Addo Elephant Park is just an hour or so from Port Elizabeth near the Sundays River Valley
Addo Elephant Park: Our full report
Addo Elephant Park is situated just one hour's drive from Port Elizabeth near the Sundays River Valley on South Africa's Eastern Cape. As the name suggests, the park is home to around 450 elephants. However, when the park opened in 1931, it was home to only 11 elephants, which were successfully protected to allow their numbers to grow to the level of the present day. With a current area of 164km², there are plans to expand the park to 3600km². This will include a 1200km² marine reserve which contains the world's largest breeding population of Cape gannets and the second largest breeding population of African penguins, all of whom live on the islands off the coast of the park.
The park is currently home to a variety of other wildlife including the “Big Five" – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard. Once the park has been expanded it will be one of the few areas where you can view the “Big Seven" – the “Big Five" plus the southern right whale and the great white shark. Cape buffalo, black rhino, and antelope are also found here as well as the flightless dung beetle, which is found exclusively at Addo Elephant Park, and has right of way on the roads.
There is a huge variety of activities available at the park, including horseback safaris, guided walks, hiking, 4WD ecoadventure trails, and bird watching and hiking trails. Game drives on open-top landrovers and trucks with knowledgeable qualified guides are available at sunrise, during the day, at sunset and at night, when you can hear the howls of the jackals. Elephant back safaris, sunset river cruises, canoeing, are also available, and the park has restaurant facilities and picnic and braai sites. It is also possible to visit the local cheetah breeding project and crocodile farm.