South Africa is not all the same. The Cape is very different to the area around Jo-Burg. It’s all in the seeing I guess. Many people from our parts hated their visit to Jo-Burg, too shocking and too massive and without the compensation of wonderful scenery, cool sea breeze and Penguins and the Cape Wineries.
This watering hole in the Addo reserve is a case in point. Nothing here, right?
Well, while we cooked for an hour stood above this we saw: the dead Eland in the middle of the pool, driven there by Lions perhaps. Stuck in the mud. On it were turtles nibbling the flesh. Nearby stood a Jackal fondly wondering how he could get at all that meat. Just out of shot a hartebeest nervously came and went, staring at its dead cousin. A family of warthogs came for a drink, giddy and flighty, sensing danger.
Birds alighted and pecked at the exposed rump. A huge and ancient tortoise, maybe ninety years old, lumbered down to drink and remained, dazed by the 40c heat. Africa raw and hot and exciting – the place of all our births.
Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk,
And said goodbye to the circus,
Off she went with a trumpety-trump,
Trump, trump, trump.
Elephants are such iconic creatures, we have all seen them in the circus, safari parks and on TV.
Seeing the huge heard that gave Addo Elephant Park it’s name was a shock.
Two hundred wild animals gathered in and around a watering hole, mid day, 40c, dry, hot. Watching as we sweltered in a very puny car just thirty feet from a huge bull and his females and young was an experience that will live with me for the rest of my days.
The king of beasts. We came upon two young male lions lying just ten feet from the edge of the track. It was early morning and they looked well fed and lazy. At four that afternoon they had moved a few yards away from the road but remained lazy and sleeping. Spectacular raw power and absolute fearlessness.
Lion lunch! The very beautiful red hartebeest gets its name from the heart shape made by its head and horns. We saw many of these roaming with the Zebra and other antelope.
Next time the people and the energy and the stark poverty.