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Addo Elephant National Park

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About Addo Elephant National Park

Country found in: South Africa
Parks total area: 1,640 km² (630 miles²)
Year established: 1931
Park wildlife: 20 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Not required

Addo Elephant National Park map

Addo Elephant National Park highlights

  • 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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Addo Elephant National Park tour packages

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Tour by: Jangle Africa Travel

Spend 14 days of bliss exploring the Garden Route and ending your trip with a safari in the Addo National Park

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$1679

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Tour by: Afri-can International

7 Days – 6 Nights on an international group tour. See the home of the densest concentrations of African elephant...

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$1292

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Tour by: Severin Travel Africa

During this 9-day round trip through South Africa you will admire the open spaces of the Karoo, the vastness of ...

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$1761

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Tour by: Alan Tours

4x4 Kabouga section Greater Addo Elephant National Park- An Amazing Diversity

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$209

per person

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Tour by: Cape to Addo Safaris

4 Days of adventure filled with all the animals and exciting activities on everyone's bucket list

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$354

per person

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Tour by: Outlook Safaris

This Safari takes you through the amazing Southern Cape Garden Route were the wildlife is as diverse as the cult...

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$1064

per person

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Tour by: Opentourafrica

This is an example of an easy self drive itinerary that would suit any budget. Start with three nights in Cape ...

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$2053

per person

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Tour by: Afri-can International

Self-Drive Southern Africa For the more adventurous traveller or for those that don’t want to travel in a group...

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$587

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Tour by: Alan Tours

Exciting and informative game drive through Addo Elephant National Park, home of more than 500 Elephants, Lions,...

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$160

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Showing 10 of 15 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.