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AAddo Elephant National Park conserves the Big 7, stretching from the rugged plains of the Karoo to the untamed coastline. Conveniently located just 40km from Port Elizabeth, Addo offers the best elephant viewing in the country.
Here are five things travellers can get up to near Addo Elephant National Park:
Stay in luxurious rondavels
The newly revamped Nyathi Lodge is classy and luxurious. The self-catering rondavels overlook the Zuurberg mountain range. Each suite boasts private plunge pools and balconies overlooking the river and floodplain below. Try to spot the famous Addo elephants grazing along the mountains from your bathroom.
Call: 042 235 1022 or visit www.addopark.com/accom/niguni/index.html
5 things to do near Addo
WWalk up a lighthouse
Cape Recife Lighthouse, situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve on the southern point of Algoa Bay, is approximately 15km from Port Elizabeth. One would have to climb around one hundred stairs to get to the top, but once there you will enjoy some of the most scenic views of the city. There are tours on request.
Call: 072 358 4634.
Lunch at the Addo Wildlife Tangelo Restaurant
For the best pink lemonade, visit the Tangelo Restaurant. The restaurant puts a contemporary spin on traditional South African meals. They also offer an a la carte menu during the week.
Try roosterkoek at Nanaga Farmstall
For the most delicious roosterkoek, visit this farm stall between Addo and the Nelson Mandela Bay. The dough is cooked on the grill and filled with your choice of delicacies. From bacon to mince or eggs, guests can add whatever they are able to stuff in it. Guests should also try their homemade pineapple juice and preserves.
Call: 041 4680 353.
Vervet monkeys are playful, mischievous primates that can be found all over eastern South Africa and are hugely entertaining to watch – as long as you keep the kitchen windows closed.
Aloe ferox – the red or bitter aloe – grows all over South Africa, but Eastern Cape hills are ablaze with orange and red from May to August; the province also produces great aloe health products.
The Big 5 and a bewildering array of life can be found on South Africa’s savanna – regions rich in plant, bird, insect and animal diversity protected in parks like Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and Kruger.
Shearing sheep or goats is an art; one much prized on the wool and angora farms of the Karoo – the area produces world champions – so watching the shearing is a fascinating drawcard for tourists.
Rock climbers are spoilt for choice in South Africa – Western Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape are all provinces blessed with plentiful mountains and myriad climbing routes.
The ‘Wildlife Route’ from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown/Makhanda in Eastern Cape offers a journey through European/Xhosa frontier history, exquisite birds, elephants and scenery, and delicious food.
Drink in spectacular seaside scenery and marvel at pristine flora and fauna in Mkhambathi Nature Reserve, jewel of the Pondoland Marine Protected Area on the Wild Coast of Eastern Cape.
South Africa’s grassland wildflowers, especially around the Drakensberg, put on a floral show to rival Namaqualand in spring, or Western Cape’s fynbos – and even better, it lasts through summer.