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Favorite thing: At the main reception area, you will find a map of the Park, where sightings are shown for each day. Although it is not a guarantee that you would find them in exactly the same spot, it does help. It is the same as you would find in other parks like the Kruger National Park.
Favorite thing: Approx R25 per person will be charged for south african citizens(2007), international tourist will pay a higher fee, please ask when you make your booking, and its not included in your accom, you will pay on arrival.
There are many other animals in the park too, from the huge and popular elephants, to the smallest of insects, the dung beetle being a favourite. Their particular specie is unique to this region.
In 2005 they became a BIG FIVE Game Park, with the introduction of lions and cheetahs into the park. Soon this wil become a BIG SEVEN park, with the inclusion of whales and sharks (when the park land touches the sea).
From their over 400 species of birds, they also have black rhinos, Cape buffalos, antelope, kudu, eland, red hartebeest, cape grysbok, zebra, eland, springbok, hyena, warthogs, black backed jackal, meerkats, tortoises, leopard, lion and cheetah.
This park is growing in size, and soon they will be able to add whales and dolphins onto their list of animals to see as the park reaches the Indian Ocean.
Elephants have various uses for their trunks, eating being one, and pulling down trees being another... but another rather important one is to keep itself cool!
Elephants live in hot climates generally, Addo has quite a hot climate for certain lengths of time, and they squirt cool water over themselves to keep cool in the blazing heat.
After that, they squirt a fine layer of dust over themselves... which, when combined with the water, makes a thin type of mud layer... their sunscreen :)
They also use their trunks as snorkels when they wade in deep water. They are incredibly good swimmers, something which I don’t think many folk realise :)
Elephants are prolific in their destruction of trees, they pull them down and eat the vegetation off of them, with scant regard for the destructive manner in which they do so.
It makes tracking them VERY easy, you just need to look for torn roots and shoots to know where they have passed by.
The trunk may look clumsy but it is anything but!
It has two little finger-type things at the end of its trunk, which act like fingers, and are quite nimble. This enables the trunk to pick up a small berry off the ground, or clasp a thin leaf in its trunk.
Pretty amazing :)
Bird hides are exactly that. A place where you can hide away, unobserved and silent, to view the bird life around you.
Try and keep as quiet as possible, especially if you have young kids with you.
If the hide is timber (and most are), walk gently and considerately.
Zebras have the opposite reputation to buffalo.
They are thought to be quite passive and gentle. Non aggressive. This is not the case! It doesn’t take much for them to become twitchy and they can be quite unpredictable.
If their ears fold back, the best thing is to get out of the area as quickly as you can (without frightening the animals of course).
Each stripe on a zebra is different and this is how zebras recognise one another.
Buffalo are one of the BIG 5.
They have thick horns, are large and lumbering and have a ferocious reputation (which is unfounded I think). They look more menacing than they actually are in my experience.
Lions battle to catch them when hunting, their only real chance of a successful hunt being one where they hunt a baby buffalo (without the parents close by!).
Then the tables might easily turn and the hunter becomes the chased!
Elephants are able to drink A LOT of water in one sitting.
They can drink upwards of 7.5 litres at one time, when sucking the water in they curl their trunk under and stick the tip of into their mouth, proceeding to blow the water in.
This ability to drink so much water at one time is for self-preservation, especially during times of drought, where ready water may not be easily available.
There are many buffalo in Addo. These are the Cape buffalo.
They are mostly nocturnal animals, and this is the best time to view them at watering holes. They stay in very large groups, sometimes even a couple hundred strong.
This is partly for safety purposes
Their horns are favourites for poachers. There is good security at the park, but poachers do manage to get in sometimes unfortuntely.
Elephants are very sociable creatures, and live in large family groups, with a matriarch at the head.
Young male elephants often leave the herd and spend many years on their own, and when older, may join another herd, or may stay alone till he dies.
How does an elephant hug another?
They wrap their trunks around one another tightly. Lovely!
In the Addo area they have a Citrus festival in the valley at the end of May and the world-renowned Rose festival is in October.
There are many thousands of citrus trees in this evergreen valley, bearing fruit throughout the cold months of winter even.
They have a shop which sells all kinds of curios, a picnic area, and a swimming area for other leisure pursuits.
You can also purchase basic food items like oil, sugar, coffee and tea etc.
There is also a petrol (gas) station in the camp for convenience. Best to fill up PRIOR to entering the park to view game!
Photographing the animals is pretty easy, as they are used to vehicles and people, so don’t run away when they hear a car engine idling close by.
They will run if you are going over the speed limit and scare them of course, but if you are keeping to the speed limit and are being considerate they are fine.