Six hundred elephants provide a lot of poop so it is no surprise that Addo is home to one of the world’s rarest dung beetles, Circellium Bacchus otherwise known as the flightless dung beetle.
By Janet Norman
These endangered poop pushing bugs have right of way with road signs to prove it and you may not squash them or any piles of their beloved plops.
With antelope grazing as calmly as cows at the roadside and elephants lumbering unperturbed between the cars, The Addo Elephant National Park is a truly remarkable adventure. While the average safari is rewarded with the white bobtail of retreating kudus, the Addo crowd munch peacefully without even an ear flick to your presence. Great thickets of scrub interspersed with almost park-like clearings across undulating hills make for an exquisite environment.
Watching warthogs gambolling busily in the flowering plumbago is almost as astonishing as seeing a pumba trot through your own garden. Regular bush veld is replaced by Cape coastal types and it is this unique yet indigenous setting that has Addo-aficionado’s raving about this reserve. The creatures of Addo have known little threat from humans for almost one hundred years and have essentially become habituated to vehicles. This makes for rare and glorious game viewing. It means too that photographic democracy is the ruling party. From the long-lensed pro to the happy snapper and the smart phone hack, everyone can capture images to thrill the folks back home.
Nearly two hundred thousand hectares covering five possible biomes of vegetation mean that this Park cannot fail to captivate the interested traveller. Home to Africa’s largest antelope, the Eland and Africa’s strangest looking buck the Red Hartebeest, Addo delivers a safari with a difference to re-ignite even the most blasé of explorers. Famous too for the possibility of seeing the big seven where the Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale complete this formidable family. Luckily it is unlikely that you will tick this particular box with a close encounter with that big carnivorous fish but it is good to know they are offshore.
Grab the opportunity with both paws to go to Addo if you can! www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/
Put your hooves up at the fabulous www.campfigtree.com for a pioneer meets colonial-styled lodge with just the right shot of luxe.
About the Author: Janet Norman is a Cape Town-based writer and blogger with her head in the clouds. She is constantly in search of the quirky, the surprising and the extraordinary. She has high hopes, she loves horses and she loves to smile. See Janet’s Blog: www.alwaysjumpingneverlanding.com