Any visitor on an Addo Park safari today would have difficulty believing that in the 1930s only 16 elephants remained in this part of the Eastern Cape. Today Addo Elephant National Park is home to over 550 elephants as well as buffalo, lion, black rhino and leopard, making it a malaria-free, Big 5 destination.
And there's more: with the establishment of a corridor to an Indian Ocean marine reserve, Addo can add southern right whale and great white shark to its impressive list of animals and has announced itself as a Big 7 reserve, a unique title for an extraordinary destination.
Located at the eastern end of the Garden Route and under an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, Addo Elephant National Park offers a wide variety of accommodation both inside the park and nearby, including some extremely luxurious safari lodges.
Activities inside the park include game drives, guided nature walks and horse-back safaris along with a range of hiking trails ranging from short walks to 3-day treks. The reserve contains five of South Africa's plant biomes, making it a botanist's paradise, while the bird count at Addo is a staggering 450 (not too far off the Kruger National Park's legendary list). In addition to the wide range of big mammals there are plenty of smaller creatures to keep your guide busy.
Accessible, affordable and perfectly located as the grand finale to a Garden Route holiday or as part of a South Africa self-drive adventure, Addo Elephant National Park is poised to become one of the country's biggest and best safari destinations.
At a Glance
Part of the Eastern Cape's suite of big game reserves, the highly diverse Addo is a Big 5 destination and can easily be built into a Garden Route holiday or self-drive tour.