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Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
77 posts
72 reviews
Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Hi,

we plan to self-drive through Addo in December. This would be our first self-drive safari and we plan to spend one full day in the park.

Would recommend any tips on what to prepare, where to eat, maybe where to drive/stop in the park.

Any other suggestions that would make the trip great for the kids - appreciated.

Octavian.

14 replies to this topic
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
860 posts
24 reviews
1. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Animals tend to be active early morning and late evening. Start early, preferably as soon as gates open (6am). Have snacks prepared the night before to take with you so you can be out the door as quick as possible.

Drive around the roads and loops in the northern section - around main camp. It's there that you will find some open plains and less vegetation so animals are easier to spot. Check the sighting board in the main camp to see who saw what and where. There is a closed Addo group on fb. Join it and see what people post. Sometimes it's used to post interesting sightings - lions, kills, etc.

By mid morning the heat will intensify, kids will probably be sleeping in the back, so you can return to camp for breakfast and some rest. Head out again in the afternoon and drive around till gate closing time. You may also consider a sunset/night drive which goes out after gates close.

There is a picninc spot halfway through the park though you will need to pack everything as there is no shop there.

Check out the Addo page on sanparks website for maps and other info so you can get an idea of the park layout before you get there.

Boston, MA, USA
Level Contributor
843 posts
117 reviews
2. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Drive slowly,enjoy the sights,and keep both eyes on the road and the bushes.....elephants appear out of nowhere...enjoy

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
4,638 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

eating in the park is very limited, there is the Cattle Barron restaurant in Main camp and snacks can be bought in the shop near Reception.

you will receive a map when you buy your tickets, the elephants hang around the waterholes which are clearly marked on the map.

By the Reception there is a viewing point where we saw herds of elephants all day.

There is a nice information centre near reception where you can see the famous, huge elephant ( I am not sure if it is just a replica)

I don't know the age of your children but if they are in the accepted age it is worth joining an organised Sanparks sunset drive, our ranger managed to find us 2 brother lions and we spent some time with them really, really close up. Although it was very hot when we set off at 5pm it was more than chilly when we finished at 7pm, so take a fleece.

Keep an eye open for dung beetles , they are very entertaining rolling their balls of excrement.

With children it might not be possible to be up and out by 6am but don't worry, we spent 2 days in the park and saw hundreds of elephants at all times of the day .

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
77 posts
72 reviews
4. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

thanks Jean for the comprehensive feedback. I have just checked - the park opens at 7am.

We will eat either at the reception or at the picnic area provided we manage to prepare well in advance for the picnic.

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
77 posts
72 reviews
5. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

thanks for the feedback gem1662016.

the kids are 7, 9 and 11 years old - so they are fine for the guided tours. I have just made an inquiry if we can book the sunset or the night game drive (since we are not staying overnight in Addo) - waiting for their feedback.

the dung beetles - I assume we will see them on the road, just wondering how we avoid them first and them how do we see them up-close - since we will not be exiting the car at any time?

cheers

octavian.

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
860 posts
24 reviews
6. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Drive slowly around them. Sometimes they're crossing the road, give them way. They move quite fast. When they sit still or move along the side of the road you can stop and lean out your window for a closer look or pic.

Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
77 posts
72 reviews
7. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

:) great, thanks!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,845 posts
45 reviews
8. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

Reading this thread with interest as we are visiting Addo next year (hopefully to stay in a rondavel if we can secure one when the bookings open). I see a closed Facebook group mentioned in a post above? Can anyone send me a link to it please?

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
4,638 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

next month, my daughter is staying at Woodall l Country Lodge, just outside of the Main Camp gates. Woodall have made a booking on her behalf for a Sanparks sundowner drive, so ask your accommodation if they could do the same.

I seem to recall reading that anyone staying outside the park can make use of the Sanparks drive as long as the gate staff know you will be exiting the park.

Leigh-on Sea...
Level Contributor
4,638 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Tip for a self-drive in Addo National Park

In terms of a picnic, South African hotel/guesthouse owners are most friendly and helpful and I am sure wherever you are staying will be happy make up a picnic for you.

Although we didn't find the food in general at Cattle Barron to be anything special, their sunrise breakfast was good, so you could do a few hours drive around and have a late breakfast.

Edited: 1:33 pm, October 19, 2017
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