Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Greater Addo Region, Eastern Cape
Greater Addo is largely dominated by the Addo Elephant Park, the boundaries of which now extend right from the edge of Darlington Dam in the north to Colchester at the coast, incorporating the beautiful Sundays River Valley.
However, the region of Greater Addo is an incredibly diverse, beautiful area in the Eastern Cape Province that remains largely ‘undiscovered’, despite the thousands of visitors to the park.
Often overlooked in favour of the Sunshine Coast, the park includes the incredible Zuurberg Mountains in the north and the Alexandria dune fields - the highest dunes south of the Namib Desert - and forests where the Sundays River meets the sea.
Greater Addo is essentially a conservation area. It has an incredible diversity of fauna and flora - from the arid Karoo basin in the north with its mainly succulent shrubs and endless plains, through grassland vegetation and valley bushveld to subtropical thicket. The emphasis is on biodiversity and the complete wildlife experience, and it is little surprise to realise the full beauty of the different landscapes in the Greater Addo region.
Greater Addo is far more than just elephants. The Sundays River Valley, which nestles in the crook formed by the Addo Elephant National Park as it skirts the edge of the valley, is one of South Africa’s major citrus producers. Millions of oranges find their way around the world from orange packing facilities in the valley.
The little settlement at Kirkwood is worth a visit, particularly in June for the Kirkwood wildlife festival, as is the missionary station of Enon. The valley is also famous for its roses and the Addo Rose and Garden show, held in October, is considered the best of its kind in the world.
A visit to Greater Addo promises a series of adventures that include game viewing, horse-riding in amongst elephants, elephant-back safaris, hiking, fishing, citrus tours, private game reserves, spas, donkey cart rides and mountain walks.
Popular Towns in the Greater Addo Region
Overnight? Accommodation in Addo
Completely overshadowed by the world-renowned Addo Elephant Park, there is actually a little town about an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, called Addo. This small citrus farming community serves mainly as a supplement to the park, offering...
More information and photographs: Addo Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Alexandria
Alexandria lies en route to Bushman’s River Mouth and Kenton-on-Sea just 50 kilometres from Port Alfred, roughly halfway between Durban and Cape Town. It is described as a friendly farming community that sustains itself from chicory, dairy and pineapple...
More information and photographs: Alexandria Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Colchester
Lying on the banks of the Sundays River, just 20 minutes’ drive from the coast of Port Elizabeth, lies Colchester in a part of the country that remains largely unspoilt, surrounded by sand dunes that date back about 100 000 years...
More information and photographs: Colchester Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Cookhouse
Cookhouse is about 170 north of Port Elizabeth and only 24 kilometres outside Somerset East. It was originally established along the railway line that was laid out in the 19th century as part of the colonisation initiatives in South Africa. It also...
More information and photographs: Cookhouse Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Jansenville
Lying north west of the upper reaches of the Addo Elephant National Park, Jansenville lies in the Eastern Cape's conservation region, an area of roughly 438 000 hectares of managed nature reserves that are committed to protecting bio-diversity...
More information and photographs: Jansenville Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Kirkwood
The farming community of Kirkwood, in the heart of the Sundays River Valley, close to the town of Addo and the northern regions of the Addo Elephant Park, would arguably remain in obscurity were it not for the Kirkwood Wildlife Festival in June...
More information and photographs: Kirkwood Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Middleton
Middleton was established as a train station in 1879, thanks to its convenient locale. Today, that original train station has been turned into a fun and inviting pub, where locals meet and welcome visitors. Other buildings here include the...
More information and photographs: Middleton Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Nanaga
The somewhat obscure little village of Nanaga scores by dint of the fact that it is ideally placed on the South African map. Not only is it virtually just outside the Greater Addo Elephant Park, but it is also a short drive from the Sunshine Coast and...
More information and photographs: Nanaga Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Paterson
In the foothills of the Zuurberg Mountains, bang in the middle of game reserve country, lies the little village of Paterson - named after its founder, John Paterson. Not quite midway between Shamwari and the Addo Elephant Park, you would be right to...
More information and photographs: Paterson Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Sidbury
Lying in the midst of what is considered 'frontier country', Sidbury is one of several quaint little towns, with Grahamstown as their centre, that make up one of the most ecologically diverse regions in South Africa and the heart of thousands of hectares...
More information and photographs: Sidbury Information
Stay? Accommodation in Somerset East
Apart from its beautifully preserved buildings that are worth a visit in their own right, Somerset East is perhaps best known because it is on the Blue Crane Route in the Eastern Cape. This picturesque and quaint town is at the foot of the Boschberg...
More information and photographs: Somerset East Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Sundays River
Along the banks of the idyllic Sundays River, outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, is the residential area of the same name. Many of the homes here are holiday homes, and it is no wonder, as they perch on the banks and boast breath-taking...
More information and photographs: Sundays River Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Sunland
Sunland lies in the gorgeous Sundays River Valley, which stretches from Addo in the south to the little citrus village of Kirkwood that lies just a little further north west of Sunland on Route 336. The landscape here is predominantly bushveld with...
More information and photographs: Sunland Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Zuurberg
Lying in the north western corner of the Sundays River Valley, Zuurberg lies at the foot of the mountain of the same name. The historic Zuurberg Pass, almost entirely surrounded by the Greater Addo Elephant National Park, is a narrow cutting through...
More information and photographs: Zuurberg Information