Addo Elephant National Park

The Addo Elephant National Park is the heart of the Addo region and the Eastern Cape. It is South Africa’s third-largest national park and the only Big Seven national park in the world. Encompassing five of South Africa’s eight biomes, and a remarkable array of African wildlife, the park stretches from the Zuurberg Mountains to the coastal dunes of Alexandria.  It is a region reborn through conservation – a vast, diverse area that is all yours to explore.

ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK AT A GLANCE

  • Addo Elephant National Park is the largest park in the Eastern Cape. It is malaria-free and conveniently located just 70 km from Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth).
  • The park is home to the African Big Seven (lion, African elephant, black rhino, Cape buffalo, leopard, great white shark and southern right whale) and many other African wildlife species including spotted hyena, zebra, abundant birdlife, a variety of antelope and the endemic Addo flightless dung beetle.
  • Visitors can encounter almost 100 species of mammals, 417 bird species and around 20 marine species across the various sections of the park.
  • In 1931, the park was founded on 2000 hectares with the only remaining 11 elephants in the area. Today, it is home to over 600 elephants, many other species, and covers 180 000 hectares – an area of natural and cultural diversity – a truly unique park.
  • Addo Elephant National Park is open 365 days a year
  • Self-drive game viewing is included in the entry/conservation fee, while guided activities are also on offer 4×4 and hiking trails, open-vehicle game drives, spa treatments, and marine safaris (from Nelson Mandela Bay).
  • The park stretches across five biomes: from the vast Darlington Lake in the north, across the magnificent Zuurberg mountains, through the dense thicket of the lovely Sundays River Valley to the lush indigenous forests at Woody Cape (which hug the largest coastal dune fields in the Southern Hemisphere) ending in the parks’s marine protected area in Algoa Bay.

SECTIONS OF THE ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK

Addo Main Camp is situated between the towns of Addo and Paterson and is the main hub of the park, perfect for first-time visitors, with accommodation, facilities and activities on offer, including the wheelchair friendly PPC Discovery Trail, birding, underground viewing hide, restaurant, picnic area.

Nyathi Rest Camp is an exclusive self-catering option, nestled at the foot of the Zuurberg Mountain range and surrounded by rolling hills, with breathtaking views of the river and game viewing opportunities.

Camp Matyholweni is just 3 km from Colchester Village at Sundays River Mouth, providing access to both the inland and coastal sections of the park. Fishing, canoeing, river cruises and other activities are offered in the area.

Woody Cape is situated within the indigenous Alexandria Forest, about 1 ½ hours from the main camp. It’s a popular choice for hikers and birders, and the coastal dune fields are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Kabouga is surrounded by the rugged mountains of Zuurberg and densely fragrant vegetation near the town of Kirkwood. Two camps are available: Kabouga is only accessible by 4×4 with no electricity and Mvubu is a campsite on the beautiful banks of the Sundays River. Another excellent choice for birders and nature-lovers.

Darlington is centred around the Darlington Dam offering a remote experience amongst nama-karoo vegetation and wildlife of the Addo Elephant National Park. Activities include camping, fishing in the dam and a 4×4 trail.

Remote Zuurberg is an adventurous choice with hiking and guided horse trails on offer. Day visitors can enjoy two shorter day-hikes. Narine Bushcamp provides a secluded, rustic forest getaway on the banks of a mountain stream at the foot of the Zuurberg Mountains. it is only accessible with a high-clearance vehicle and there is no electricity.

Algoa Bay marine protected area was declared around the Bird Island group to protect important marine resources and, along with the St Croix Island group, joined the national park in 2005. The coastline is home to the largest coastal dune field in the Southern Hemisphere and the ocean is as biodiverse as the land.

WHAT YOU COULD EXPECT TO SEE

  • African elephant
  • Zebra
  • Buffalo
  • Kudu
  • Warthogs
  • Flightless dung beetle
  • Springbok
  • Waterbuck
  • Spotted and brown hyena
  • Lion
  • Baboon
  • Vervet monkey
  • Blue duiker
  • Black rhino
  • Southern right whale
  • Humpback whale
  • Bottlenose dolphin
  • Common dolphin
  • African penguin
  • Cape fur seal
  • Cape gannet
  • Bat-eared fox
  • Cape clawless otter
  • Ostrich

MORE TO EXPLORE…

AMAZING ADDO

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