Addo Elephant Park
by Bill Forrester
Addo Elephant park is the third largest in South Africa. It is situated 72km by road from Port Elizabeth. Established in 1931 to saverds great wildlife viewing on well maintained roads throughout from the comfort of your own vehicle.
The park has several innovative features for the disabled traveller.
Accessible Discovery Trail
Close to the main park camp is the 2km PPC Discovery trail. From the two disabled car parking bays, that are wide enough to take side loading vans, the path winds through the thicket. The trail is made from a reconstituted plastic material called polywood, giving an extremely smooth ride for wheelchair uses. The path is interspersed with interpretive centres and displays explaining the natural vegetation and wildlife making up Addo's bushveld. For the visually impaired the path is edged with ropes for guidance and at each interpretative centre the displays ar
11 Elephants on the brink of extinction, and is now home to more than 350 of them, 280 Cape Buffalo, black Rhino, a range of Antelope species, as well as the rare flightless dung Beetle. The park affoe also presented in braille.
Main Camp Waterhole
At the main camp there s a floodlight viewing area that overlooks the waterhole for night viewing. The viewing area is easily accessed via the main path from the car park down a smooth gentle slope. Barriers are at a height that makes viewing easy from wheelchair height.
Another great feature of Addo is the bird hide situated just opposite the entrance to the viewing platform. Again the hide is accessed through a smooth pathway up a very gentle slope from the car park. Once inside all viewing slites have been design for a seated position. There is ample room either side of the provided seating for wheelchair users.
Accessible accommodation with roll in shower facilities are available at the main camp area. Addo can be very popular, especially in the main tourist seasons for it is advisable to book in advance. The park offers a truly great wildlife experience for people with disabilities.