Holidays to Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Your once in a lifetime opportunity to come face-to-face with one of the earth's most magnificent animals is right here. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa's third-largest, sits just 35 minutes' drive from the sprawling city of Port Elizabeth. Founded in 1931 with just eleven elephants, the park is now home to a thriving community of more than 600, plus many other resident mammal species. If you love nature, Addo Elephant National Park is a truly unmissable experience.

Book a safari with one of the wonderful local guides and sit back, relax and keep an eye out for majestic bull elephants, rhinos and towering ostriches. If you're very lucky, you may spot a lion. Add to that the stunning scenery and tasty on-site restaurant, this is an experience you'll never forget. Top tip: head to the northern and central parts of the park to see the most animals.

Despite its most famous residents, Addo Elephant National Park is actually a renowned breeding ground for two significant bird species. Bird Island is home to hundreds of thousands of gannets, while nearby St Croix island plays host to the world's second-largest breeding colony of African penguins, an endangered species. Jump aboard a trip boat and grab your binoculars to catch of glimpse as they hunt in the waters around the island.

Many visitors stay near Addo Elephant National Park itself, but the nearby city of Port Elizabeth is packed with fascinating sites, and definitely worth a visit. Sun seekers can top up their tans on King's Beach and Hobie Beach, while history buffs have no shortage of landmarks to see. Head off on the Route 67 walking route, dedicated to national hero Nelson Mandela and dotted with public artworks that celebrate the country's heritage and culture.

If the elephants have given you a taste for larger than life nature, grab your camera and take a trip boat from Port Elizabeth for the chance to see magnificent humpback whales, cheeky seals and playful dolphins as you glide through Algoa Bay. Visit between June and early January, when the humpbacks are spotted in larger numbers.

 

Highlights

  • Spot a majestic bull elephant

  • Go bird spotting

  • Feel the buzz in Port Elizabeth

  • Get up close to humpback whales in Algoa Bay

Jody
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I adore Africa and have lived and worked in South Africa as well as travelling across the wider region. Spotting a leopard during a night safari at Nambiti Private Game Reserve is definitely an experience I'll remember forever.

Map of Addo Elephant National Park