Addo Elephant National Park, close to Gqerberha, is South Africa’s third largest national park but we had never visited before because it’s so far from Johannesburg. The park is (obviously) famous for its elephants, and we were there in the height of summer which meant guaranteed sightings of elephants messing about in the mud on a daily basis. There were days where we saw upwards of 200 at the Hapoor waterhole, and we ended our morning drives there at around 11am most days to make the most of the photo ops. Apart from ellies, the park has a good variety of general game (including buffalo, meerkats and lots of jackal and yellow mongoose), and we were lucky enough to track down lions and rhino during our visit. Birdlife is also excellent, with some interesting species that you don’t see further north. Our total Eastern Cape bird count ended on 198. Although the full park is large, with some disconnected coastal and private sections, the main game viewing area is quite small so you can comfortably see it all in 2-3 days.
Accommodation options in Addo are excellent. The highlight of our trip was Nyathi camp, situated in a private area of the park with massive lodge-style chalets that even had a private splash pool. Spekboom is also incredible, although a much more basic camp with just 5 furnished tents next to a waterhole where the elephants keep you awake at night. Matyholweni is in the far south and is pleasant, although not as spectacular as the other two.
Here are some highlights of our trip:
Find the rest of our pics here.