Eastern Cape Game Reserves

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Nov 10th, 2005, 07:02 PM
  #1
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Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Can anyone recommend a game reserve in the Eastern Cape? Thanks.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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The Addo National Park is a must see if you are in the area with over 400 elephants it has the world’s densest elephant population and has a number of concession areas, an excellent option is Darlington Lake Lodge at the North of the Park.

For Private Game Reserves Shamwari is the best but most expensive option at around 4,000 Rand per night but has been voted Africa’s leading safari for the past 6 years.

Schotia is close by and was the first to reintroduce lions that hunt for themselves into the area, you will get very close to them on your game drives, this is 1,000 Rand per night.
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Nov 10th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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cleo22,

I think that colind's expert advice is very sound. Fair warning though Shamwari IS as Colin has put it expensive and it is for this reason that I opt to go to Addo and Schotia for a one day safari experience where one can visit Addo in the morning and then go to Schotia at round about 15h00 when their game drive experience starts.

Just as a matter of interest you can also obtain a package from Schotia where their ranger will collect you at your place of stay, take you on the morning drive on Addo followed by lunch and an afternoon + evening game drive on Schotia. Thereafter your ranger will take you back to your place of stay. The whole journey costs ZAR1000/person and overall I think this is a great package as you and your party will all be free to enjoy the game around you (your ranger will be driving and helping you with all around you) making your day a very relaxing one as opposed to you selfdriving your way through all. To see more go to www.schotia.com where you should go look at the Addo/Schotia full day safari link.

Hope this all helps in making your stay in SA a better one.

Enjoy the Eastern Cape when you visit our wonderful country.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Nov 10th, 2005, 11:15 PM
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colind

why do you keep claiming that Addo has the highest Elephant density in the world.
At 420 elephants in 1500 km2.
In comparison Chobe has 30.000 elephants in app 10.000 km2 which equeates to a density that is more than 10 times higher?
During sundowners in the caprivi I have seen more than 500 elephants at the same time!
Michael
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Nov 11th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Michael

Was thinking the same thing myself about the Elephant density, I'm sure the reference is probably to South Africa.
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Nov 11th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I've thought about that too. It might be that the ellies are on the move all the time, and maybe at any one time the herds might be spread between Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. But to make the numbers look bigger, the gov't or whoever counts all the elephants that pass into their country throughout the year.

I'm guessing because I have never seen a footnote on those counts, but I know they traverse borders. I know 1st hand because it took over an hour one day to go into Zim from Bot near Kasane. The holdup was an elephalt walking through at his own speed, right down the middle of the road, through the border posts. The gates were raised for him. And he didn't have a passport.
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Nov 11th, 2005, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for everyones input. I think we'll check Addo and Schotia. Now we need to figure out where we are going to say.
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Nov 11th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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The reason Addo has the world’s highest density at approximately 38 per km is because although there has been a huge expansion in the park over the last five years the elephants remain largely in the same relatively small section.

15 elephants have recently been translocated from Kruger to the North of the Park close to Darlington lake and will for another herd.

I can to the Eastern Cape 10 years ago and have been amazed by 2 things.

1. The amazing transformation of the area.
2. The lack of interest and publicity this transformation receives

To my simple mind what is happening in the Eastern Cape has to be one of the most exciting conservation programs ever.

Addo was down to 13 elephants when it was proclaimed a national park in 1931 the number has increased now to 420 that is a 3,200% increase. The park is expanding all the time. Lions which have just had cubs were re introduced 2 years ago again with very little comment.

Equally amazing are the numbers of private game reserves that are being created in the surrounding areas all with the big 5. Kareiga a subject of a different post being just one of them.

In the early 1800’s the area teemed with wildlife to match any area in Africa, there are plenty of studies form the time available for review, but by the mid 1800’s most of the animals lions particularly had been hunted to extinction.

Addo and the Private Game Reserves are now turning back the clock 160 years, with free ranging lions and all the necessary predators that are required are now in 9 reserves all around the Addo Park.

It is a wonderful time to visit the area and view the efforts first hand.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:34 AM
  #9
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colind

I think that you should ask to get your School fees back (here should be a smiley).
You are now claiming 38 elephants pr km2. That would certainly make it the highest density in the world but at 420 elephants it would make the park size at 11km2 or 1100 ha!!! where in reality it is 1500 km2 and about to be expanded even further.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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Sorry went to school in England so the education was free so no refund possible.

Perhaps you should come and visit and do the maths whilst you are watching the elephants.
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Nov 14th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Quote Direct form the South African National Park website.

