Ellies, Zebras, and babies!!

Molo! This weekend we were able to take a day trip and visit the Addo Elephant Park just outside of Port Elizabeth. Addo is one of South Africa’s National Parks, and it was nice that we were so close! Here is a link to the Addo site online: Addo Elephant Park. You can read about the park on the website, but it’s the third largest national park in SA and is nearly 450,000 acres! It is HUGE! It’s been around since 1931 when there were only 16 ellies that lived in Addo, now there’s over 500 elephants, lions, hyenas, leopards, zebras, antelope, and more!!! Our driver, Nelson, (when we met him, he said that he is the smallest “Nelson” that we would ever meet in SA!) drove us to Addo on Saturday. What’s nice about the park is that you just pay the entrance fee, and then you drive through the park in your own vehicle! You can stop and take pictures whenever you see animals, but you just have to stay in the car. We saw so many!! Along the road we could always tell that elephants had been there based on the plentiful amount of lovely elephant crap. Yep. The park is so big that we drove around for about 5 hours before we stopped and had lunch at 2. And we still had more to see! It was so cool to try and spot animals. Off in the distance we were able to spot herds and herds of Zebras. I love them! We drove to a man-made watering hole where a herd was chilling at and we even saw babies and their mommies!! I’ll have to upload some photos. We didn’t just see animals; we were UP CLOSE to animals in basically their natural habitat. Even though Addo is technically a closed in facility, the park is so big, that you forget that you’re within the boundaries. So the animals can LITERALLY roam as far as they want. Addo isn’t like a zoo where you have zookeepers feeding the animals and different enclosures for different species; it’s like the wild. The animals find their own food and have their own homes wherever they want within the park. One of the best attractions at the park is the watering hole that is generally occupied by herds of elephants. Like 50 elephants all gathered around the watering hole. Some role in the water, some play in it, and others just walk around the watering hole and chill with their lil friends! Right by the watering hole is a place where cars can park and just watch the ellies interact with eachother at the watering hole. We saw lots of babies with their mommies! Did you know the gestation period for ellies is 22 months!!! Try being preggers for that long! The mama elephants are very protective of their babies. The babies literally walk underneath the moms and never get separated from her. It’s amazing that they don’t get stepped on! What’s interesting at Addo is the male ellies have tusks but the females don’t. When we went to the Knysna elephant park, both males and females had tusks. The only way you could tell who was male and who was female was to notice the… 5th leg. Yeah. I will never get that picture out of my mind. But at Addo, the males are much much bigger than the males at Knysna, and they have tusks so you know their males. And the females are kind of medium sized. But look at the pictures that are to come. I can’t find words for what it was like, and after visiting Addo, I’m like super duper excided for our Kruger safari in November!! Addo was pretty much 1/10 of what Kruger has in store for us. Starting today is our third week in PE, on Wednesday we’ll be halfway done in Port Elizabeth!!! 68 more days!!!!!!

 

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A family of ellies!!

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A mama red-hearted beast and her baby! (no dad present… go figure, mom was doing all the work!)

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Another mama and her baby

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the zebra watering hole

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YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL! She was very pretty!

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this is the elephant watering hole… where 50 ellies were hanging out! We were so close too.

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this guy reminded me of LEVI! Struggling to get out of the water like he needed someone to HOIST UP HIS HINEY LEGS ONTO A BED in order to get out! Sound familiar, mom? 🙂

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WELLLLL! follow your mommy, little guy!

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I stand corrected. THIS is the Levi of elephants!!!!!

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Stay by your mommy!

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needless to say the cars parked right there left!

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so handsome! this was a herd of males, we pasted the females that were all together. I thought it was funny that the men traveled together while the women did the same!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Ellies, Zebras, and babies!!

  1. I can’t believe what you’re seeing! How amazing to see these animals in real life like that. Oh, those babies are adorable. And I believe Levi was trying to make a water hole in your yard early this morning! Maybe he saw the picture?

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