Port Elizabeth: Exploring Addo Elephant Park (South Africa’s Third Largest National Park) – Dhillondeeds


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Getting There

A safari might not seem like the most child-friendly adventure but it definitely can be. We decided to take a drive to experience one of Port Elizabeth’s majestic tourist attractions, Addo Elephant Park. Even though we used our GPS, the directions and road signs are driver-friendly and following them took us straight to Addo Elephant Park with no hassle. There are a few different ways to take but taking the N2 towards Grahamstown is the easiest in my opinion. It is not very long drive from the city and when you get there you are welcomed by picturesque landscapes and a strong sense of serenity.  When we arrived we needed to fill out a registration form at reception, we received a map of the park and our permits.

Dhillondeeds Tip: Use the toilet provided at reception before venturing out into the wild.

About Addo Elephant National Park

Did you know that Addo Elephant National Park is home to the “Big 7” and is the third largest national park in South Africa situated in a malaria free area and right outside of Port Elizabeth? Me neither. In addition the park conserves a wide range of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. How cool is that? The Addo Elephant National Park is a wonderful destination for adventurers, outdoor and nature enthusiasts alike. Something even more special about this park is that twin elephants have been born here. Addo Elephant Park also has park accommodation that visitors can enjoy.

Dhillondeeds Tip: Book a hop-on-guide at the Game Drives Reception office and enjoy the luxury of a trained guide showing and telling you all about the park in the comfort of your own vehicle.


Animal Sighting Game

This was incredibly entertaining and made for a really fun time exploring the park in our car. The day we went the weather was raining and mostly overcast so we didn’t really see much animals but when we started playing this game we were quite surprised at how many we actually saw. I was hoping to see lions since miss sweet cheeks absolutely loves them and “roars” every time she sees one, but we didn’t. This is something you really have to keep when mind when booking safaris – you might not see all the animals. Lions and spotted hyenas are most often seen in the early morning or evening to night time but we were able to see elephants, buffalos, zebras, kudus,warthogs, dung beetles and birds.

Dhillondeeds Tip: Bring binoculars and your camera along.

Taking A Little Break

I for one did not realise how massive the park really is and I also forgot to pack lunch. I would highly recommend you do this became there’s a lovely picnic lookout spot to enjoy. We stopped at Jack’s picnic site, situated within the botanical reserve in the main game area. From what I could see you’re able to enjoy a lekker braai (BBQ) or a little picnic. There were also rest rooms, enough space to stretch your legs and beautiful scenery to enjoy. Since we didn’t have any packed food we used this opportunity to take pictures. It started pouring down with light showers of rain – it made for some really good pictures.

Dhillondeeds Tip: Pack lunch and prepare yourself for any weather.

The End

The end feels like forever when you have to use the toilet, have a restless baby, hungry and take the wrong turn! We made it to the end nevertheless and it was great. We decided to have a little bite to eat which wasn’t all too great but we were so hungry. However, I really enjoyed the malva pudding – a very South African dessert. After lunch we popped into the curio store which was interesting. I bought a few gifts for my friends back in Doha. The store items are quite pricey so do budget for a Tee – totally worth it. Getting back home we took a different route which took a little bit longer but equally charming and gave a real sense of Port Elizabeth’s township life.

Dhillondeeds Tip: Plan this trip for the whole day, take your time and really enjoy it.


  • Picnic areas
  • Braai areas
  • Looking areas
  • Ablution facilities
  • Restuarant
  • A shop
  • Fuelling station
  • Variety of accommodation options
  • Public telephones
  • Card payments are accepted

Things to remember 

  • Do not throw anything out of your car
  • Do not litter
  • Do not speed
  • Do not feed the animals
  • Do not drive over elephant dung
  • Do not use your drone
  • No motorbikes are permitted
  • You may only exit you vehicle at designated  “lookout” points
  • Stick to the tourist roads
  • Make sure you have a valid drivers licence if you’re driving
  • Do not pick any plants
  • Do not pet any of the animals
  • Enjoy your music softly
  • No pets are allowed into the park

Additional Information


(correct at time of publishing)

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Book your adventure here.

Opening Times

Park entrance: 07h00-18h00

Game area gate: roughly between 05h30-18h30 (Times change according to season)

Check the closing times thoroughly – you may not drive after stipulated times.

Contact Details

Tel: +27 422338600

Email: addoenquiries@samparks.org

Facebook: SANSparks- Addo Elephant National Park




I’d like the thank Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism for giving us the opportunity to see Addo Elephant Park. While this was a collaboration post, some expenses were covered by us. All pictures and opinions are my own.


Have you been to Addo Elephant National Park? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear from you.


Keep smiling,



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