Friday, 17 April 2009

Road Trip - Part 5

Friday 20th March – Stormsrivier Village to Addo Elephant National Park

Not much commentary on this one, just lots of pictures! We had a longer drive of 250km via the large industrial city of Port Elizabeth to reach our destination. It took us about 3 hours and left us with more than half a day to enjoy the Addo ElephantNational Park and the animals.

The setup at Addo was great, we pulled into the main camp, paid the very small fee (about £2 each), checked the ‘sightings’ board and headed off into the park’s 600 square kilometres of dirt and tarred roads.

African Elephant
Our first encounter was with a large lone male. We sat and watched each other for ages until the elephant crossed right behind the car. Amazing. Later on we saw a large herd of 10-15 elephants on the other side of the park.

Not a great photo but this was the second ‘Big 5’ sighting for us! Only 3 to go.

Burchells Zebra
Unsurprisingly closely related to the horse!

Look at those horns! Beautiful animal which also makes for very tasty biltong!

Quite happily sitting by the side of the road waiting for a car to come by!

Very good at running away as soon as they saw a camera!

Leopard Tortoise
This was bigger than it looks in the picture.

Other Sightings
Red Hartebeast
Vervet Monkey
Black-backed Jackal
Flightless Dung Beetle
Ostrich (yawn!)

And lots of other unidentified beasties.

We had a fabulous time exploring the park and we got to see two of the ‘Big 5’. It could easily have been 3 but we missed out on a pride of lions at our first turn! When we were talking to one of the rangers about what he had seen recently he told us that when we had entered the park we were behind his vehicle, at the first junction he went left and saw lions almost immediately, we, of course, turned right and saw none! The park has lion, rhinoceros and leopard but they all eluded us. Better luck next time!

We left the park in the near darkness and checked into a backpackers lodge just down the road which would be best described as ‘functional’! Still we had a great day and would recommend Addo to anyone.

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