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Blog: Blog2

SA Winelands to Wildlife: Part 1

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Plett Winelands to Addo National Park

We took a different approach last holiday, swapping out our wine glasses for binoculars as we explored some of the most spectacular National Parks this country has to offer! Our month-long meander to Mpumalanga and back began at home – the Plett Winelands. It was a straight 3-hour drive from Plettenberg Bay through the Tsitsikamma area to our first destination, The Addo Elephant National Park.

Addo Elephant National Park offers a range of accommodation types for all kinds of people, from rugged mountains & densely fragrant vegetation for the outdoorsy to luxury lodges for an intimately secluded couple’s experience.

Indulge in luxury at the Gorah Elephant Camp – a lavish tented camp in the heart of the Addo Elephant National Park with a manor house overlooking an active waterhole. This 5-star experience includes professionally guided walking trails, private visits to their habituated Meerkat colony, professionally guided game drives in luxury vehicles, and treatments in the privacy of your own luxury tented suite. An absolute treat for couples looking to escape from the daily hustle and bustle!

For a more down-to-earth escapade, book your stay at the Addo Rest Camp (main rest camp offering a variety of accommodation units to suit all tastes) or revel in a secluded forest experience at the Narina Bush Camp located at the foot of the Zuurberg Mountains & banks of the Wit River.

With an abundance of activities, your tots won’t have time to be bored… they even offer holiday programs for kids during July & December holidays so make sure to book your spot! Explore your surroundings with their game drives, 4x4 & hiking trails, and marine eco tours.

Take it at your own pace with their self-drive wildlife viewing, hiking trails through the Zuurberg Mountains or their PPC Discovery Trail (a wheelchair-friendly walk in the main camp). Make sure to visit the floodlit waterhole at night or the underground viewing hide for a magical experience - witness both predator & prey in their natural environment… truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Enjoy the wonders of main camp – a braai site (perfect for those late-night kuiers), a swimming pool (definitely recommended for the summer months!), a restaurant and a curio shop.

On this occasion we stayed at the Matyholweni Camp on the southern entrance of the park closest to Port Elizabeth.

For a more luxury stay, also check out Barefoot Addo Elephant Lodge situated on the northern side of the Greater Addo National Park; after the most incredible optional drive through the rugged and remote Zuurberg Mountains! Here you can have a guided walk and encounters with the local gentle giant giraffes & elephants.

The Greater Addo National Park contains seven major vegetation zones and is proudly the only park in the whole world to provide shelter to 'Africa's Big 7'- The lion, buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, whale & great white shark.

Planning your own trip along the East coast & Garden Route of SA?

Check out these must-visit stops along the route: relish in the sights, scents & sounds of Mother Nature at the Birds of Eden (the world’s largest free-flight bird sanctuary, home to gorgeous African birds & miniature monkeys), take a trip over the Tsitsikamma National Park with Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours (built around giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees, this awesome tour takes visitors through the treetops of the forested park with views of the enchanting Otter Trail & campgrounds below), or interact with the majestic mammals of The Elephant Sanctuary (an intimate hands-on educational experience with nature’s gentle giants).

For the adrenalin junkies: book your spot at Africanyon River Adventures (an all-in-one trip of adventure and adrenalin through a dynamic canyon; jump, abseil & zip-line your way along the Garden Route), try not to get cold feet at Face Adrenalin Bloukrans Bungy (jump from one of the world's highest commercial bungy jumping sites, Bloukrans Bridge), or zip your way through the Addo with Adrenalin Addo Adventure Park (experience the highest, longest & fastest double zip line in SA with views across Addo’s valley of citrus).

Check out our other Garden Route and Plett Winelands blogs for more family holiday fun ideas!

Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 of our holiday, featuring Mount Sheba & the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga!

Contact Me – Hilary - at for more details on your favourite spots & to book a personalised tour of your own – behind the scenic routes of the Cape Winelands & beyond!

Please register on to stay up to date with new discoveries and ideas for Wineland adventures.

Click here to check out our previous blog “Explore Your Senses @Waterford Estate”!


Important info:

Addo Elephant National Park: ; ; 042 233 8600

Barefoot Addo Elephant Lodge: ; ; 083 283 2359


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