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Addo Elephant ParkMap

Addo Elephant National Park is in a malaria free area and is conveniently located at the end of the Garden Route. It is being extended to reach the coast and include a marine sanctuary.

Addo Elephant Park

The original Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area - today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, lion, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in this region. The Addo Elephant Park is being increased from its present 164 000ha to 360 000ha, reaching as far as the Indian Ocean. This expansion is transforming Addo into the ultimate tourism destination.

Some of its unique features already include:

  • Unrivalled natural diversity, with five of South Africa's seven major vegetation zones (biomes).
  • The Big 7 (Elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, whales and great white sharks) in their natural habitat. Rich heritage of archaeological and historical sites.
  • Malaria Free
  • A wide variety of accommodation and activity options.
  • There are also plans to proclaim a 120 000 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins.

The Addo Elephant Park is also surrounded by superb private game reserves, providing a larger wilderness area and acting as a buffer to the park. The private reserves include Shamwari Game Reserve, Lalibela Game Reserve, Samara Game Reserve and Kwandwe Game Reserve. There are also a number of other smaller private farms and reserves in the area.

Routes to the Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park is one of the most popular National Parks in South Africa, mostly due to the fact that it is malaria free and well located to other tourist attractions. The Park lies at the northern end of the Garden Route, making it a perfect add on to a self-drive trip from Cape Town through the Garden Route and ending in the National Park or one of the private reserves. Here are some route suggestions:

Route 62: This route travels from Cape Town along the scenic Route 62 and the Garden Route to Addo Elephant Park.
N2 from Addo to Cape Town: Direct N2 route from Addo Elephant Park to Cape Town. This is the quickest self-drive route between these two destinations.
Garden Route report: Two of our travel consultants visited the Garden Route and Game Reserves of the Eastern Cape

...more Addo Safari Routes.

Game Viewing in Addo Elephant Park

As the name suggests, elephants were the original reason the Addo Park was established. The population is thriving in the increasing conservation area. Black-backed jackal are commonly seen. Cape buffalo, black rhino, kudu, eland, red hartebeest and springbok all graze on their preferred grasses or bushes. There are also allusive leopard. Recently, lion were re-introduced into the area to complete the 'Big Five'. The notable exception to the plains animals is the giraffe. Giraffe never roamed this part of Africa and hence then have not been introduced in the Addo. In addition, with the park now stretching to the shores of the Indian Ocean, whales and dolphins form a fantastic new addition to the game viewing opportunities. Addo also has very good bird life that take advantage of the diverse habitats. Of particular note are martial and crowned eagles, olive bush shrikes, yellow-throated warblers, Cape batis, black korhaan and secretary birds.

Featured Addo Elephant Park safari lodge maps

Bushmans River Lodge map, Shamwari: Bushmans River Lodge is a beautifully restored victorian homestead in malaria free Shamwari Game Reserve
Bayethe Tented Camp map, Shamwari: Bayethe Lodge offers the ultimate in luxury, tented accommodation
Eagles Crag Lodge map, Shamwari: Eagles Crag Lodge is a luxurious thatch, stone and glass lodge in the Shamwari Game Reserve
Gorah Elephant Camp map: Gorah is a premier lodge set in the heart of the Addo in a private concession
Karoo Lodge map, Samara Game Reserve: The Karoo Lodge combines colonial comforts with rugged Africa.
Lobengula Lodge map, Shamwari: Lobengula Lodge is a truly traditional African experience in a malaria free safari region
Long Lee Manor map, Shamwari: Long Lee Manor, originally built in 1910, offers a distinctive Colonial experience
Riverdene map, Shamwari: Riverdene Lodge is an African colonial lodge in the malaria free Shamwari Game Reserve
Camp Fig Tree Lodge map: Camp Fig Tree is in a private game reserve on top of the stunning Zuurberg Mountain range
Elephant House map: The Elephant House is an exclusive 8 bedroom lodge situated near the Addo Elephant National Park in the sun-drenched Sundays River Valley
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge map, Kwandwe Game Reserve: Innovative, stylish and intimate, Kwandwe Ecca Lodge embodies a 'funk-meets-futuristic-farmhouse' ambience, and features just six intimate suites with spacious living areas and en suite bathrooms.
Kwandwe Main Lodge map, Kwandwe Game Reserve: Overlooking the wide and winding Fish River, the Kwandwe Lodge is masterfully contoured to blend with the magnificent landscape.
Lalibela Lentaba Lodge map: Lalibela Lentaba Lodge is in malaria free Lalibela Game Reserve
River Bend Lodge map: River Bend Lodge is situated in a malaria free area in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa just an hours drive from the coastal town of Port Elizabeth

Private Game Reserves

Shamwari Game Reserve:
Shamwari Game Reserve is a 25 000 hectares (61 000 acres) private reserve situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is located very close to the Addo Elephant Park and has received numerous international awards, including the Worlds Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve for five consecutive years. It is situated in verdant bush along the Bushmans River, halfway between Port Elizabeth (45 minutes drive outside the city) and Grahamstown, a pleasant drive from Cape Town, forming a natural extension to the famous Garden Route. Shamwari is about conserving a vanishing way of life. Steeped in Settler history, and dating back to the time when a multitude of game roamed wild and free, the reserve boasts five eco-systems, thus enabling the support of many forms of plant, animal and bird life. This is the ultimate African adventure and conservation effort coupled with responsible tourism.

Kwandwe Game Reserve:
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve lies in the heart of malaria-free Eastern Cape near Grahamstown. A victory for far-sighted conservation, 20 000 hectares (49 000 acres) of farmland in the Great Fish River region were restored and restocked with African wildlife. Today, thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo and elephant roam this diverse and fascinating reserve. It is also a short drive from the Addo Elephant Park.

Lalibela Game Reserve:
Lalibela Game reserve is located in the Eastern Cape which means it is not only malaria-free, but spans five ecosystems, resulting in a breath-taking diversity of flora and fauna. Lalibela Game Reserve now consists of 7,500 hectares (approximately 18,500 acres) and is home to the Big 5 (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo & leopard). Lalibela is unique in the Eastern Cape in that we have no public roads running through the reserve. All of the animals, including the predators, are free-roaming throughout the entire reserve. Wild dogs were also released into the reserve in 2006.

Samara Private Game Reserve:
Samara Game Reserve is a 70000 acre malaria free reserve in the Greater Karoo.

Nearby areas:
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