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Addo Main Camp
Addo Main Camp
Addo Main Camp
Addo Main Camp

Addo Main Camp: Our full report

The easily accessible Addo Main Camp is on the north side of the main game area of Addo Elephant National ...

... Park in South Africa’s Cape, and is the main hub of the park. It provides a variety of mostly self-catered accommodation types and facilities, so that it feels almost like a proper little village. One attraction here is a waterhole, which is floodlit at night, allowing guests to watch the animals coming for a drink.

Within Addo Main Camp you have a wide choice of accommodation options, from chalets and rondavels to tents and camping pitches. The different types of accommodation include:
  • Caravans and 30 campsites with a maximum of six per site, close to ablution facilities and a camp kitchen
  • 5 safari tents, each with two single beds, bedding, fan and towels, communal ablution facilities and kitchen
  • 2 guest houses, each for up to six people, called Hapoor and Domkrag, which overlook the floodlit waterhole (two bedrooms, en-suite bathroom, living room, fully equipped kitchen, fan in the lounge)
  • 6 rondawels overlooking the waterhole and sleeping two travellers each (two single beds; shower, toilet, hand basin; communal kitchen shared with the other huts)
  • 22 chalets, which can accommodate three adults or two adults plus two children (bedsitter with two single beds and a sleeper couch, bathroom with bath and shower, fully equipped kitchen). Two of them are accessible for disabled people.
  • 6 semi-detached chalets sleeping two travellers in a twin configuration (bathroom and kitchenette)
  • Chalet 16 for a family of up to six people (one bedroom with a double bed and a bedsitter area with two single beds and a sleeper couch; bathroom; kitchen)
  • Chalet 15 with 2 single beds in an open-plan area with mini-kitchen, shower, toilet and hand basin
  • 13 cottages for a maximum of two travellers each with two single beds, bathroom and a kitchenette with microwave and fan
  • 10 wooden forest cabins with four single beds each, a table, chairs, toilet, shower and hand basin in an open area; communal kitchen
All of the above have access to a braai and either shared or their own kitchen facilities, mostly fitted with crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, a fridge or bar-fridge and stoves. Most of the accommodation types are air-conditioned. For more detailed information see the park’s homepage – linked to from our Links tab.

Within easy distance from all of the rooms the main areas at Addo Main Camp consist of:
  • A swimming pool open from November to February,
  • A lookout platform overlooking a night-lit waterhole and an underground hide opposite it, which allows close views of wildlife,
  • Picnic and braai area overlooking the waterhole,
  • A bird hide offering views of a small wetland,
  • The PPC Discovery Trail where you can learn about the thicket vegetation during short walks,
  • The Ulwazi interpretive centre, which informs visitors about the park’s history and wildlife and displays e.g. a great wall of horns,
  • A shop selling curios, snacks and basic supplies (opening hours 08:00-18:00 in winter, 08:00-19:00 in summer)
  • An al-la-carte restaurant open from 07:30 to 22:00 (bookings advisable)
  • And a fuel station selling petrol and diesel between 07:30 and 16:30.
The shop at Addo main camp offers a relatively good selection of food and and basic supplies like basic personal hygiene items and toiletries such as antiseptic cream, toothpaste and plasters. There are also lots of curios, scarfs, sun-glasses, shirts, a few magazines, wildlife books and children’s books and toys for sale.

Activities in the area concentrate on 4WD wildlife safaris, which are offered by the camp. Nevertheless most visitors will drive themselves without a guide, enjoying the freedom to explore as they wish to.

Other activities around Addo Main Camp include horse riding and some short walks, for example on the educative PPC Discovery Trail. A bird hide overlooking a small wetland area allows birding enthusiasts to get a closer view of some of the 200 bird species that have been reported in the main area of the park.

Our view

Main Camp is a classic South African restcamp, with no airs or graces and absolutely no feeling of exclusivity. It makes a very good value base for self-driving visitors who prize their autonomy. The shop is well-stocked; the restaurant serves basic fare at prices to match; the interpretive centre is well worth a an hour’s visit; and the accommodation is clean, functional and great value.

Tracy Lederer

Tracy Lederer

Country manager: South Africa


Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa
Ideal length of stay
We’d stay for two to four days, perhaps combining it with Camp Matyholweni further south in the park.
Addo Main Camp is easily accessible by self-drive. It’s about 75km away from Port Elizabeth. First take the N2 northwards, then change on the R335 towards Addo. Enter Addo Elephant National Park and just follow the road to get to Ado Main Camp.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Room Only
Food quality
Addo Main Camp’s restaurant is continuously open from 7:30 am until 10 pm. Food here is generally good and modestly priced.

Visiting in 2013, the breakfast menu ranged from R29-55 (UK£1.80-3.45; US$2.95-5.60); with an English Breakfast for R45 (UK£2.73; US$4.34). For lunch you could for example have an Addo Burger for R45 (UK£2.73; US$4.34), some kalamari or fish and chips for R69 (UK£4.19; US$6.66).

