Addo Elephant National Park

Addo Elephant National Park
The park was  proclaimed in 1931 with the sole purpose of protecting the last remaining Eastern Cape elephants. The park was then only 2,230 hectares in size. Today it covers over 168,000 hectares and biodiversity conservation is the focus. Deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape lies the Addo Elephant National Park. Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin's call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the grey leviathans of the bush now roam in peace. 


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Addo Elephant National Park
The original Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area - today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. And their Addo has only just begun. with plans to expand the  164 000 ha Addo National Elephant Park into a 360 000 ha mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins.

Vision
Addo Elephant National Park seeks to be fully integrated into the regional landscape, conserves and enhances the characteristic terrestrial and marine biodiversity, ecological processes and cultural, historical and scenic resources representative of the Eastern Cape region for the appreciation, and benefit of present and future generations.

Special Features
The park conserves no less than five of South Africa's seven biomes.
Is also home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth.
It is home to the unique flightless dung beetle.
Addo incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere.
The park boasts the Big Seven, (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark).
It also protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island.

How to get there
From Port Elisabeth take the N2 for about 40 km to enter Matyholweni Gate or take the Motherwell off-ramp from N2 ( after about 23 km ) and follow the R335 to the left for about 52 km to enter the Main Gate.

Wildlife
Elephant, Black Rhino, Kudu, Bushbuck, Lion, Buffalo and Leopard.
Birds
Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Dabchick, Forest Weaver, King Penguin and Broadbilled Prion.

Activities
Guided game drives.
Self-drives in the wildlife area.
Underground hide overlooking a waterhole.
Hiking trails.

Wheelchair friendly PPC Discovery trail.
Guided horseback trail.
Birding.
4 X 4 trail for owners of off-road vehicles.

Accommodation
A range of self-catering accommodationis available at AddoMain Camp, including luxury guest houses, charlets, rondavels, forest cabins, furnished safari tents, caravan & camping sites, most with a view of the wildlife area.

The above presentation of the park, is a contribution from © SANParks.org 2004-2009.