Now the third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park has expanded to conserve a wide diversity of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s river mouth, Addo covers about 180 000 hectares (444 700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.
Situated in a malaria free area just one hour's drive from Port Elizabeth, this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.Some of its unique features include:
• the park conserves no less than five of South Africa's seven biomes
• it is home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth
• it is home to the unique flightless dung beetle
• it 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 protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island
This park offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world. Antelope species abundant in the main game area of the park include red hartebeest, eland, kudu and bushbuck whilst Gemsbok, black wildebeest, springbok, buffalo and black rhino are found in the arid nama-karoo area.
The Burchell’s zebra, Cape mountain zebra, spotted hyenas, mountain reedbuck, baboons, blue duiker, aardwolf and red rock rabbit are some of the other game species found in the Park.AccommodationRestcamps managed by the Park
Addo Elephant National Park offers a range of accomodation types. The list below offers a brief description of what the park offers.
• Addo Main Camp
The popular main rest camp of the park offers a wide variety of accommodation units to suit all tastes and plenty of activities to keep visitors busy. A unique feature is the waterhole lookout point, floodlit at night, within the camp as well as the underground hide, allowing close encounters with wildlife at the waterhole...
• Camp Matyholweni
Matyholweni, which means “in the bush” in Xhosa is located near the coastal town of Colchester at the Sundays River Mouth, 3km off the N2 highway, Matyholweni is easily accessible and provides a second gateway into the Park. Amenities such as shops, restaurants and a fuel station are available in the nearby town...
• Spekboom Tented Camp
Spend a night in the middle of the bush, listening to the sounds of the wild around you. You may catch a glimpse of nocturnal animals drinking at the waterhole, gaze at the starry skies and enjoy being away from it all. The Spekboom Tents are located in the fenced area of Spekboom Hide in the Park’s Main Game Area.
• Narina Bush Camp
- For a secluded experience in magical forest, spend some time at Narina Bush Camp at the foot of the Zuurberg Mountains and on the banks of the Wit River...Conservation Fees
Please Note rates do not include daily conservation levies. Please see details of Conservation Fees
View also Map of accommodation in the Greater Addo Area
The following private Lodges are located in the Park:
* Gorah Elephant Camp
- situated in the main Addo section of the park – a five-star operation with luxury tented camps.
* River Bend Lodge
- situated in the Nyathi area of the park – luxury five-star accommodation, eight rooms with conference facilities and wellness centre available.
* Kuzuko Lodge
- situated in the Darlington Dam area of the park – 4 chalets, a conference facilities, restaurant, pub, wine cellar, swimming pool, game drives and nightly cosmic safaris.Surrounding Area
A variety of accommodation options are available in The Greater Addo Area
• Private Game ReservesShamwari Game ReserveAmakhala Game Reserve
• B&B's, Guest Houses and Guest FarmsAddo VillageColchesterKirkwoodPatersonSunlandZuurbergFacilities
The following facilities are available at the main rest camp:
• A fuel station selling petrol and diesel is available between 07:00 and 17:00.
• A shop selling curios, snacks and basic supplies is open between 08:00 and 18:00 (Please note: times vary according to season, please check with park staff).
• An al-la-carte restaurant is available in the main camp and is open for all meals from 07:00 to 22:00.
• A swimming pool is available for overnight visitors.
• A picnic and braai area is available for day visitors.
• The SASOL Red Bishop Bird Hide
• The PPC Discovery Trail is accessible to all, including the visually and mobility-impaired.
• There is a public telephone and a post box near the reception. Post is collected for delivery every week day morning at 09:00. A post office is situated in the town of Addo, approximately 15 km from the park.
• A First National Bank with ATM is situated in the town of Addo, 15 km from the park. Other banking facilities are located in the town of Kirkwood, 35 km from the park and Port Elizabeth, 75 km from the park.
• A la Carte restaurant and curio shop available.
• Underground wildlife viewing hide
Addo Elephant Park Activities:
Guided game drives
There are a number of game drive options of approximately 2 hours in duration, available. Drives are conducted by knowledgeable, qualified guides on open-top landrovers or trucks. Bookings are essential.
- Sunrise drive - 06:00 (summer) or 07:00 (winter)
- Day drives - 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00
- Sunset drives - 16:00 (winter) or 18:00 (summer)
- Night drives - 18:00 (winter) or 20:00 (summer)
Guides can be hired at affordable rates to get on your vehicle and guide you through the game area. These are local community members who have been trained as guides and now run their own small business.
Addo horse trails
The morning ride (08:00) is for less experienced riders and is two hours long. The afternoon ride (14:00) is for experienced riders and is three hours long. Book and pay for horse trails at the Game Drive Office.
All horse trails are conducted by experienced guides on sure-footed, well-trained horses.Riding hats are available for visitors’ use. No children younger than 16 years may ride on the Addo Trail. Addo horse trails depart from main camp to the Nyati area which is home to elephants, buffalo, black rhino, zebra and antelope.
Zuurberg horse trails
Zuurberg horse trails are suitable for riders of all competencies and wind through fynbos and forest. One-, three- and five-hour trails are available. No children younger than 10 years may ride on the Zuurberg horse trails.
Various hiking options range from a one-hour trail – suited for those who want a sedate walk – to the 4-hour Doringnek Trail.
The SASOL Red Bishop Bird Hide is located opposite the waterhole in the main rest camp, offering watchers a view of red bishops, weavers, herons, coots and terrapins. The main game area boasts a list of 170 bird species, while the expanded park may contain as many as 450 species in a diversity of habitats.
PPC Discovery trail
The PPC Discovery Trail is a short walk through the valley thicket where you can learn more about the plants and animals of this region. The first loop is suitable for visually-impaired and wheelchair-bound visitors.
A picnic and braai area is situated near the waterhole in the main camp. The waterhole is floodlit at night.
Ride the Bedrogfontein 4 x 4 trail between Kabouga and Darlington and immerse yourself in breathtaking views and early 20th century history. This route was the scene of fierce battles between the British and Afrikaner troops during the Anglo-Boer war.
Addo Elephant Park Map:
Health & Climate:
The climate is temperate to hot and temperatures in summer (November to February) may reach over 40 degrees Celsius.
Winter days are mild but cold at night with frost occurring at times.
The average annual rainfall is 450 millimetres and is spread throughout the year, although peaks do often occur in March/April and September/October.Get Quote