The Addo Elephant National Park is situated less than an hour’s drive from the bustling metropolis of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) in the Eastern Cape. Before being proclaimed as a national park in 1931, this area was home to only 11 African Elephants. Today, over 500 of these magnificent animals roam the expansive plains, sharing this natural habitat with lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos, warthogs, various species of antelope and many more fascinating creatures. Within its borders, the Addo Park currently conserves an impressive five of South Africa’s seven biomes. Although situated within the South African bushveld, Addo is also the home of the biggest coastal dune field in the whole of the southern hemisphere. These factors mean that Addo and the total area it incorporates are naturally diverse and undeniably breath-taking. These stunning surrounds are simply magnificent wedding venues.
During the day, the golden grass plains are dotted with lush greenery and sparkling blue watering holes. At night, the high African skies are speckled with myriads of twinkling stars, all set to the symphony of nocturnal beasts and birds as they forage and hunt in the cool night air. Your wedding photographs will capture the essence of this landscape to create lifelong memories of your stunning venue. It is these surrounds that have also lured couples from all over the world to make Addo an integral part of their honeymoon. In addition, guests that have travelled to this area to celebrate your wedding day with you have the option of extending their stay to enjoy the ultimate African safari holiday at Addo Elephant National Park. The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free zone and enjoys pleasant weather all year round.
There are various private lodges situated in and around the Addo Elephant National Park. Some of these are equipped with wedding venues, while others make for the perfect honeymoon accommodation. They include Gorah Elephant Camp (five-star luxury tented camps), River Bend Lodge (five-star accommodation with event venues and a wellness centre to ensure that brides, grooms and newlyweds are pampered and relaxed), Darlington Lake Lodge (accommodation and event facilities) and Nguni River Lodge (stunning views and luxury accommodation). The world-renowned Shamwari Game Reserve and the Amakhala Game Reserve are situated just outside Addo, while other country-style venues can be found in the surrounding areas of Kirkwood, Colchester and Port Elizabeth.
Honeymooning couples or wedding guests that have turned their stay into a vacation are encouraged to explore the surrounding attractions and activities, which include:
- Sunday’s River
- Bird watching
- Game drives (conducted by trained rangers and guides in the early morning, daytime, late afternoon / evening and at night for a completely different experience)
- Hiking trails
- Walking tails
- Mountain biking trails
- Picnicking and barbecuing at the on-site barbecue area within Addo, which boasts views of a local watering hole
- Horse riding along specified Addo horse trails or in the gorgeous Zuurberg area
- 4 x 4 trails
- The PPC Discovery Trail
Photo Credit: www.sneezewoods.co.za