Addo Elephant National Park
photo by Brian Snelson

Addo Elephant National Park

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The Addo Elephant National Park (pronounced Ahh-Dow) is in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa and is one of the country's larger parks.



In the parks early years, during times of drought (and before the waterholes were artificially kept full) the park keepers fed the elephants on oranges from the local orange groves. Gradually the elephants became addicted to the taste of the fruit! This practise stopped along time ago, but the older elephants still remember the smell and have been known to reach into vehicles and get their favourite fruit!


Due to its terrain, Addo stays at a comfy 27 - 30 C throughout the Winter.

Flora and fauna

The park has Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Cape Buffalo, Lion and Leopard on land. In the Marine reserve you will find Dolphin, Whales (southern right) and Penguins.

Note that the flightless dung beetle is a protected species in the park and have right of way. Please do not drive over or step on them.

Getting there

Addo NP is about 70km north-east from Port Elizabeth. There is no public transport to or within the park so you need your own car (car rental is available in Port Elizabeth). Or book an organized tour but going on your own pace is really the best option. The park can be visited on a day-trip from Port Elizabeth. On the road you might notice signs to the 'Addo Olifant Nasionale Park'. These signs are the old Afrikaans version of the more modern road signs.

Traveling around

As mentioned above there is no public transport in the park and hiking is prohibited.


Inside the park

There are 2 camps in Addo, the Main Camp in the north east near the village of Addo, with an entrance to the R342 and the much smaller Camp Matyholweniare, in the south at the Colchester entrance to the park on the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. Main Camp boosts a restaurant, camping facilities and a number of chalets for overnight stays. The recently opened Camp Matyholweniare has only chalets and is not yet connected with the main game viewing area.

Outside the park

There are over 70 listed places of accommodation in the area surrounding the Addo Elephant Park. These range in price from R50 for camping to R350.00 per room for basic backpackers accommodation, or self-catering to many exclusive game lodges and a great number of bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses. Prices go up to R5000.00 per person sharing at the more exclusive resorts, but there are many facilities priced in the R250.00 - to R500.00 price range. For more information contact the reception at the park or the backpackers info centre at the Orange Elephant, who have a file containing telephone numbers and prices.


Stay in your car at all times - elephants will charge if they feel threatened. Do not carry any citrus fruit in your car, the elephants have developed an addiction for the fruit and will search it out!


South African Citizens and Residents (with ID) pay R30 per person, per day. SADC Nationals (with passport) pay R60 per adult, per day (children R30). The Standard Conservation Fee for Foreign Visitors: R130 per adult and R65 per child, per day.

See & Do

The Park is famous for its elephant population that has a special, brownish skin colour due to the red soil. Amongst the elephants other animals, like ostriches, different antelopes and warthogs can be seen. As part of the park's expansion, a group of lions and a group of spotted hyenas have been introduced to the park in 2004.

Although the Addo is not as spectacular as other parks, such as Kruger National Park, it is not as crowded and those who know Addo, love it.

Eat & Drink

There is a restaurant and shop at the main camp, near park's entrance.

Get out

  • Go to the Mountain Zebra National Park to spot some of the rare Mountain Zebras.

  • The old town of Graaff-Reinet is definitely worth a visit

  • Go to Port Elizabeth and from there on to the Garden Route and Cape Town.

  • Go north into the Karoo and the cities of Kimberley and Bloemfontein.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Brian Snelson, Graham Racher, Randy OHC, Brian Burger

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Lynne, Mart, Nick Roux, Philipp Sch., Tim Sandell and Felix Gottwald, Chrisboote, Jonboy, Nzpcmad and Tniehoff

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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