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“If you're going to Addo make sure you stay at the Rest Camp!”
Review of Addo Rest Camp

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Addo Rest Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, UK
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“If you're going to Addo make sure you stay at the Rest Camp!”
Reviewed May 25, 2009

We stayed in Rondavel number 3 which was really well located with views over a waterhole (although there weren't many visitors to it when we were there; still it was a very nice view!). The Rondavel's are great with BBQ, elevated terrace, outdoor fridge (a bonus as it doesn't buzz away whilst you're trying to sleep) and communal cooking hut; but they could do with a little updating, particularly the shower room. They are a minute's walk from reception/shop/restaurant/game drives so very convenient. The real benefit of staying in the Rest Camp is that you are able to access the game area before the main gate opens - a half hour earlier in May, so before sunrise - we saw loads of wildlife at this time.

We were really disappointed with the Game Drives. The Guides are totally unenthusiastic both before and during the drives. They discourage bookings, change policies to suit themselves and offer nothing more than the information available in the pack provided in your accommodation - the worst customer service we experienced in South Africa! For these reasons we would recommend driving yourself.

Further info. on Game Drives:
We tried to go on a Night Drive which accesses the game area after other visitors have left, but they point blank did not want to do this drive on the two days we tried - the 2nd time they came up with a new policy that they need a minimum number of bookings (despite us having seen only two people on an earlier drive that day). Very disappointing.

On our first day we did book on a Sunrise Drive at 7am with Jonathon. We really think this should have taken place earlier i.e. at 6.30 at the latest when the game gate opened as it was pretty much light by 7am. Jonathon was totally unenthusiastic offering limited commentary throughout, and when he did say something it was straight out of the information pack, so totally uninsightful!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LadyBManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bristol
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2009

We rented a chalet, just for one night, and regretted not staying longer.

From the moment of arriving at the barrier at the the entrance to the park, everyone was super friendly and helpful. Our chalet, a semi-detached building with an open plan living area, bathroom and most importantly, stoep over looking the park, was clean and very comfortable. On our arrival a large herd of elephants were grazing about 50m away.

The facilities of the rest of the camp are great, a very serviceable restaurant offering good value meals, a swimming pool, bird hide, game hide, and the oppostunity to go on game drives with experienced guides. Incredible value.

You must go here if it is at all possible.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank richparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
352 reviews
160 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 553 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2008

We came across the Addo Rest Camp accommodation on the SanParks website. After coming to terms with how expensive accommodation is in the private reserves in SA, it was wonderful to find high quality but beudget-priced accommodation at Addo. Check-in was smooth and professional and we were directed to our 1-bed cottage. I was expecting something clean but basic, but was literally amazed to see how well equipped and furnished the cottage was.

We had our own driveway just outside the front door, which was ideal for unloading our luggage from our truck. Inside, there was a well equipped kitchen with 2 hotplates, a fridge and microwave. A reasonable range of cooking utensils was also provided (although not unfortunately any tongs for the braai - fortunately the shop in the village sells them). The bed (actually 2 singles pushed together) was very comfortable.

Our cottage had a verandah off the main room with a rustic wooden table and 2 chairs, perfect for breakfast and eating out in the evening. Round the side of the cottage was a separate barbecue area, which was fine, but it would have been slightly more convenient to have the BBQ next to where we were eating on the verandah, like they do at the Matyholweni cottages.

Being inside the park gives you the opportunity to drive into the reserve at opening time (6am when we were there). This proved to be a great time to see the animals and we saw over 15 different species up close including a herd of eles compete with calf, before going back to the cottage for a hot shower and breakfast. We will definitely stay here again, its fantastic value for money.

  • Liked — Barbecuing on the verandah under the stars
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Gordon2112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, UK
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2008

Our party of six arrived having booked one night (the website said they were full the following night) but staff managed to change things so we could stay two nights. We're all glad they were so helpful. Sure, the accommodation is basic. What can you expect for the price? Where else can you sit on your veranda and watch elephants parading past for that amount of money? Hear jackals at close range? See a tortoise swimming (well, nearly!). You can listen to the sounds and feel part of it all. Going with the night safari gives a completely different perspective than self driving during the day, we followed a free ranging lion for quite a time and he didn't seem bothered! We've been before and I have a feeling we will be visiting again.

