Legend goes that in the early days before Addo National Park was formed, farmers in the Sundays River Valley would regularly drop off fruit – particularly oranges, at a specific spot for the elephants roaming around the area. This helped to keep the herd from wandering through the newley cultivated orchards that had once been the elephants feeding grounds. The historic account is far less romantic than the legend.
Amazing Addo Elephant National Park is just a few hours drive away and spans over 260 000 hectares of Eastern Cape bush and coast-line. It offers all the essentials for a great wild life family adventure. Within the base camp alone there are animal and bird hides, interactive education facilities, walks, great accomodation and a swimming pool to help manage the sweltering African sun.
Life for the Addo Elephants has not always been easy though. Slaughter and abuse feature heavily in their history and with their notorious memories and long life spans, who knows what some of the herd elders still remember?
Until recently visitors to Addo National Park were requested to leave their citrus fruit at the gate before entering, but this is no longer deemed necessary. Enough time has passed and time heals.
Watching large numbers of elephants and their young spend time together around a waterhole in the bush is an incredible experience,
and makes it hard to believe that the 550 elephants that now live a relaxed and stress-free life in Addo decend from a herd once driven right to the edge of madness and extinction.
Addo Elephant Park: Eastern Cape, South Africa, January 2012