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Addo: Getting There

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra

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restio
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Unread postby restio » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:20 am

Bob, I think that Addo will be wonderful place to spend your first night in Africa! :D

I'd like to echo what NightOwl said about driving in a relaxed and cautious manner. South African's don't have the best driving skills (and that's an understatement when applied to our infamous minibus taxis!). Drive defensively.

Addo Main Camp is very close to the gate, so once you reach the Addo gate you're basically there.

You probably won't have time to shop on the way, but Addo has a nice restaurant, and a lovely shop with a reasonable, but limited range of foodstuffs.
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Unread postby NightOwl » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:37 pm

I suggest eating at the restuarant the first evening, if you don't arrive too late.
WARNING: Service is EXTREMELY slow, and they tend to bill you for things that you did not order, so check your bill. We ate there this weekend and what a disaster. They tried to add 3 different drinks to our order that we never had.
But it's better than having to make food and wash up afterwards on your first night in Africa.

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Unread postby Tangi » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:13 am

As this topic thread is "Traveling to Addo National Park," I would like to hear opinions as to whether it is better to travel to Addo's main camp from Port Elizabeth via the N2 to Colchester and then through the park to the main camp, OR on R335 that will take us directly to Addo's main camp. Which of these routes will be easier to drive, safer, less hectic, more scenic, etc. It seems like it might be interesting to drive through the park from the Colchester entrance, that this would be a good way of seeing that part of the park. This will be our first visit to South Africa, plus we are not very used to driving on the left. Plus, we are in no hurry to get to Addo's main camp as we won't be able to check in to our accommodation until 1 or 2 p.m. Also, does anyone know how long the two above routes might take: (1) from Port Elizabeth's airport to the Colchester Gate, versus (2) from Port Elizabeth's airport direct to Addo's main camp?
Thanks so much!!!

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Unread postby j-ms » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:30 am

Much shorter getting into the park from Port Elizabeth via the Colchester gate. Also, the road is easier to follow and in better condition (mostly freeway until Coega). About 30 minutes from the airport to Colchester gate versus and hour to the main gate via Addo town.

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Unread postby Addo Elephant » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:43 am

I agree, the road to Colchester is in a much better condition than the R335. Just for the record, another option is to carry on along the N2, then take the N10 towards Cradock (carry on straight where the N2 splits off towards Grahamstown). Then turn left onto the R342 at the Paterson intersection (Paterson will be on your right) and follow this road until you find the Park on your left.

However, if you are not worried about time, why not start your visit off with a game drive by entering at the Matyholweni gate (at Colchester) and then driving through to Main Camp. This drive is about 36km (speed limit is 40km/h).

Regards,
Megan Taplin
Communications Manager: Frontier Region

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Unread postby Tangi » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:44 am

Thank you!
The last time I checked it was possible to get from Colchester/Matyholweni Gate to Addo Main Camp through the park. Is this still the case? I know it will be a dirt road, but it won't be that bad of a drive, will it? I expect we will have a regular Toyota -- not a 4 x 4.
Thanks again.

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restio
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Unread postby restio » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:56 pm

Tangi, the road from Matyholweni to the Main Camp is fine for normal sedan cars. We did in December last year (in an AWD as it happens, but it would have been fine in normal car).
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Unread postby francoisd » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:27 am

restio wrote:Tangi, the road from Matyholweni to the Main Camp is fine for normal sedan cars.

Good to hear as we will be driving that road in 3 weeks time with a sedan
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:16 am

36 km to main camp. Thanks AE, will tell my party it will take about an hour and a half at game viewing pace. Will you confirm that when you return Francois?
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread postby francoisd » Mon May 28, 2007 8:44 am

Bush Baptist wrote:36 km to main camp. Thanks AE, will tell my party it will take about an hour and a half at game viewing pace. Will you confirm that when you return Francois?

We're back from a cold Addo. So much work to catch up on so any form of trip report will have to wait but thought I'll put down some info here so long.

We entered Addo at the Matyholweni gate (Colchester). From there it is ±16km to the game area and from that gate ±19km to Main camp.