  • Liked — The situation of our semi overlooking the park
  • Disliked — Nothing - we knew what we were expecting having been before
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Halletwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S.Wales UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 29, 2008

Well what can I say. My boyfriend & I stayed in Addo in Jan and it was just wonderful. The 1st two nights we slept in a safari tent which was as it says a canvas tent which overlooked the national park where we saw numerous animals from our veranda. The tent itself was basic but was a great way to get the 'safari feel'. There are fridges in the tents which was a great help for drinks etc. The last night we stayed in a cottage on the other side of the park at matholweni. This was unbelieveable! A gorgeous wooden cottage all to yourself for just £40! We went on a 2 hour horse ride through the park which was brilliant, so lovely to see the animals without having a engine running! The guided game drives are brill. The guides are very entertaining and have great knowledge. The sunse drive was the best for us-we saw many more animals, however dress warm for this drive. We took blankets! You can also drive yourself through and this is how we found two male lions sleeping right next to the road!! I would highly recommend this park Just an amazing time.

  • Liked — clean, new
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trevnem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester, uk
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2008

This was an absolutely fabulous stay - one of the best we've ever had anywhere - which left us wishing we'd booked it for longer.

We stayed in a Rondavel (a round hut, with concrete walls and thatched roof) which was cosy, comfortable (a/c + en suite + kettle) and reasonably private. There is also shared cooking facilities with the the other Rondavels - which proved to be a very sociable way of meeting other guests. (One said that the standard of accamodation at Addo was the best they'd found in Sanparks). Best of all was our personal terrace - with a brai - overlooks not only the floodlit waterhole, but also a lawned area which attracts birds and mammals (e.g. mongoose, monkeys) throughout the day. The highlight was having a beer one (dark) early evening whilst a herd of elephants trooped up to the water hole and socialised.

The camp restaurant provides adequate, if unexciting, meals and basic supplies can be brought at the shop. However, if you have a Rondavel (or cottage) it's definitely worth bringing supplies, especially of fruit and veg.

We only did one game drive - the nighttime one, which I recommend (a close up of a beautiful owl was a highlight) - as (contrary to what's said below) the others don't have access to either times or locatisn that can't be reached in a car. So we drove ourselves and saw lots of wildlife - including lions (a scary 4 metres from the dominant male as we only saw him as we were parking!), scores of elephants, buffalo, kudu and similar grazers, ostriches, jackals, turtles and many species of bird. Partly luck, of course, but also tactics - we studied the map of previous day's sitings in the camp and headed out to the best 'prospects' very early (we were first in the park the day we saw the lions and therefore had them to ourselves for 20 minutes, before the sunrise game drive arrived - they also head for the sightings!). The lions change their territory through the year but for the record we saw them at the Marion waterhole. Later in the day we'd 'stake out' the waterholes and watch a procession of animals coming to drink - although we found that the best of these was actually the one at the rest camp, which our Rondavel overlooked. (Note that the elephants tend to congregate at waterholes in the middle of the day, especially when it's hot).

Two other odd things - 1) there are very close up views of the park waterhole from the underground hide, so if you see elephants etc from your accommodation it's worth getting down there quickly for close up looks and photos (NB the elephants tend to linger for a few minutes), 2) you can get extra wildlife viewing time in the park by not entering via Addo town but using the southern gate (from Colchester) - this road passes the Marion waterhole mentioned above.

  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheKoolKestrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
217 reviews
199 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2008

Other than airport hotels, Addo was our last stay of our 7 week trip. We had already spent 6 nights in Kruger, been to Pilanesburg, plus spent 3 nights at Etosha Nat. Park in Namibia. Neither of us were quite sure of what to expect. Was this going to be as fantastic an experience as the others? What would the Nat. Park facilities be like?

Well Addo did not disappoint on any level. We stayed in the family chalet #16 for 2 nights and to say it was spacious given that there were only the two of us, is understating. In addition to the two photos that I've posted there was also a separate bedroom that is not shown. The accommodations were clean and tremendous value and would be even more so if you came with a family. The bed in the bedroom had a better mattress. We never slept on the bed in the main room but the mattress looked worn. The kitchen was well equipped. But bring food supplies before you arrive at Addo. We chose the restaurant for our meals, but enjoyed the terrace immensely with a glass of wine while watching elephants make their way to the waterhole.

We self drove at Addo and we loved it. Addo does not have the variety of animals that other parks have. So if you're hoping/expecting to see lions, leopards, rhino or giraffes you will be disappointed. However if you love elephants along with various antelope, zebra, ostrich, and smaller animals as we do, you will very much enjoy Addo. The website indicates that they have lion, rhino and cape buffalo but in four self drives we never saw any. You might be luckier.

The restaurant was reasonably priced and provided very good dinners. We would definitely return to Addo and would recommend it.

  • Liked — Clean, spacious, quiet and private location in the camp
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank flymeaway2
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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