Addo Elephant Park

 All images below, are uncropped frame grabs from our 6K film stock footage.

(Please note: Active words are linked to more information and trip adviser/other reviews.)


On this filming adventure, we managed to incorporate some work and family time together and visitied part of our beautiful South Africa, that is right on our doorstep.

Leaving Somerset West with our Land Rover Discovery 4, having removed the rear passenger seats, so that we could film from within the vehicle with our 6K RED Dragon, to our first stop, that was at Intle Game Reserve. Here we enjoyed walking amongst the Antelope, watching the sunsets, drinking cocktails at the pool, playing board games, savoring a Wonderful Xmas feast, created by the resident chef, Lolly and appreciating the fantastic service from all the wonderful staff.

Our next stop was at Addo Elephant Park, where we stayed at Matyhoweni Camp and Nyati. An Elephant park it is, but it has so much more to offer. The 1,640 km2 (630 sq mi) Reserve is home to The BIG 5 and many other species. It is also great for bird watching, with a bird checklist of over 400 species, now that the park runs through to the East coast of South Africa.

The little ones have so much attitude and are not at all shy, although, getting to the water over the slippery mud is quite a challange and when they get there, they sometimes don’t seem to know how to use their trunks.

Getting back out of the water can be even more of a challange.

This was our first visit to ADDO and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, despite the very busy peak season and a long queue to get into the park on the first day.

The Elephants seem quite calm and come very close to ones vehicle, especially at Hapoor Dam, where over a hundred Elephants come down daily, for a drink and splash in the water. From the tiny babes to the huge old males...wow, it is a sight to behold!

The above sequence proves that regardless of your size or age, there is always time for play. One of the newborns found out however, that playing with the teenagers and adults, had its drawbacks. She dashed into the water to join in on all the excitement, but, soon found herself stuck in an awkward patch of water and mud, unable to keep her head above water and gasping for air. One of the older siblings, noticing her struggle, quickly came to her rescue. He gently pushed her about 10 meters, into shallower waters and then helped her to her feet. Shocked, she stumbled back to her mother, who had moved in very close, for some love and protection.

Apart from the many antelope and Elephants that we saw, we were fortunate to see one large male Lion close up, at Ngulube Loop, many Buffalo at Peasland Waterhole, a huge herd of Wilderbeeste at Hapoor Dam, and a Spotted Hyena at Ndolovu Lookout. We also saw a few Ostrich, Yellow Mongoose, Black-Backed Jackal, Vervet Monkeys, Tortoises, a Caracal, plenty of warthog, Red Bishop’s, a few Secretary Birds, two Blue Crane, Baboons and Meerkat. We did get some really close up, slow motion, cool 6K video clips of the Black maned Lion, Elephants displaying lots of behaviour....splashing, swimming, dusting, protecting etc. and Elephant Babes suckling to name a few.

One of the other events that we were fortunate to record, just after sunset, was the a group of male Elephants jousting for position in the troop. This display continued until is was to dark for them to see……..

Returning to one of our favourite areas, Storms River, where we stayed at Misty Mountain Reserve hiking and relaxing in this gorgeous part of the Garden Route. The Tstsikamma area has been effected by fires and it was so sad to see the devastation, we do hope the area can recover fully. There are so many activities to do in this area, one can never get bored. We can highly recommend Woodfired Pizza in Storms River Village.

It was finally time to return to Cape Town and back to the office, rejuvenated and ready . We will most definitely do this trip again.

Tips for Addo Elephant Park:

  1. Buy a Wild Card for your entrance to all Parks.

  2. Make a Point of seeing over a Hundred Elephants at Hapoor Dam.

  3. We were very fortunate to see a lion and two lionesses in the south of the park, at Ngulube loop.

  4. These Elephants do seem very calm and come very close to ones car. Don’t ever block them in ...give them their space. We are the visitors in their home!

  5. DO NOT FEED any of the animals, under any circumstances.!!

  6. The Vervet monkeys at Matyholweni accomodation are very cheeky. Be careful as they will steal food and can get quite aggressive if one tries to shoo them away.

  7. Stay in your vehicles !! That means ...do Not sit on your windows or pop out of your sun roof. Wild animals are used to vehicle shapes but no other extrusions!! Don’t end up being the subject of a YouTube “Unexpected Lion kill” video. However, if you insist, please give us a heads up, as we would be willing to film that stupidity in 6K :-)

  8. Please, do NOT throw your trash out of your car!! Keep your trash until you can dispose of it where it will not litter and cause harm to animals!!!

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