Walking through the resort grounds we often saw monkeys and most times they looked friendly. However when we saw the baboon we were surprised with his size, something you want to keep a distance from. Notices advise you to keep clear, do not approach them as they have a pack mentality. They are like most animals, if you leave them alone they will leave you alone.
If you see this type of road, please do not think you can take a chance and you wont get caught... there are reasons for them.
It may be that it is simply an exit route, used for emergencies only, or is a route to a private camp or something...
but it could also be a route that has been temporarily closed due to breeding taking place/new babies being born etc. there are so mnay possibilities, and it is just safer to play by the rules, and not venture down that lane!
(as inviting as it may seem! arent all forbidden routes more exciting somehow??? ).
A nasty word.
But an often necessary one unfortunately.
I think the thing about culling that upsets me the most is that one cannot cull just the older members of the family, or perhaps the illest ones... the rangers have to cull entire families in one go!
From the youngest to the oldest.
Elephants are very family-orientated and they grieve terribly.. for years sometimes... and some even die because of this grief... as some humans do.
It is very upsetting, but a fact of life :(
Something to remember about elephants... when they are on their own, and especially when you can see they are young males.. they are very temperamental!
The elephants are not as aggressive in nature as the elephants in the Kruger National Park generally are, but this fella sure gave them a run for their money!
We had been sitting for a while, watching him from afar. He wasnt bothered by anythign and seemed content.
Then a bush ranger came along, a high-backed vehicle with ogling tourists.
The elephant didnt like this, and started moving his ears (sure sign of a problem!), he then started moving his one leg up and down (another sign...)... his glands started secreting (another sign...).
The ranger then reversed and came to us and told us to 'be careful, this elephant is in musk and might charge any minute!'... and then he left the scene. It was quite a charged scene.
We were well aware of the signs, and well aware that we werent the one being sited as a threat to the elephant... it was the noisy ranger man!
Anyway, we watched him for a little while longer and then moved on... he had had his little melt-down and was calm again :)
We felt fine in this situation as we knew the signs, but if you feel threatened in any way, make sure you have a quick route out of the way (ie: that there isnt another car behind you, blocking the way!), and leave the scene if you/your passengers feel edgy.
Animals smell fear.
There are plenty of monkeys around, in the Sun City resort as well as in Pilansberg!
Although they may SEEM cute and playful, please do NOT feed them or encourage them in any way.
This will make them tamer and they will then venture where they shouldn’t, like into your rooms! Give a monkey 5 minutes in your room and you will find it in a complete mess.
Remember to close your windows and door when you leave your room (some rooms have sliding doors on the ground floor)
Obviously if you are in a higher floor in the hotel it should be fine to leave your window open when you are not there.
Naughty little monkeys!!!
Always bear in mind that the animals in the park are WILD animals.
They have tamed to a certain degree, and this is why some of them (especially the monkeys) might come right up to your car and even sit on your bonnet!
Whatever you do, do NOT feed them or encourage them in any way.
They are wild animals, and where on the one side it isn’t wise for them to become tamer, they are also not clean, and if they get to close they might bite you, even if by mistake, as you are handing it something to eat.
This is THEIR park, and we are the visitors, so we need to respect this and do things their way.
Don’t drive too fast, abide by the speeding rules, and do not get out of your car where you shouldn’t. As a general rule, do not exit your car unless you are in a camp or there is a sign permitting you to do so (at a picnic spot/bird hide etc.)
If the animals seem stressed n some way – stomping their feet, flapping their ears etc. slowly drive away with as little fuss as possible. Cars ALWAYS come off second best in elephant charges...
The best way to see the park is self-driving.
Tours are nice but you have no say in whether to take that dirt road, just sit at a waterhole for 30 minutes etc. The ranger guides are highly trained and extremely knowledgeable, so it is nice to maybe go on one (a night one as one cannot self drive at night).
Ensure you have enough gas in the car, the tyres are pumped etc., and you don’t want to happen to you what happened to us on honeymoon in the Addo Elephant Park!
The steering wheel came off (yes, it just came off!) whilst we were driving.
We were doing the speed limit, so we could stop almost immediately. My husband had his penknife with him and fixed it. NOT the place to become stranded, especially as there is no phone signal or anything. We would have had to wait for a passer by to raise the alarm had we been unable to fix it.
Handy little Swiss Army knife!
So take care. Abide by the speed limit. For your sake as well as for the animals sake, as a springbok might just jump out from the side of the road without warning, and if you are going too fast and cannot stop in time, this could have nasty consequences for the animal and you.
Best not to hang out the windows (like in the photo! lol) unless you have a clear expanse of round in front of you and can safely do so. It would take not much effort for a lion to drag you out of a car window.
However cute they may look, just take caution when around the monkeys. Sometime they may attack, and can cause injury, but some are used to seeing people and will stay clear.
Try not to give them food, as that causes others to get upset as they are not being fed, and then you get a big baboon barney and that can be quite unpleasant.... hehe...
Remember to close your windows when leaving your room. If not you may come back to a room that has been ransacked by the monkeys living in the area. Please don't feed these animals as they then associate humans with food and become a nuisance.
The Trails are restricted to the fit and the healthy. No children under 6 is allowed on the trails and proper walking shoes is required for the trails. No baby prams is allow on the trails.
Hey Just a fair warning for the short people and small boys and girls. Their is a height restriction of 1.2 Meters.