Category Archives: Addo Elephant Park

Gecko 81 at Addo – Day 7 and 8

Sunday 12 June 2022A word about the park

Addo Elephant Park was established in 1931 but did not include all the sections that we are now privileged to be able to visit. It is now the third-largest national park in South Africa after Kruger and Kgalagadi. Originally Addo was established to protect the last 11 remaining elephants in the area. It is now home to over 600 elephants. Most female African elephants have tusks but many of the Addo females do not. This is because of inbreeding but since the introduction of new herds, some of the female babies are now sprouting tusks. Addo Elephant National Park includes a marine reserve and so one in fact can see The Big 7 if one visits all of it. The Big 7 are Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale.

Addo is really a lovely park. When we arrived, the road from Colchester Gate was in need of grading and we were delighted to see that the next day the grader was hard at work – not easy as there hasn’t been much rain for ages. The caravan park is well-maintained and the ablutions are kept beautifully clean and neat.

We had dinner at the Cattle Baron on Friday night and the service was friendly and efficient. The chateaubriand which Earl and I had was to die for! Jim enjoyed his Pepper Steak and Maureen had no complaints about her hake and calamari platter. All dishes are served with complementary butternut and creamed spinach for the table and a choice of baby potatoes, rice, chips or salad.

Friday 10 June 2022Two Lovely Drives

We only left camp at 9:30 this morning and did the roads in the northern part of the park stopping at Carol’s Rest for our breakfast break. We returned to camp around midday and then went toward the southern part of the park in the afternoon.

Red-knobbed coot and chick seen from the lookout over Domkrag Dam
This Bar-throated Apalis was active in the spekboom too.
It was great to spot a steenbok too. We haven’t seen many of them in the park.
Some with tusks and some without
This mama has a really healthy pair
Way in the distance we spotted a Denham’s Bustard
All our usual friends were busy all over the park
Kudu version of a selfie pout?
What gorgeous girls we are
Are the guys coming?
A courting couple?
Don’t you love my handsome horns?
Enjoying a nap in the sun
A Capped Wheatear entertained us at Carol’s Rest
And a couple of Namaqua Doves tried to hide from us.
Earl captured this Red-Capped Lark beautifully
Marion Barree Waterhole
Wonderful warthog family
We hadn’t seen many birds of prey so it was great to spot this Jackal Buzzard
Lismore Waterhole
Two handsome buffalo – If you look carefully you can see an ox-pecker on the back of the one on the left.
A Warthog having fun
Dark-capped Bulbul
Singing joyfully
A Common Fiscal and Cape Glossy Starling having a chat
Pale Chanting Goshawk

Saturday 11 June 2022Farewell to Addo

We were packed up and ready to leave by 8:15 and exited through the Colchester Gate at around 9:30. This whole week we had not seen large herds of buffalo nor had we spotted a jackal. Today made up for it.

Part of quite a large herd
One of the several babies posed for us
Thanks, Jackie Jackal for bidding us farewell

It was once again a stunning day. We stopped at The Windfarm for breakfast and arrived in Plettenberg Bay at 13:15. We are now spending the weekend with the kids and will make our way back to Struisbaai on Monday.

Thank you for following along and thanks to all the Gecko Group members who commented on Whatsapp. I love sharing our adventures with you all.

Gecko 81 at Addo – Day 6

Thursday, 09 June 2022

Late yesterday afternoon after I had posted my blog the Earl and I went for a walk to the camp waterhole and were pleased to find elephants there.

Addo Camp Water Hole
Our lovely men braaing out dinner last night

Today was a slow day.  We only got up after 8 am and decided to spend the morning in camp.  We went to the camp restaurant, The Cattle Baron, for breakfast.  We both had the sunrise – scrambled eggs, bacon, rosti and tomato reasonably priced at R 55 if I remember correctly.  Earl had a cappuccino and I had an Americano. The staff were friendly and efficient.

We went out for a drive at midday and were back around 3:30 pm.   The animals were once again scattered about the landscape which hugely enhanced the view.   The weather was sunny but a little cooler than yesterday and toward the end of the afternoon dark clouds began to gather. Because of the cloud cover, the evening was a little warmer than it would have been on a clear night.

