Gecko on The Road again – Addo Elephant Park

We had great plans for a long road trip in the second half of this year but a few things caused us to change our minds.  Our big trip of the year was the cruise from Mauritius to Venice and we have also done a few short caravan trips.   We have had some family events to attend and our little home in Struisbaai needed some attention so we decided to just do a short trip before we have to start thinking of the Christmas Season.

We packed up the Gecko Xtreme Off-Road caravan and left Struisbaai on Thursday 5 September then spent the weekend with our sister-in-law at Great Brak River.  She was celebrating her 60th birthday and there was a bit of a family reunion there.  Diane and Carey live on a small farm and some of us camped in the garden!  It was awesome fun.

On Sunday we headed to Addo Elephant Park – our third trip there this year!   It was not as exciting as last time but very enjoyable nevertheless. We only managed to get two nights when I booked and we planned to spend a third night at a private camp outside the park.  I asked if there were any cancellations when we checked in but no luck.  However, the next day I asked again – and there was a vacancy so we got our three nights saving us an extra pack-up day.

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The weather was awesome – very hot on Sunday and Monday then cooler morning and evening on Tuesday but still shorts and t-shirt temperatures during the day.

Tiny baby enjoying the mud
Protected by his elders
This is so refreshing
I’m just gonna sit here and enjoy the waters
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The warthogs seem to have no fear of the giants above them
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AAAH a lovely trough of cool, fresh water.

Early on our second morning, we came across this strange looking goose!

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It looks like a shelduck

Then we saw a more familiar-looking one a little further away.

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Mr. Shelduck

And soon we also saw his wife

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Mrs. Shelduck

So the odd creature must have been their youngster not yet in his full adult plumage.

A better photo of Mom.

Usually, we see them near water but they must have been out foraging.

It is hot and dry in The Park at the moment and even the birds were scarce.  We did, however, manage to see and photograph a few

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Streaky-headed seedeater
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Bokmakierie
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Common Fiscal
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Ant-eating chat
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Pale-chanting Goshawk on prey
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The guts are delicious!
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Southern Boubou
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Hoepoe
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Emerald-spotted wood-dove
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Cape Glossy Starling
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Jackal Buzzard
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Karoo Scrub-robin

One doesn’t often see suricates so it was really rewarding to find some so close to the road 

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This lot greeted us in a friendly manner
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What was he thinking!
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The rest of the gang dug furiously for breakfast

Perhaps because of the heat, the animals were hiding in the bushes and trees. We usually see herds of them on the open plains.  This time they were more scattered.    

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Zebra eating the dry grass
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A lone red hartebeest
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Male Kudu trying to get some juicy leaves

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There were not many buffalo around but this one got a beauty treatment from a crow!   The crow tried to impersonate an ox-pecker but didn’t quite have the skills.  He jumped up and pecked at the long-suffering buff and managed to get a tick or three.

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I see some parasites annoying you – shall I get them off?
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Be my guest – I haven’t had a spa treatment in ages
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oooh – that’s better!
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These jackals were hiding from a kudu who was trying to trample them!

Other tourists reported seeing lions at various places in the park but we only saw one female about to take a nap.

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We left Addo this morning and made our way to Mountain Zebra National Park near Craddock.  More about that in my next post.

Published by puppy1952

I am making the most of the South African Lifestyle and hope with my blog to share some of the adventures my husband and I are having in our retirement. We live at the Southern Tip of Africa in the small coastal town of Struisbaai. Earl and I have a Gecko off-road caravan and we travel around South Africa frequently. We are bird and wild life enthusiasts so are often in game reserves.

12 thoughts on “Gecko on The Road again – Addo Elephant Park

    1. Yes and we saw others that escaped having their portraits taken. I just missed an acacia pied barbet and a greater double collared sunbird but got lovely ones (not posted) at Great Brak. We were also pleased to see Denham’s bustard

      Like

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