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“Review of Addo Elephant park”

Addo Elephant National Park
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Private Addo Elephant National Park Day Tour from Port Elizabeth
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Review of Addo Elephant park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2012

First of all Addo is a national park, not a game reserve, so if your expecting to see giraffes, hippo, cheetah and herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain, don't go to Addo!!!
Right now I've got that out of the way :) I loved my 4 days at Addo, I stayed for 2 nights in the safari tents at the main rest camp, and 2 nights at the Spekboom camp, the safari tent was clean comfortable and overlooked a floodlight waterhole, would definitely book one again, on my first night there I ate at the restaurant, food was lovely and very reasonably priced, then retired to my tent with a bottle of wine to watch the wildlife.
The next two nights I was at the Spekboom site (I was late booking and couldn't get 2 nights back to back at the safari tent, book early!!) the tent was comfortable, each tent has its own braai and there is a communal kitchen with gas hobs and a fridge, the showers at Spekboom need attention, one door didn't close properly as the wood had swollen and the other shower leaked so much I barely got a trickle on me, Iiked spekboom, but don't think I would stay there again, it does have its own waterhole which you get exclusive access to then the park is closed though.

Right on to the wildlife Addo is home to the 'big 7' however this claim is a bit tenious, the marine reserve sight is poorly signposted and I gave up trying to find it, there are only 9 lions in the whole park and only a few leopards (2-3 I was told) so they are almost impossible to find, in 4 days driving round for upto 10 hours a day for 3 of those days I saw 3 lions.....!!
However most people got to Addo for the elephants, and boy of boy they did not disappoint, I spent many happy hours parked up in my hire car watching the elephants :) they wander past the cars literally within touching distance (I had one knock my wing mirror!) I only felt unsafe once amongst the elephants, when whilst driving to spekboom I encountered a solitary bull elephant in musth (hormanal state making them unpredictable and potentially aggressive) I just had to pull up on the side of the road and hope he didn't attack the car, thankfully he was more intent on getting his nuts wet :o)
I was lucky enough to see 2 black rhino as well, including one magical moonlit sighting that i'll never forget, and one that was just having a doze in undergrowth literally at the side of the road, I'm not giving away exact locations though as poaching is ripe in SA.
Other notable wildlife spots for me were water buffalo, jackal, meerkat, caracal, yellow mongoose, eland (only found in the southern section, also best place to see the leopards apparently!) you will however be sick of the sight of warthog, kudu, zebra and hartebeest if you stay for a few days like I did.

As already mentioned I self-drove in a hire car, this meant I was able to pull up and watch the animals I wanted to see, and in some cases just park up at one of the many waterholes for an hour and watch the wildlife come to me, I would do this again as and when I return to Addo, then only downside is that there are tracks that only the safari trucks can go down, so this improves the chances of seeing some species, I would perhaps do one game drive and a night drive in the future!

The shop facilities I thought were pretty good, a range of souvenirs, wide range of food and drinks, only niggle is all the meats the sell are frozen, so you have to buy them in advance to allow them to thaw prior to cooking, and their range of fruit and vegetables is sparse, so shop in advance, or enjoy a largely carnivorous diet like I did :)

You really do need spend a couple of days at addo to get the best out of it, I saw many many people just drive round at the 40km speed limit, these are probably the ones that are in and out of the park within a few hours, then moan that they didn't see anything!!

If you want to see the big 5 there are better places to go then Addo, but when it comes to elephants there is nowhere like it in the world!

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Nick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Beautifull views!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2012

The landscape is very nice, but because of the bush is difficult to spot animals. Only when the animals cross the roads you have good views or at the open terrain.

Visited October 2012
Thank vderik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canmore, Canada
Level Contributor
133 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Mini Safari”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

This is an national park/reserve in which you are allowed to self drive on a mini safari. The front gate gives you an animal recognition chart and a map and you are then free to drive on the mostly unpaved roads through the park. You are not allowed to get out of your car except at designated areas. During our one day visit we saw any number of animals including two female lions just sleeping near the road. There is no real need to find game as all you have to do is head to where other vehicles are stopped and sure enough they wil be viewing some sort of animal.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Don R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Colchester Gate Entrance”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

We where given a good tip on our resent visit to Addo Elephant Park - GO IN AT THE COLCHESTER GATE !! you get to drive through the park to the main gate area - so you see so much more off the park , we saw lots of wild life and scenery as we drove and there are several routes to drive and a water hole . We also went on a night drive which was great made by extra special by the guide who was great ! Not so inpressed by the food at the main restaurant or the staff/service very indiffrent to us .
But all together a wonerful experince loved it !

Visited October 2012
3 Thank harktobounty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great to see elephants!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

We had to look for them for like 30 minutes, but we found a 25 elephant family! The get very close to the van, but seem to be used to it, and aren't agressive at all. The shop had many options of gifts at reasonable prices

Visited October 2012
Thank Ve-A_O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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