Addo Elephant National Park

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Addo Elephant National ParkThe Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) is situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, about 70km (45 mi) from Port Elizabeth. It was proclaimed in 1931, primarily to protect the last 11 remaining elephants in the area. Several of my visits to AENP have been disappointing. Because the subtropical thicket vegetation is tall and really thick! Visitors are restricted to driving on the roads and must remain in their vehicles. Oftentimes the larger animals are simply not visible. On two occasions I did not even see an elephant closer than a quarter mile. But on one memorable visit with two friends in 1996, within a 24 hour period we were surrounded several times by a herd of up to 50 elephants. The sensation of one of these behemoths passing within feet of the vehicle, silent save for a swishing sound as they moved by, was almost spiritual. We chuckled as we left the park when we heard another visitor loudly complaining to a Addo National Park official that she had been there for a few days and had not seen a single elephant!

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last modified: 2011-01-16 12:04