Addo Elephant National Park, Wildlife Safari in South Africa.

Addo Elephant National Park has become the third largest game reserve in south Africa after its recent expansion and is located in the Eastern Cape province. The park was founded in 1931 to provide a safe haven for the dwindling number of elephants in the area.

The South African game reserve is famous among tourist for its large elephant herds that graze on the vegetation and parade in a calm manner. You can witness these marvelous creatures by simply traveling to one of the waterholes, which is a hot spot for elephants.

The game reserve is also famous for viewing the Big 5. Visitors can visit Algoa Bay for an opportunity to witness southern right whales and white sharks. The game reserve is renowned for its elephant population along with the big five. Visitors can witness lions roaming the landscape early in the morning. Black rhinos are also present in the region, but due to their shy nature, they tend to stay in their thickets.

Addo elephants

Note: Addo Elephant National Park is home to interesting species of antelope and they are found in abundance, along with red hartebeest, eland, and kudu.

Car Rental to Explore Addo Elephant National Park?


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Addo Elephant National park is home to the African Big Seven (lion, African elephant, black rhino, Cape buffalo, leopard, great white shark and southern right whale) and many other African wildlife species including spotted hyena, zebra, abundant birdlife, a variety of antelope and the endemic Addo flightless dung beetle.

Visitors can encounter almost 100 species of mammals, 417 bird species and around 20 marine species across the various sections of the park. Get the best car rental deal for your south Africa Safari to explore the key Safari activities below.

  1. Chimpanzee Watching
  2. Monkey Tracking
  3. Canopy walk
  4. Birding

Safari activities in Addo Elephant National Park

Game Drive in Addo Elephant

Addo game drive

Visitors to the game reserve can choose to head out on a guided game drive in an open safari vehicle. During these excursions, trained and highly qualified guides will lead you through the African bush, introducing you not only to the game animals that abound but also teaching you about the landscape and vegetation found in the area. Visitors can also arrange for a ‘hop-on’ guide who will join you in your vehicle and guide you through the reserve.

Addo Elephant Museum.

One of the best ways to learn about the history of Addo Elephant National Park is by visiting the Addo Elephant Museum. This museum is full of information about the park, and it is a great way to learn more about the elephants and all the other animals that call it home.

The museum is a great place to learn more about these majestic creatures and their importance in the world.

Addo Elephant Museum

Horse Riding Trails

Add horse riding

Guests with a minor level of experience in horse riding can enjoy a two-hour morning or afternoon guided horse ride through the Nyathi area of the game reserve where they may be able to spot large game animals including Kudu and Hartebeest. Alternatively, 1 – 3, 5 hour or overnight horse riding excursions can be arranged through the Zuurberg Mountains where guests can enjoy excellent views of the reserve and the mountains.

Tree Dassie Trail

Guests wanting to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air can embark on the Tree Dassie Trail walk. Named after the rare Tree Dassie that is found within the Alexandria forest area of the reserve, the trail offers excellent bird watching opportunities and species such as Crowned Hornbills, Black Headed Oriole and Olive Woodpeckers are often spotted or heard.

Addo Woody Cape Section

Bokmakierie bird in Addo National park

addo birds

The Addo Area boasts a wide variety of bird life typical of the Eastern Cape’s Coastal Area to the Karoo. As many as 450 species can be spotted making the area a must for keen bird watchers. Inside the Addo Elephant National Park there is also a large bird hide at the Rest Camp that overlooks a reed-filled wetland. A variety of birdlife can be observed from there and the hide is wheelchair accessible.

4 X 4 Off-road Trail

The 45-kilometre (28 mile) 4X4 trail between Kabouga and Darlington is graded 2 -3 and takes visitors through an area of the reserve that was once the scene of fierce clashes between the British and the Afrikaners during the Anglo-Boer war. The route travels through a number of different vegetation areas providing spectacular scenery.

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When to go?


Dry season in Addo National Park.

Elephants in the park

Addo Elephant National Park in Eastern Cape is a fantastic location to visit all year, but it’s at its best during the dry season months of May-September. During a safari this time of year the animals congregate around the watering holes in the game park to quench their thirst, making it ideal for seeing herds of elephant.

The main rest camp has a view overlooking a watering hole with an under­ground viewing area that gets you close to the elephants. If you’re lucky, you might even see all of the Big Five.

How to access Addo Elephant National park?


There are a few different ways to get to Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The most popular way is to fly into Port Elizabeth Airport, which is located about an hour away from the park. You can also fly into Johannesburg International Airport and then take a connecting flight to Port Elizabeth, or even fly into Cape Town and make the drive.

Port Elizabeth Airport

Port Elizabeth Airport

The best way to get to Addo Elephant Park is by rental car, but you can also take a bus or taxi. If you do not feel comfortable driving in Africa, taking a safari tour is a great option. There are plenty of companies that offer tours, and they will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the park.

Road Transportation to Addo National Park.

Addo road transportation

Addo Elephant National Park is located approximately an hour drive from Port Elizabeth. If you are coming from Johannesburg, it will take you about eight hours to get there by car. And from Cape Town, it’s a 9 hours drive.

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