18 November 2012

south africa: addo elphant park

duncan got a kombi for all of us. shaun drove since he didn’t think his boys would be able to last the whole day at addo. we all piled into the kombi at addo, though, and headed in for animals.

first up: elephants. as we entered the park, we found a herd of pachyderms on parade to a watering hole.  it must have been morning drinking time because they all seemed to be heading that way.  perhaps they were stocking up for a long day of heat in the park.  a cool trunk of water is better than a warm one on days like this.  it give a whole new meaning to keeping your nose clean when you witness how they drink.  but it also makes you wonder what happens when an elephant tells a joke while they are drinking.

as we journeyed on, we came across another watering hole where some turtles were sunning themselves.  we also found some kudu in the brush, bush hogs keeping a low profile, some large buffalo, and the black headed heron.  of course, there were monkeys all over the place.  those things just run around the entire country.

we stopped to eat lunch around midday.  the park provided fenced–caged, really–areas were we could pull in to eat lunch.  these spots were staffed with park officials.  the monkeys were hanging around for food.  we inquired if it was safe/allowed to feed the monkeys.  the officials gave approval.  see the video below for a fun bit.

after lunch, we dropped shaun and family back off a their car as they needed to head back to kenton.  i along with duncan and his crew drove down to the bottom of the park.  zebra, impala, springbok, and other animals grouped on the hillside either munching on the grass or shading in the scattered trees.

we came across an elephant scuffle.  two elephants decided to lock head and tusks over…land, a female, a derogatory reference to a mother.  not exactly sure, but it was interesting to watch.

we kept looking for the lions.  the day was coming to an end, and we had to leave the park soon.  we questioned passers on the road to see if they had heard of lion sightings anywhere. no one had seemed to spot any until we found a group of stopped vehicles, passengers peering off into the distance.  they had found the cats sunning themselves on a hill.  i was glad for the 500mm lens purchase.  full zoom and then close up in the center of the shot revealed a male and a few female warming in the late afternoon.  mission accomplished.

it was time to crash for the night.

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