This pic show the size (more or less), it also shows we had fun, we did not get out of the vehicle!
Finally by the time we got to the restaurant for lunch a "loud" tourist asked if we saw any BIG animals - I said: "Not much!" LOL!
I was a bit irritated because I was trying to take a pic of a birdie - and taking in nature, making it part of you is the point, not bring the city and making it part of the bush! Some people just miss the point!
Hope you enjoyed it - you may have seen more than above tourist! LOL
The wildlife you have so close by is so amazing. You've picked up the size of the Rhino really well. And yes, you brought a smile to my face with that sweet baby Zebra. Enjoyed everyone of them. Thanks
Thanks Merigold. Burn, nice to put a smile on your face!
Helen, 5min from house - 5 hours driving around (taking pics and so on) - stop go stuff - I like to find spots that look good for birding or a waterhole and then sit there for a while. I guess you can do it on an 1.5 but then whats the point and you will see 50%.
I know there is about 290species of birds in the area and about 400 in the greater area of where we live - so even with us going slow, we maybe saw 15%.
You basically get 2 types - one charges through and they focus on other cars, watching them and then charging to points where they stopped, they also do not look for anything but the animals, then you get guys like us who need to stop, switch off the engine and listen, and we take time to "adjust", because the more time you spend breathing in things the more you notice.
Rian, how wonderful to have this reserve on your doorstep and thanks for sharing your day out. You've shown a couple of animals I've not heard of before (the Bontebok and the Waterbuck). I'm in complete agreement about the rhino being the best. Given my time over again, I'd want to work with them in some capacity. They are my favourite animal and so vulnerable.
Nope, car and rhino do not mix...we were downwind and I took the pics with an idling vehicle. You are also warned not to go closer than 30m. This is the same for elephants. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone "bonkers" watching especially oversea tourist go close to elephants - for some reason they think they are in a zoo, they climb on top of cars (roof) and take pics. I've heard some even try and give them fruit! As you are told not to get out the best story was the 4 people outside their car with the keys locked inside in the middle of the Kruger - no way to talk that away - HUGE fine and very lucky!
But Hippo's kill more people than anything else and just about 6 months ago a buffalo killed a person not far from here. These are not zoo's or tame animals. I was even carefull when driving past the Giraffe - he was in the road, so I waited to give him time to move on - they have a pretty nasty kick.
The buffalo is renowned for its protective nature toward calves and short temper - they charge easily and they are not afraid of lions - there was a video about them attacking lions and throwing them all over the place - like dolls.
Resin is right - Rhino had a mud bath, a little before we saw them. The warthogs also look dusty as they do the same regularly. The cheetah was not in the same area as the other animals - the reserve (although pretty big) is maybe too small to sustain this, but moreover there are people living all around - do not want to wake with a cheetah hunting me - I would have to get FIT fast.LOL!
We do still have lots of buck roaming freely - which you have to keep in mind when driving early morning(dawn) or late afternoon.(dusk).
The rhino is very protected (VERY) like gold - we lost over 250 in 2010 due to poaching for the horns - in fact they removed many horns to help protect the animals against poaching, which did help for a while, but then they still killed them for the bit that was left. To see one like that with intact horn - just magnificent and a honour for me - you feel so small! Oh- yes they roll cars.
Kell - I understand the value of zoo's and most are well maintained - but I do not like them, I get a horrible feeling inside when I see the animals walking the fence up and down - but thats me - they do have wonderful functions. In addition I live in a part of the world where we can still see them in some kind of natural surroundings - many old farmers have switched to game farms as well - bringing fences down. We are lucky. Seeing them at peace and in the open able to run away - its something else.
Margaret - one of my next trips will be to the larger National Reserve about 45min from us - it is full of Elephants, also lions, etc. It is more difficult to spot them there - bush is thick - not as grassy as this place. Thsi pic I took in 1997. I have been there in 2000 last - do not know where the pics are! But cannot wait to get back there.
This is another spectacular place about an hour from us - south - It is a long walk in the forest against the mountain - the views take your breath away and some interesting stuff there as well - hopefully in 2011 again!
Did a bit of google earth and google street view looking - presume it is Addo National Park?
Curious, the roads surrounding it don't appear to have much in the way of fencing, certainly nothing I'd think was elephant-proof, or lion-proof - how do people manage to live in a town right next to the National Park? Don't think I'd want to wake to see a pride of lions just outside the door . . .
Do you know what all the straight lines cut through the vegetation are? (pic below)
Resin, the addo started much smaller than today - the original is to the left of that pic, over the past, oh maybe 10years it has been enlarging - so some of that is farms that was added and some may also be old fire roads. Many will now be used as tracks to drive on when looking for animals or for rangers private roads for them to get closer to certain areas. It is thick bush/thicket type vegetation so above is important.
The Addo now goes from the main camp top left down to the coast and even has a marine reservation as well stretching into the sea. So it is 4x the original size - it also got big enough for lion. I guess the fencing has been enforced and they do patrol. It has happened before that elephants broke out - but it is rare and if I remember correctly they relocate problem animals if necessary.
Glad to hear no skin disease on that rhino. What a sad story about them getting killed for their horns. Do they make health potions out of them? Which probably do not work!
I am not aware of any animal reserves around us. I do remember one in NJ which I went to when young. But that was so long ago I do not remember any animals. How lucky you have 2 so close to you.
It is amazing how some people have no common sense around wild animals. I recall at a circus show here many years ago, an elephant went nuts and trampled people to death. At some point later on, I was at the Oakland Zoo with my toddler son and I look around and an elephant is being led thru the park and is right next to us. I still remember just freezing in fright as kids and adults were running up to the animal touching it. The trainer just had a stick to control it. I grabbed my son out of his stroller and took off in the other direction so fast. All my motherly instincts were screaming at me to get my son away. I bet a zoo would never do such a thing today. Some people I guess are just not cautious at all.
I think over confident is the word. It is like swimming in the sea - it can be great for 30 years, until you catch a rip current or larger than normal wave. Nature in all its forms will always stay true - we just think we can control it - until it gives us a lesson in humility.
As a matter of interest and to explain the GREAT phenom of farmers changing to game farms, I think there is about 6-7 such areas in our area and maybe 8 more within 2 hours. Some are national parks, most private game reserves, where some of Hollywood stars hang out. Where we live there is still lots of open coastal bush and forest - we had a hour walk yesterday from the house all along the forest edge - me on my knees taking pics of small plants and flower, so that I can id them (LOVE that).
To the south of us there is still some 'original' forest that stretched from here up africa to the equator with some really BIG trees - one feels very thin (slim) against them and you realize your time on earth is but a speck against the ages of some of them.