SANParks Open Week: Addo National Park is Waiting

  • 13 September 2016 | By Anje Rautenbach

On Sunday, the 11th of September the national launch of SANParks’ Open Week was held at our very own Addo Elephant National Park, Nelson Mandela Bay’s wild brother and home to not only the big five, but the big seven.



What is SANParks Open Week?

Open Week offers South African citizens the chance to enter all of our National Parks (except Namaqua National Park) for free from 12-16 September and some parks even extended the offer until the weekend. To see which South African National Parks you can visit, click here. Alternatively, if you miss Open Week at Addo Elephant National Park, you can also purchase a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass, which will offer you access to an array of activities for free or at a discounted price.



Go to Addo National Park, you won't be disappointed

This is your chance. Addo Elephant National Park is waiting and calling your name to be one with Mother Nature without attempting the long road to Kruger National Park.

You can go on a guided game drive with a knowledgeable guide or self-drive through the Park's asphalt and well-maintained gravel roads and easily, within your first hour in Addo Elephant National Park, you can spot elephants, kudus, warthogs, zebras, tortoises and red hartebeest all roaming around freely in their natural habitat. And if you give yourself a bit more time you might be lucky enough to see lions, jackals, leopards, buffaloes and eland too.  The plethora of animals in the park (there are approximately 500 elephants) make it impossible to leave Addo Elephant National Park feeling disappointed.

Here are a few reasons why you need to visit Addo Elephant National Park

  • From Port Elizabeth’s city centre it will take you 30 minutes to reach the Matholweni Gate.
  • Addo Elephant National Park is the size of Belgium.
  • If you want to stay over, you can stay in the Park; there are plenty of accommodation options inside the Park – it ranges from sleeping in a fenced camp in the middle of the game viewing area, to tent sites and log cabins. Alternatively you stay at one of the luxurious lodges nearby, a guesthouse or even opt for the less expensive backpacking accommodation if you are on a budget.
  • Most of the roads are asphalt and the dirt roads are in excellent condition.
  • It’s the third largest National Park in South Africa.
  • It’s a Malaria-free zone.
  • Staff, facilities and services are impeccable.
  • There is a restaurant on site offering anything from breakfasts to Sunday lunches.
  • It’s safe.
  • The Park contains the largest remaining population of the flightless dung beetle.
  • For the adventurous there are horse trails, 4×4 routes and marine eco tours to experience.
  • There is a picnic spot (fenced) where you can have a braai.
  • Just around the corner you can find Zuurberg, Nanaga Farm Stall and Woody Cape.



Whenever you are visiting a national park where there are animals it is important to remember that you entering their territory and that there are certain rules to adhere to:

  • Do not get out of your car unless there is a clear sign telling you that you may alight from your vehicle. If you don’t obey this rule you can get fined. Also, do not sit on your car’s bonnet, roof or lean out of the window.
  • Never attempt to feed or touch any animal.
  • Do not litter.
  • Do not block or obstruct the road, an animal or the flow of traffic.
  • Keep to the speed limit.
  • Keep on the marked roads.
  • Do not disturb the animals or other visitors with loud conversations.
  • Do not upload photos of endangered animals to social media, rather keep that special moment just to yourself.

What are other people saying about Addo Elephant National Park?

Blogger, Odette Johaar from O So Inspired said:

"So many people in Nelson Mandela Bay are zipping past the park, not realising how amazing it is and it is literally a quick ride out of the city. We don’t need to spend thousands of rands to travel  to see all of these amazing creatures. They’re literally in our backyard, and that is amazing."



Sarah and Ralph Dirsuwei from the family travel blog, Chasing the Rainbow, said,

"Addo is one of our favourite spots in the country. As you drive into the thatched entrance gate, it feels like you are stepping back in time. The bush is thick and teeming with kudu, warthogs, giant tortoises, zebra and of course, elephants. It is incredibly affordable, and the self-drives mean that you can enjoy game viewing from your own car..."


Nadine Rose Larter, the blogger of Passing The Open Windows shared,

"Spending the day out there in nature, allowing yourself to be taken in by the existence of such fascinating creatures, is cathartic to say the least. And if nothing else, it certainly makes you ponder the world, instead of yourself..."



Written by Anje Rautenbach, travel blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly. Follow her journeys around South Africa on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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