a view into the sordid life i lead

Friday, February 25, 2005

beetle squashing

rsa has the strangest road signs i've ever seen anywhere in the world. on the road to addo national park we saw a couple of hippo crossing alerts, and several "It is prohibited to feed the baboons. Fine R800" signs. apparently the baboons are not so well liked! and in addo we ran into dung beetle crossing signs. plus "Please do not drive over the dung beetles", and "Dung Beetles have right of way" signs. so we
took a lot of care not to drive over any dung beetles, which are pretty large and obvious, so easy to keep away from, as we drove into addo game park. but about 5 minutes in we turned a corner, and the road was literally littered with the buggers. its hard not to squash bugs when they're swarming on the road. i diligently tried to avoid as many as possible, much to jonii's dismay since i was swerving all over the place trying to do my ecologically sound duties. but after a few minutes of that i just gave up. btw, dung beeltes make a solid crunch and a squish when driven over. they also make round balls out of all available dung - but rhino and elephant appear to be the preference. can't say for sure why, but flavor must have something to do with it. aside from sheer volume, that is.

we drove an hour around addo ELEPHANT park without sighting a single frickin elephant. we saw more elephants in the first 10 minutes at kruger than we did here. but granted, this was still the first hour in addo. maybe better luck tomorrow. addo's vegetation is totally diff from kruger - way thicker and lower bush. so we really had to keep the eyes peeled. its actually easy at kruger to see impala and the large antelope. at addo i'm sure its very easy to see nothing at all - animals seem to appear and disappear constantly. we saw a few kudu that were right by the road. as we approached them they sauntered off, but we could not see even a piece of them at the point where they entered the foliage - the camouflage and density are really that

lodging at addo was pretty nice - a forest tent, with a nice bed, and the aforementioned overlook into the park. we were hoping that the appropriate (i.e. lions, elephants, rhinos) would conveniently approach our balcony so that we did not have to do any long driving in the park. so we made a tasty dinner or mealie meal, chakalaka, and mango atchar, and sat down in anticipation of the evening show. we had
some litchi juice for good measure, since u always want to wash down a "big 5" sighting with a tropical beverage.

as would be expected, we saw nothing. but we did hear a lot of hyena howling, and a bunch of warthogs rooting about. there are plenty of warthogs in addo. also ostriches. we think they should change the name of the park to add warthog park to be perfectly accurate. its all false advertising as far as i can see it.

next day an early start (6am) through seriously red dusty roads to see what nature would bring.


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