"The park conserves no less than five of South Africa's seven biomes?

Is also home to the densest African elephant population on earth?

It is home to the unique flightless dung beetle?

Addo incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere?

The park boasts the Big Seven, (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark)?

It also protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island?"

Here is the link http://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/
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Nov 14th, 2005, 11:42 PM
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Colin

yes, I have seen that website and a lot other referring to it! However a statement on a homepage doesn`t make it a fact. If we fodorites were to believe everything we read on the different homepages we would only have to go to one camp for one night and we would have seen evrything we ever wanted to see.
You are correct I have not been to Addo yet. However I have seen several documentaries from there. I have however been to Chobe/Caprivi and Kwando several times (which I am assuming that you have not?) and believe me I have several times seen more than 400 elephants in just a few km2 at the same time. The elephant count for Chobe is official and repeated regularly and the size of Chobe has not changed! Maybe the SAN park people should revise their website!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:24 AM
  #13
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Colin

to put an end to this stupid discussion.
Take a look at this scientific evidence:
http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgs/a...meddest=ccmovw

which contains a list of all elephant populations in Africa

Just a quick summary from the list

Addo 0,53 elephants pr km2
Chobe 2,4 elephants pr km2
Amboseli 2,5 elephants pr km2
Aberdare 4 elephants pr km

and lots with more than ,5 elephant pr km2.
I am sure that Addo is a nice and interesting park but to claim that it has the highest elephant density in the world is pure marketing b******t
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Nov 15th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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It is a PDF File 249 pages long which page would you like me to look at It will take hours to down load.

P.S. it is form 1998.

Will ask SA National Parks for there comments I am sure they did not make the data up.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:10 AM
  #15
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yes the report is from 1998.
However considering that elephants have a gestation period of 22 months I do not think that it matters so much!!!!
From page 13 onwards you can read about the background and validity of the study.
On subsequent pages you can read about the individual parks/countries.
South Africa is on page 150.
At the time Addo was listed with 272 elephants in 513 km2. making it ,53 elephant pr km2. Being kind to you we can still use the same area but use the more recent number of 420 elephants making it 0,82 elephants pr km2. Still a far cry from 2,4 in Chobe and 4 in Amboseli!!!
This study is for african elephants only. There are also places in Asia with elephant densities higher than 1 pr km2.
Please feel free to contact SA national parks and see if they can come up with a different explanation or to see if it just another case of misleading website readers (potential customers)!!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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I have already conatced Megan Bradfield who is the Social Ecologist for the Park and know more than I will ever dream of. Remember I had to reclaim my school fees this morning.

Despite the question being about Eastern Cape Game Reserves. I am fortunate enough to have visited Kruger, Hwange and Matusadona National Park which was awesome and saw a huge herd of wildrebeest come to the lake at breakfast.

For elephants however for me Addo is the best.

I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Addo and once
only did I not see elephants.

You should really come and see for youself.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM
  #17
mv
 
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Colin
if that is an invitation I will be happy to come.
Honestly I would love to go to Addo. What I have seen on tv looks really nice. However Botswana is my favored destination and has all the elephants I could ever dream of seeing.
The one thing that could get me to go to Addo would be the ability to see Penguins and Lions in the same park!!
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Nov 15th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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This thread made me curious enough to do a cursory web search. And I found a slant on this that tells me (as a non-expert) that we are perhaps going in the wrong direction if we think that high density is something of (good) note.

At www.emoa.org.za/news.htm there is an article (dated 2003) on the subject of the elephant populations of S.A. parks. It says:

"Thirty-nine reserves initially stocked at a density of 0.2 elephants/km2. Several reserves initially stocked at levels much higher, and in fact at or over what may be considered an ecologically sensible stocking rate."

(I calculate that Addo, at a current 145000 hectares or 1450 km2, and a population of 420, is almost .29/km2.)

That comment introduces the subject of the ecology. But a later comment might also be of interest:

"Overpopulation and high density is always referred to in an ecological sense. Little thought has been given to social density. In view of the high densities seen on some reserves, this topic needs investigation."
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Nov 15th, 2005, 07:14 AM
  #19
mv
 
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Arthur

good point.
As much as I love to see the elephants in Chobe it is not nice to see the amount of damage the high density of elephants has done to the vegetation.
I know that the 50/50 team is working on a programme about this problem in Northern Botswana/Namibia. Unfortunately I will not be able to watch it on tv as I live in Europe.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Perhaps you should come and live in Africa where we have lots of elephants
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