Eastern Cape DestinationsSunland, Greater Addo
We hadn't heard about Sunland either, but then any town so ideally placed in the nook of the Greater Addo Elephant Park would vanish into obscurity too, if you gave it half a chance. Although Sunland, on the strength of its name alone, does not. It even has its own annual Citrus Carnival, usually in August, to prove it. And the sun does indeed shine here for the better part of the year.
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 incredible panoramic views over private game farms, and farm lands that grow predominantly citrus. The valley in October is usually in full bloom, and the Sundays River itself is a source of entertainment with numerous attractions set up along its banks for visitors.
But the star of the show is undoubtedly the Addo Elephant Park. The main attraction of the park is that only 45 minutes' drive from Port Elizabeth gets one 'up close and personal' with elephants - the park is home to over 450 of these beautiful beasts. Over and above that already overwhelming statistic, so close to the coast, is access to the Big 7 - elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white sharks - in their natural environment. The park also claims five of South Africa's seven biomes.
The advantages to staying in Sunland are the quick access into the park, and access to alternative accommodation than that offered by Addo Elephant Park, which can fill up rather quickly, or is not suitable for all visitors.