The Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape boasts an area of some 180 000 hectares, making it the third largest national park in the whole of South Africa. It is situated less than an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth and includes an intriguing variety of landscapes, fauna and flora. The Bushman’s and Sundays River valleys traverse its landscape, as do the magnificent Zuurberg Mountains. This natural beauty is, no doubt, one of the many draw-cards to the more than 140 000 visitors that the park welcomes every year.
Elephants are a prized possession, having been hunted for their valuable ivory for centuries. In 1931, this area of the Eastern Cape was declared a national park with the express purpose of protecting a dwindling elephant population, which had dropped to fewer than 20 individuals. Due to the ongoing conservation efforts and breeding initiatives of Addo, this park now boasts more the 550 individual elephants!
In addition to the mighty elephant, Addo is also home to the Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, warthog, ostrich, leopard, lion, zebra, kudu and a host of other fascinating species.
The Addo Flightless Dung Beetle has intrigued travellers for years. This peculiar beetle spends its life rolling elephant dung into perfect balls, which it uses as a source of food. Avid bird-watchers will be well-rewarded as they keep their eyes peeled for some of the 170 different bird species found in the park. These include different weavers, herons, red bishops, coots and terrapins.
Addo offers a variety of activities that are suitable for different age groups and physical capabilities. These include:
- Guided or self-driven game drives at different times of the day so that visitors have the opportunity to see the widest range of animals
- Horse rides along gorgeous trails – the ideal pace at which to enjoy the countryside
- Various hiking trails
- The Tree Dassie Trail
- 4 x 4 trails
- Bird watching
- Picnicking and barbecuing near one of the popular watering holes
Addo Elephant National Park is suited to the influx of local and international tourists that enter its gates every day, week and year. In order to ensure that visitors have an authentic African experience coupled with the luxury and convenience that makes Addo so memorable, the park has an a-la-carte restaurant and a curio shop, a refreshing swimming pool, barbecue and picnic area and a fuel station for ultimate convenience. The underground hide and lookout platforms at the watering hole set the wildlife viewing experience of Addo apart.
Addo Elephant National Park puts the conservation and protection of the South African fauna and flora first, making it a stunning tourist destination in its