Deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape lies the Addo Elephant National Park.
Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin’s call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the grey leviathans of the bush now roam in peace.
The original Eastern Cape:Addo Elephant Park Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area.
Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 420 elephants, 450 Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.
For the first time in over 100 years, lion and spotted hyena were reintroduced to the park last year. But the Eastern Cape:Addo Elephant Park story has only just begun.
Plans to expand the 148 000 hectare Addo National Elephant Park into a 360 000 hectare “Greater Addo” park are moving forward at an exciting pace. This expansion is transforming Addo into the ultimate tourism destination.
Some of its unique features include:
– unrivalled natural diversity, with five of South Africa’s seven major
vegetation zones (biomes)
– the Big 7 (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white
sharks) in their natural habitat
– the future proclamation of a 120 000 hectare (296 500 acre) marine
protected area that includes islands that are home to the world’s largest
breeding colonies of Cape gannets and African penguins.
– rich heritage of archaeological and historical sites.
– accommodation and activity options for all tastes.
The Addo Elephant National Park is one of 20 national parks run by South Africa National Parks (SANParks).
The main rest camp is situated near Addo. 80 accommodation units of various types are available here.
All of the cottages and chalets are close to the main waterhole which is illuminated at night, affording a memorable window into the real nightlife of Africa!
There is a privately-run, licensed a la carte restaurant and shop in the restcamp while for those who wish to self-cater, all units are fully equipped or have communal facilities.
The restaurant also runs a lapa to cater for large groups and special functions
Caravan and campsites are available, with communal ablution and kitchen facilities.
Caravan sites are equipped with 220V power points and a wooden table and benches. A maximum of 6 persons, one caravan or a side tent and one vehicle, or one auto villa or one motorised caravan will be permitted per site.