Family of elephants in Addo Elephant National Park.

© fokkebok/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Addo Elephant National Park

Sunshine Coast

Located 70km north of Port Elizabeth, South Africa's third-largest national park protects the remnants of the huge elephant herds that once roamed the Eastern Cape. When Addo was proclaimed a national park in 1931, there were only 11 elephants left; today there are more than 600 in the park, and you’d be unlucky not to see some.

A day or two at Addo is a highlight of any visit to this part of the Eastern Cape, not only for the elephants but for the lions, zebras, black rhinos, Cape buffaloes, spotted hyenas and myriad birds. The park is one of few that boasts the ‘Big Seven’, thanks to sightings of great white sharks and southern right whales (in season) in Algoa Bay. Look out, too, for the rare flightless dung beetle, endemic to Addo. There's excellent accommodation inside the park.

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1. Schotia Game Reserve

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5. Donkin Reserve

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6. No. 7 Castle Hill

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Sandy central beach, popular for sunbathing and swimming in the shallows. Take extreme care when swimming; the current is very strong.

8. South End Museum

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