When you visit South Africa, a safari in a national park cannot be missed. Addo Elephant NP is centrally located and it is a wonderful destination for both a self-drive and an organized game drive. Addo is the third largest national park in South Africa. A visit to Addo Elephat NP can easily be combined with a trip to Cape Town and the Garden Route. An additional advantage is that you can go on a malaria free safari!
A big 7 destination! Yes you read that right .. In addition to the famous big 5 you can also see whales and sharks in Addo. The park has a lot of elephants (hence the name ..), different kinds of bokkies and other animals from the savannah, not to mention a beautiful landscape
Addo Elephant NP is centrally located on the Eastern Cape, 45 km from Port Elizabeth airport, and close to the famous Garden Route. You can enter the park via the Mathyloweni gate on the South side of the park near Colchester or via the Main entrance gate on the East side of the park near Addo village. Which gate is most suitable depends on your place of residence in the park. Make sure you always arrive at the gate on time (closing time 6:30 pm) so that you have enough time to drive through the park to your accommodation. For tips on where to stay, see the “How long?”
You can visit Addo Elephant NP well throughout the year. In the South African spring and summer (September – April) the weather is good, with the chance of hot days, but it is also the busiest time in the park. In the South African winter (June – September) the temperatures are not so high, but you do have the best chance to spot wildlife because they are dropping to the water places because of the drought.
You can visit Addo NP for a day for an organized game drive or to drive through the park for a day looking for wildlife. It is certainly advisable to spend the night in the park. Are you an adventurer and do you want a real “in the bush” experience? Then sleep one night in Spekboom tented camp, you’ll spend the night here in one of the safari tents on a fenced area in the middle of the park. You can hear the animals literally grazing around the camp. Take a look at the lookout in the evening to see the elephants up close! Do you like more comfort or are you a little less adventurous? Then stay in one of the rest camps such as Mathyolweni or Addo Rest Camp (here you can also camp with your own tent).
As in all SAN parks, you pay conservation levy per day for the park entrance. Costs are: 275 ZAR per day for an adult and ZAR 138 for a child.
Staying overnight costs around ZAR600 per person per night based on a shared cottage / safari tent with 2 people.
Nice to know
In 1931, the African elephant population was seriously threatened in the area and rescued elephants were collected in what is now Addo Elephant NP. The park started with 11 elephants and has since grown to hundreds of elephants, antelopes, the rest of the big 5 and much more!