national park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

The Addo Elephant National Park (pronounced Ahh-Dow) is in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa and is one of the country's larger parks.

Entrance to the Addo Elephant National Park





In the park's early years, during times of drought (and before the waterholes were artificially kept full) the park keepers fed the elephants on oranges from the local orange groves. Gradually the elephants became addicted to the taste of the fruit! This practice stopped along time ago, but the older elephants still remember the smell and have been known to reach into vehicles and get their favourite fruit!



Flora and fauna


Rules of the road

The flightless dung beetle is a protected species in the park and have right of way. Please do not drive over or step on them.

The park has elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Cape Buffalo, lion and leopard on land. In the Marine reserve you will find dolphin, whales (southern right) and penguins.



Due to its terrain, Addo stays at a comfortable 27-30°C throughout the winter.

Get in


Addo NP is about 70 km north-east from Port Elizabeth. There is no public transport to or within the park so you need your own car (car rental is available in Port Elizabeth). Or book an organized tour but going on your own pace is really the best option. The park can be visited on a day-trip from Port Elizabeth.

On the road you might notice signs to the 'Addo Olifant Nasionale Park'. These signs are the old Afrikaans version of the more modern road signs.

The rangers will do a quick search of your car when you enter and leave the park to make sure no firearms or animals are brought in/out.



Valid to 31 October 2017:

  • South African citizens and residents (with ID): R62 per adult, R31 per child, per day
  • SADC nationals (with passport): R124 per adult, R62 per child, per day
  • Foreign visitors: R248 per adult, R124 per child, per day

Get around


The well-kept tar and dirt road within the park can be driven with any vehicle, 4x4 is not required. Be sure to fill up your car with gas before you enter: The park is big and there are no fuel stations inside.

Games drives are available starting from the main camp at R240 per person and two hour horse trails at R245.

See & do

Elephant at the Hampoor Dam

The park is famous for its elephant population that has a special, brownish skin colour due to the red soil. Amongst the elephants other animals, like ostriches, different antelopes and warthogs can be seen. As part of the park's expansion, a group of lions and a group of spotted hyenas were introduced to the park in 2004.

A viewpoint and underground hide overlooking a watering hole is located in the main camp and can be used after vehicle access closing time to the game viewing area.

Eat & drink


There is a restaurant and shop at the main camp, near park's entrance.

A fenced off picnic area with undercover seating, barbecue grills, water and toilet facilities is located near Hapoor Dam. No refuse bins are provided at the picnic area; you are required to take out everything you bring into the area.



Inside the park

Spekboom tented camp

There are 3 camps in Addo, the Main Camp in the north east near the town of Addo, with an entrance to the R342, Spekboom hide & tented camp approximately 11 km south of the main camp and the much smaller Camp Matyholweni, in the south at the Colchester entrance to the park on the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. Main Camp boasts a restaurant, camping facilities and a number of chalets for overnight stays. Camp Matyholweniare has only chalets while Spekboom offers five secluded two-person tents with braai facilities.

Tent and caravan sites from R300, safari tents from R815, cabins from R930, rondavels and cottages from R1500 (2017).

Outside the park


There are over 70 listed places of accommodation in the area surrounding the Addo Elephant Park. These range in price from R50 for camping to R350 per room for basic backpackers accommodation, or self-catering to many exclusive game lodges and a great number of bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses. Prices go up to R5000 per person sharing at the more exclusive resorts, but there are many facilities priced in the R250-500 price range. For more information contact the reception at the park or the backpackers info centre at the Orange Elephant, who have a file containing telephone numbers and prices.

Stay safe

Sign at the Zuurkop lookout point

Stay in your car at all times, except where specifically permitted to leave your vehicle. At some of the unfenced lookout points one is allowed to exit your vehicle, but do so with care and only after ensuring that there are no animals around.

Do not carry any citrus fruit in your car, the elephants have developed an addiction for the fruit and will search it out!

Go next

This park travel guide to Addo Elephant National Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.