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Join the herd on your Addo Elephant Safari

Megan Wilkins

Contributor

Hear the trumpeting sounds of welcome as you enter Addo, the elephant region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Addo offers unrivalled viewing opportunities of these gentle giants, who are far less likely to charge at passing vehicles or be as aggressive as their Northern brothers, making your encounters one-of-a-kind. Get up, close, and personal with these miraculous creatures while your experienced guide explains their complex and emotional connections. Apart from the majestic elephants, you'll be spoilt for choice with animal sightings, including ample opportunity to see South Africa’s Big Five.

Addo Elephant National Park

Addo Elephant Park is one of South Africa’s most renowned National Parks, with a special focus on conservation in the Addo area. As the third-largest SANPark, this sanctuary holds a special place in the hearts of all who have visited. Located just outside of the sea-side city of Port Elizabeth, affectionately known as the Friendly City, the conservation area extends all the way out to the sea and the islands within. Addo Elephant Park gets its name from the large population of elephants in the area, with over 600 elephants forming various family groups. These gentle giants have grown accustomed to cars and often come right up to your vehicle without even batting an eyelid, unlike the more aggressive elephants in Kruger National Park. You are assured of a personal greeting from the stunning matriarchs.

Apart from elephants, you are likely to see all of the Big Five, including rhino, leopards, lion, and buffalo. However, Addo is also home to the Big Seven, which extends the Big Five to include whales and Great White sharks. At the Elephant Park, visitors are welcome to drive themselves around or to book a game drive with one of the experienced rangers. Also on offer is the unmissable opportunity to tour the park on horseback on a morning or afternoon trail ride - making your animal sightings that much more memorable.    

Gorah Elephant Camp

This luxury safari camp is located within the Addo Elephant National Park in one of the private areas. The five-star tents are fully equipped with modern en-suite bathrooms, comfy sitting areas, and private decks overlooking the glorious heart of Addo. Spend your afternoons watching the animals as they come to the waterhole to drink, or your evenings watching lion cubs playing while their mothers hunt. With gourmet meals and a starlit boma, you will be encased in utter decadence while you listen to the night time sounds of the bush.

One of the most exciting aspects of staying at Gorah is owed to its tranquillity. Seeing as it is more removed from the busier side of the park, guests are more likely to see some of the shier animals, including leopard and brown hyena. You have the option to join up with the public side of the park, or to spend your time in utter peace in your own little slice of heaven.   

Kuzuko Lodge

If you are looking for a private, five-star safari that is suitable for the whole family, then Kuzuko Lodge is the place to be. This game lodge offers unparalleled views of the Kaboega plains and Winterberg Mountains. The luxurious chalets all boast stunning game sightings and warm, attentive service. With delectable food made at their gourmet restaurant and an award-winning spa on site, your stay will be blissful and relaxing.

Kuzuko Lodge provides a Junior Ranger program for the little ones, where they learn about animal conservation and care, as well as how to track various wildlife. Moms and Dads can enjoy their time off at the pool, or out on a game drive with one of the experienced rangers. Kuzuko is most famous for their lion, Sylvester, who used to live at another game park. He became restless at his previous lodgings and attempted multiple escapes, the last of which saw him relocated to Kuzuko. They are happy to announce that he has found his forever home and has since become a father. 

Inzolo Game Lodge

As one of the most exclusive lodges in the area, Inzolo offers a setting unlike any other. Located in a secluded valley near Addo, the lodge is surrounded by lush, green bush, simply teeming with wildlife. Overlooking the expansive planes, your luxury accommodation has views of all the game they have in the park, including elephants, rhino, and lion. At Inzolo, there is a distinct emphasis on peace and tranquillity, and their interiors reflect this to a tee.

From delicious afternoon tea on the veranda to comfortable fine dining in their restaurant, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to cuisine. But it’s not only the food that is worth the trip. Morning, afternoon, and evening game drives are available whenever you wish, and night drives are sure to present some of the most remarkable crepuscular creatures in Africa. Keep your eyes wide open to see if you can spot the elusive Aardwolf. 

Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge

On the outskirts of Addo, and on your way through Frontier Country, you will find Lalibela Game Reserve. The reserve is private and home to some of Africa’s most spectacular creatures. Their luxury lodge, Kichaka, is constructed from stone and thatch, ensuring a more authentic experience. No element of comfort and class has been overlooked, however, as guests are treated to unmatched views of the watering hole, home to their resident hippo pod. The dining terrace has been built to form an island in the water, creating a culinary experience unlike any other.

Lalibela offers private safari tours throughout the park, complete with picnics and champagne sundowners. Park next to the best sighting of the day, as you enjoy a glass of bubbles and a nibble on some ‘biltong’. Guests are also invited to join the rangers for cheetah tracking, giving you a greater appreciation for the supermodels of the big cat world.  

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