Addo Elephant Park | Information, Rates and Travel Tips

Posted on Thu June 27, 2024.

Addo's proximity to Port Elizabeth means you can easily take an Addo Elephant Park day trip along the Garden Route.This blog explores Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa's Eastern Cape, highlighting its diverse wildlife, activities like guided Addo tours, safaris, game drives and hiking, rates, accommodation options, and essential travel tips. Plan your visit today!

Introduction to Addo Elephant National Park

Located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, Addo Elephant National Park is celebrated as the country’s third-largest national park, spanning 686,000 hectares, including a 120,000-hectare marine reserve, and the spectacular Alexandria Dune Field. Just an hour’s drive from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) via the Main Camp entrance, Addo is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and unique distinction as the only park to host the Big 7: Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo, Southern Right Whale, and Great White Shark.

History and Conservation Efforts

Established in 1931 with the primary goal of protecting just 11 elephants, Addo has successfully expanded its boundaries from the Sundays River to Alexandria, now encompassing St Croix and Bird Island, critical habitats for penguins and gannets. Today, it boasts Africa's densest elephant population, with over 600 elephants freely roaming the park. Read about the history of Addo

Wildlife and Natural Diversity

Beyond its iconic elephants, Addo showcases diverse landscapes including dense bushveld, expansive grassy plains, and rugged mountainscapes, home to a variety of wildlife. Encounter the " Big Five '' over 400 Cape buffaloes, elegant kudus, playful warthogs, and elusive black rhinos. Birdwatchers delight in spotting species like the Secretarybird, Martial Eagle, and vibrant Kingfishers.

Activities and Experiences

Addo offers a plethora of activities to suit every traveler's preference. From thrilling ziplining and sandboarding adventures to serene Sunday River boat cruises and historic site visits, there's something for everyone. Nature enthusiasts can explore hiking trails like the Alexandria Trail or embark on rugged 4x4 expeditions through Bedrogfontein.

Addo Elephant National Park Tariffs & Regulations:

Addo Elephant National Park's conservation fees for 2023–2024 offer flexibility for visitors. Fees can be paid either online or at the gate, with the tickets valid for 24 hours from the time of entry. Here's a breakdown of the entry fees:

Conservation Fees for 2023–2024:

South African Citizens and Residents:

  • Adults (12+ years): R99
  • Children (2–11 years): R50

SADC (Southern African Development Community) Nationals:

  • Adults (12+ years): R199
  • Children (2–11 years): R50

International Citizens:

  • Adults (12+ years): R397
  • Children (2–11 years): R50

Payment Options:

  • Online: Advance payment can be made via the official SANParks website or other authorized online platforms. This can expedite entry and is convenient for planning visits.
  • At the Gate: Payment can also be made directly upon arrival at the park entrance.
  • Duration: The conservation fee covers a 24-hour period from the time of entry, allowing visitors flexibility to explore the park within that timeframe.

Additional Tips:

  • Identification: South African citizens and International visitors should carry a valid ID, and or a copy of their passport or residency document.
  • Proof of SADC Nationality: SADC nationals should have identification or documentation that confirms their nationality to benefit from the specified rates.

Gate times:

  • Main gate – 7:00 am – 19:00 pm
  • Main gate reception – 7:00 am – 19:00 pm
  • Matyholweni gate – 7:00 am – 18:30 pm
  • Matyholweni gate reception – 7:00 am – 17:00 pm

Important to note:
Abide by the speed limits. The speed limit in the park is 40km/hour.
Don’t get out of your vehicle except at the designated lookout points.
Do not litter 

Accommodation Options

Choose from a range of accommodations to suit your style and budget. Luxurious lodges such as Gorah Elephant Camp and Addo Elephant Safari Lodge offer exclusive safari experiences amidst the wilderness. For a more budget-friendly option, camp at Addo Rest Camp, where waterhole views and serene surroundings await.

Amenities and Services

Convenient amenities include nearby petrol stations for refueling, grocery stores like Colchester KWIKSPAR for supplies, and Cattle Barron resturant in Addo Park. Restrooms are available at park entrances and key picnic areas like Jack's Picnic Site.

Getting There and Safety Tips

Guests travelling from Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) to the Park are advised to avoid the R335 via Motherwell route due to safety concerns. Instead, please make use of the N2 via Colchester and either enter at Camp Matyholweni near Colchester, or via Paterson to Main Camp.International visitors can also reach Addo via major hubs in Johannesburg or Cape Town. The park's well-maintained roads are accessible by 2WD vehicles, with guided tours providing expert insights into optimal wildlife viewing spots.

Weather and Packing Tips

Addo experiences moderate rainfall year-round, peaking in February-March and October-November. Winters are cool, requiring layered clothing for early morning safaris. Essential items include sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses), comfortable footwear for walks, and a camera to capture memorable moments.

Plug adapter tips: In South Africa, we use plug types D and N. 

Guided Tours and Self-Drive Options

While self-drive safaris allow flexibility, guided tours offer deeper insights and enhanced wildlife spotting opportunities. Experienced guides navigate the park's terrain, maximizing chances to encounter elusive species like lions and rhinos. Fnd out more about Addo Tours 

For a memorable and cost-effective Addo adventure, contact Into Tours today!

Book now, pay later 

Additional Activities and Attractions Nearby

Extend your adventure with nearby attractions like Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve or Amakhala Game Reserve, offering luxury safari experiences and family-friendly accommodations. Engage in cultural tours, river cruises, or relax on pristine beaches along the coast.

Environmental Conservation and Sustainability

Addo National Park is committed to sustainable tourism practices, preserving habitats and supporting local communities. Visitors are encouraged to respect wildlife and adhere to park regulations to ensure the preservation of this natural treasure for future generations.


Addo Elephant National Park invites you on a journey into the heart of South Africa's wildlife. Whether you're captivated by elephants, seeking the thrill of encountering the Big 7, or simply immersing yourself in nature's tranquility, Addo offers something extraordinary for every traveler. Plan your adventure wisely, embracing the park’s natural wonders and diverse activities.

Contact Into Tours for Addo Safari Holiday Planning:

Email: [email protected]
WhatsApp: +27609867612

Into Tours offers affordable and all-inclusive tours of Addo Elephant National Park. Perfect for all types of travelers, these packages provide a hassle-free safari experience, covering transportation, park entry, guided tours, and meals.

What You Get with Into Tours:

Affordable Packages: Budget-friendly rates with no hidden costs.
All-Inclusive: Covering all essentials – transport, fees, guided tours, and meals.
Expert Guidance: Knowledgeable guides for an enriched wildlife experience.
Convenience: Everything is arranged, letting you enjoy your adventure stress-free.

Key Features:

Wildlife Safaris: See elephants, lions, and more with expert-led game drives.
Comprehensive Coverage: From logistics to meals, everything is taken care of.
Local Expertise: Benefit from deep insights and local knowledge.