23 May 5 Reasons to Visit Addo Elephant Park
It may come as a little surprise but even though I have been living in PE for the last 12 years, I have never ever been to Addo Elephant Park. Two weeks ago, we found ourselves in Alicedale for Mother’s Day and didn’t have much to do, so we decided to spend the afternoon driving around Addo and boy, did it exceed my expectations. So here are some photos from our trip PLUS 5 reasons why you should visit the park, for yourself!
1. It’s incredible value for money
We spent R180 to enter the park for our family of 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant. After our first elephant encounter, I was already quite happy and felt that it was well-worth the money spent, but 4 hours later, 6 or 7 elephant encounters, countless zebras, warthogs, buck, two silver-back jackals, ostriches, a yellow mongoose and even a dung beetle, we were elated with just how much we got to see in such a short time.
2. You get to see so many animals – SO many!
The highlight of the day was seeing elephants 5 metres or even closer, from the car. In fact, there are about 600 elephants in the park and when you see them, you’ll be in awe of how majestic and interesting they are to watch. The park is home to the big five, and while I would have loved to have seen more, the close interactions with elephants really made my Mother’s Day. It was actually sort of funny; we’d be driving and the next thing, there’s a baby elephant right next to the car, checking us out while chewing some fresh greens. Darren had never seen a dung beetle before and made it his mission to spot one. Luckily, right toward the end of our visit, we saw this little dude walking around Zuurkop.
3. The park is huge
We spent 4 hours at the park, and I’d be lying if I said we saw a quarter of it. It is freakin’ huge, which is great because you see and experience wildlife in their natural habitat, free and enjoying the different types of terrain. Oh, did I mention, the park extends and includes the ocean? I think that’s pretty unique! You might even get to see some penguins, sharks, whales and dolphins. Of course, this was not part of the area we explored, but man… I am keen to see it for myself!
4. Our itty-bitty hatchback can manage the roads – easily!
We always take someone else’s car when visiting parks, simply because the terrain isn’t ideal for our hatchback but already being in Alicedale, we thought we’d just wing it and hope for the best. Much to our relief, the roads are mostly tarred and in some places gravel, but it was a breeze zipping around the park.
5. The facilities are well maintained
I love that Addo has done whatever they can to preserve the natural state of the park. I only had the chance of seeing the tents and braai facilities but was truly impressed with how everything fits in beautifully, with trees, bushes and flowers growing around the buildings as if it was always just part of the natural environment. The facilities were clean, accommodating and they even have a no-rubbish policy.
Have you been to Addo Elephant Park yet? I am already planning our next trip and will hopefully be making a full day of it. Maybe one day, we’ll even stay at one of the many accommodations found inside the park so that we can wake up to the sound of roaring lions! How cool.