How to have an amazing Addo self-drive safari

Dung beetles may be the kings of the road in the Addo Elephant National Park, but the Addo Hop-on Guides know this place like the back of their hands. The Addo Hop-on Guides are FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) Level 2 trained guides that can be booked to drive with you in your own vehicle through the national park.

Guide, Simnikiwe Nogaya has shared some awesome tips about how to make the most of your self-drive game viewing experience. With over 10 years of experience and Level 2 training, Simnikiwe is one of Addo’s finest Hop-on Guides.

Kuthiwa inyathi ibuzwa kwabaphambili, apha eAddo ke ngezichap kuthiwa ziHop-on Guides. Ababhuti bayazi goed le national park.

Baneminyaka elishumi nangaphezulu besebenza eAddo Elephant National Park bekhokhela iitourist. Abahambi njee ke, bayifundele lento bazi Level 2 FGASA Guides. Sincokole noSimnikiwe Nogaya wasipha intluva yokwenza iself-drive zethu zibemnandi ngakumbi.

Proper Planning

Addo is close enough for an impromptu visit, and those are great fun. However, when the family has been to Addo a few times and want to see specific animals, it is a good idea to plan ahead to turn the odds in your favour. Simnikiwe says that the first step to planning your Addo self-drive is figuring out what you would like to see. Is it predators, elephants or interesting birds? Check out our birding and wildlife checklists [here]. Have a look at the weather forecast and choose a clear, sunny day if you can. Now that you have an idea of your game drive bucket list, you can guess what time you need to arrive at Addo, what your route will be and when to take a lunch break. 

Enza Amalungiselelo

Kulula ukuvuka ungene endleleni uze eAddo Elephant National Park. Akhonto imnandi njengohambo ulongaplanwangwa mos. Kodwa ke, ukuba ufuna ukubona izilwanyana ezithile ngcono wenze amalungiselelo ukuze ufikelele kwezizinto ufuna ukuzibona. Ungalibali ukujonga imozulu ukhethe eyona mini intle.

Map Your Route

Once registered and signed in at reception will receive your map of the park. Take some time to figure out your route, mark off your stops, and choose the best place to eat lunch.
Here’s a suggested route from Simnikiwe, who says he has had the his best sightings of Jack the lion at Domkrag Dam (#2 on the Addo map). This is Jack’s territory and he is most active in the mornings. From Domkrag Dam, quickly make your way to Rooi Dam (#13 on the Addo map) which is a predators paradise and hyenas are often seen in the mornings. If you are sleeping over at one of Addo’s Rest Camps, your pass allows you to enter the park from 05:30. If you are a day visitor, you can arrive as early as 07:00.
Who would have guessed that elephants are not early risers? According to Simnikiwe, if your Instagram goals are selfies with elephants playing in the background, you can lie in a little and start your self-drive at around 09:00.
During the hotter summer days, you’ll probably find the elephants frolicking at Hapoor Dam (#22 on the Addo map) and the sunlight should be great for photography. Simnikiwe says that when the days are windy or rainy, the elephants are found at different locations, because they have different needs from the environment.

Khetha indlela ozakuyihamba

Xa ubhalisa pha ereception uzokufumana imap ebonisa zonke indlela, amadama, indawo zokutyela kunye nendawo ezifundisayo. Khawuthathe ixesha uyijongisise la-map, ukhethe iindlela ozakuhambha ngazo nendawo ozotyela kuyo ilunch yakho. Ukuba ufuna ukubona izilwanyana ezizngelayo fika kwasekseni eAddo Elephant National Park. Nje ngomntu ongalelanga ngaphakathi epakeni ungangena ngo07:00 wak’sasa uqale pha eDomkrag Dam (2 emephini). Kulapho ke kuthanda ukubonakala iNgonyama enkulu yaseAddo, uJack. Qhubekeka ke ngokukhangela abanye abazingeli pha eRooi Dam, 13 emephini. Ungabona iHyena, zixaphakile kwelacala. Heee! Ubusazi ukuba iindlovu iyavilapha? Ziqala uphuma emathyolweni phaa ngoo9 AM. Ziphuma sezinxaniwe ke ziye straight eHapoor Dam (22 emephini). Umhle ke lambono weza ndlovana zidlala emanzini, ufake nje wena ke ngoku nge selfie stick yakho, uthi ncaa la #softlife kuInstagram wakho. Uyayibona ke ngoku?
uSimnikiwe uthi xa kuvunguza umoya okanye kunetha, izilwanyane ziyayitshintsha zingenzi nje ngesiqhelo.

Remember the old rules and the new

Rule #1 – The flightless Addo dung beetle is the king of the roads and always has the right of way. Please stop and let this little guy get to where he needs to be. These beetles are endangered and play a very important role in preserving the environment of the park.
Venturing into the territory of wild animals can be both exciting and intimidating. The best way to stay safe and respect the animals, and the environment, is by familiarising yourself with the rules of the park. You can read them [here].
Although a visit to our national park is an outdoor activity, all health and safety protocols must be respected so that the park can keep all visitors safe while we fight COVID19. Please wear your masks at all times. Your Hop-on Guide will have sanitizer with him, and there is sanitizer in all public spaces. South African Government regulations state that you will be asked to fill in a form with COVID19 screening questions for each person in your vehicle, please do this for your safety and that of your guide. Your temperature reading will be taken at the gate, please open the car windows to make it easier for the security guards.

Thobela imiqathango ukuze uzosinda engozini

Oyena mthetho wendlela ubalulekileyo ngaphakathi eAddo Elephant National Park kukuthobela iNkuba Bulongwe. Nceda ujongisise endleleni ungazigili. Zibalulekile ezachap, zidlala indima enkulu ekucocweni kwePark kwaye sezisheke zimbalwa emhlabeni. Shem man, masizilondoloze.
Zikhona ke ezinye izinto ekufuneke sizenzile nekufuneke singazenzanga xa siyokubona izilwanyane zasendle. Ungayifumana apha imiqathango yase Addo Elephant National Park.
Masikhumbhuleni ukuba sisalwa nalobhubhane uyiCovid19. Kubalulekile ukunxiba imask ngamaxesha onke. Ungaziphathela isantizer kodwa iHop-on guides zinazo, nendawo zonke ezingenwa ngabantu zinanzo isantizer. Nceda uzisebenzise.

Have Fun!

Enjoy the comfort and safety of your car while being guided to all the wildlife hotspots and secret nooks in the Addo Elephant National Park. You can book Simnikiwe and other Hop-on Guides by emailing addogamedrives@sanparks.org.

Iza wonwabe!

Ungonwabela ukubuka izilwanyane ungakhange uphume emotweni yakho ube ukhatshwa yingcaphephe yeguide. Cela uSimnikiwe nge email ku addogamedrives@sanparks.org.

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