Elephants were everywhere.  Zebra played happily at almost all the waterholes we visited.  Male kudu with wonderfully beautiful horns showed off and the females with their gorgeous eyes entertained us too. Let’s not forget the handsome hartebeest and just one buffalo and an eland with a missing horn. As usual, we also stopped for the birds!

The first bird of the day was just outside our caravan. The tap tap tap alerted me to its presence. It is a female Cardinal Woodpecker if I am not mistaken.
Soon after exiting the gate, we stopped for the ellies. They were very close
We were about to pass by when this one took the right of way!
One of the gorgeous boys who appeared quite frequently
This suricate in a tree made us laugh
Jumbo is making his way to Domkrag
The herd in the background has just left. The zebra to the right make way for him
He has the pond to himself
Is he admiring his reflection?

The Earl captured some stunning photographs of the Ant-eating Chat.

And a Wattled Starling made an appearance too.
Carol’s Rest was hosting a variety of animals – I just managed to snap the eland before he left in a hurry
I wonder what happened to his other horn
He couldn’t get away fast enough
This young red hartebeest was content to nap in the car park
Ellie wanted a drink too. But the proprietor has an exclusion policy – Not giants allowed and if he tries to break through he will get a shock!
So he storms off in a huff. The zebras don’t mind!
Something made this guy jump.
Come on, Porkies – Get a room!
The wildflowers in the park are beautiful
We were delighted to find chest-nut vented warblers but they would not sit still for a decent portrait.
This is an old one from the archives

Gecko 81 at Addo – Day 5

Wednesday, 08 June 2022

This morning the temperature was relatively warm and getting out of bed was not too bone-chilling.   We were ready to set off by 8:30 and made our way toward the southern part of the park.   We did not find the lions!    At first, there was very little to see and elephants were conspicuous by their absence.   Later in the day, this changed and we saw some at a number of the water holes and in the bush.  Hapoor Waterhole, however, did not host any elephants at all.  For some reason, the elephants are more spread out and in smaller groups than usual.   Zebras, however, seem to be gathering in very large herds.

This beautiful canary was the first bird to greet us this morning
Always beautiful to see and hear. There were lots of bokmakieries about today
Mousebirds were also all over the place
Buffalo and Red-hartebeest ignore each other
What a place for a crow to perch! The buffs don’t look impressed. Ngulube Waterhole
Burchell’s Coucal spotted on the other side of the road
And these warthogs too
Red Hartebeest were about too
Near Lismore a baby zebra feeds
Marion Baree hosted a good number of elephants
And they were in a playful mood

We stopped at Jack’s Picnic site for our breakfast break.  This site is kept beautifully neat and tidy and the restrooms are clean.  There are lovely little secluded sites with picnic tables and braai places.  There are no bins and you need to take your rubbish away with you.  This prevents monkeys from entering the site to raid the trash cans.  It works.  We did not see a single vervet while we were there.  At the caravan park, we have to keep a close lookout for monkeys and make sure that no food is left outside and the grocery cupboard door is kept closed even while we are sitting outside.  Our cousins are very opportunistic and will grab whatever they can if given half the chance.

Jack’s Picnic Site
Picnic sites protected by spekboom
This boubou tried his luck – but rules are rules!
Mr. Shelduck was visiting Hapoor but no sign of his wife.
Mrs. Moorhen was there with several chicks but she seemed to have a favourite
She kept feeding just this one – to be fair he was the only one who came close to where she was foraging. The others were late to the dinner table!
Come on down little brother – Mom’s got food!
The spoonbill was back at Rooidam
Ghwarrie had a few ellies
They were preparing to leave when we arrived
Woodlands seems to be the place they prefer and so do the kudu
As we neared the gate this giant approached us.
And passed a little too close for comfort!

We returned to camp at 1 pm.   The weather was stunning with the temperature quickly rising to 28 degrees C.

Gecko 81 at Addo – Day 4

Tuesday, 07 June 2022

It was absolutely freezing when I got up at 7:30 this morning.   Yesterday we bought a small fan heater from Spar in Colchester and I put it on immediately.  What a difference this makes to getting up in the cold caravan!  

