Addo Elephant National Park is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa and the only one with a coastline – as such they like to call it a ‘Big Seven‘ reserve including great white sharks and whales! Its size allows the incorporation of five biomes of great diversity, including Nama karoo, Albany thicket, inter-zonal forest, fynbos and the Indian Ocean coast bordered by dunes and grassy plains. Spekboom succulents put on a beautiful display of pink flowers in October/November.
The present c.450 elephants in the reserve originate from 11 which had managed to survive the attention of hunters and farmers when the park was established in 1931. Two prides of lions were reintroduced in 2003 and buffalo, black rhino, meerkat (suricate), Burchell’s zebra, eland, red hartebeest, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, ostrich, secretary bird and blue crane may also be seen. The largest concentration of the unique flightless dung beetle is in this park. Giant golden-orb-web spiders, many species of tortoise, southern dwarf chameleons, Tasman’s girdled lizard, yellow and small grey mongoose, bush-buck and grey duikers may also be spotted. The waterhole near the main reception, illuminated at night, is a good site for bird watching in addition to viewing larger animals and their nocturnal visits.
Guided game drives in open vehicles are available, as are horse riding and elephant-back safaris.