Quite the big day today!! We-packed our bags to head on over to Adoo National Elephant! The big day was finally upon us and we were heading towards the Africa that we all have been dreaming about and imagining since we were young. After a quick breakfast and a faster shopping spree at the Camp’s gift shop for ALL OF OUR DEAR SUPPORTERS BACK HOME we hit the road!
P.S. it is extremely hard to take a decent picture of everyone without at least one of them having their eyes closed, or in whatever facial expression David is displaying here for us.
All in all, the drive took 3 hours. Still quite jet-legged, some of us slept for a while (including Ashley here and myself for a while!) but most of the drive was spent discussing, laughing, singing (Thanks Dan!), intertwined with a lot of “Ouh! Ouh! Ouh! LOOOKKK! A MONKEYYY!”. And indeed we did see Vervet Monkeys, amongst multiple other species such as Jackal Buzzards, Ostriches, a Secretary bird, and multiple types of ungulates such as Kudus, Red Hartebeest, and Elands. You know you’re not in Canada anymore when you see signs on the side of the street that write: ” Seekoel”, meeting hippopotamus!
What always surprises me is how much some of the scenery can look like Canadian agricultural lands! When you see cows, sheep, goats, and horses roaming around you really remember that nowhere is really that different from home.
We stopped for lunch at Nanaga Farm Stall, where we experienced meat pies (or spinach and feta for the veggie eaters) and Roosterkoeks which are breads similar to panini breads back home filled with whatever you want. Personally, I had the butter, cheese, and tomato option. It was absolutely delicious. It is worth mentioning that we had a chicken roaming around free as we had our little lunch picnic!
This is another perfect example of how difficult it is to take a nice picture of these crazy girls! But this is where we had our lunch picnic! (see above)
We unfortunately do not have a picture of him, but on our arrival to Addo we had a lecture from John Adendorff, the conservation manager of the National Park. We had a very nice conversation with him about what managing such a complex ecosystem entails, and the complications that can occur with both the animals and the public. As always, our guest lecturers are as interesting as they are eye-opening.
After the lecture, we were released to go explore our new living accommodations and to settle in our 2-day home.
One hour later, at approximatly 4:30, we went on our first Game Drive! This was potentially the most exciting part of the course as of yet because we got to see hundreds of the one mammal we were so anxiously waiting to see: Elephants! As we drove along the South African thicket and grasslands, fields of pachyderms openned up to us. For us, this was the real Field of Dreams. We cannot, however, forget or undermine the importance an excitement that came with every other animal sighting. We gazed amazed at birds and ungulates of all types for a good hour before coming back “home” for a Braai (BBQ) before bed!
Here are some pictures from the game drive!
Here is the answer you have all been waiting for: A group of muscles is called…. Buff! HAHAHA
** Special announcement: Nadine Cormier, ta fille t’aime beaucoup!! Happy Late Birthday mama since I couldn’t tell you earlier due to the lack of wifi <3