After a shower and a warming cup of coffee, we set off at 8:30.  The skies were blue and cloudless and there was no wind so it warmed up quite quickly.   Our first stop was Domkrag Dam and then we did the Gorah Loop to Carol’s Rest Waterhole and then back to camp.  

Red-billed Teal – Domkrag Dam
Mr and Mrs Shelduck at Domkrag

It is amazing to see all the animals scattered across the veld.  Elephants, kudu, zebra, and red-hartebeest can be seen all together decorating the landscape.

Red Hartebeest
Such handsome creatures
This one getting close to its food
Elephants scattered about everywhere
How many elephants?
A huge number of zebra all over the park
A buffalo at Carol’s Rest

We were thrilled today to see two different sightings of suricates.   What cute little creatures they are – always alert and on the lookout for danger.  They all look in different directions and then if there is danger they pop right back into their holes or if they need to go someplace else they race off all at the same time.   We also saw a few yellow mongooses who are more fluffy and less hyperactive than the suricates.

Yellow Mongoose checking out the environment
On the other side of the road, this meerkat family looked around nervously
Around the corner, it was difficult to see that there were lots more of these cute creatures
But they were there alright
Making sure no predators were about
Uh oh something is coming – hide!
And in an instant, this is all you see as he scurries into his hiding place

Back at camp, the Earl cooked us a delicious breakfast and the birds came to visit.  The red-winged starlings were the cheekiest chasing all competitors away.  Even the pied starlings gave way to them.  It was lovely to have the Karoo thrush, Karoo Scrub-robin, southern boubou and black-headed oriole pop in to say hi too.

Karoo Thrush
Pied Starling
Black-headed Oriole

By midday, the temperature had risen to 28 degrees C and our jerseys and jackets were discarded until much later in the evening. We went out at 3 pm and enjoyed some more lovely sightings.

Elephant encounter at Rooidam
At the same time, two kudu males were at each other
While a Cape Teal simply ignored them
As we drove on we got held up by a traffic jam
Annoyed to be urged off the road
Honestly, it’s so much easier on the road – let’s get back there!
This is a zebra crossing – cars must wait!
We don’t mind
Have a nice day!
There were no elephants at Hapoor but the egrets were enjoying themselves
And so was this blacksmith lapwing
And this three-banded plover enjoyed not having to worry about getting underfoot of a pachyderm
The warthogs found the lovely green grass on the edge of the dam quite tasty
Such freedom when you don’t have to worry about giants stepping on you.

Sitting outdoors this evening was very pleasant. It was a perfect, still evening and although we wore jackets it was the best evening we have had so far. I cooked a chicken and vegetable casserole in the Remosca Pot and Jim and Maureen joined us.

Gecko 81 at Addo – Day 2 and 3

Sunday, 5 June 2022

It rained last night and we woke to overcast and chilly weather.   Fortunately, we had put our chairs in a sheltered place.

I packed a breakfast bag and filled a flask and we were out of camp by 8:30 am.  There were a few spots of rain which soon cleared up and by afternoon the skies were clear again.  Temperatures were low but not unusual for this time of year.

We spent most of the morning exploring, stopping a Zuurkop Lookout Point to have breakfast. We did not go to the southern part of the park until our afternoon drive when we went in search of lions and did not find them!

Our first spot of the day – Pale Chanting Goshawk. There were two. The light was not quite right but still lovely to see these awesome birds.

You may alight from your vehicle at a place that overlooks Domkrag Dam and it is usually a worthwhile stop. We spotted elephants and kudu in the distance and the dam had a few birds to entertain us.

Grey Heron patiently waiting for some action
Juvenile Striated Heron catching the morning rays
A pair of Egyptian Geese – (Earl’s Photo)

Today as we drove around we saw a good number of malachite sunbirds.

They flitted about rapidly but this one reluctantly sat still for a few seconds.
The handsome Common Fiscal was more obliging
Very common but very pretty. I couldn’t resist snapping this female Cape Sparrow
And later a pair posed beautifully
A speckled mousebird soaking up the morning sun

We were hoping to be entertained by meerkats (Suricates) but instead, a pair of yellow mongooses put on a good show for us.

