The COVID-19 pandemic is still coursing through the veins of countries around the world, changing our lifestyles and altering our perceptions. Taking advantage of this, KFC’s famous slogan finger lickin’ good was made fun of by their local rival, Nando’s, who suggested that consumers should wash their hands instead in light of the coronavirus. Recently I read that KFC is putting a pause on its famous slogan – for now. It is probably not seen as being a good thing to promote during this pandemic, when we are all called upon to regularly wash / sanitize our hands.
While waiting for the doors of the local supermarket to open this morning, I had time to peruse the slogans on the handles of their basket trolleys – they were well intentioned once, yet under these circumstances are open to a quite different interpretation:
This is not meant as a slur; merely as an example of a new thread of thought that wouldn’t have come to mind had the virus not embarked on a world tour!
Of course you want to see elephants when you visit the Addo Elephant National Park, but do not expect to find them all over. As large as they are, a whole herd of them can ‘disappear’ in the bush so that you cannot see them, even though they may not be far off the road. Looking hopefully at broken off bits of vegetation on a no entry road is no help. No entry means just that.
Natural signs such as this on the road indicate that elephants have at least passed through the area. They often drop leaves or twigs whilst walking.
The signs on this road look promising: twigs and dung.
Ah! We are getting closer … scan the surrounding bush, but there is still no sight of an elephant.
They must be nearby!
Follow the signs and you may get lucky – these elephants were drinking at Rooidam.
It is worth spending time at a waterhole. Patience and careful observation can reap many unexpected rewards. Take the well-known Domkrag Waterhole in the Addo Elephant National Park: this is unusual in that visitors are welcome to get out and can look down on the waterhole, over a short hedge of Spekboom. A familiar sight here is a Karoo Scrub-robin that watches one carefully from within the Spekboom hedge before emerging to see if anything worthwhile to eat has been dropped by visitors.
Signs warn of the risks, making it worthwhile focusing on the whole environment and not only the water below.
A Hadeda Ibis preened itself at the edge of the water, the early morning sunshine highlighting its iridescent feathers.
Not far away, a pair of Egyptian Geese warmed themselves in the sun, sitting close to the ground and out of the way of an icy breeze.
Standing next to the reeds, a Black-headed Heron stood motionless – watching the water with the kind of patience few of us would be able to maintain for long.
While an African Spoonbill waded about more actively to find its food.
There was so much more to see, but those will have to wait for another post.
Seen in Franschoek, Western Cape.
Seen in a bed-and-breakfast establishment: