Elephants everywhere!

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    karinxxl

    Published on Dec 22, 2023
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    When most people think about heading out to South Africa, they think about going towards Kruger National Park which is the biggest national park and located in the North East of the country. The park is in the lowlands after a big mountain ridge, and because of that after rainy season this is a really mosquito prone area where it is a good option to take malaria prophylaxis. Not really fun if you have to take medicine to do your vacation if you ask me.

    Luckily South Africa has plenty other options throughout the country for visiting wildlife which are not in a mosquito region, but still are very spacious and have a lot to see.

    Addo Elephant national park




    In the South of the country near the bigger town of Port Elizabeth (which nowadays is called Gqeberha since 2021) Addo Elephant park is located.

    The name doesn't do the park entirely justice, because it is not just elephants who live there, but they do have a gigantic population living there.

    Next to these elephants I also saw some buffalo, even two lions, tons of zebras and even a couple of spotted hyenas.





    But today is about elephants

    And such beautiful creatures they are!! And so big!!





    Better said. I have never so many elephants in my life together in one big park. Sure you call it a park, but Addo elephant national park is gigantic. And it not even one park, it has multiple smaller pieces in there which you can visit with the same entrance ticket. Check out the mileage on the map on how big this actually is!



    Safaribookings.com


    Ofcourse I had seen some elephants in my life here and there which was mostly in zoos. But never in these amounts and so close by.

    In Addo Elephant national park you are allowed to drive yourself through the park with your own car. Not only guided tours (which are also to be recommended because these rangers have a lot of love and knowledge for the animals and you will learn a lot about their behavior) but the ability to just drive around and see whatever you want to see.

    Sure there are rules to this. Give the animals space (and you want this becase these guys are big!!), when you are closeby you should turn off the engine for the sound for the animals, and naturally no feeding and getting out the car. But again, you don't even want to do that because this is wildlife in their natural habitat, and these guys will always win.





    What a creature!

    I was really impressed by the size of these animals and fascinated by their behavior. Because let's face it. Elephants are BIG. At a certain point I turned the car around the corner (you are not allowed to drive fast in the park for obvious reasons) and there was a elephant walking over the road towards the car. Not in a malicious way, he was just passing through. But when an elephants passes by the car, you realise he can tip the entire vehicle over in a heartbeat, and you feel the ground trembling because of the weight of the animal....well, then you feel really small again.

    Elephants are herbivors and they just eat grass and bushes all day up to 160 kilograms of grass according to Beekse Bergen and drink around 60 liters of water per day. With all of this happening through that small thrunk that means a lot of effort is put in during a day and they are always on the move for food and water





    Also the behavior of the elephants in groups is really interesting. They move around in big groups (which is ofcourse safer to prevent the little ones from getting attacked by other wildlife) but they also run off with their small little families. You can recognise those by the little ones accompanied by its parents.




    It really gets interesting....

    When there is a waterhole around and it is a hot day! Elephants also like to cool themselves off and just swim around but also need some big drinks ofcourse. At these waterholes you can see groups heading towards here and just play around.

    Swim (I didn't know elephants could swim with these big bodies) and play, and just squirt water everywhere with the big trunks.

    Check out the video below of what I saw at a waterhole on a really hot day (40+celsius) and how the animals behave. You will instantly fall in love!

    I have found a new favorite animal and Addo elephant national park showed that it really has a animal friendly way of preservation!

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