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Addo - Addo Elephant National Park

Addo - Addo Elephant National Park
Credits: www.sanparks.org

Addo Elephant National Park

The sound of the rifle is heard no longer. When, in 1931 the elephant population at Addo had been reduced to just 11 animals, the first steps were taken to proclaim a National Park and a plan to save these incredible grey giants was set in place. Today Addo Elephant National Park in the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape is home to over 450 Addo Elephants.

The howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin's raucous call heralds the end and start of each day in the finely tuned and much loved ecosystem that is today the Addo Elephant National Park, which, when the last pieces of land are added to it will cover over 300,000 hectares.

Alongside the Addo Elephants over 400 Cape buffalo, 50 black rhino, red hartebeest, eland, kudu and bushbuck live in perfect harmony together with Burchell’s Zebra and the ubiquitous Warthog with their tails erect as they flee in alarm when disturbed either by humans or deadly predators.

6 lion and a pack of spotted hyena were introduced to the Addo Elephant Park in 2003 and these incredible animals have been very successful at maintaining the perfect balance of herbivores in the park. 

There is a fairly large Leopard population in the park, but these shy and stealthy hunters are rarely seen. A sharp eye, patience and a good dose of luck may, however, bring reward. 

The rare and unique flightless dung beetle found almost exclusively in Addo is king of the road in Addo, with signs warning visitors that this recycling machine has right of way. The beetles are only seen when conditions are not too hot and not too cold and play an important role in recycling nutrients and helping the growth of thicket vegetation. 

The outlying areas of the park have very different animals to be seen and in the Zuurberg mountain range you will find the Cape mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck, baboons, blue duiker, aardwolf and red rock rabbit. 

There are Hippos in the Sundays River which flows at the base of these mountains. Gemsbok, black wildebeest, springbok, buffalo and black rhino are found in the arid nama-karoo around the Darlington Dam area. 

Finally, the coastal forest is home to bushbuck, bushpig, brown hyena and the rare tree dassie. 

Addo Elephant National Park is a Malaria Free area and home to the big 5. It is an ideal destination for those who wish to enjoy the vast African Outdoor Experience. 

Birding at Addo Elephant National Park.
Directions to Addo Elephant National Park

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Company: SA National Parks
Telephone: 042 233 8600

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