They are just so cute
This handsome guy was striding across the veld too.
And keeping a close eye on the girls

At Carol’s Rest Waterhole there was very little action. While we watched some ant-eating chats take a bath we heard a tapping on our rear window. It was a cheeky wagtail imagining that he saw a potential rival. He was attacking his reflected image! We had such a giggle and even when we drove away he followed us for ages. I got some shots in the side mirror!

Poor Waggy attacking an intruder!
Ellies were all over the park

Hapoor is usually a good gathering place for pachyderms but today it was fowl of the water variety.

A rather good-looking yellow-billed duck
And a hamerkop dropped in for a chat too
Kudu ruled in the park today and we saw quite a number of lovely males with stunning horns

Rooidam produced some waterfowl too.

Hamerkop
And a very busy spoonbill
Ghwarrie dam attracted elephants too

In the evening we went over to Jim and Maureen’s campsite. Jim had a fire going which created a lovely ‘gees’ (atmosphere) and kept us relatively warm.  Maureen cooked a delicious chicken and vegetable stir fry with just enough ginger and chilly to give it a bite.  

The sunset once again was just too stunning.

Monday, 06 June 2022

Omiword it was freezing when we got up at 7:30 am.    The temperature was about 4 degrees C.   After a hot shower and a warming cup of coffee we set off toward Colchester Gate and tried to find the lions on the Ngulube Loop where they had been reported but we had no luck.  We did, however, see an Aardwolf!   It was a lovely sighting but he dashed back into the bush and refused to pose for his portrait.   But this is a free clipart drawing of one!

And yes – he gave us such a look!

Of course, we stopped to photograph other creatures along the way and were pleased to see some of the waterholes had attracted a bit of wildlife.

Marion Baree Waterhole is one of my favourites
Warthogs really rule in Addo. This handsome lad was good enough to pose
The best bird in Addo has to be the Bokmakierie
Glossy Starling
A special bird to see – Red-necked Spurfowl

We exited at Colchester Gate and went to Taste of Africa for breakfast and to make a few purchases at the Spar next door.   It was still very cold at 10 am.

We then went back through the park and explored a few roads and waterholes enjoying some lovely sightings.

Quellea
Young kudu

At Peasland Waterhole there were simply scores of zebra coming and going

Don’t ask – something was funny!
There were lots of red hartebeest in the park too
We have seen the tail end of a few buffalo but this one decided to give me a quick glance
before heading off on his own mission
Lots of these girls were trying to hide amongst the trees
They have such pretty faces
Southern Bou-bous also made an appearance
Such a gorgeous bird
And please beware of dung beetles – Don’t drive over them and don’t drive over dung where they might be hiding.

More tomorrow if I get time – otherwise the next day!

Gecko goes to Addo – Day 4

Usually, when we travel with our grandchildren the Earl and I are the first up. It’s then several calls before the kids get themselves into gear. This trip, however, we have had no problem getting Simon up early and this morning when I opened the caravan door at quarter past six, he had already packed up his tent and was waiting for us at the picnic table! Grandpa hadn’t even opened his eyes yet. But with little else to be done but hitch up the caravan we managed to leave camp by half-past seven.

The weather was slightly cloudy but pleasantly warm. We drove slowly through the park and left via the Colchester Gate.

The first creature to capture our attention was a grey heron on top of a tree.

Such good balance
He had a tiny insect as a pre-breakfast snack
He then spread his wings and flew away

We did not expect to see elephants at the waterholes this early on a cool morning but were rewarded at Marion Baree. Some of the elephants were already heading into the bush but some remained to play and chat.

What is that face pack you’re using? I love the colour.
Can I go into the water now, please Mom.

We were just about to move on when the Earl saw a few buffalo coming down the road. They were making their way to the water hole.

Oh heck – elephants at the pond!
I thought they’d be gone by now!
Come on – there’s room for everyone
I hope those buffs don’t think they can come into our pond
What do you think of that buff over there?
He’s okay – let him stay!

After watching the buffs and ellies we continued on and enjoyed seeing large herds of zebra and red hartebeest.

