Dung beetles have the right of way.

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
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Trip End Feb 21, 2007


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Thursday, February 8, 2007

Up early for a game drive through the park. We were rewarded with close-up views of elephants including a family with several young that crossed the road behind the truck.  We also saw kudu and warthogs and amazingly a puff adder sunning itself in the middle of the road and two leopard tortoises crossing it.  The park is noted for its shrub vegetation - thick, dry and prickly - which makes it difficult to see lions.  As there are only nine of these in the park, we did not see any. Although there are also two-hour horse rides available in the park, we were not there long enough for this activity.  I think this park deserves an extra day in the itinerary.
 
It is always good to remember the warning in the Addo brochure:
The animals in this park are not tame! The lions, elephants and other animals in the park are not tame, even though they are accustomed to vehicles (not people) in their territory. Getting too close to them could result in your death.
 
No citrus fruit is allowed in the park. Why? In the past elephants were fed large amounts of citrus fruit during the winter so that tourists could be certain of seeing them.  Elephants love marula, a fruit with a citrus taste found in the wild and quickly learned to love other citrus fruits. The practice of feeding citrus fruits to them was stopped in 1979 as it caused the elephants to run behind the truck, screaming and grabbing oranges. The elephants became more aggressive and were in modern terms "stressed." So don't take oranges or other citrus fruits into the park.
 
Addo contained one of my favorite signs. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of it but it is also in the brochure: CAUTION: DUNG BEETLES HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. You are further advised not to run over elephant, rhino or buffalo dung, which is used by the scarce Flightless Dung Beetle to lay their eggs in.
 
After breakfast, we continued on our journey, stopping in Port Elizabeth for a short visit to the beach as the wind blew swirls of sand into the water. When Michelle opened the cabin door, the springs which allow you to open and close the door blew off. She chased after them and luckily was able to retrieve them. A nearby garage was then able to fix the door. We had lunch at Jefferies Bay and went to a nearby Billalong Factory shop, which some people found fantastic.
 
Continuing on our way, we reached Tsitsikamma where we gazed down into the gouge. Tomorrow we will see where people go bungee jumping. On the down side the balcony of our chalet at the Tsitsikamma Koi San Village has an infestation of ants. Michelle says that the white liquid in the kitchen is for this. Hopefully it will work.
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