Addo Elephant National Park


  5 reviews
Addo Elephant National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
About Addo Elephant National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
1,640 km² (630 miles²)
Year established:
1931
Anti-malarial:
Not required
Park wildlife:
  • Easy to reach—a few hours’ drive to the north of Port Elizabeth
  • Home to more than 450 elephants
  • Boasts the big five plus the southern right whale and the great white shark
  • The third largest of Africa’s national parks at 1,640 km² (630 miles²)
  • Tremendous biodiversity—a conservationist’s paradise

Addo Elephant National Park is located in the Sundays River region of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, 75 km (47 miles) to the north of Port Elizabeth. Addo, the third largest of Africa’s national parks at 1,640 km² (630 miles²), is characterized by tremendous biodiversity. It boasts the Bird and St. Croix Islands, coastline, plains and mountains, and within them thickets, forests, shrubland (“fynbos”) and semi-desert (“nama-karoo”).

Wildlife of Addo Elephant Park

Following the heavy hunting of African wildlife in the 1800s, the park was founded in 1931 to safeguard the area’s remaining elephants, which numbered less than 20. Since then, the park has expanded its mandate and conservation efforts beyond its eponymous animal to other facets of the region’s rich biodiversity and history. Today, Addo is home to more than 450 elephants as well as the other four big five game animals—rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. Spotted hyena, antelope and zebra also thrive within its borders, and the southern right whale and the great white shark swim off its coast. Park expansion plans include a proposed marine reserve that would include five of the world’s seven major biomes and work to conserve the Cape gannet and the African penguin.

Those seeking to visit the array of wildlife in this expansive park have their pick of activities, including guided game drives, “hop-on” guides, self-drive game viewing, horse trails, 4x4 trails and hiking. Elephants can often be seen by water holes on hot days, and visitors to the main Addo camp may enjoy a floodlit water hole for elephant-peeping. Swimming, too, is available for overnight guests who care to make like swimming beasts.

When is the best time of year to visit Addo Elephant National Park?

Weather varies across the park’s myriad locations, depending on height above sea level and proximity to the coast. The Addo section is semi-arid to arid, with rainfall distributed fairly evenly throughout the year (though peak rain occurs from February to March and October to November). Frost crops up in winter months (June through September).

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Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Dec 04, 2014   |   Visited: Oct 2014.
This is a beautiful park in South Africa with a natural beauty that will surprise you. The photo opportunities are really good and the variety of animal is quite amazing. The stay at the main camp chalets were really a good surprise and the rooms are clean and well equipped. The restaurant offers a great variety and my guests really enjoyed the stay at this park. W... read more
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11 people gave this review kudus.
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** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: Aug 26, 2013   |   Visited: May 2013.
Entering just after sunrise the park was shrouded in a blanket of mist. Numerous kudu and zebra stood watchful beside the road, while the omnipresent warthogs continually scurried off into the grass. The mist gave the park a mystical feel and as the blanket gradually lifted and we saw our first herd, 70-80 elephants playing, eating, interacting, all just metres fro... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Apr 25, 2013   |   Visited: Apr 2012.
If you are coming to Africa to see Elephant, the Addo Elephant Park is just the place to go! Established primarily to protect the decreasing Elephant population of just 16 animals back in 1931, the Park now has over 550 of these great creatures, so you are bound to see several during your visit. Predators have also been re-introduced so you can see all the Big 5 he... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Apr 23, 2013   |   Visited: Mar 2011.
Addo Elephant Park offers nothing short of a paradise setting. The moment you set foot in the park you will know, there is no other place like Addo on earth! Nowhere else in the world can you view Africa’s Big 7, all in the confines of one park. Bush, mountains, ocean, vast open spaces with dark nights brightened by the sounds of the African bush-veld, yet close e... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Apr 23, 2013   |   Visited: Sep 2012.
Located on the Garden Route of South Africa, Addo Elephant Park, the reserve has both lush vegetation and semi-arid desert like conditions. While you may think that this park is elephants only, you can also see black rhino’s, lions, zebras, blue duikers and spotted hyenas. If you are lucky, you may even spot a leopard or two. It’s also great to track the mighty ... read more
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9 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 8 / 10
Africa’s southern cape is considered malaria-free. Big five. Elephants galore!
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Articles about the Addo Elephant

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
African caracal
African caracal
Elephant
Elephant
Giraffe
Giraffe
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Getting to Addo Elephant

Activities you can do

Horseback riding
Horseback riding
Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Bush walks
Bush walks
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Fishing
Fishing
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