Lovey green grass at this restaurant
Cute baby zebra
These guys had to wait for two buffalo to finish at the water hole
I hope they hurry up – I’m thirsty
It’s going to be a while – those hartebeests will just have to wait.

We reached to exit gate at around quarter to ten and then went to Taste of Africa in Colchester for breakfast.

There is indoor and outdoor seating – we chose outdoor which was very pretty
Grandpa and Grandson enjoying the outdoor ambience of this lovely restaurant

They were very busy and so service was a little slow but the breakfasts were excellent and the coffee good.

It was around quarter past two when we got back to Plettenberg Bay. They had had rain while we were away and it was very misty when we arrived. But it was good to be back with the family. We will spend two more nights here before returning to Struisbaai.

Gecko goes to Addo – Day 3

Once again we woke to a beautiful day with just a bit of cloud cover and a slight nip in the air. We left camp at 7:30 and made our way to Carol’s Rest stopping along the way to look at various creatures.

House martin taken by Simon
Scrub Hare taken by Simon
Zebra Eye by Earl

Simon spotted the ellies marching to the pond first then called – hey – there’s also a rhino! We must have just missed it taking a drink as it was heading back to the thickets.

Black Rhinoceros
Aren’t the babies cute
There were red hartebeest about too (The Earl’s photo)
Simon’s Photo

When the elephants left we moved on and found many more decorating the landscape.

Baby sticking close to Mom
Oh my – A white elephant!
Protecting the little ones
And then there was a Buffalo crossing
Breakfasting together
Simon’s Photo

There were a few birds about but most refused to pose.

A very photogenic Crowned Lapwing
This ant-eating chat always obliges and makes an excellent model
There were plenty of speckled mousebirds
Bokmakieries were constantly dueting and finally one posed for a portrait
I think this is a Common Buzzard?

When we returned to camp at around 10 am it had warmed up quite a bit. We went to the Cattle Baron for breakfast. The Earl had an omelette, Simon had the Classic Breakfast – 2 eggs, bacon, mushrooms, pork sausage, rosti and toast and I had the Sunrise – 2 eggs, bacon, tomato and rosti. We also enjoyed their excellent Americanos and Cappuccinos. We then relaxed in camp till around 1 pm before going out again. There were lots of elephants dotted about the landscape but we were too late for the waterhole activities. We did not see anything new and decided not to drive around too much as tomorrow we will do the south of the park before exiting.

Oom Olifant was there to greet us
Lots of warthogs about

When we got back I took a walk and went to the camp waterhole and the bird hide. The waterhole was quiet except for a few birds. The blacksmith lapwing was still sitting on her nest.

There was a great deal of activity at the bird hide. It was alive with weavers and bishops building nests and chatting to each other. A bushbuck also made an appearance and spent quite a while drinking and nibbling the water plants.

Cape Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Red Bishop
A sweet little bushbuck enjoying a snack and a drink

In the evening we braaied and had Magnum ice creams for dessert then we took down the canopy and packed up as much as possible in readiness for tomorrow’s departure.

Gecko Goes to Addo – Day 2

Friday 19 November 2021

Temperatures rose to around 24 degrees C today and we enjoyed the sunny conditions. We were up and ready to explore by quarter to eight.

These sweet yellow mongooses were catching the early morning rays
We came across quite a few elephants feeding in the bush – they love the spekboom
We have never seen so many Scrub Hares before – we had at least four today
A Karoo Scrub-robin posed beautifully
We saw a few warthogs but not as many as we usually see
The Sombre Bulbul calls all the time – Willie – Come out and fight – but he is not usually so conspicuous
Usually, we see the Spekboom with just their little green leaves but at this time of year, they burst into blossom. The leaves of the tree are highly nutritious. Elephants, rhino and kudu love them. They are good for human consumption too. I have some growing in my garden and use the leaves in my salads. They have a delicious lemony flavour.
Ellie feeding on the Spekboom

We stopped at Jack’s Picnic Site for a loo break and to stretch our legs. It’s a good place to look for birds too.

