While the rest of the country is in the grip of drought, this part of the Eastern Cape is at least able to enjoy the verdant pleasures of spring thanks to an abundance of rain. The Addo Elephant National Park is awash with spring beauty: swathes of yellow flowers merging into grammaceous fields of lush green edged with the darker hues of indigenous bush. All this sweetly-scented loveliness is a far cry from the dry-mantled complexion of winter.
Beautiful flowers are evident all over the Park, from patches of mixed colours to the bright yellow carpets of gazanias or senecio flowers.
Zebra and kudu were in abundance in the northern section of the Park, although we only spotted a few kudu in the southern part.
The ever-curious suricates, large eland, shiny blesbuck, the ubiquitous warthogs and the ever-beautiful elephants made driving through the Park a pleasure. We even managed to spot a lioness and two cubs late in the afternoon. Birds are actively concerned about future progeny at this time of the year: a pair of Egyptian Geese guarded their goslings on Ghwarrie Dam, Cape Weavers were building their nests in acacia trees growing in the Woodlands area, and a Bokmakierie was spotted collecting caterpillars to feed its young.
We counted fifteen tortoises throughout the day and dodged many dung beetles scurrying across the road.
My bird list is:
Cape Glossy Starling
Cape Turtle Dove
Pale Chanting Goshawk
South African Shelduck