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Addo Elephant National Park

Activities

Zuurberg Hiking Trails

Various options provide a perfect day outing for park visitors, at no extra cost.

Choose between the Cycad Trail, a one-hour trail – suited for those who want a sedate walk – and the Doringnek Trail, a four-hour trail which takes the visitor to a beautiful natural water pool. The routes are clearly signposted and a map is available at the Zuurberg offices. The Zuurberg offices are located 16 km from the main park entrance along a gravel road. No bookings are necessary.

Alexandria Hiking Trail

The Alexandria Hiking Trail is a 36 km two day circular route of which the first day is 19.5 km and the second day is 16.5 km. The trail begins in magical coastal forest where ancient yellowwoods and exotic Knysna loeries can be seen, it moves then onto the beach where the stark sandy beach ecosystem and dramatic dune cliffs provide breathtaking scenery. Southern right whales can be seen just off shore in certain months and dolphins are often spotted playing in the waves. Fascinating ancient middens sites, evidence of the strandloper people that wandered these shores can also be seen.

On the second day the trail traverses sand dunes in the largest coastal dune field in the Southern Hemisphere, the trail then heads back into coastal forest and then into the Langvlakte valley where a chicory stack can be seen which was built in 1820’s. The trail can accommodate a maximum of 12 persons and a minimum of 3 persons.

The Langebos Huts are the base huts for the trail and it is recommended that hikers stay at the huts the night before leaving for the first day. The two newly built huts are equipped with 6 beds each with mattresses, a fridge, stove, hot water showers, toilets and a braai area.

At the end of the first day walking hikers will find the Woody Cape hut nestled in thick coastal forest on top of the cliffs with a view of Bird Island in the distance. This hut has 12 beds with mattresses and rainwater tanks. No fires are allowed at the Woody Cape hut and the hikers must carry their own cookers. Water is only for drinking and cooking as the hut relies on rainwater.

At least one or more of the hiking group should be able to read a map and compass, and to wear a brightly coloured jacket that can be seen from the air if a search and rescue is launched. This trail can be booked via Matyholweni Rest Camp by Telephone: +27 (0)42 233 8621 or E-mail.

Tree Dassie Trail

The Tree Dassie Trail is named after the rare tree dassie (hyrax) that lives in the Alexandria forest. This arboreal creature is nocturnal and very shy but its shrill call can be heard at dusk. Many bird species such as the Olive woodpecker, Black headed oriole and Crowned Hornbill can be spotted on the trail, making it ideal for bird watchers. The trail starts at the office and follows the grass roads to Langevlakte where the trail meets up and joins the two-day trail leading back to the office. No bookings are necessary and the trail is free of charge (apart from park entrance fees).

The Alexandria Trail and Tree Dassie Trail start at the Woody Cape offices of the park, near the town of Alexandria. Turn right out of the park entrance towards Paterson. At the Paterson intersection, turn right towards Port Elizabeth. Take the R72 to Port Alfred. Just before entering the town of Alexandria, take the gravel road to right, marked with the park signboard. Follow the signs to the park and find the offices where you can get further assistance.

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Did You Know?

  • It also protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island

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This 52-page full-colour brochure gives the visitor a complete overview of the Park, its fauna and flora, history, new developments, accommodation and activities. Highly recommended!