We started the day off with a pleasant cottage breakfast with homemade hashbrown, traditional South African sausage, and toast (with the last of our peanut butter). After breakfast, we had an insightful lecture, by Dr. Maritjie Landman, on the practices of elephant management. We learned of both the positive and negative impact that elephants have on a thicket biome. Addo Elephant National Park currently has over 550 elephants that originated from a founder population of 11. Dr. Dan Parker showed us the bouma where five buffalo cows were held.
Here at Addo, a lot of the animals are accustomed to noisy people and their cars. Today, a few of our fellow classmates had a close encounter with some vervet monkeys. It felt especially territorial towards Ashley Oates and Katie McQueen. As they walked to our meeting point, they saw a baby monkey sitting in the trees. As they stood to take pictures, the mother monkey appeared and chased them out of their vicinity. We then went on a leisurely morning game drive where we were lucky enough to see a dung beetle feasting on some feces. During the drive, we also saw some meerkats and a black-backed jackal. At the Domkrag watering hole, we saw a zeal of zebra drinking alongside warthogs and various duck species.
Right before we filled our bellies with grilled cheese sandwhiches, potato salad and cookies. A herd of elephants ventured to the main camp watering hole. Half the group photographed them from an underground hide close to the main camp. We watched as large parade of elephants drank and bathed. We ended with a relaxing afternoon and our final dinner at the Cattle Baron.