This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Addo. To help you make friends with Addo before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Addo is a wildlife conservation park near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is one of the largest national parks in the country, after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The park was originally created in 1931 in order to protect the remaining eleven elephants. Today, it now encompasses not only the original park but also the Woody Cape Nature Reserve and a marine reserve. This makes it one of the few conservation parks to include five distinct biomes and the only national park in the world to host all of Africa’s Big Seven (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, great white shark, and whale) in their natural habitat.
The Addo area, on South Africa’s East Cape, is mostly national park and as such you will find plenty of accommodation nearby. There are only a few hostels though, and they won’t be the traditional European-style hostels you may be used to. Expect hostels near Addo to be focused on the nature and wildlife lover. You will be able to book tours of the national park through the hostel or arrange 4x4 off-roading, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and river cruising. If you prefer a guesthouse or safari lodge, you can find them in Addo as well.
To get here, you can fly in Port Elizabeth and arrange transport to Addo. If you choose to hire a car, the roads are sealed and accessible for all cars.
Addo has long been known for the wildlife in the area, from the herds of elephants to various antelope species and warthogs, but there is also plenty else to do. Visit the Patensie river valley, with its miles of citrus orchard, the lush Zuurberg Mountains and the pass used by the Gen Smuts in the Boer War, and Grahamstown, a charming cathedral and university city with an unusually large proportion of schools and students. While the main attraction in Addo is certainly the conservation park, make time to see the outlying area as well.
Written by local enthusiast for Addo hostelsJakob Lombardi