Published: September 2nd 2012
August 29th 2012
Breakfast viewFor our 5thday of the Cape to Addo tour, the major activity was the Addo Elephant National Park. This is a giant national park that was initially developed in 1931 to provide a sanctuary for the 11 remaining elephants in their natural habitat. The elephant population had dwindled in this area because of poachers and farmers (who were trying to protect their farms from being trampled by Elephants). Over the years since it has started, the national park has grown in size, now boasting that they are home to the “Big 7” – elephants, hippos, buffalo, lion, leopard, whale, and great white shark. The elephants have also thrived, and the population is now over 450. This is a major highlight of this trip, both in advertising and in reality. After enjoying breakfast and coffee with a spectacular view, we said good-bye to our farm house and we headed out to Addo.
In the morning, we had the option of doing an open-air jeep game drive (for an additional cost) or a game drive with our own guides in our travel vans. Roy, Yi Jiun, and I decided to skip the additional cost option and
Let the adventure beginstick with our own guides. That ended up being a good decision for two reasons. First, Martin is known as the “elephant whisperer”, as he has a knack for finding elephants at just the right time. Second, it was a chilly morning and the people who chose to do the open air tour were freezing (although they said it was very cool). We spotted our first elephants from a distance, and we excitedly took blurry photos on maximum zoom having no idea of the amazing elephant experience that was in our near future.
The first animals that we saw up close were zebras, warthogs, and kudu (antelope). All were exciting, but I was particularly enchanted by the zebras. When you get the chance to see them up close, you can tell how beautiful and graceful they are. Plus, you can appreciate their unique camouflage, because when they are all together you can’t tell where one ends and another one begins. I also learned that zebra babies are born as tall as their moms, so that the mom can stand in front of the baby and predators can’t tell that there is a baby
Our photographer hard at work
Note: Yi Jiun had the best camera, so she was our official photographer. She took many of the photos that follow, and she is really talented. I was lucky to share this with her!nearby. I think that’s awesome, and we got to observe that in real life. Check out the picture