Did you know that elephant's heart weighs 22 kg and circulates about 450 liters of blood?
And how about the fact that elephant's tongue is around 12kg and its tail around 11kg?
The wonderful boneless trunk of an elephant is composed of an estimated 40,000 muscles!!
Favorite thing: At the main reception area, you will find a map of the Park, where sightings are shown for each day. Although it is not a guarantee that you would find them in exactly the same spot, it does help. It is the same as you would find in other parks like the Kruger National Park.
Favorite thing: Approx R25 per person will be charged for south african citizens(2007), international tourist will pay a higher fee, please ask when you make your booking, and its not included in your accom, you will pay on arrival.
WILD members will get benefits when presenting their card at more than 2000 Infinity partners countrywide, entitling them to cash back rewards for holidays, accommodation, tours, attractions, airlines, car hire, shopping, leisure and entertainment.
Members will be contributing to conservation.
There are many other animals in the park too, from the huge and popular elephants, to the smallest of insects, the dung beetle being a favourite. Their particular specie is unique to this region.
In 2005 they became a BIG FIVE Game Park, with the introduction of lions and cheetahs into the park. Soon this wil become a BIG SEVEN park, with the inclusion of whales and sharks (when the park land touches the sea).
From their over 400 species of birds, they also have black rhinos, Cape buffalos, antelope, kudu, eland, red hartebeest, cape grysbok, zebra, eland, springbok, hyena, warthogs, black backed jackal, meerkats, tortoises, leopard, lion and cheetah.
This park is growing in size, and soon they will be able to add whales and dolphins onto their list of animals to see as the park reaches the Indian Ocean.
They have a shop which sells all kinds of curios, a picnic area, and a swimming area for other leisure pursuits.
You can also purchase basic food items like oil, sugar, coffee and tea etc.
There is also a petrol (gas) station in the camp for convenience. Best to fill up PRIOR to entering the park to view game!
Elephants are prolific in their destruction of trees, they pull them down and eat the vegetation off of them, with scant regard for the destructive manner in which they do so.
It makes tracking them VERY easy, you just need to look for torn roots and shoots to know where they have passed by.
The trunk may look clumsy but it is anything but!
It has two little finger-type things at the end of its trunk, which act like fingers, and are quite nimble. This enables the trunk to pick up a small berry off the ground, or clasp a thin leaf in its trunk.
Pretty amazing :)
Elephants have various uses for their trunks, eating being one, and pulling down trees being another... but another rather important one is to keep itself cool!
Elephants live in hot climates generally, Addo has quite a hot climate for certain lengths of time, and they squirt cool water over themselves to keep cool in the blazing heat.
After that, they squirt a fine layer of dust over themselves... which, when combined with the water, makes a thin type of mud layer... their sunscreen :)
They also use their trunks as snorkels when they wade in deep water. They are incredibly good swimmers, something which I don’t think many folk realise :)
This park was primarily started in 1931 as a urgent need to protect the last 11 remaining wild elephants in the area.
Their populace has since grown to over 350! Its very exciting to see successful programs like this unfold.
You will notice that the lady elephants do not have tusks. This is peculiar to this park.
When you arrive, you register at the office and then they give you your key and you go to your accommodation.
The opening hours for the camp gates are 7am and 7pm
Fondest memory: They have recently had an edition to their elephant family, two gorgeous little ellies!
Their names are Dusk and Dawn. Very sweet! :)
Zebras have the opposite reputation to buffalo.
They are thought to be quite passive and gentle. Non aggressive. This is not the case! It doesn’t take much for them to become twitchy and they can be quite unpredictable.
If their ears fold back, the best thing is to get out of the area as quickly as you can (without frightening the animals of course).
Each stripe on a zebra is different and this is how zebras recognise one another.
The park has done what many other parks in South Africa have done.
They have a separate entrance fee for South Africans (with proof of ID) than they do for tourists.
South Africans pay R20 for a day visit and non-South Africans pay R90. You do get group concessions, and other concessions. This is the individual cost.
This is the least expensive park in South Africa where you can view the Big Five.
In the Addo area they have a Citrus festival in the valley at the end of May and the world-renowned Rose festival is in October.
There are many thousands of citrus trees in this evergreen valley, bearing fruit throughout the cold months of winter even.
Elephants are very sociable creatures, and live in large family groups, with a matriarch at the head.
Young male elephants often leave the herd and spend many years on their own, and when older, may join another herd, or may stay alone till he dies.
How does an elephant hug another?
They wrap their trunks around one another tightly. Lovely!
There are many buffalo in Addo. These are the Cape buffalo.
They are mostly nocturnal animals, and this is the best time to view them at watering holes. They stay in very large groups, sometimes even a couple hundred strong.
This is partly for safety purposes
Their horns are favourites for poachers. There is good security at the park, but poachers do manage to get in sometimes unfortuntely.
Bird hides are exactly that. A place where you can hide away, unobserved and silent, to view the bird life around you.
Try and keep as quiet as possible, especially if you have young kids with you.
If the hide is timber (and most are), walk gently and considerately.