Addo Elephant Park has more than 450 elephants, and they are the main attraction. You will also see buffalo, black rhino, eland, kudu and a variety of buck species. The park is located 75 km north of Port Elisabeth.
Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest in South Africa, and is a sanctuary for a wide range of South Africa’s wildlife. It is located in the 164,000 ha of land in the thick bushveld of the Sundays River, in Eastern Cape. The original Elephant section of the park was established in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area – today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, and a variety of antelope species. The original park has subsequently been expanded to include the Woody Cape Nature Reserve to create a 360,000 ha mega-park, and a 120,000 ha marine reserve that includes St. Croix Island and Bird Island, home to the world’s largest breeding population of Cape gannets and the second largest breeding population of African penguins.
The expansion has meant not only that the park contains five of South Africa’s seven major vegetation zones, but also that it is probably the only park in the world the house the so-called “Big 7” (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whale and the great white shark) in their natural habitat.
Two restcamps are located within the park: Addo Main Camp is located near Addo and close to the entrance gate, offering 61 accommodation units and variety of activities including day and night game drives, a pool, restaurant and shops. Camp Matyholweni is the second rest camp, located near the town of Colchester on the N2 highway. The camp is accessible by car and is located approximately 45 minutes drive from the Main Camp. Furthermore there are 4 private lodges located in the park. In the surrounding area a variety of accommodations are available, including Private Game Reserves, B&B’s, Guest Houses and Guest Farms.
Guided game drives are available throughout the day and in the evening. There are a number of game drive options of approximately 2 hours duration. Guides can also be hired 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.
Various hiking options range from a one-hour trail to the four-hour Doringnek trail. A number of horse trails are also available and guided horse riding are available for experienced as well as less experienced riders.