Eastern Cape DestinationsAddo, Greater Addo
This small citrus farming community serves mainly as a supplement to the park, offering accommodation and a place to shop before visiting the main attraction - the elephants.
Addo lies in a beautiful part of the world, surrounded by contrasting dense thickets of Spekboom, open grassy patches and the odd wooded kloof. The area is alive with citrus estates, roses and an amazing bird life. The town lies in the Sundays River Valley surrounded by the Zuurberg Mountains that offer some spectacular hiking and horse riding trails, and this part of the world is also a malaria free area, which adds to its attraction.
The 600+ elephants in the park are what people travel for from as far afield as Germany to see. Eleven elephants were saved from the brink of extinction in 1931 when the situation in the valley, rife with clashes between farmers and elephants, reached a dangerous level. Crop damage and night raids were the reasons sited for the killing of these beautiful beasts.
Today Addo Elephant Park is also home to Cape buffalo, black rhino, a range of antelope species and sightings, when you find the time to look at your feet rather than scanning the horizon, of the rare flightless dung beetle. In fact the park markets itself as South Africa’s first ‘Big Seven’ reserve. The rhino, lion, elephant, leopard and buffalo’s numbers have swelled to include the southern right whale and great white shark, since the park now extends to the sea and some offshore islands.