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Addo Suggestions

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
atesburak
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Addo Suggestions

Unread post by atesburak » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:52 pm

Hi,

I'm trying to set up a visit to Addo for next week with the primary intention of seeing Elephants and Lions as well as some sightseeing. We'll be driving a regular automobile to the park and want to get the best experience in a limited time. Therefore I'm wondering if we should be looking for a 4x4 tour of the park. Can anyone help me with the contents and advantages of the 4x4 trail? If it's the preferable one is there a specific place to rent a guide with the 4x4 or should we look for some external tours that will take us to the park? Personally I prefer to rent a 4x4 myself and drive through the park if there's a decent map to show us what is where, is it an option? I should also state that we'll probably have time for a single day visit from Port Elizabeth, therefore won't be staying in or around the park.

Thanks in advance for any info
Burak

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Elsa
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:59 pm

Warm welcome to the forum Burak! :clap:

I'm sure the regular Addo experts will add some advice but in the mean time do have a read through the Addo Index Topics where I'm sure you may well find the answers to many of your questions and a great deal of other info as well.

Friedrich von Hörsten
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:01 pm

Hi Burak,

With only 1 day available, you will have to choose between sight seeing on the 4x4 trail, or game viewing in the main game area... I doubt you will see much game on the 4x4 route.
Elephants need a warm day, and you could see a few hundred at a waterhole like Hapoor. Lions are harder to find, but ask at the reception and check sightings board at reception.
Enjoy,
Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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PJL
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by PJL » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:17 am

Hi Burak,

The 4x4 trails are not in the main game area of the park, and as such you wouldn't see quite as much - certainly not any lions there. I would stick to your sedan, as the main game area is fine for that type of vehicle. If you're travelling from PE I would suggest entering the park at the south gate (Matyholweni) which is just off the N2 after going over Sundays River. It's only about 30mins away from PE, and means you can make the park opening for day visitors at 7am quite easily :thumbs_up:

Elephant sightings can be anywhere in the park, although recently there haven't been the typical large herds due to the rain we keep having. This fills more of the natural waterholes throughout the park meaning that the elephants tend to be more dispersed throughout the bush, and not needing to come to the larger waterholes.

As Friedrich says, it's worth checking the sightings boards for lion sightings - there's one at Matyholweni reception, Jacks picnic site and the main camp. Good places to try might be Ngulube loop in the south and around Rooidam/Gwarrie/Domkrag in the north, but it's really just a bit of luck to find them. :wink:

atesburak
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by atesburak » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:52 pm

Hi Everyeone,

Thanks for the welcome to the board :)

The more I look into the park the worse I feel about spending only a single day there. Personally I want the full experience, which seems to be the regular tour to see the elephants/lions and perhaps another day for the 4x4 trail as well as some camping. Since my girlfriend's 4 year-old nephew wants us to snap elephant photos that's basically the highest priority so I'll ignore the 4x4 unless we can make some extra time.

So should we simply ride the car we are traveling with into the park or is there a possibility of renting a SUV within the park or may be just outside? If so, would you guys recommend a specific company/etc? I am leaning towards joining a tour as well but my preference would be a boutique tour just for us so we will have more time to focus on the aspects that interests us since I am on a mission to snap some nice elephant photos for the young "boss" :cam:

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Hugh
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by Hugh » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Hello there
I would not rent a 4X4 the roads in ADDO are fine and the SUV or 4X4 would be an added expense don't think a guide or guided tour is necessary as ADDO does not have that many roads. At the reception you will get a map and as long as you have a bird and or Animal guide Book Binos that all you will need and of course the camera
ADDO does have an excellent restaurant in the main camp so why not plan to have lunch there

And I do hope you get your ellie photos
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lion queen
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by lion queen » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:17 pm

Hi atesburak and a warm welcome to the forum :gflower:

atesburak wrote:I am leaning towards joining a tour as well but my preference would be a boutique tour just for us so we will have more time to focus on the aspects that interests us since I am on a mission to snap some nice elephant photos for the young "boss" :cam:


Why don't you have a look here at the hop on guide option.

The Hop-on guides are a group of guides, sourced from the communities adjacent to the park, who operate their own business within the park, providing guiding services for visitors in the comfort of their own vehicles.


You will find a Forum topic on Hop on Guides here

This might be the closest you'll get to a boutique tour.

Unfortunately no children under the age of 6 is accommodated on the guided game drives

I do hope this will help. Enjoy the trip and I do hope you'll get enough elephant photos for the young boss. :thumbs_up:
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

atesburak
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by atesburak » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:04 pm

With the intention of as much of the experience as possible we are planning to spend the entire day at the park so a hop-on guide will be very useful for us as we arrive in the morning. I'm hoping to find some nice local food at the park for the lunch (even if it's fast food) and will probably focus more on the park in the afternoon.

Since I'm not a good photographer I'll probably need to take all the time I have for some nice pics :lol:

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arthas
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by arthas » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:33 pm

Hello!

No 4x4 needed, I did almost all the park roads with an Audi A3.

Chances are you'll see elephants, zebras and other herbivores in a lot of places. Lions are another matter: I saw them but it was 6.30AM or so, and we were in the Sunrise Drive with the ranger looking for them: granted, we almost froze but it was worthwile.

The Cattle Baron restaurant at Addo Main Camp is very good!

Cheers,
Michele.

atesburak
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by atesburak » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:14 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the suggestions. We spent the entire day at Addo last week and it was a great experience for me. I was skeptical about seeing Elephants after not finding any for quite a while during the drive but ended up getting very close to 6 of them. We took great photos and enjoyed the park a lot. My girlfriend really wanted to see the Rhinos but I guess we'll take our chances in the next trip. I'm really glad that we avoided the 4x4 trail as even though it would be a lot of fun we wouldn't be able to cover as much of the park as we did with the sedan. According to the map we covered all the roads including the dirt roads which is where we saw most of the herds. I'm hoping the "little boss" will like the pictures. The restaurant was very nice and more importantly all the staff at the front office were very helpful. It's not very usual to find people in national parks that actually like their job and try to be so helpful, it was a great experience. We have seen 24 of the 39 species which is supposed to be a great ratio according to the info we got in the park. I wish we could have spent an extra day at the park and get to see the lions early in the day but I guess that will be a reason for our next trip there ;)

Thanks again for all the help

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Hugh
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by Hugh » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:26 pm

I am glad you had a great day in the park and now all the more reason for you to visit again.. And thanks for the feedback Now more people will want to go
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Friedrich von Hörsten
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:45 pm

Hi Atesburak,

So glad you enjoyed the day. They must have had lots of rain around there for you to only see 6 elephants in a day... Addo is not known for plenty of lion sightings, but when you see them it usually is very good.
Was hoping to be there myelf this coming week...
God bless,
Friedrich von Hörsten
``God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on your heart'' -- E. St V Millay

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PJL
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Re: Addo Suggestions

Unread post by PJL » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:29 am

Great to hear you had a fun time in the park atesburak :thumbs_up:

Friedrich von Hörsten wrote:Addo is not known for plenty of lion sightings, but when you see them it usually is very good.

Well... it's always a case of a bit of luck... but last year we had 13 different lion sightings in 15 visits to the park :whistle: :whistle:


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