The Addo Elephant National Park is located north east of Port Elizabeth in the Malaria free Sundays River Valley area and is an approx 1 hour drive from the airport. Now home of the Big 5.
The Addo Elephant National Park is South Africa's 3rd largest National Park - originally proclaimed in 1931, to save the last remaining Cape Elephant, with possibly only 11 of these large pachyderms left in that area. What a success story. There are now in excess of 500 and in order to broaden their genetic diversity, some bulls from the Kruger National Park have relatively recently been introduced.
Other animals have also been brought back to Addo from local extinction, one of the most significant being the African lion - Pantera pardus, thus escalating the Park to Big Five status. No need now for those wishing to only visit the Cape to have to travel further. The area is slowly getting back to what it must have been like before man's destruction of the wildlife.
The Park is presently 180,000 ha with plans to enlarge the protected area to 264,000 ha progressing well. This Greater Addo area includes St Croix and Bird Islands, just off the coast, these islands host the largest breeding colony of the Cape Gannet and second largest breeding colony of African Penguin. With this diversity of biomes in the area, with hosting the Big 7, elephant, rhino (both black and white) lion, leopard, buffalo, whales and the great white shark and then a very large diversity of antelope species as well, the Addo area has become a rewarding wildlife destination. Some specials too and some very threatened, such as the Addo flightless dung beetle !
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The main Rest Camp in The Addo Elephant
Park is situated near Addo and close to the entrance gate. Roads within
the Rest Camp are tarred whereas all other roads in the park are
gravel, and well maintained none the less. There are 61 accommodation
units of various types, style and size available for rental in
Addo's Rest Camp.
Hidden away in the thick bushveld of
the Addo Elephant Park, one can find Mathyolweni Rest camp, a satellite camp
located in the new southern wedge near the small town of Colchester.
Mathyolweni Rest camp derives it’s name from the Xhosa word which
means "in the bush", offering peace and tranquility
far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This area does
not have elephants yet, but there are plans to re-introduce elephants,
buffalo, eland, red hartebeest and possibly black rhino from May
Hidden next to the Witriver in the Zuurberg
Mountains about 22 km from the main Addo rest camp you will find the
authentic rustic Narina Bush Camp. Here, the magnificent African
Sunset is interrupted only by the boisterous howl of the black-backed
jackal, and the francolin's call announces each new dawn. Narina
Bush Camp is a tented camp that incorporates 4 tents and must
be booked as one unit & due to the true rustic nature of the
camp, there is no electricity or shops provided. For the very
adventurous guests, Narina Bush Camp can be reached by horseback
down the mountains.
The first private
concession in a National Park, Gorah Elephant Camp is a premier lodge set in the heart
of the malaria-free, Big 5 Addo Elephant National Park, home to
the densest elephant population on earth. The Gorah House
- Restored to it's 19th century colonial splendor and period
furnished, the main house reflects a noble opulence and delivers
the meticulous service and attention to detail that characterises