Addo Elephant National Park keeps getting bigger and better, and the chance to explore five of South Africa’s seven biomes in one national park has just been made easier by the opening of a new access road to the park. Officially opened by tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk as part of Addo’s 75th anniversary celebration, the new road was built with R33 million of poverty relief funds and links the new gate at Camp Matyholweni (near Colchester on the N2) with the existing tourist roads in the park. At the opening Dr David Mabunda, chief executive of Sanparks, commented, “Today we celebrate 75 years of success in the three core pillars of Sanparks: conservation, tourism and people and conservation.
The Addo Elephant National Park has been transformed from an area proclaimed for the conservation of a single species to one conserving the unique biodiversity of the Eastern Cape, while providing real benefits for local communities and stakeholders.”
Park manager Lucius Moolman added, “From proclamation in 1931, the Park has grown from just over 2,000 hectares to 164 000 hectares today.” Future expansion plans include adding 236,000 hectares on land, plus a 120,000 hectare Marine Protected Area in Algoa Bay. This would transform Addo into the third largest national park in South Africa.