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Any trip to Nelson Mandela Bay is not complete without a visit to Addo Elephant Park. After the remake of #LionKing, I was more excited than ever to celebrate the wildlife of South Africa.

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A spacious game drive meant that we were protected from the scorching day while still capturing unique moments and learning more about the “Big 5.”

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Some fun facts about elephants include:
– Elephants only sleep 4 hours
– 10 litres of blood pump through each elephant ear every minute
– At top speed, elephants can run 3km faster than Usain bolt
– The heart of an elephant weights 26kg (and boy did they make my heart swell with pride!)

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Our guide, Ryan, was able to expertly insert educational facts and entertaining jokes about the animals we came across.

Warthog

Further informaion I learnt during my SAN Parks Addo Elephant adventure include the fact that the secretary bird, as a bird of prey, does not fly after prey (even though it can fly) but instead walks and stalks its prey and then beats the prey to death. On a more tame note, the zebras were out in full force and showed off their stripes, of which no two patterns are alike. Zebras are pregnant for 11 months and healthy zebras have a mane of hair that stands up. Due to the expert care of the Addo rangers, I am happy to report that all manes were healthily standing up!

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Our next spot was a buffalo, with the Addo elephant buffalo valued at R5 million each due to their lack of diseases. One buffalo drinks 45 litres of water a day and so paying for trips on the game-drive or entrance to Addo helps carry the cost of maintenance for these creatures.

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Growing up, I was always been taught to have thick skin, something elephants have succeed at, with the layer of skin on an elephant being 4cm thick.  They also have expert communication, another of life’s crucial skills, and they are able to communicate up to 15kms.

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“Pumba” with his tail happily and healthily up in the air came to say hello as well. Warthogs are easily spotted as their are over 1000 warthogs in the Addo Elephant National Park.

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Our final visitors included a few kudu, who incidentally, can jump up to 3 metres.

The highlight of the day was seeing 3 elephant calves suckling on their mothers as they enjoyed a mud bath at the local watering hole. I was also most impressed with the wide variety and affordable cost of many of the items in the gift shop, proving that Addo is for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.

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Book a game drive with South African National Parks today and enjoy Addo Elephant Park like never before.

bye for now

xx

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