Addo Elephant National Park

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Roads in the park are excellent, some are tarred (asphalt) and others are well maintained gravel roads. Normal sedan cars will do just fine and 4×4 vehicles will only be needed if visitors decided to follow the route signposted as a 4×4 trail.

Speed limit in the park is 40 km/hour (25 miles/hour) but a slower speed is recommended for game viewing.

The park encompasses parts of the dry Karoo in the north, running over the Zuurburg Mountains to the Sundays River valley and stretches onward to the Eastern Cape beaches between the Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s River mouth, making it the third largest national park in South Africa at 180,000 hectares (444,700 acres). The park also includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.

When Addo was proclaimed in 1931 only a handful of elephant roamed the area. Now after years of conservation efforts there are over 500 elephants in the park, along with black rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, spotted hyena and a healthy variety of antelope. Addo is also home to the flightless dung beetle, which is rarely found anywhere else.

There are big plans ahead for Addo as conservationists look at expanding it to 264,000 hectares (652,300 acres). They would also like to include a marine area of 120,000 hectare (296,500 acres) to protect the largest breeding population of Cape gannets and endangered African penguins in the world.

Rain occurs in the park all year round but higher rainfall can be expected in February, March, October and November.

Activities in the park may be booked with the main office of Sanparks or by emailing them at:addogamedrives@sanparks.org.

Guided Game Drives Visitors must book in advance especially in the high season from October to March. Drives are about 2 hours long and depart during the day, at sunset and in the early evening. Departure times will vary with the season so make sure you check ahead of time. Children 6 and under will not be allowed on the drives for the safety of all the guests.

Self drive with a guide Visitors could drive themselves around the park to explore during opening hours or book the services of an Eyethu Hop on guide. They are trained guides from the local communities and work as self employed independent guides. Guides will wait at the main gate of the park or visitors can book ahead with addoenquiries@sanparks.org

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