Close encounters with elephants

We visited Addo Elephant park, one of the many South African National Parks ( in early November 2019 when the temperature was somewhere in the mid 20 C.  We stayed at the main camp  in spacious accommodation, but the park also welcomes day visitors during daylight hours.

A short drive north of Port Elizabeth, the park is a largely hilly area of semi-arid scrub with a Mediterranean climate, rainy winters and some Fynbos vegetation, unique to the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. Some of the roads are tarred but many ares only gravelled. From our minibus we had excellent views especially of the  wildlife, some of which came very close to us - kudu, zebra, buffalo and elephant 




Our excellent guide/ driver, Chantel van der Linde, got us extremely close to elephants, including a matriarchal herd with babies when slowly travelling along a quiet back road.


A little further down the road we met a huge tusker. At a nearby large waterhole, was another  whole herd of elephants!



Our drive back to camp was almost uneventful apart from seeing hartebeest, more zebra and warthogs. But there was a tense stand-off at a muddy puddle between a young male elephant who trumpeted and stamped his feet to frighten off two warthogs who wanted a drink and a wallow. The stroppy youngster finally wandered away.




On our last day we had an early morning game drive with a park ranger in a very large open-sided vehicle to try to find some of the lions. We eventually found them by a park boundary fence, very sleepy, fortunately perhaps. Our vehicle got stuck on a tree, tight on the electrified fence.


At last another ‘rescue’ vehicle arrived so we had to climb out of our vehicle and walk to it, despite being only 30 or so metres from two lions … and a wandering buffalo looking for breakfast! – No sweat! Bit of a laugh, really. Very carefully managed by the rangers.