Addo Elephant National Park

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Addo Elephant National Park is a diverse wildlife conservation park situated close to Port Elizabeth in South Africa and is one of the country's 19 national parks. It currently ranks third in size after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa

The original section of the park was founded in 1931, in part due to the efforts of Sydney Skaife, in order to provide a sanctuary for the eleven remaining elephants in the area. The park has proved to be very successful and currently houses more than 600 elephants and a large number of other mammals.

Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa

The original park has subsequently been expanded to include the Woody Cape Nature Reserve that extends from the Sundays River mouth towards Alexandria and a marine reserve, which includes St. Croix Island and Bird Island, both important breeding habitat for gannets and penguins, not to mention a large variety of other marine life.

Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa

Bird Island is home to the world's largest breeding colony of gannets - about 120,000 birds - and also hosts the second largest breeding colony of African penguins, the largest breeding colony being St. Croix island. These marine assets form part of the plan to expand the 1,640 km² Addo National Elephant Park into the 3,600 km² Greater Addo Elephant National Park.

Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa

The park receives about 120,000 visitors annually. International visitors make up 54% of this number, with German, Dutch and British nationals in the majority. There is a main camp, featuring a swimming pool, restaurant, flood lit water hole and various accommodation, four other rest camps and four camps run by concessionaires.

Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park of South Africa

The main entrance as well as two looped tourist roads in the park are tarred while the others are graveled. There is also an additional access road through the southern block of the park feeding off the N2 highway near Colchester; it joins up with the existing tourist roads in the park.

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