Addo Elephant Park

Nestled between the sinuous Sundays River and the glittering Indian Ocean is Addo Elephant Park, a sprawling sanctuary comprised of diverse environmental landscapes and home to a range of local wildlife. Located just past the periphery of Port Elizabeth, where rolling grasslands, grand coastal forests and fynbos-flecked slopes meet; Addo Elephant Park offers travellers enjoying a train tour of South Africa more than just a game viewing experience – it offers a rehabilitation of the senses.

Addo Elephant Park hails from humble beginnings, when, in 1931, a small section of land was set aside as an asylum for 11 lonely African elephants balanced precariously on the brink of extinction. Over the last six years, the park has more than doubled in size and protects over 350 African elephants, 280 Cape buffalo and a range of Antelope species. The third largest conservation area in the country; its geographic location creates the ideal setting for an African adventure as its rich history reveals a colourful mosaic of events.

The area echoes with the footsteps of elephants today, but centuries ago, the landscape played host to the Khoisan people, who had settlements in the Alexandria dunes. Hidden within the recesses of the Zuurberg Mountains are a number of San rock paintings, alive with stories etched within their ochre red ink. Additionally, the Melkhout Cave within the mountain is an archaeological haven with artefacts dating back to the Early Stone Age. Fast forward a few years from the Stone Age and this very mountain range played host to a violent clashing of cultures during the Anglo Boer War.

Addo Elephant Park is a historic and archeologically dense nature reserve that envelopes all visitors within its enchantment. Fragrant citrus trees stretch for miles, bearing bright yellow fruits that add colour to the winter months and aromatic blossoms in springtime. Travellers enjoying luxury train travel across the country will find the magnetic allure of Addo Elephant Park not only aesthetically marvellous, but also historically fascinating.