Guide South Africa’s National Parks
Guide South Africa’s National Parks. South Africa has a lot of amazing national parks and places to visit. Although we try our best, it’s difficult to cover every single detail about these parks. In fact, you can likely write books about many of these places. Our guide is far from complete and the list is still growing.
If you feel we left something out, feel free to reach out and suggest changes or contribute.
Addo Elephant National Park
Located 72 kilometers from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest park in South Africa. The Addo region surrounds the Sundays River, which has its entrance at the mouth of the Indian Ocean.
The park established in 1931 related, to protect 11 Elephants on the brink of extinction. Today, the thick bushveld is the sanctuary of hundreds of elephants. Also to found are Cape buffalo’s, endangered black rhinos, lions, spotted hyenas. A variety of antelope species. Hundreds of bird species and the endangered flightless dung beetle.
Kilometer after kilometer the Sundays River Valley covered with evergreen citrus trees. Bear fruit all winter and fragrance the air with their blossoms in spring. Interesting fauna and flora are found in the Zuurberg Mountains Park. These are three rare cycad and two yellowwood species.
Unique Facts and Figures
- The park covers 120,000 hectares of land.
- The average annual rainfall is 450 millimeter, spreading throughout the year. Although peaks do often occur in February/March and October/November.
- The Sundays River has its entrance at the mouth of the Indian Ocean and is tidal from the mouth for 17 kilometers.
- The park is home to more than 350 elephants and 280 Cape Buffalo.
- The Addo Elephant National Park encompasses a unique and complex earth history. Covering about the last 500 million years.
- Bird Island inclusive to the park, is home to the world’s largest breeding colony of gannets. About 120,000 birds counted. It also hosts the second largest breeding colony of African penguins.
- The largest remaining population of the flightless dung beetle. (Circellium bacchus) located within the park.
- Annual visitors to the park is about 120,000. International visitors make up 54% of this number. With German, Dutch and British nationals being the majority.
Guide South Africa’s National Parks.
Must See/To Do
Visitors can choose between guided game drives, hop-on guides and self-drive game viewing. Two-hour guided game drives take place in the morning, afternoon and night. As well as at sunrise and sunset. Visitors are also allowed to view wildlife from their own vehicles. local hop-on guides are available to go with them.
Visitors have the choice of two Addo Zuurberg, on-horse trails. 1) viewing large game. 2) Beautiful scenic views from the mountains.
The Bedrogfontein 4×4 trail provides breathtaking views and is rich in history. This route was the scene of fierce battles, between the Afrikaner and British troops. Taking place during the Anglo-Boer war. Visitors can view the many Rock art paintings throughout the area. Observed on route is also a variety of the South African vegetation types. These include riverine thicket, afromontane forest, fynbos and arid nama-karoo.
The park offers many hiking trails. The Alexandria Hiking Trail is a 32 kilometer, two-day circular trail. The first day covering a distance of 18.5 kilometers and the second day a distance of 13.5 kilometers. Shorter hiking trails are also available. One-hour and three-hour trails are also undertaken in the Zuurberg Mountains. Shorter walking trails within the main camp are also arranged.
Marine Eco Tours
Visitors interested in seeing a great white shark. Or southern right whale might want to partake in a Marine Eco-tour.
Day visitors can enjoy something to eat in the picnic area.
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