Addo elephant park

 

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// Nikon D7200 | -33.51407 : 25.69348 | alt. 49m

Short drive to reach the northern gate of Addo elephant park, which like the name suggests, is home of hundreds of elephants. It’s already past noon, but that’s enough time for a first trip inside the park.
You can drive on a fairly huge network inside the game reserve, and obviously, you cannot step out of your vehicle since there is lions and cheetahs in the area. They still provide fenced picnic areas and a few safe lookouts.
Let’s see what’s inside this park !

Only a few hundreds meters away from the gate, an elephant crossed the road in front of me, and then it was a mother with her baby standing next to the car !!!! That’s a good beginning ! A kilometer away, I could see hundreds of elephants in the bush down below, sadly too far from the road (yup, no off road driving !).
The park itself is not really nice, although better looking than Erindi game reserve in Namibia.
The road goes deep enough inside the reserve to maximise your chances to spot wildlife. A lot of elephants obviously, you come here for that, but also zebras and kudus. I quickly had to leave the park, and find a place for the night.
The only place in my database is Orange Elephant next to the northern gate, however, they don’t allow camping, and I will have to park my vehicle and sleep in a dorm….. they charge a lot for this, and I don’t really like the idea of leaving mister fox all alone outside but this place looks safe.
Good point is, they have a pub on site, with cheap windhoek beers. That’s where I met the guys working here and some backpackers. It took me time to wake up after driving all day on gravel roads, but I ended up having a wonderful chat with Serafim, a russian guy touring South Africa. Amazing dude 🙂 Cannot say which one was the highlight of the day between this guy or seeing an elephant so close.

Next day I drove all the way across the national park, starting at the opening, hoping to see some predators, but these animals are really hard to spot, nearly impossible unless you have the proper radio equipment.
I had many close encounters with these gentle giants and it was still a wonderful experience.
After driving all day on gravel road, I left via the southern gate and I was looking for a place to sleep….. and the only one was a big resort, asking 25$ per night, (and they said it’s cheap !) so nope, I slept at the gas station !

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