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Things to do in Addo Elephant National Park over the holidays

Dec 14, 2017
Things to do in Addo Elephant National Park over the holidays

People often ask 'Besides looking at elephants, what else is there to do in Addo Elephant National Park?'  While elephants are what the Park is most well-known for, this is only the beginning of an adventure which often requires more than one day to explore in its entirety.

Game and bird viewing takes on many forms here – the most economical of which is taking a self-drive through the Park.  There are more than 120km of tourists roads available to explore, all of which are suitable for most vehicles while searching for the Big 5. 

Alternatively, hire a trained hop-on guide to accompany you and your family and/or friends in the comfort of your own vehicle, as he directs you to the best viewing spots and animal encounters while he waxes lyrical about the Park’s fauna and flora.  For a more relaxed and elevated view of the Park, though, a choice of six guided game drives throughout the course of the day leaves guests already planning their next visit. 

For the more adventurous, participate in a guided horse trail – either in the Big 5 Nyathi section of the Park or along the Zuurberg mountain range, which offers expansive views of the Park and Sundays River Valley below.  Both provide the chance of coming across various animals while on horseback. 

While at Zuurberg, guests may also want to explore the area on foot by taking to either the one or three hour hiking trails.  Additional walks and hikes are available in the Park’s Woody Cape section near the town of Alexandria.  A myriad of short trails are available in the lush Alexandria Forest, or for something more challenging, why not try the two-day, 32km Alexandria Hiking Trail? 

Off-road enthusiasts may want to explore the Park’s more rugged terrain along the Bedrogfontein 4x4 trail.   The 45km route is graded 2-3 and can be easily travelled within six hours, starting from the Kabouga section of the Park outside the town of Kirkwood, all the way to Darlington Dam in the north.

Other activities available include the PPC Discovery Trail, a short walk in the main camp with one loop suitable for wheelchair users and visually-impaired visitors.  The Sasol red bishop bird hide, floodlit waterhole and underground viewing hide are all suitable for wheelchair-users. 

Picnic and braai sites at main camp and in the botanical reserve at Jack's Picnic site off the southern access road are always very popular over the holidays, so it’s best to get there early.  The restaurant, curio shop and interpretive centre at main camp are also must-see’s during any visit to the Park.

Conservation/entry fees are R68 per adult and R34 per child per day and some activities may be cancelled due to bad weather.  For further information please contact the Park directly on 042 233 8600 or visit www.sanparks.org/parks/addo