Cape Batis (Male)
Southern Boubou
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
A terapin at one of the waterholes

We returned at 10:30 and made breakfast and then went out again at 12. But first, we checked out the camp waterhole. All we saw were Egyptian Geese, Lesser Striped Swallows, Hadedas and Blacksmith Lapwings.

Our Campsite Number C25
Our Chef preparing breakfast
Lesser-striped Swallow
Blacksmith Lapwing on her nest

Our afternoon trip produced elephants at most of the waterholes we visited and we also had good sightings of zebra, kudu and red hartebeest. Simon has excellent spotting skills and got us a black rhino. It was far off and kept disappearing into the bush so we did not get a photograph but it was lovely to see.

Fun in the water
Heading straight for the vehicles!
Uh oh – Right next to my window!
The cutest baby ever
Safe under Mommy’s tummy
Trunks in a twist
We had a chinwag through the window
Zebra affection
Lovely to see a couple of these guys – Red-necked Spurfowl

Supper this evening was braaied chicken, chops and boerewors with potatoes and salad.

The men taking care of the braai
It was rather good!

Gecko goes to Addo – Day 1

In spite of LockDown restrictions, Gecko 81 has managed to break away and do a bit of exploring this year. After our long Kruger trip, we really did try to stay home for a while. We had a few things that needed our attention in Struisbaai but once they were over we felt drawn to hitch up the caravan again. But first, we had to pop over to Cape Town so I could attend a College Old Girls’ gathering. We were there for four days, did some chores that needed doing, visited a few friends and relatives, and then came back to Struisbaai to fetch the caravan. Our daughters, Lisa and Laurie drove up too and then travelled with us to Plettenberg Bay where we stayed with our middle daughter for a few days. We celebrated her 50th birthday on the 16th. We had not planned to take any of the grandchildren to Addo with us but discovered that our youngest, Simon (almost 17) has completed his school year and was on holiday. His sister (almost 20) is studying and working so could not take time off much to her and our disappointment!

So after spending three nights in Plett with the family we set off to Addo this morning. It poured during the night and was raining still when we awoke. We worried that it would be raining in Addo too but by the time we left Plett at 8:30 it had stopped and we had no rain on the trip. We found out though, that it had also rained here the day before and this morning. Simon is sleeping in a tent so hopefully, the rain will hold off for the rest of the time that we are here.

It is not easy to get caravan sites in Addo Elephant Park at short notice and when I booked ten days ago there were very few sites available. We entered Colchester Gate at 1 pm and arrived at Addo Rest camp an hour later.

One of the first creatures to greet us – A Male Ostrich – He might be sitting on eggs?
Simon alerted us to this guy
A big hello from this buffalo herd

Although the Eastern Cape has had a terrible drought for the past few years, the park was lovely and green. Clearly, the recent rains have brought on new growth. Much more is still needed.

The campsite was pretty full but we managed to get a really nice, shady spot near the ablution block. Two staff members appeared and helped us set up. It really wasn’t necessary especially as we had Simon but it did speed the process up considerably.

A lovely corner site – more pics to follow tomorrow
After this morning’s rain, lots of dung beetles emerged from the bush and this one decided to visit our campsite.

After setting up, doing a bit of shopping and having a cup of coffee and a snack we set off for our afternoon drive.

A Cape Weaver in breeding plumage
Grey Heron on a nest
We saw quite a few suricates (meerkats) but they were far off and quick to scurry away
Lovely to see zebra
There were lots of babies too
An amusing tree of monkeys
Most of the elephants we saw were hiding in the bushes
And gave us a fright when they suddenly emerged
They really look magnificent against the skyline
These ant-eating chats were everywhere
Decorating the tops of bushes
We also saw one or two scrub hares
And of course warthogs – this baby was with his mom – more of these creatures to follow

We returned just after 6 pm and decided to go to The Cattle Baron for dinner. Skukuza has a Cattle Baron that does excellent Chateaubriand and we hoped Addo’s would be as good. And it was! It is served with a choice of chips, rice or baked potato plus spinach and butternut for the table. Simon had calamari and thoroughly enjoyed that too. It was a real treat to get such lovely food and excellent service.

Simon enjoyed his calamari
The Earl with Chateaubriand

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.

gecko

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.