Elephants in great numbers: A visit to Addo National Park

Elephant: {A very large mammal of the order Proboscidea, having a trunk, and two large ivory tusks jutting from the upper jaw}

While on holiday earlier this year we visited Addo Elephant National Park with friends of ours, Timothy and Verna Burton.

Entrance

The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.

And their Addo has only just begun, with plans to expand the Park into a 264 000 hectare (652 300 acre) mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 hectare (296 500 acre) marine protected area that includes islands that are home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and largest breeding population of endangered African penguins.

We started at snail’s pace with great excitement hoping to see as many wild as possible.  The speed limit in any protected wildlife sanctuary is 50 km/h.  You are also not allowed to get out of your vehicle unless at a lookout point.  Still, beware of the lions.

If you're brave enough, you can have this magnificent view

We drove around for at least an hour without seeing anything!  En route to the watering hole we almost gave up hope.  Until we saw this:

Elephants as far as the eye can see...

Elephants on the horizon

Wow, we counted at least half of the park’s elephant population at one place at the same time!  I have visited Addo and the Kruger Park on several occasions before , but this was surely one of the most exceptional moments in my life and a one in a lifetime experience!  Totally unexpected.

Having a drink...

Family affair

Loner bull

That was an amazing experience, one I will never forget.  We left the park totally in awe of creation and the ultimate Creator.

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