Addo Elephant National Park

Home / Places To Visit / Addo Elephant National Park
Addo Elephant National Park is a national park in South Africa's Eastern province. It covers a total area of 540 square kilometers and is divided into two portions by a corridor. The southern half of the park, known as Addo Elephant National Park, was established in 1931 in the Sundays River valley, south of the Suurberg Range, north of Port Elizabeth. It is mostly covered in dense, impenetrable evergreen scrub and is home to a band of approximately 200 elephants, the last of a vast herd that roamed the area before landowners began an extermination effort in 1919. It also supports a small population of Cape buffalo, various kinds of transplanted antelope, Kenyan black rhinoceroses, and a variety of small birds, animals, and reptiles. History of Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa. The Khoesan of the Iqua, Damasqua, and Gonaqua clans resided in the Addo region in the early centuries, when large herds of wild animals roamed the area. They hunted and raised cattle, but the smallpox outbreak nearly wiped them out in the 1700s. In 1931, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) was established to safeguard the last 11 Addo elephants. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, hunters had nearly wiped off elephant herds and other animal species. Farmers began to colonize the land around the park in the late 1800s, putting pressure on the elephant population due to competition for water and crops. Farmers demanded that the authorities destroy the elephants in 1919, bringing the situation to a head. Major Pretorius, who killed 114 elephants between 1919 and 1920, was assigned by the government to shoot the remaining elephants. After a shift in public attitude, the park was established in 1931. The park was originally little over 2 000 hectares in size. Elephant-farmer conflicts persisted after the declaration because the park lacked a sufficient fence. Finally, in 1954, the park's manager, Graham Armstrong, devised an elephant-proof barrier using tram rails and lift cables, enclosing a total area of 2 270 hectares. At the time, there were 22 elephants in the park. This Armstrong fence, named after the park's developer, is still in use today. Although the park was established to safeguard a particular species, emphasis have since shifted to protect the area's tremendous ecological variety. Many ancient sites may be found in the Alexandria dune field, including the middens of the nomadic 'Strandloper' or 'beach walker' people. Shells and bones of animals eaten by the people, as well as shards of pottery and stone utensils, can be found in these middens. White mussel shells found in these middens are also found in caves in the Zuurberg Mountains, indicating that these people travelled long distances and stored their food. Rock art and stone utensils can also be found in the Zuurberg Mountains' caves.

Addo Elephant National Park –South Africa

Game drive safaris

Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa offers visitors guided and self- drives depending on your tastes and preferences. The national park also offers sun downer game drives for tourists visiting the park during summer or winter seasons. The park conducts sunrise, morning, midday, afternoon, sun downer and night game drives with each game drive lasting approximately two hours. The sunrise game drives commence at 6am during summer time and at 7am during winter time. The morning game drives in Addo Elephant national park commence at 9am daily while the midday game drives start at exactly 12 noon everyday. Afternoon game drives in the park commence at 3pm everyday; with sun downer game drivers commencing at 6pm during summer time and 4pm during winter. For those interested in night game drives, these start 7pm during summer time and 6pm during winter.

Bird watching

Addo Elephant National Park is a fantastic place to visit for bird watchers and photographers. Various behaviours attract a wide variety of species to the area. A forest region, dune-fields, costal islands, wooded kloofs, open grassy areas, sense thicket, and other features can be found. The Bokmakierie, Borwn Hooded King Fisher, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cape Robin, Double-collared Sunbird, Martial Eagle, Secretary Bird, Black Korhaan, Cape Batis, Olive Bush Shrike, Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Cape Parrot, Knysna Turace, Cape Gannet, and many other birds can be found. The SASOL Red Bishop Bird Hide is located beside the waterhole in the main rest camp section of the Addo Elephant National Park. Bird watchers can see red bishops, weavers, herons, coots, and terrapins from the bird hide. There are 170 bird species in the main game area, and the extended park might have up to 450 species in a variety of habitats .

Horse Riding

All of the Addo Elephant National Park's horse paths are led by competent guides on well-trained, sure-footed horses. Visitors can borrow riding caps if they need them. The Addo horse routes lead to the Nyati area, where elephants, buffalo, black rhino, zebra, and antelope can be found. Morning Horse Trails: The morning rides begin at 08h30 and are appropriate for less experienced riders. The ride is 2 hours long. There are a maximum of 5 guests and a minimum of one. Afternoon Horse Trails: The afternoon rides begin at 14h00 and are ideal for more experienced riders. The ride is around 2 hours long and there are a maximum of 5 guests and a minimum of one. The Addo Trail does not allow anyone under the age of 16 to ride.


Hayterdale cycling Trails is located on the Zuurberg Pass, and it is known for its infinite single track (not the smooth, regularly groomed sort). The Hayterdale Classic team has introduced a new 12 km route designed exclusively for novice riders, including simple flowing flatland tracks. The two lengthier routes, however, are what excite the more experienced riders. For regular weekend rides, there are no restrictions on the routes that can be combined, ranging from 15 kilometers to four hours, including a journey halfway up the Zuurberg Pass with breathtaking vistas. The routes are properly designated, but they are new, and motorcyclists who are unfamiliar with the environment frequently become lost. It's best to have someone who knows the routes with you, but keep an eye on the summer temperatures, which can reach 40 degrees Celsius.

Eden to Addo Trek.

VThe Eden to Addo trek is considered by some as the longest, if not the toughest hiking trail in South Africa. The Eden to Addo trek is an 18-day journey from Knysna to Addo and the Addo Elephant National Park, which is on its way to becoming one of southern Africa's largest national parks. The word 'Eden' in the title alludes to a 'lost' paradise, perhaps a play on what would have been deep woodlands along the coast in the past. Between the Tsitsikamma, Langkloof, Couga, Groot Winterhoek, and Klein Winterhoek mountain ranges, the trail meanders through the Baviaanskloof wilderness and the many folds of the different Cape mountain ranges. The hike is a test of stamina that is rewarded by the sheer splendour of the mostly uninhabited surroundings. Gentle hills, mountains, valleys, and endless folds. The difference between a coastal area under human strain and the wonderful wilderness so close by, packed with bio diverse vegetation, blue skies, and mountains and mountains, is awe-inspiring to hikers. The trip begins in Kranshoek, an indigenous forest in Knysna. The Garden Route National Park, the Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve, and the Addo Elephant National Park are the first three mega-reserves it passes through. The Eden to Addo Biodiversity Corridor was created with the goal of conserving endemic species.

The Alexandria Hiking Trail

The Alexandria Hiking Trail is 32 kilometers long in total, with the first segment being 18.5 kilometers long and the second section being 13.5 kilometers long. You'll need to be somewhat fit to participate in the trail because you'll be carrying all of your own supplies and equipment. This is not a guided hike, despite the fact that it is well-marked, and a minimum of three hikers is necessary to participate. At any given time, a maximum of 12 hikers can participate. If you do not reserve for twelve people, the booking office may fill in the gaps with other hikers. The Langebos huts will serve as your base camp, providing you with a place to stay while participating in this exciting adventure. Prepare to be awestruck by the lush foliage and diverse array of birds and animals you'll encounter along the journey. Make sure you bring your binoculars and camera to capture these unforgettable events. .