gave when you visited Addo I am sure that pixie would have been one of the rhino relocated out of Addo.
Buffalo sightings in the newly opened southern section where there are more open spaces have been great lately.

Hope to see your pictures soon :dance:
Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:36 am

Ellies having a Mud Bath

I was at Hapoor Dam this hot summers day when this breeding herd of ellies came along to cool off with a mud bath.
There was a large bull ellie with them and I noticed that he was not having a bath but kept himself busy moving around the heard while they were having their mud bath when all of a sudden I heard him trumpeting and all the ellies scampered out of the waterhole leaving him the whole waterhole to himself where he then proceeded to have his mud bath all on his own............

Image


Image

Image


Here you can see the ellies scrambling out of the waterhole

Image


The Bull Ellie having the waterhole all for himself.........

Image


Video of ellis having a mud bath

Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE

User avatar
Addo Elephant
Guru
Guru
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:15 pm

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:52 pm

RonnieL wrote:[u][b]Was it Jack the rhino that I fed and was the game ranger Karools Goliath?
My guess is that I will never know.


Ronnie, I checked with the Park staff who have been around for a while and it may well have been Jack that you fed. The ranger was definitely Karools Goliath.
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region

User avatar
RonnieL
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 647
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:52 am
Location: Port Elizabeth RSA

Re: Addo Park Experiences

Unread post by RonnieL » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:38 am

Red Hartebeest

I was driving along in the Woodlands area of the Park when I noticed this Red Hartebeest male walking along and coming in my direction.
As he came closer I stopped to watch him.

Image


Image


Image


Image


He then crossed the road in front of me and continued to walk next to the road for a distance. I was able to follow him driving
and taking a video of him walking. He then suddenly stopped, scratched the ground with his hoof and did his toileting.
Here is the video I took

Ronnie

For "Addo Park Experiences" go to:- HERE


Return to “Frontier Parks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 09:51:27
orpen
Submitted by Ton&Herma at 20:36:27
satara
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 09:29:15
nossob
Submitted by Trrp-trrrrrrrr at 09:31:10