23 January 2013

South Africa - Garden Route to Addo Elephant Park - Part 4 Addo

An early start in rain, believe or not, meant that we could get into Addo for a game drive. The sun came out and the day got hot. We drove and drove, seeing only zebra and buck. We decided that Addo was a myth after all - well advertised by somebody out to make money! And then - suddenly, a huge group of ellies from large to small at a water hole. What a special time it was watching them drink, wash themselves, have dust baths and then mud baths! The groups seemed to have a order as they came down to drink in smaller groups. The baby elephant was too precious and he/she had huge fun getting totally muddy whilst surrounded by the family.
Wart Hogs also came down to drink - however, they were quite skittish and I can't say I blame them with these huge beasts so close.
Addo is all about elephants and they are truly magnificent beasts. Started from only 16 elephants after all others had been shot, the park now has over 500 although it is not likely that you will see them all as the bush is very dense.
We have managed to get close to warthog, zebra, ostrich, black-backed jackal, red hartebees, kudu, blue crane, plus the elephants!
The Main Camp, where there is a restaurant is at the Main gate - in the north of the park. One can also enter at the south gate Matyholweni - however, they have no restaurant. The spot where we saw the most elephants was at Hapoor Dam. One can also picnic in the park at designated spots only.
The vegetation in the park is dense and green so nothing is spotted in the bush - you will find game on the plains, at the water holes or alongside the road.
Our best bird sighting was a  African Hoopoe. There are loads of birds - not always easy to photograph.
The baby warthogs are so cute but also so fast to run away - camera shy.
If you are ever in the area of Port Elizabeth, do visit Addo Elephant Park - you won't be sorry.
© Judelle Drake

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