South Africa’s third largest national park
Addo Elephant National Park is South Africa’s third largest national park, and over 600 elephants grace this wilderness conservation area in the Eastern Cape.
The park stretches from the semi-arid karoo to rugged mountains; through river valleys down to a wild coastline that boasts the longest dunes in the southern hemisphere. This diverse landscape means that visitors can tick off the Big Seven at Addo, with great white sharks and southern right whales completing the ultimate safari line-up.
As well as more elephants than you can count, you can also expect to see black rhinos, lions, meerkats, spotted hyena, caracals, zebras, and a variety of antelope. Furthermore, the park is home to one of the largest disease-free buffalo herds in South Africa, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle.
Luckily for the discerning traveller and elephant lover, a number of luxury lodges can be found both inside and near to the park. Here are five luxury Addo options, as recommended in an article published by Exclusive Getaways, for those who are looking for both pachyderms and pampering.
1. Gorah Elephant Camp
According to its website, “Gorah is the only private concession and camp situated in the middle of the famous Addo Elephant National Park”, which means that guests have the opportunity to watch huge herds of elephants from the wide verandah of the beautiful manor house.
At Gorah, guests are transported back to a bygone era in luxurious tented suites that are sheltered by thatched canopies. Al fresco dining under the African sky is on offer in the summer, while candlelit corners, paraffin lanterns and warm fires will keep you cosy during decadent dinners in the winter.
2. Safari Lodge
The Safari Lodge offers unique safari huts with stone-capped rooftops and private plunge pools in the Amakhala Game Reserve, which is a malaria-free conservation area near Addo. The main thatched lodge overlooks a waterhole where antelope and zebra quench their thirst, and African tribal design can be enjoyed in the decor throughout the lodge.
As well as a game drive into Addo, the three-day Tusker Package also offers activities in Amakhala, making it a great place from which to discover two bush destinations.
3. Kuzuko Lodge
Kuzuko means ‘place of glory’ in the Xhosa language, and this five-star safari hideaway lives up to its name. Situated high on a hill in a private section of Addo, guests can enjoy spectacular views from the deck of their luxury chalet or indulge in a treatment at the ‘wilderness wellness centre’ after a game drive or bush walk.
4. Woodall Country House & Spa
Set on a citrus farm in the Sundays River Valley on Addo’s doorstep, the award-winning Woodall Country House & Spa provides wonderful spa experiences and gourmet dining, as well as daily guided drives into Addo. This is an ideal place for wine and food connoisseurs, as well as nature lovers who also love five-star creature comforts.
5. Zuurberg Mountain Village
Set high up in the Zuurberg Mountains, this historical hotel can be found in a tranquil area of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. This 150-year-old mountaintop retreat boasts traditional country cuisine, and the cottages have been built to maximise the mountain and valley views. Each cottage even has two private patios - on the east and west side of the unit - so that guests can enjoy both the magical sunrises and sunsets in this beautiful part of the world.
Additional Addo activities
Once you’ve lapped up the luxury and witnessed herds of elephantine proportions, there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained in Addo. Hiking trails through the Zuurberg Mountains or along the coastline will keep you fit and fulfilled, or you could tackle the four-hour Bredrogfontein 4×4 trail that winds its way over rocky hills and through forests, before ending at the Darlington Dam section of the park, where black wildebeest and gemsbok can be seen.
Alternatively, saddle up on a horse safari through the Zuuberg Mountains or the Nyathi Big Five area; or go an ocean eco-tour to enjoy sightings of the marine kind.
Contact Elite Travel Concept to start planning an elephantastic trip to this pachyderm paradise. Like an elephant, you’ll be sure to never forget your luxury Addo adventure.