The Princess and The Elephants

Wednesday 13 May 2015

I was up early and showered before Earl woke up.   The Princess messaged to say her flight was delayed.  I rang her and she told me that she’d seen Sharon and Tony at the airport – they were on their way to Johannesburg to get their connecting flight to Singapore then Viet Nam.  I rang Sharon to say good-bye!  We won’t see each other till July as she only gets back after we leave for Namibia.  We’ll both be in Nam but on different continents.

After a delicious breakfast of pork sausage, bacon, eggs, tomato and mushrooms we set off to the airport arriving at 8:45 as we expected Laurie at 9:30.   It was very foggy so we thought this was the reason for the delay.  No flights were landing or taking off and we began to worry when we heard that a flight from Johannesburg  had been diverted to East London.  This announcement kept coming about other flights too and finally we heard that The Princess was diverted to George.  Well we spent three hours at the airport as the flights only came in when the mist cleared.  The Princess finally arrived at 11:40.   I waited in the airport while Earl drove out so as to avoid the hefty parking costs.   In no time we had her packed into the car and were off to Addo Elephant Park!

The Princess only wanted to come to Addo to see elephants.  She is not a natural Nature Girl.  So I was a little nervous that there wouldn’t be much to see and she would get bored of our constantly stopping to look at birds!  Well the park was beautiful.   It was lush and green and we entered at the bottom gate and drove up from the South to the main camp.  Wow – so different to our last trip when there were no animals at all in this new section. Today we saw just about everything.  Warthogs were the first creatures spotted and then there were hundreds.  We found the animals everywhere in large numbers and many species together.   The princess was amused – but where were the elephants.  Tomorrow – we said – you have to go to the waterholes at midday and then you’ll see the elephants.  The words were no sooner cold on our lips when a huge bull elephant appeared on the side of the road.  Yay!  But that’s not all – more materialised and we saw many along the way.   Once in the south we went to a couple of the waterholes and found more elephants and buffalo too.  We can go home now – we’ve achieved our goal!

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The Common Ostrich looking splendid

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The striped ones were plentiful – note the sea in the background – the park includes the Big 7 – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark

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The Princess knew what this was – Yellow Canary

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How cute is this

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A special appearance for Her Highness

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Which made her smile

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The pigs made her laugh

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The female elephants in Addo have no tusks – due to interbreeding. However, new stock have been introduced and some new generation females are now getting tusks.

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Male and Female Kudu with pig in the background

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He is very curious about the beautiful princess

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Looking good

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Father and Mother Shelduck

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Mr Shelduck

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Mrs Shelduck

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Ellies at the waterhole

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Enjoying a refreshing drink,

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Buffalo at dusk

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Spoonbill

We arrived at Main Camp at quarter to 4, checked in, bought a few things from the shop and then went to our forest hut number 4.  It’s a lovely 4 bedded hut nestled in the bush with a deck and braai plekkie.  It has its own bathroom, is fully equipped but we have to use the communal kitchen.  The Princess has to share her sleeping space with her parents but she has the extra bed on which to spread out her stuff!

We sat out on the deck until supper time when it became a bit too cold so we ate at the table inside.

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