A world of seven wonders awaits the wild at heart at the Addo Elephant National Park, which borders the Blue Flag beachfront resort city of Port Elizabeth in Nelson Mandela Bay.
This Eastern Cape institution has been a sanctuary for the African elephant since the early 1930’s, when excessive poaching for ivory saw its numbers dwindle to a little bit more than a handful.
On proclamation, in 1931, Addo became the adopted home of a mere 11 of these majestic mammals, but today the park boasts one of the densest African elephant populations in the world.
Addo is also the place that the Big Five – or to be more specific, elephant, black rhinoceros, lion, buffalo and leopard – call home.
A few years ago, the park expanded its borders all the way to Algoa Bay to incorporate a marine reserve, sheltering the southern right whale and great white shark, making it one of the only parks in the world to accommodate the Big Seven.
Ideally suited to an unforgettable daytrip, Addo is a must-see attraction when visiting the Friendly City of PE. A leisurely 30-minute drive from any of Beachfront Lodges’ self-catering apartments will catapult you into the thicket bushveld of one of the most established national game reserves in the country.
Apart from this conservation coup, wonders big and small abound here, with the flightless dung beetle (circellium bacchus) choosing it as its exclusive worldwide habitat.
Incorporating the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere, Addo elephant park safeguard no less than five of South Africa’s seven biomes.
St Croix and Bird islands mark the reserve’s Indian Ocean marine territory with its abundant sea life. Bird Island hosts the world’s second largest breeding colony of African penguins and is home to the largest breeding colony of gannets.
In addition to the Big Seven, the park offers spectacular viewing of the spotted hyena, a variety of antelope and a wealth of bird species for amazing bird watching.
For more information visit www.sanparks.org.
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