However, Addo Main Camp clearly majors on steaks and burgers. In the evening steaks with a variety of sauces were on offer as well as some vegetarian options and a small kids menu for R35 (UK£2.12; US$3.38). We chose a delicious 300g chargrill sirloin for R105 (UK£6.37; US$10.13) with a sauce mushroom pepper monkey gland for R12 (UK£0.73; US$1.16) once and a kudu grilled to medium and served in red wine sauce, with rice and vegetables at a cost of R420 (UK£25.50; US$40.52) another time.

Beverages include a fairly extensive menu of bottled wines ranging from R90 to R120 (UK£5.46-7.29; US$8.68-11.58) as well as soft drinks, teas, coffees and espressos.

Travellers who prefer self-catering can buy a relatively good selection of food at Adoo Main Camp’s shop. Here, there are for example some high-end pickled vegetables on offer, lots of crisps, biscuits and sweets, a small range of canned vegetables and fruits, a very limited selection of bread, a couple of rice, couscous and pasta options, hot and cold drinks, bottled water, oils and sauces. Fresh ingredients like tomatoes, a bit of salad, apples, ham, milk and yoghurt are available too, although the choice of those is very limited.
Dining style
Individual Tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included

Special interests

Family holidays
We are increasingly including Addo’s Main Camp in family safari holidays to South Africa; it’s great for self-drive visitors. Children will love their own barbeque, whilst Main Camp has space to run around – as well as an excellent interpretive centre to explore.
See ideas for Family holidays
Addo Main Camp appeals to birders in South Africa due to its bird hide which overlooks a little wetland. Look out here for 200 bird species reported in this section of the park. The whole park hosts over 400 bird species.
See ideas for Birdwatching
Wildlife safaris
Addo Main Camp offers both guided 4WD safaris and a self-drive base. Its biggest attraction are the park’s very relaxed elephants, whilst other game includes endless zebra, kudu and warthog. It’s good, but don’t expect the most game-rich wildlife safari in South Africa.
See ideas for Wildlife safaris


Attitude towards children
Children are welcome at Addo Main camp, although there are no services or equipment specifically for families with young children.
Property’s age restrictions
There are no cots or high-chairs available.
Generally recommended for children
As Addo Main Camp is fully fenced, you can think of it as relatively safe. Nevertheless we advise to keep children under parental supervision since no fence can stop dangerous animals of a smaller size, say for example snakes.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Addo Main Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Addo Main Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Brown Hyena

100% success


100% success


100% success


100% success


100% success


100% success


100% success


0% success

Black Rhino

0% success


0% success


0% success


0% success


0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success


0% success


Power supply notes
All accommodation units at Addo Main Camp provide plug points with a 220V electricity supply. Nevertheless travellers will need their own international or two-point plug adaptors.
A public telephone is accessible at the reception and during our most recent visit in May 2013 we had strong mobile reception at Addo Main Camp.
For more traditional messages, the post is collected from the post box near the reception every week day morning. A post office can be found in Addo Town, approximately 15km from the park.
Water supply
Water supply notes
Water supply is very reliable here.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Addo Main Camp is fully fenced off, with the gate to the wildlife area at its north-west end and an entrance gate in the south.
Fire safety


  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching


  • Horse-riding



Disabled access
In Place
Laundry facilities
Addo Main Camp does currently not provide any laundry service.
The First National Bank with ATM is located in Addo Town, 15km from the park. For other banking facilities head to the town of Kirkwood (35km distance) or Port Elizabeth (75km from the park).

There are no safes at Addo Main Camp.
Accepted payment on location
For paying cash you will need South African Rand at Addo Main Camp. Alternatively credit cards are accepted for payment of accommodation and most activities, shop purchases and restaurant meals.

Other lodges in Addo Elephant National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.

Elephant House

Elephant House

Elephant House is a welcoming, owner-run base for those wishing to explore the Addo Elephant National Park and the surrounding area.

78% (8 reviews)
River Bend Lodge

River Bend Lodge

Located on a private concession within the Addo Elephant National Park Riverbend Lodge is a very comfortable base from which to discover Addo.

92% (5 reviews)
Gorah Elephant Camp

Gorah Elephant Camp

A beautiful safari camp set within Addo Elephant Park. Lovely tented suites and great game viewing make this a great stop along South Africa's glorious Garden Route.

100% (4 reviews)
Camp Matyholweni

Camp Matyholweni

An easily accessible safari camp in Addo Elephant Park, Matyholweni offers self-catering family cottages, as well as access to the nearby town of Colchester.

100% (1 review)
Camp Fig Tree

Camp Fig Tree

Camp Fig Tree is a luxurious lodge located just outside Addo Elephant Park. It is well situated for visits to the park itself.

100% (1 review)

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