Log In Join Us

Addo Elephant National Park reviews

6 reviews

“Addo is bigger, cheaper and has more animals than the private game reserves of the Garden Route. It offers a genuine safari experience” - Stephen Bailey

More than justifying the name...

Views: 789 Visited: May 2013 Reviewed: Aug 26, 2013

Entering just after sunrise the park was shrouded in a blanket of mist. Numerous kudu and zebra stood watchful beside the road, while the omnipresent warthogs continually scurried off into the grass. The mist gave the park a mystical feel and as the blanket gradually lifted and we saw our first herd, 70-80 elephants playing, eating, interacting, all just metres from the truck. Within three hours we'd seen another four giant herds; at waterholes, in the trees, and on open plains. In every herd there were continual shows of power, young bulls pressing their claim and older males putting them in their place.

You can self drive through Addo National Park and the roads are excellent, but without a game driver you're missing a trick. Our safari truck went off-road, into a “private” area the rangers were using to introduce new lions to the park. Two lions were feeding on a carcass, the kind of quintessential sight everyone hopes for when coming to Africa. In a short space of time we saw South Africa's entire collection of antelope species, and a lot of buffalo. However, the day belonged to the elephants, the park more than justifying its name and giving the chance to not only see wild elephants, but admire them interacting.

Addo may not be the biggest park, and it doesn't have the big 5, but its compactness and proximity to the Garden Route make it the perfect introduction to African safaris for many travellers. It's accessible, very affordable, and a great chance for people with limited time to experience an authentic safari. The Garden Route has numerous private game reserves clambering for travellers' attention. Avoid them. Addo is bigger, cheaper, has more animals, and offers a genuine safari experience.

Quality of wildlife
Quality of lodging
Overall rating

* Crowded parks have a lower rating

Like this review?

Go on, give it a kudu!

11 People gave this
review kudus.
See all reviews for Addo Elephant

Stephen Bailey saw these animals

Stephen Bailey did these activities

Shortlisted tour operators: Operators: 1 You can shortlist up to 10 tour operators Up to 10 operators