The 16km in Matyholweni section is very good gravel road even after all the rain and up to Main Camp the first section of ±11km is gravel there after tarred surface.

I've made two mental notes which I battle to connect but am quite sure that at the Matyholweni gate there is a sign that says "No busses or caravans" the other note is "BB travelling party". So BB if there will be people with caravans in your party it might be best to check that my info above is indeed correct else those with caravans will have to turn around.

On our way back we exited at the Main camp and travelled on the R335 to PE. Although the road is not in the best condition it is still good enough to travel on. Bit bumpy at stages and some stretched have small potholes. This road does however run through a residential area for some length with accompanied 60km/h speed restriction. It is also a single lane in both directions with no left "shoulder" so traffic can back up behind large vehicles. This might influence your travelling time to the gate. From the turn off from the N2 onto the R335 to Main gate is ±51km.

Instead of travelling the R335 you might also consider the other route AddoE mentioned via N2, N10, R342

As to travelling on the N2 from Cape Town just the following notes:
1. We've encountered one "stop-go" section and that being ±2km outside Caledon, waiting time 10 minutes, distance between the 2 stop area ±4km.
2. Between Mosselbay and George there is road works where the double lane becomes a single lane at various sections.
3. The "normal" road works between George and Wilderness
4. There is road works, resulting in single lane between Thornhill and the outer limits of PE. When travelling back from PE to Cape Town there is a detour between Witteklip and Thornhill. Traffic is diverted from the N2 onto the R102 between these towns. Narrow road with lots of traffic so just be patient.
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Unread postby BushCall » Mon May 28, 2007 4:39 pm

My Dad went to Addo last Wednesday and we thought he was crazy as the weather was terrible although clearing but he said he wanted to meet Francoisd. Anyway apparently he asked at the office and eventually they found a Dr D in the cottages and he found a non english speaking German man who went by the name of D**. He was very sad to have missed you and told us that poor Francoisd probably left early because of the weather as there is no record of him as a present guest on the computer. Hope you had a nice time?

You are correct caravans have to use main gate at main camp.

[Edit - Names edited out by DB. Please do not quote people's names unless you have their permission to do so BushCall.]

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Unread postby francoisd » Tue May 29, 2007 7:48 am

BushCall wrote:My Dad went to Addo last Wednesday and we thought he was crazy as the weather was terrible although clearing but he said he wanted to meet Francoisd.

We moved down to Matyholweni camp for Wednesday night. Migt be why he did not find me.

Did meet up with Hippopat who drove out after work for a chat and a coffee. Well maybe next time then.
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Unread postby Dreamer » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:50 pm

francoisd wrote:
I've made two mental notes which I battle to connect but am quite sure that at the Matyholweni gate there is a sign that says "No busses or caravans" the other note is "BB travelling party". So BB if there will be people with caravans in your party it might be best to check that my info above is indeed correct else those with caravans will have to turn around.


Nothing wrong with your mental note :D There is a sign that says no caravans or traillers.
We tried that in Jan and had to turn around and continue to use the Paterson Road as we were towing a caravan. Thinking about it now, it does make sense as we have never seen any towing within the park.

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Unread postby francoisd » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:13 am

Dreamer wrote:Nothing wrong with your mental note. There is a sign that says no caravans or traillers.

There is quite a steep hill you have to go up about 1km from the gate which one might not be able to do with a caravan in tow, and also a little less steep one close to the entry to the game section.
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Road across Addo?

Unread postby smitz » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:10 pm

We are planning our first trip to Addo or our wedding anniversary in August and are trying to work out the best route from Worcester. We are thinking of going on the R62 to De Rust, then joining the R341 to the N9, and then to Willowmore. Then we want to take the R329 to Wolwefontein, joining the R75, past Glen Connor to Kirkwood.

It looks like there is a road across the park from Kirkwood side to the main gate on all the maps we have loked at. Can someon confirm if this is so.

Any other suggestions about how we should get to the park entrance?

thanks for your help!


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