Addo Elephant National Park

If you choose to limit your South Africa luxury holiday to the western part of the country it is now possible to experience a complete and very diverse itinerary. Previously, you were pretty much dependent on Kruger National Park for making high-quality safaris. With the vast expansion of Addo Elephant National Park and the establishment of quite a few high quality lodges in and around Addo, it is no longer an absolute necessity travelling to Kruger National Park. Addo is a splendid game reserve where you can see a lot of game in a relatively short amount of time. It is also ideal for travellers that want to riks travelling in a malaria area. On this page you will find an overview of Addo Elephant National Park's top attractions.

addo elephant national park south africa

Close to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape lies Addo Elephant National Park. This wildlife reserve is rapidly gaining popularity over recent years. And with good reason: Addo and the surrounding private game reserves offer excellent opportunities for making safaris with the great advantage that it is in a non-malaria area of South Africa. Particularly families consider this a big advantage. That the Addo area is quicly gaining popularity is reflected in all developments that took place that last decade or so. The actual Addo National Park was expanded significantly in terms of land area, and around the National Park a fair number of private nature reserves started to operate, most of them offering staus in world class lodges.

Lots to choose from if you want to go on safari in this reagion. All this makes the area a serious competitor for Kruger National Park in the northeast of the country. In Addo National Parl and the surrounding private game reserves you can see the complete 'Big Five' (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, rhino). You can choose for different types of safaris when stating in the region. Just outside the gates of the national park there is a number of good quality hotels and guesthouses. If you stay in one of these it is fun and easy to go on selfdrive safari in Addo and search for wildlife from your own rental car. There is a big chance you will be able to see many of the Big Five already yourself. As the name of the national parks suggests it is virtually impossible to see at least some elephants in Addo. Als located within the boundaries of the national park is a number of excellent private safari lodges. Here you can go when you are looking for the full safari experience: during game drives you will be accompanied by trained rangers in 4x4 safari vehicles. Indeed a fun and exciting experience, as this way you will learn a lot about all that lives in the area. As a third option you can choose to stay in one of the private game reserves in the vicinity of Addo (such as Shamwari). The great advantage is that this is a very exclusive experience. Because the lodges are located on privately owned land, there are no day visitors allowed. Imagine yourself being completely alone with nature and wildlife when choose for this option. It may be obvious that the lodges in the private game reserves are absolutely world class.

Our insider top tips in Addo Elephant National Park:

Elephants in Addo Elephant National Park

national park addo

Addo National Park was founded in 1931 to prevent the last elephants in this region to become extinguished (there were only eleven left). The initiative was hugely successful: currently there are more than 400 elephants in the game reserve, as well as some 400 buffalo and 48 rhino. The accessible part of the national park is not too big and easily navigable. We ourselves had enough time to explore the park in about a day's time. This of course does not imply we saw everything that is to be seen in Addo: spotting game is not always that easy. We therefore recommend spending at least two days in the park to get the most out of it. This way your eyes will get used to the natural environment which eases wildlife spotting significantly. The most impressive thing in Addo is bumping into a huge herd of the grey giants this park is so renowned for. Somtimes you come across herds of fory individuals or more. The best thing to do in such a case is shutting down the engine of your car and just observe the elephants for half an hour or so.

Game and luxury in Shamwari private game reserve

shamwari safari eastern cape south africa

The luxurious Shamwari private reserve offers the ultimate safari experience in the Eastern Cape. It is a full flown "Big Five" game reserve, for which you will go searching under the guidance of your very own ranger. With seven different lodges in a 25.000 hectare area Shamwari is an impressive game reserve that contains many different landscapes. Besides making safaris you can opt to just enjoy the luxury that the roomshave to offer, but you can also choose to make use the extensive spa facilities and indulge yourself. Shamwari was founded in 1990 when the initiator began with purchasing some abandoned agricultural land and eventually transformed it into what is now the largest private reserve in the Eastern Cape.

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Did you know?

addo elephant national park

It was forbidden until 2009 to bring citrusfruits into the Addo Elephant National Park? From the 1930s until the 1970s the elephants in the national park were fed these fruits. Purpose of doing so was to keep these animals witin the boundaries of the park, as it was not fenced in as it is nowadays. The elephant feeding became problematic later: the elephants could smell citrusfruits from miles away, even when people would keep it in their cars. There are stories of elephants becoming aggressive as they were not able to get to the fruits and as such started attacking tourist vehicles. Meanwhile, it is more than 30 years ago that elephant feeding last occured. As such, it is assumed that the elephants by now have forgotten that they once really loved citrus fruits and it is regarded safe again to bring fruits into the national park again.

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