Addo Elephant National Park

Living in South Africa certainly has its benefits, one being so close to amazing wildlife national parks. I was finishing up on a contract in Port Alfred and decided to convince a friend and some students from Mauritius to tag along for the 1h30 min drive to Addo as it was my last weekend in which I had the opportunity to do so.  In fact, I actually convinced my friend to use his rental car for the trip, we all know its the best type of car to use at a wildlife park – amazing how quickly a VW polo transforms into a 4×4!

Arrived at opening time of 0700 in the morning as I wanted to get first light photo opportunities but as murphy will have it, nothing much to be seen during golden light. A quick glimpse of two hyenas got us all excited as none of us at seen hyena before but thereafter it was just warthog after warthog with a few buck in between.

If you never been to a wildlife park before, its all self drive, you get a map at the entrance and you have all day until gate closes at sunset to drive around at free will. There are certain designated areas where you allowed to get out your car (at your own risk of course) but most of the time, you find yourself driving around all day in seek of that special sighting.

So finally we spot in the distance about 6 cars bunched together all looking at something… that’s our clue to head that way to investigate further. Along the route another car in the driving in the opposite direction stops us to tell us that those cars have spotted lion. He told us he was a photographer, the lions were very close to the road and he got great pics of them fighting. Wow, that was music to my ears so we rushed to the spot only to find the lions walking away into the bush after finishing their confrontation. What a missed opportunity.

Anyways, since Addo is 1640 square kilometres in size, we still had a lot of areas to explore. Elephants were plentiful and had a great sighting of the elephants cooling themselves down in the mud baths – unfortunately they do this at the hottest time of the day which also happens to be the worst time of the day for photos.

All my photos were taken on my Nikon D800 body with a 70-200 VR lens. A great day was had and the gallery here shows some of the photos taken during the trip.


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