This story doesn't have motorbikes in it, I wouldn't like to ride through the national park on a bike! We did however drink lots of beers and had several braais and I wanted to share my photos with you. We joined my sister and brother in law on Monday last week for three days at the park and what an enjoyable time we had.
There are several types of accommodation, we were in the Rest camp in a very comfortable four sleeper chalet which included a bathroom, well equipped kitchen and most importantly an outside braai area.
There are nineteen national parks in South Africa and Addo is third in size after Kruger and the Kgalagadi trans border park. Originally founded in 1931 it was subsequently expanded to include the Woody Cape Marine nature reserve so if you're lucky you could get to see the "Big 7"; Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard, Whale and Great White Shark.
It is 38km from the N2 gate to the rest camp so as soon as you enter you are on a game drive and there are hundreds of Elephant, we saw plenty. You have two options in the park, to drive your own vehicle around or to go on different routes on guided game drives. We opted to do our own every day.
As the name implies there are plenty of Elephant to see all over the park, including many delightful babies;
We got ourselves settled into our accommodation and had our first braai that evening. The camp area is fenced off from the main park so there shouldn't be any animals although of course that wont keep the monkeys out! One Vervet monkey got into our cabin and made rather a mess of the kitchen.
This little Bushbuck arrived silently on dainty feet right outside our cottage, foraged a bit and just as silently left.
It is extremely pleasant sitting around the braai in the evening listening to the sounds of the bush, we heard Jackals howling and on the first evening the distant roar of a lion.
The park is home to hundreds of Kudu, they are so plentiful that it became a case of "Ho-hum another Kudu." but they are beautiful animals. We saw red Hartebees and a few Buffalo, which poor creature seems to be the meal of choice for the Lion.
There are a few Rhino but we didn't get to see any, their presence is not advertised for obvious reasons.
There are plenty of Zebra and you have to be constantly on the lookout for the flightless dung beetle on the roads so that you don't run over them!
Our best sighting however was purely fortuitous, it was on the Thursday as we were leaving the park, I was driving towards the gate and as I passed the entrance to the "Vukani Loop" which I wasn't going to take, I saw the herd of Zebra up on the road. As I hadn't taken any photos of them I turned in and got some, then as we had time to spare I decided to carry on around the loop. What an amazingly lucky decision that turned out to be!
We came across this big old male Lion who had just taken down a young Buffalo right next to the road, I have seen plenty of wildlife in my time but this was the best thing that I had ever seen and not many people get to see the lion in this park.
He dragged the carcass towards a thorn bush thicket right next to us, stopping every now and then to regain his breath, we sat enthralled at the power of this beautiful creature.
Eventually he got the carcass into the shelter of the thorn bushes where he could defend it against the other predators, Jackals had already gathered and were following him. They would probably be followed later by Hyena.
It had been a most enjoyable three days in the park and we will certainly go back, if my family come out from UK next year we will take them. If you get the chance go and visit, you wont regret it.