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“Fantastic Rondavels Overlooking the Watering Hole”
Review of Addo Rest Camp

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Addo Rest Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Fantastic Rondavels Overlooking the Watering Hole”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

There are many different accommodation types at Addo Main Camp. We chose the rondavels which have a view over a watering hole for our 2 night stay and we were absolutely delighted with our choice. Upon our arrival, there was a youngish elephant drinking at the watering hole. He soon became sleepy and laid down for a nap, something I have never seen an elephant do. Over the 2 days we also saw a black-backed jackal, black rhino, warthogs, kudu, birds and many more elephant at the watering hole. We observed many beautiful birds including African hoopoes and sunbirds directly in front of the rondavel as well. I really wish we had spent more time at Addo as I would have loved to sit and enjoy the view for hours on end.

The rondavels have their own private bathroom and a terrace with table and chairs as well as a fridge. A private braai is located just off the terrace. The kitchen is shared among the 6 rondavels. Each rondavel has its own separate cooking hot plate and a cabinet with all needed cooking utensils. The only part that is shared is the sink area. The kitchen is located right behind the rondavels so it is quite convenient and also allows the chance to chat with others.

Addo is a large, well-equipped camp but it never felt crowded. We tried the restaurant for lunch one day which was quite good (better than what we had in Kruger) and there are some vegetarian options as well. The shop is well stocked and had a good selection of food and wine, certainly enough to compose a meal. There is a swimming pool but as it was winter it was way too cold for us to partake. There is a bird hide inside the camp which was fun to sit and relax a bit. There is also a hide to observe the watering hole; however the view was actually better from our rondavel. We also did the the trail walk inside the camp which has a good deal of posted information to learn a bit about the native plants.

The game viewing in the park was excellent, better than expected. I was initially hesitant to visit the park as we had been to Kruger the previous year and I was afraid of disappointment; this was completely unfounded. It may not be Kruger, but I found Addo to be a very special and beautiful park. We experienced many wonderful sightings including black rhino, many birds (secretary birds, spotted eagle owl, ostrich, lots of raptors and much more), a lion (as we knew there are only 9 in the park, we did not expect to see any at all so this was a great surprise), eland, red hartebeest, flightless dung beetle and of course elephants everywhere. Our first afternoon out on safari we were blocked on the road by a huge old tusker and ended up locked out of camp (along with 2 other vehicles). Someone telephoned the guard and he let us all back in but wasn’t too happy with us. We made sure to be on time the next evening.

We absolutely enjoyed our stay at Addo and can’t wait to return someday. I highly recommend this camp, 2 days is really a minimum, I would return for a bit longer next time.

Room Tip: Rondavel #3 has a great unobstructed view of the watering hole
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank CapePenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
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Fintry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

This was the highlight of our trip to South Africa.We stayed 2 nights in Roundavel 5 which overlooked a floodlt waterhole.The accomodation was excellent.We ate both nights in the on site restaurant and had 2 superb meals.T.Bone steaks to die for !! Bill including drinks was moderately priced and certainly not over the top.Will definately return on next visit to S.A.On our 3 self propelled drives through the park we saw very many animals in their own habitat which was truly wonderful

Room Tip: The roundavels were excellent but other accomodation was equally as good
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank KENNETH B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The accommodation that I was assigned to; the Rondavel overlooking the waterhole at the main rest camp seemed very alluring in photographs I viewed on the internet. My main grouse with this accommodation is three-fold. There is no attention to critical detail. No soap was provided in my room for the duration of my stay there. The policy of not changing bedding daily and the appearance of the bed sheets leaves one with misgivings about whether they were washed after the last guests had left. The smell of the water is most unpleasant especially when showering- but I guess that the park administrators have little say over this aspect. The room was minimally decorated and bore severe signs of ageing. The bath and toilet facilities were minimal and cramped. In any eventone is forced to spend as little a time as possible under the shower given the quality of the water used in the park. Sanparks pleads with its guests to save water-"a valuable resource"- granted- but this should not be an excuse to compromise on the cleanliness of the room and on items like changing bedsheets and providing a clean set of towels daily. Nor should Sanparks rest glibly in the knowledge that guests appreciate being accommodated in the park itself and awakening to the activities of the park rather than finding rooms outside of the park. Attention is required.

Room Tip: Ask foir the rondavel as this overlooks the watering hole which is floodlit at night
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
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1 Thank Bhoops2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

You still need to pay your conservation fees but staying in the park offers a back to nature authentic opportunity to hear the sounds of nature at night e.g. Spine chilling hyena calls.The accommodation is rustic rather an luxury (other than the 2 guest houses which are fab) but to me offers a more credible experience. I stayed in both a rondavel and chalet. The former is small requires use of a communal kitchen if self-catering but has a fridge, coffee making facilities and lovely verandah with a superb view over a floodlit water hole which makes it very sought after! (only 6 units) It was spotlessly clean but lacked toilet soap which was available on request (but should have been available) the chalets are more modern and spacious with space to entertain.

Room Tip: No's 35 and 36 are alongside the fence with a great view over the waterhole. My current favourit...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ChirpyCherril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We stayed in a cottage on the rest camp, which is actually within the Elephant Park itself, only a couple of minutes from the gate into the massive Game Area itself. Staying on the camp itself also includes your conservation fees and permit charges.

The facilities in the cottages are basic, but very good value - comfy beds, nice shower, private braai area, deck with table and chairs, satellite tv, and kept very clean by the housekeeping staff who visit daily.

If you plan on self-catering, I'd recommend stocking up with food before getting to Addo, as there seemed to be very little choice in Addo town itself, while the on-camp shop has a limited range. If you're coming from Port Elizabeth, it's only an hour's drive, so things like meat and milk are unlikely to go off if kept out of the sun and well wrapped, or better still, in a coolbox/coolbag.

It's entirely possible to self-cater and not be dependent on the camp refectory which can be a bit hit-and-miss - but then again, if you want gourmet food and 5-star lodgings, you'll be spending the R6000 a night to stay at Gorah!

If you need Internet access, the 3G coverage on the rest camp seemed fairly decent, but could be slow at times.

If you're coming as a group, the two guest houses (Hapoor and Domkrag) look like a fantastic deal, and if you'd like to try something adventurous, it's possible to stay in the Spekboom secure tented camp, sleeping right in the middle of the Game Area!

My partner left her iPad and a washbag in the cottage by accident when we left. They had been collected by the housekeeping staff and handed in to the duty manager for safekeeping. Fortunately we didn't get that far down the road before we realised, and could turn around to collect them!

Well done Sanparks.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mike-smashing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
52 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

What an experience ! It was so much fun to stay in one of the safari tents with a view of the outskirts of the Addo elephant park. The tent was a more of a cabin, which was cleaner and better equipped than I expected with a fridge & braai (communal bathrooms and a communal kitchen). We loved eating on our terrace and watching the animals in the park while the sun went down. The toads were extremely noisy ALL night which just added to the adventure (so you might want to bring earplugs)!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank stinaandjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset Village, Bermuda
Level Contributor
367 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have used this Rest Camp several times & always try to book a rondavel in front of water hole.....we find the accommodations more than adequate & good value......aircon in rondavel, bbq (braai) area outside, fridge freezer & wine glasses provided .....what else do you want?

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank WishIWasSailing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Addo Rest Camp

Property: Addo Rest Camp
Address: 36 km From Matyholweni Gate, Addo Elephant National Park 6105, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Greater Addo > Addo Elephant National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Addo Elephant National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Addo Rest Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Also Known As:
Addo Park Rest Camp Hotel Addo Elephant National Park

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