Addo Mini Trip (June 2016) *

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PJL
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Country: South Africa
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Addo Mini Trip (June 2016) *

Post by PJL » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:48 am

Normally I would post just a few pics on the Addo Outings thread, but the weekend we just spent in Addo deserves a bit more than that. We stayed a night in a forest cabin with the intention of testing out the newly opened Cattle Baron restaurant at the main camp. Our kids were expecting to find one of the lionesses called Aardlam as she was the only lion in the park which they hadn't seen before, whilst my wife and I were looking forward to just relaxing in the tranquility of the park with no major expectations of sightings (after all, with plenty of lion sightings in our past few visits we were unlikely to see them this time). ;-)

We left home about 7:30am after the puppy-sitter arrived and we had an easy entry through the south gate at about 8am as all of the early-bird day visitors would have passed through long before. It was a cold start to the day!

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I also think that I must have been extremely un-observant (or hadn't had enough coffee before arrival) on previous visits, as I only noticed the sightings board at the Matyholweni entrance this time 0*\

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Once in the park the usual game with the kids of 'what are we going to see first' started. All along the southern access road up to the Mbotyi loop there was nothing, so we turned into the loop and finally found...
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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:58 am

Thanks Lisbeth, Mel, Toko & Flutts for joining me O0

Of course the first animal of the day which we finally found (it was probably Hannah's guess as David always goes for leopard 0*\ ) was warthog. A nice family of 4 just like us :-? . The dad was extremely camera shy and bolted through the bushes with the crashes and carelessness of an elephant (much to the kids amusement), while the mother attempted to herd the youngsters away from the car, but they were more interested in showing off their awesome new hairstyles to the world O:V

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The rest of the Mbotyi Loop was very quiet. No cars and not many animals... just a few of the usual ostrich, zebra and red hartebeest, but all at a fair distance away from the road. We swung up the southern access road with the intention of doing a small section of Harveys Loop then going back on ourselves and taking the Ngulube Loop. We met a car coming the other way who were waiting for a herd of zebra to come and drink at one of the small waterholes and so we asked them whether they had seen much. 'No its very quiet today' was the reply - much like ours... but as we drove along the wide open area between Ngulube and Harveys we did see a couple of secretary bird fluffed up against the cold.

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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:51 pm

So before continuing on the trip through the park and our rather exciting sightings, here's a quick introduction to our 2 super spotters

David all ready with his tick-sheet
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Hannah braced against the cold start
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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:16 am

We had stopped to check out some distant eland with the other lone vehicle then we ducked down Harveys Loop while the other car went straight on - bad call on their part! We hadn't told them that travelling with our kids seems to attract lion to our vehicle 0'
No sooner had we turned into Harveys my wife Sharon said 'is that...' as I shouted 'Lion!'. Gina & Josie were some distance away across a field but slowly walking in our direction so we parked up and enjoyed the sight of these 2 magnificent lionesses.

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Where we had parked the car was perfect - they hopped onto the road right next to the passenger door and went across the road in front of our car and off into the veld on the other side.

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A short while later they emerged on the southern access road and we followed them as they made their way along the road and up the steep hill in that section. It made for a rare opportunity to have lion and the Indian Ocean in one photo O/\ O/\

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Gina
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Josie
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Josie in front with Gina behind
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Gina had been leading Josie the whole way until they got to the steep hill where she really slowed down and seemed to struggle a bit with the climb. Josie waited for her quite a few times on the way up. There are rumours that Gina is pregnant, so I wondered whether that might be why she was struggling with the climb... or maybe she was just ready for a lie down and sleep :-?

All in all we were with them for 20 minutes with no other vehicles around. I just love 'private' lion sightings like this O:V
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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:18 am

Some video from the lion sighting...

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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:03 pm

After the lionesses had disappeared off the road and into the bush we carried on north along the access road. We spied a lone buffalo hiding in the bushes and as we dropped down to the crossroads there were a few elephant - so 3 of the big 5 in a row. Addo doesn't get much better than that (unfortunately leopard and rhino are so seldom seen). O/\ O/\

Heading in to the north of the park it continued to be fairly quiet, but then we came across the carcass of the elephant killed a few weeks ago in a fight with another bull. Most of the meat had been cleaned up already, but there were still plenty of jackal hanging around and nibbling at what was left. There was an awful stink in the area, so over the 2 days in the park we could only handle short stops by the carcass before needing to drive away to find fresher air! Here are a selection of photos taken over the weekend of the jackals

Too cold to wake up!
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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks Bushcraft, Toko, nan, Mel, Lisbeth & Pumbaa for your encouragement O0

From the elephant carcass we popped in to Jacks picnic site before various bladders exploded, and the kids were extremely pleased to be able to put lots of animal magnets on the sightings board. :-0

On the way past Marion Baree we found these cute drinking buddies

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As we arrived at Hapoor there were no elephant in sight (not surprisingly as it had rained a lot in the week). But there were some zebra very close to the road who provided some entertainment with their play-fighting

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A quick glance around revealed a large herd of buffalo hiding in the bushes but looking thirsty, so we parked up in anticipation of their movement to the waterhole. It was great to see plenty of youngsters in the herd \O

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Yet again we were alone for the sighting. Everyone else in the park must have found something interesting somewhere else :-? Not that we were complaining =O: =O:
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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:10 pm

From Hapoor we took the high route up over Zuurkop with a plan to have lunch up at Carols Rest.

Here's David and myself enjoying the view at the Zuurkop lookout point

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From the viewpoint we could see an elephant walking up the road which we were about to take, so we hopped in the car and found a nice spot to sit and turn the engine off in anticipation of his arrival. Click on the image below to see the video of him walking past. It's amazing how even after he had gone past the vehicle you still feel like he's watching you ;-)

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nan
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by nan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:33 pm

cute little David 0/0
... and dad ;-)
and nice to have an Ellie so nearby O/\

^Q^
absent for health problems

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PJL
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Re: Addo Mini Trip

Post by PJL » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:17 pm

Thanks Mel & nan O0

After our ellie encounter we drove up to Carols Rest hoping that there might be lion around, but as there were no cars sitting there we contented ourselves with the great view and a lone elephant feeding on the grass.

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So we were quite surprised when we drove on to find Aardlam sunning herself out in the open past some bushes! O/\ O/\ O/\

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The kids were particularly thrilled as she was the last of the 9 lion in the park which they hadn't yet seen. O\/ O\/
Some other cars rocked up while we were there, but no more than about 4 at a time - perfectly quiet enough for a lion sighting \O
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